Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"I’m OK with these moves. To paraphrase Brian McNamee, they are what they are. Backman provides some needed depth at defense, and Sjostrom gives the Rangers the chance to re-shape their checking line into more of an offensive threat. As much as I think Colton Orr has improved, you don’t need him in the lineup every night, especially in the playoffs. That’s where Sjostrom comes in.
Could the Rangers have fetched more in return for Al Montoya? Maybe. Let’s remember that every other team has scouts poking around the AHL as well, so there’s a chance they were seeing the same holes in his game that the Rangers were.
I still think Marcel Hossa has an upside, but he may have hit his ceiling in New York, and the Rangers likely recognized that.
Bottom line: these moves addressed some immediate needs, and even with Montoya, the Rangers didn’t give up all that much."
...I think Weinman says it best when he says, "I'm OK with these moves...they are what they are."
...did we need defensive insurance definitely, so getting Backman, who is better then average at best as I said earlier, for virtually nothing was a no-brainer.
...after some time analyzing the second trade I guess I'm OK with it also. Montoya was going no where but down in the Rangers organization and I think we've seen enough of Hossa to know what he brings, which is usually nothing. Sjostrom could have some upside, as the mad anonymous poster noted, and Gratton, who if he has any offensive talent, could take over Orr's spot on the fourth line very easily next year. And during Sather's press conference tonight he said this about LeNeveu “Benoit thinks he can really resurrect this guy.” So who knows.
...bottom line is the Rangers are on a roll right now and Sather did nothing to distract the team, which makes today's trade dealine a success for the Rangers.
- He reiterated there was no thought to trading Jaromir Jagr. Asked if he wanted to re-sign Jagr, Sather said, “We’ll see how things develop…I love the way he’s been playing.” As for Michal Rozsival and Sean Avery, Sather said he will continue to negotiate with both players over the coming weeks, but he did express confidence in being able to re-sign them.
...while I don't think the trades today made us better, I'm happy to say they didn't make us worse either. Which was something I was very worried about going into today and relieved about after the dealine had passed.
...thrilled to hear Sather say he didn't want to compromise the Rangers future by trading away young players and prospects. Sather could have easily made a big splash today by trading Dawes, Callahan or Sanguinetti for a Hossa, or a Campbell or a Richards, but he didn't which should make every Ranger fan confident that Sather will continue developing young players in an effort to make the Rangers competitive year after year.
- The word out of Phoenix on Fred Sjostrom is he has been used by Wayne Gretzky mostly in a defensive role. He has good speed and some offensive ability, and was a popular guy in the Coyotes dressing room (including with reporters). I suspect he’ll be used on the fourth line to start, but we’ll see where that goes.
- Josh Gratton was the Coyotes’ enforcer for most of last season, but broke his finger during training camp and was eventually buried in San Antonio.
- In hindsight, Marcel Hossa’s sudden return rom Hartford in time for Sunday’s game was a classic example of a player being showcased.
- The Rangers indeed also got a conditional pick out of the Phoenix deal.
Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says...
- Sjostrom, 24, is a right wing, former 11th overall pick, and should fit in well for Marcel Hossa. Not a scorer, 6-17-29 in 05-06; 9-9-18 in 06-07; Gratton is an enforcer, with 188 penalty minutes in 52 games in Phoenix in 06-07. I expect Leneveau to be in Hartford.
- Montoya's days were numbered when Henrik Lundqvist was signed to a long-term deal.He's been inconsistent and injury-prone in Hartford, and the rise of Miika Wiikman had bumped him to No. 2.
- Marcel Hossa's effectiveness has been restricted by a bad back. He was 1-7-8 in 36 games.
- Backman had been placed on injured reserve in early February with a cracked bone in his left foot, which he sustained while blocking a shot in a win over. Anaheim. He was 1-9-10 in 45 games.
...so let me get this straight we just traded for an over-priced defenseman, 3 million this year and next year (thanks for the info bpette), who was on injured reserve earlier this month with a cracked bone in his foot. Nice.
...and in our other trade, we traded our one-time goalie of the future and Hossa (who looked good the other night) for a goalie of lesser talent, a goon and 2001 first rounder who Phoenix was trying to turn into a defensive forward. Double nice.
...to me neither of these trades make much sense. With Backman, we now have an average at best defenseman on our payroll at 3 million next year giving us less room to bring in top talent in the off-season. And unless Sjostrom regains the skills that made him an 11th overall pick, we just traded a valuable penalty killer and someone I thought would be effective on the fourth line in Hossa along with Montoya for nothing. Awesome job Sather.
"Rangers trade Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya to Phoenix and get forwards Fredrick Sjostrom and Josh Gratton, and goaltender David Leneveu in return."
...I'll have more on this in a little bit.
Told of the Dallas trade of Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokinen to Tampa for Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist, Henrik Lundqvist's reaction was; "Two forwards going. That might be good for my brother." Twin brother Joel is a forward for the Stars who's been in and out of the lineup.
"Washington got better," said goaltender Steve Valiquette, with the acquisition of Montreal's Cristobal Huet. "A few years ago, he was one of the top five in the league."
When I asked Jaromir Jagr to tell Sean Avery that Cam Janssens, to whom he once referred as "that meathead from Jersey" was traded to St. Louis, Jagr said; "He (Sean) knows; he's got text messages."
...locker room seems pretty loose as 3pm draws near. Zipay also reported that, with the exception of the injured Mara and Orr, everyone was at practice today.
The Lightning have shipped Vaclav Prospal (29 goals and 57 points in 62 games) to the Philadelphia Flyers for defensemen Alexandre Picard and a second or third round draft pick in 2009.
The New Jersey Devils have bolstered their defence for the stretch run, acquiring defenceman Bryce Salvador from the St. Louis Blues for forward Cam Janssen. Salvador, 32, has 11 points and 43 penalty minutes in 56 games this season.
...looks like our divisional opponents are getting better by the minute. I hope this doesn't force Sather into a panic move.
Steve Zipay at Newsday asays...
"...the Rangers were believed to be looking at Columbus' Ron Hainsey and Colorado's John-Michael Liles, among others...
The Rangers also are believed to be interested in former first-round pick Rob Schremp, who has 14 goals and 52 points for the Oilers' AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons."
At the New York Post Mark Everson is reporting...
"...the Rangers are believed looking elsewhere for help on defense, perhaps toward Edmonton's Joni Pitkanen, since Tampa's Dan Boyle yesterday signed a six-year, $40 million extension that removes him from the top of the rental market."
...should be a fun day today. Hopefully the Rangers can make that one move that propels them into the playoffs and beyond. I'll be updating all day.
Monday, February 25, 2008
"I told them straight out that this team -- especially with Marcel Hossa back on Broadway -- should remain intact; no roster changes are necessary.
As presently constituted, the Blueshirts have three solid offensive lines. Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery have revitalized Jaromir Jagr, while the other units are just fine as is.
With Hossa back, Renney can dump either Colton Orr -- out Sunday with illness -- or, preferably Ryan Hollweg and have a reasonable fourth line.
Compared to the competition, the New York defense is good enough. Although a first-rate power play quarterback would make it a superior unit, but you can't have everything.
And if Henny Lundqvist should falter again, Steve Valiquette can step in without anyone having to worry about the puck-stopping.
This is a roster on the rise. So why tamper with it? If it's broken, Sather's job is to fix it. But, right now, the Rangers sure look playoff-good to me!"
...man even Fischler is dumping on Hollweg. I thought Hossa had a strong, physical game last night including a shot off the pipe in the third period. I think that was the first offensive chance for the fourth line since Hollweg's two goal game against the Flyers last month. Hopefully Renney will reward Hossa with another start on Thursday against Carolina.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
"As reported earlier, Marcel Hossa is back from Hartford and will skate on the fourth line in Colton Orr’s spot at right wing. Orr has, according to Tom Renney, an “upper body injury,” although no one can say for sure when exactly he sustained it."
...hoping Hossa has a solid game so that when Orr is ready to play Hollweg is sent to the press box. Sorry to be hating on Hollweg so much but he is a liability out there. Even when his hits are borderline, the refs will never give him the benefit of the doubt.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Apparently a website called Blogged.com which rates blogs throughout the internet gave my blog a score of 7.6 (Very Good) out of 10. From what I read on the site, editor reviews are provided by professional editors who evaluate a blog based on the following criteria: Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style. My blog probably would have gotten a perfect 10 if it wasn't for the unintelligent comments left by bpette2 and fleisch14. Just kidding guys. If it weren't for you two, and the new anonymous commenter, I'd be talking to myself.
Friday, February 22, 2008
"In case you were worried, your heroes were hardly a shattered shell or emotional mess upon reconvening for practice today.
Just the opposite, in fact.
Treating Tuesday night’s Meltdown in Montreal as an aberration rather than a sign of the apocalypse, the Rangers went back to work merrily.
Jaromir Jagr reacted appropriately to being barked at by Sean Avery for not passing him the puck early in practice: The Rangers captain spent the rest of the rush drills freezing out the loquacious (except with reporters in recent days) winger, refusing to pass to him at all except for the odd airborne puck or annoying feed into his skates. Jagr clearly enjoyed that and Avery was even chuckling about it after the sixth or seventh time.
Later, during a practice-closing drill in which each group of five had to skate a Herbie (sprint to the far blue line and back) every time one of their quintet missed a penalty shot, Jagr, Michal Rozsival and Marek Malik mockingly took off before Avery even got a chance to pick up the puck at center ice. When Avery beat Henrik Lundqvist (hardly uncommon today), the three and Brandon Dubinsky mobbed Avery as if he had just won a real game — apparently, Avery and Malik are pals again."
...happy to see these guys move on. In Dellapina's story today in the Daily News he reinforces the fact that Tuesday night's game was a fluke as the Rangers had gone 20-1-1 when leading after two periods going into the game.
...I've read on numerous Ranger message boards and blogs that Tuesday night's meltdown will send the Rangers into a tailspin. I disagree with this completely. Just because you blow a lead like that doesn't necessarily mean that the team goes into the tank. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit this, but I'm a New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets fan. Back in 2000 the Nets were playing the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Championship. In game three with the series tied at 1-1, the Nets led by 21 points going into the final period, but a tremendous Celtic comeback gave the Celtics a 94-90 victory and a 2-1 series lead. The Nets are demoralized right. Wrong. They came back to win the next three games and go to the NBA Championship. If the Nets could comeback after a horrific meltdown in the Eastern Conference Championship, I think the Rangers should have no problem coming back from a meltdown in February. There's too much veteran leadership on this team not too.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
New York Islanders 1, Tampa Bay 0
Carolina Hurricanes 5, Atlanta Thrashers 3
Boston Bruins 5, Florida Panthers 4, SO
Buffalo Sabres 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Montreal Canadiens 4
Here's the only good score of the night...
San Jose Sharks 3, Philadelphia Flyers 1
...with the horrible results tonight the Rangers went from sixth to eighth and are only two points out of tenth.
...hey at least Philadelphia is on a nine game winless streak.
...pretty sad that right now Montoya is nothing more than a sweetener to any deal. Thought he might be able to bring us something big in return on his own. To make matters worse Montoya sustained a grion injury during a Wolf Pack game last night. See here.
1. Dan Boyle, Tampa.
2. Brian Campbell, Buffalo.
3. Marian Hossa, Atlanta.
4. Mats Sundin, Toronto
5. Thomas Kaberle, Toronto
6. John-Michael Liles, Colorado.
7. Vaclav Prospal, Tampa.
8. Barrett Jackman, St. Louis
9. Matt Carle, San Jose.
10. Ron Hainsey, Columbus
...lots of defenseman on the list, which is probably what most Ranger fans want to see. Not sure I would put Sundin on my list. We don't need an aging center.