Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Devils GameDay: TB vs. NJ, 7:00 PM, FSN (HD), WFAN

The Devils host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at The Rock. Be on the lookout for what Tortorella does with Lecavalier and St. Louis, in case he puts one of them for Richards. Also, the Devils MUST avoid penalties tonight, or it will be a long day for Marty and the boys. Right now, the Devils will look to get a rowdy crowd buoyed by students in Halloween costumes and hopefully out-sell the Nets, who have their home opener against Chicago tonight at the Brendan Byrne Arena, which is now painted with red trim. It made me chuckle while working the Jet game on Sunday.

Back on topic, a reminder that if you are a student and you wear a Halloween costume, you will be allowed into Prudential Center for $10. Hope to see some great costumes tonight, as the winner of the costume contest wins Hannah Montanna tix, which sell for about a zillion dollars.

Anyway, we all know the key will be Lecavalier and St. Louis getting on the board and the Devils, *chuckles*, Deee-fehhhhnse trying to stop them, with the aid of ''6'7, 230 lbs. defender Olli Malmivaara, as the Devils look to dress 7 defensemen tonight, don't be shocked if Mike Rupp sits it out.

On a final note, TSN has this game in Canada.

PREDICTION: Devils finally break the slump, but barely, in the shootout 2-1.

Olli Malmivaara Called Up

''6'7, 230 lbs.

Sweet. Hopefully Sutter goes with 7 defensemen tonight.

Preview later.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Late Thoughts on Last Night's Game

Sorry for the delay, but procrastination got the better of me yesterday. I was able to catch the game late last night, and I have to say that I was impressed at what I saw. The Rangers played a solid 60 minutes last night, which was probably their biggest problem last season. Some other things that stuck out from last night:

- Almost every site is reporting it, but it's true; parking a man in front of the net did wonders for the power play. It was the reason for Jagr and Shanahan's goals. Nigel Dawes' was just a cool deflection. The Rangers need to keep that up.

- Fedor Tyutin's hitting keeps getting better. So does Dan Girardi's. Seeing Joey McDonald's gear go flying was insane, but the fact that those two take players to the boards, or to the ice without taking penalties is exactly what needs to be done if the defense is going to stay this sharp.

- Sean Avery wants to come back for Thursday's tilt against Michael Nylander and the Capitals, but it looks like he'll be held back until Saturday's game. When he comes back Jason Strudwick obviously goes back to his position in the press box and Ryan Hollweg moves back down to the fourth line, but no one can knock the job these guys have done. Strudwick has provided good forechecking minutes, and Hollweg didn't look too out of place, although neither did anything spectacular either. The real problem comes when it's time to move someone else out of the lineup, as Dawes cannot be moved.

Same lineup most likely on Thursday, and while I was all for a call up last week, I don't mind not having one now. Shows why I am not behind the bench or in the front office for the Blueshirts. Maybe some day though, you never know. Back on Thursday unless something newsworthy happens.

Rest My Chemistry

You know, the Devils have been trying a great deal to create scoring by juggling up the line combinations at the forward positions. Here's some advice: When developing chemistry, you might wanna let something stick for more than, I don't know, two shifts? Jeez, Brent Spurrier changes lines faster than goes through panic attacks.

You see, Brent Spurrier has been trying to find a combo of Top 6 - Hell, he'd take Top 2 if he could score - forwards, and this is what he came up with for his 4 lines for what will likely be the team that suits up against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Halloween night:


Wha?? Really? Now, I'm not as opposed to Sergei Brylin on line #2 as the rest of Horned-Tail Nation. Since he got hurt and missed 30 games during the 03-04 season, Sarge has increased his point totals (33-37-40) in the previous three seasons and played well with Patrik during their time with Jamie Langenbrunner. Well, my main problem is with the dishing of Dainius Zubrus to the 3rd line. Your really going to take someone your paying $3.6 million to be your #1 center and put him on the right side of the third line? Fair enough, Sutterior. Madden and Pando are our two hottest forwards, so maybe it'll work, but I'd rather at least see him playing wing with Parise and Zajac, giving that line a little size that Gionta just doesn't give you. And why not play Gio with Madden and Pando if they're going to be counted on more to contribute offensively.

Let's take a look at the line combos the Devils used in their three victories. For their October 6th win over Florida, this was the Devs 12 forwards:


And in their 6-5 defeat of the Thrashers on October 12th:


Finally, for the 5-4 wild one in Pittsburgh on October 16th:

The problem is that Sutter's not willing to keep a line together for more than five minutes. Maybe, if he found something that works and stuck with it, the Devils wouldn't be 3-6-1.

Devils-Tampa tomorrow, 7PM.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rangers vs Lightning 7pm

The Rangers take on Tampa Bay tonight at the Garden at 7pm. Instead of calling someone up, they will again skate Jason Strudwick on the 4th line and move Hollweg up to the 3rd. Brandon Dubinski will get power play time again tonight, and he deserves it. Sean Avery practiced with contact today, getting checked by Dubinski several times throughout the session. He is hoping to play on Thursday, but Renney said it will more likely be Saturday.

I won't be around tonight for any live threads. Schoolwork has to get done tonight so I will record the game, watch it late tonight and then add my 2 cents tonight or early tomorrow. Enjoy.

Yep...Still More

1, 2 and 3 are from the pre-game skate. You all should know what number four is.

Yep...More Photos

1. Our Newest Prize
2. Pre-Game Skate
3. The Scoreboard all lit-up, front and center.
4. The great ones

Mmm...Sellout Crowd

Felt this deserved it's own post:

Mural Part 2

1 & 2. Finishing up the mural.
3. A Devils Celebration
4. The last we saw Patrik Elias happy.

More Photos - THE Mural

All of these are pictures from the mural.

1. The Crowd outside
2. Great Painting on the way up to the lower level. For our friend Greg Wyshynski's benefit, the adjacent painting of the opening nights in KCity and Denver aren't including.
3. The Stanley Cup and the Vezina Trophy
4. The Rink Pre-Pre-Game Skate
5. The Scoreboard

More Rock Photos - Outside

1. A painting in the back of the arena of skates and a puck
2. Devils Logo in the Devils Den.
3. A photo next to the team store.
4 & 5. Painting on the exterior just past the Devils Den.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Photos From Opening Night - Outside the Building

Here are some of the odds and ends of the building, in order they are:

1. The Verizon Tower
2. The Practice Rink from Outside
3. A painting in back of the arena of the NJD Logo
4. A painting in back of the arena of a skater.
5. A painting in back of the arena of Brodeur from the back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hey everybody...

Very tired, very annoyed, much more tomorrow, including a full recap of my 10 hours of Rock madness, meeting Jeff Vanderbeek, photos of the Stanley Cup, ripping a grown man to shreds in front of his daughter (verbally of course) and general fun and heartbreak from opening night at The Prudential Center, the first of hopefully many, many more (and happier) to come.

11PM NHL Roundup

There are a lot of games on tap tonight, so I will just give scores for the most part.

Games still in progress:

3-1 Atlanta leads Chicago in the 3rd

4-2 St. Louis leading Washington in the 3rd

2-1 Dallas leads Phoenix after 1

1-1 Edmonton and Los Angelas after 1

Finals Scores

2-1 Philly over Boston (Bergeron is ok, check the Rangers post for my last update)

2-1 Columbus over San Jose

4-1 Ottawa over New Jersey (Ouch. I fully expected like 6 goals and a shutout for the Devils.)

8-3 Carolina over New York Islanders (Brind'Amour with a hat trick)

4-1 Toronto over New York Rangers (recap below)

4-3 Montreal over Pittsburgh in a shootout

4-3 Buffalo over Tampa Bay in overtime

4-3 Nashville over Florida

Rangers vs Toronto Gamethread

9:25 - Game Over. Kilger added an empty net goal for Toronto. 4-1 final in New York. Once the Rangers find the offensive groove, they will be a really good team. I just don't know how long you can wait. They need Sean Avery in this lineup. Other than that, I'm out of ideas.

9:12 - Not much of a third period so far. With just over 5 minutes to go the Leafs don't have a shot on goal and the Rangers have only 5. A Gomez-Drury- Jagr line should be frightening to opposing teams, but it failed to generate anything offensive. The Garden is now not even booing. They're just out of it.

9:00 - I don't know how Jagr missed that open net. Toskala was down and out and Jagr's backhander went right through the crease. The Garden is booing too, which is never good to hear.

8:32 - In a span of only a few minutes, the Rangers have had 2 defensive breakdowns which led to 2 goals for Toronto. Both of them were avoidable. End of period 2. Rangers have to play a much better 3rd period to win this game.

8:13 - 1-1 after a Pavol Kubina just scored from Blake and Kaberle.

8:05 - That's what we need from Jagr. Nice goal. Nice shift before that by the fourth line. Someone needs to remind Toronto that they need to shoot to be able to score.

8:00 - Second period's about to start, but just wanted to pass along that Bergeron suffered a broken nose and a concussion on the play, but is conscious, and moving all of his limbs after a scary few hours. Back on the Ranger front, Rangers on the power play, Drury just hit the post. I don't think the call on Sundin is a penalty, much like Joe Michelleti in the booth.

7:41 End of first period - How about that? A scoreless period for the Rangers. Good defensive period. Both teams looked good at times. Some good saves by Toskala. Lundqvist wasn't tested too badly.

Update 7:22 - "Great defensive play by Jagr." Yep. Those words really did just come out of Sam Rosen's mouth. And it was well deserved. Jagr broke up a breakaway. Halfway through 0-0.

I'll be here throughout the game. Same lineups as Thursday for the Rangers, and the Leafs are without Tucker and McCabe. I'll send updates frequently.

Also, Randy Jones had a vicious hit on Patrice Bergeron this afternoon. Bergeron was taken off the ice in a stretcher without moving. Jones will undoubtedly be suspended, and has already offered a letter of apology. Hope Bergeron is alright.

Isles Pregame news vs Carolina 10/27

The Islanders are home tonight against a familair foe in ex coach Peter Laviolette. This marks the return of Josef Vasicek against his old team. Im sure he's looking to put up some points against them.

The Islanders have sent Darryl Bootland back to Bridgeport as it seems as if Aaron Johnson will stay playing on the fourth line.

Also Sean Bates is a gametime decision. In my opinion, he should stay on IR....FOREVER!

A quick in depth article by Illustrated on Chris Simon has been published. Its a pretty good read, but got the Islanders front office steaming because they kind of made Simon look bad. Check it out here:

Devils GameDay: The "It's a Celebration, Bitches!" Edition: OTT vs. NJ, 7PM, FSN NY/WFAN

As Joe Bechtel from 2MA said on NJDevs this morning: "It's not even about the game tonight. This is a celebration".

Let's Go Devils!!!!

Hell Has a New Home!

For once, an unrealistic prediction: Devils 6, Senators 2

Elias and Parise 2 each, plus Madden and Rod Pelley.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Around the NHL Roundup

There were five scheduled games tonight around the NHL. Here's what's happening:

Finals Scores:

Vancouver 3 Washington 2

Michael Nylander and Alexander Ovechkin scored power play goals for the Capitals and Daniel Sedin scored once and Taylor Pyatt scored twice, including the game winner in the third. Luongo stopped 26 shots in the win.

Montreal 7 Carolina 4

The Canadians are not making it easy for anyone doing a recap. 11 total goals, 10 goal scorers between the teams. For the Canadians, Kyle Chipchura, Tomas Plekanec twice, Alexi Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Mark Streit and Mathieu Dandenault scored. For the Hurricanes, Jeff Hamilton, Eric Staal, Ray Whitney and Rob Brind'Amour recorded goals.

In games still going on:

Buffalo 3 Florida 2 3rd period

Drew Stafford just scored to put Buffalo ahead. Johan Hecht and Ales Kotalik have Buffalo's other goals. Josef Stumple and Ville Peltonen scored for the Panthers.

Detroit 5 San Jose 1 Final minutes of the 3rd.

Alexei Semenov has the Sharks' only goal. Valterri Flippula, Andreas Lilja, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Kirk Maltby have Detroit's tallies.

Colorado 1 Calgary 1 End of the 1st

Joe Sakic for the Avs, Alex Tanguay for the Flames.

A Few Friday Evening Ranger Tidbits (Updated)

****Updated - 8:08****

Darius Kasparaitis has signed on to play over in the Russian Elite League with the SKA St. Petersburg. It is a welcomed move by the Rangers as now they have a free spot to give to a youngster down in Hartford. There was virtually no chance that we were going to see Kaspar with the Rangers again, and he has stated that he is happy with the move and feels "appreciated" where he is going. Best of luck to Kaspar, who was among my favorite pre-lockout Rangers.

Finally got enough free time to get to the computer. Some observations from last night's game to start:

- The offense wasn't bad, but there are still some improvements to be made. The Rangers had a 4 on 2 at one point and made one too many passes. In that instance, one pass, shoot low, bang in the rebound. Same goes with the power play. Shoot the puck whenever the opportunity is there. Moving around the defense is great, but simple is sometimes better.

- Nigel Dawes played well, and will continue to cash in if he is given playing time. Really needs no further explanation.

- The defense was solid again. They were positioned well, took away passing lanes, blocked shots and cleared the crease. It was a solid effort all around.

- Hollweg didn't look too out of place on the third line. It was obvious that he does not have the skill set required of a top 3 liner, but as a temporary fix, I don't mind it. Same with Strudwick. He's not an offensive player, but he played hard and was a grinder for the 8 minutes he played, which is all you really need from the 4th line.

- Lundqvist might never allow another goal. Ever.

Some other quick things:

- The Rangers might be going with the same tomorrow night against Toronto. No call ups are imminent.

- Sean Avery wants to play Monday. It might not happen but he wants it to. Straka and Callahan were being re-evaluated today, Straka to see if he needs surgery and Callahan to see exactly how long he's out. More when I find out about it.

- When all of these players come back from injury, the Rangers should ask for a 5th line. If they don't get it, they will face some really hard roster decisions.

Enjoy the Friday night. I'll be here for tomorrow's game.

Plans For Tomorrow

I'm headed down to The Rock at some point between 1 and 2 tomorrow, regardless of weather. I'll report later. No GameDay unless someone else writes it.

See you all at The Rock!

NHL Update 10/25 [Late Version]

* Phil Kessel scored two goals tonight to lead Boston over Chicago 3-1. In the game David Koci Fougth Zdeno Chara and had his face pretty much destroyed. He looked like Shawn Michael's after his match at Summerslam a few years back at the Nassau Coliseum. For those who haven't seen it, check this out.

* Jared Boll and Rick Nash scored for Columbus to give their team a 3-0 shutout win over St Louis tonight. In the game, Nash scored a "Marek Malik" type goal through his legs on the power play. Pascal Leclaire made 36 saves in the win.

* Yes ladies and gentleman, the Rangers have scored a goal! Actually it was two goals and to make matter worse for their opponents; the Devils, the Rangers not only won the game, but shut them out in the process. The Rangers used Jason Strudwick on offense ala Aaron Johnson and then it was the Nigel Dawes show. Dawes scored both Ranger goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves for the shutout.

* Toronto scored 4 unanswered goals tonight to defeat Pittsburgh 5-2. Sidney Crosby finally lit the lamp for Pittsburgh, scoring his third goal of the season. Some guy named Jiri Tlusty scored twice for Toronto in the win. Just think, Jiri Tlusty has one less goal than Sidney Crosby!

* Tampa Bay defeated Philadelphia tonight 5-2. Brad Richards had two goals and an assist in the win.

* Jerrod Smithson and Jordin Tootoo scored for Nashville, as the Predators shut out the Atlanta Thrashers 3-0. Johan Hedberg made 31 saves in the win.

* Edmonton defeated Minnesota 5-4 in a shootout. Shawn Horcoff scored twice and Brian Rolston scored his 5th goal of the season for the Wild. Ales Hemsky capped the game with a goal in the shootout.

* "Lifelong AHLer" Criag Wellar [rhymes!] scored the lone goal as the Coyotes shut out the Ducks 1-0 tonight. Illya Brygalov made 20 saves in the win.

* Los Angeles defeated Dallas 2-1 as Brian Willsie and Alex Frolov scored. Jere Lehtenin scored the lone goal for Dallas

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So Much for Dane Byers...

As you can see Steve has picked up my slack and even included the most flattering pictures of Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez in his game preview. Since I only have a few minutes, I figured I'd pass this along.

Dane Byers was not called up, but neither was anyone else. The first two lines are as Steve stated, with the third line and fourth line comprising of:

Dawes - Dubinski - Hollweg
Orr - Betts - Strudwick

Now, Strudwick isn't a natural winger, but he has played before for Vancouver, and when he was 5 years old. So the scoring problem has obviously been addressed with him in the lineup. It could get feisty tonight, especially if offense for the Rangers comes as often as it has the last two games.

Thomas Pock also cleared waivers. He will play in Hartford for now, but I don't see him passing through re-entry on the way back up. He will most likely be traded. Enjoy tonight's game.

Battle GameDay: Hudson River Showdown, Part 1, NJ vs. NYR, 7PM, FSNNY/MSG, WFAN/WABC

Stars to Watch:
New Jersey
#26, Patrik Elias

#30, Martin Brodeur

New York
#68, Jaromir Jagr

#23, Scott Gomez


Game 1: 10/16/06, New York, 4-2. GWG: Jason Ward
Game 2: 11/14/06, New York, 3-2. GWG: Brendan Shanahan
Game 3: 12/17/06, Devils, 6-1. GWG: Jamie Langenbrunner
Game 4: 1/2/07, New York, 3-2. GWG: Marcel Hossa
Game 5: 1/16/07, Devils, 1-0. GWG: Brad Lukowich
Game 6: 2/6/07, Devils, 3-2. GWG: Brian Gionta
Game 7: 2/20/07, Devils, 2-1. GWG: Zach Parise
Game 8: 2/22/07, Devils, 3-2. GWG: Jamie Langenbrunner

Final Body Count: Devils - 11 PTS, Rangers - 8 PTS.





New York



Enjoy the game, see if the Rangers can score tonight. They've been shut out for more than 2 games, so the Devils new style may make them able to open things up tonight. The Devils will look to Sheldon Brookbank, the AHL's Top D-Man last year, for some size and toughness in the back. Above all, Martin Brodeur must play as well as Lundqvist has the past 2 games for the Rangers, or else the Devils will be in trouble. You can't rely on either offense to score a consistent number of goals at this point in the season, so the goalies will be key tonight.

PREDICTION: Devils 3, Rangers 1.

Rangers v. Devils, 7pm MSG/FSNY

The Rangers play the Devils tonight for the first time this season, and unfortunately I won't be around to cover much of it. An extremely busy day of classes and a poorly scheduled soccer game tonight is forcing me to DVR the game and watch it around 10-10:30 when I get back. My fellow Rangers and Devils bloggers do a great job, and I will watch the game and check back in either late tonight or tomorrow morning. That said, here are a couple of things to look for before the game:

- At least one call up will be made, but even though I know every Ranger fan was crossing their fingers for Dave Scatchard, that won't happen. (Kidding, of course.) Scatch has a groin strain and is sidelined right now so look for Dane Byers later, although that is just speculation on my part. Whoever they call up will jump right on the third line I would assume, with Dawes and Dubinski. They could shuffle Hollweg up to the third line, but it really depends on who comes up.

- Gomez returns to face the Devils. Coach Sutter had nothing nice to say about Gomez coming back in a recent interview, but it will still be emotional for Gomez. Hopefully he can break out tonight against his former team.

If I have time at some point today and there is news to report, I will be sure to do so. If not, I'll check in later on or tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bad News Piles on for the Rangers (Updated)

-Updated 6:50 pm
---- Ryan Callahan is out indefinately. Grade 2 knee sprain. Word is that the Rangers will bring up a right handed shot, which means no Greg Moore and no Alex Bourret. Dane Byers looks like the likely candidate now, based on what he did this preseason. More as soon as I find it.

As if the Rangers needed more problems, Ryan Callahan may have sprained his knee when he collided with Nigel Dawes last night right after hitting the post. The young right winger missed practice today to be evaluated. When I find something new out, I'll pass it along.

Thomas Pock was also placed on waivers around 1:30 today. My guess is they will try to trade him, because he made it very obvious that he would not be happy playing in Hartford.

The Rangers could be making two call ups for tomorrow's tilt against the Devils. If I had to guess, I would say it's two of Dane Byers, Greg Moore and David Liffiton. Although I think Liffiton has to pass through re-entry waivers. We'll see what happens. More when I know it.

NHL Update [Late Version]

6 Games on the schedule tonight:

* Evgeny Malkin scored the lone goal in a 1-0 shutout against the Rangers. Not to Ranger bash, but they have had a tough time putting pucks in the net so far this season. Marc Andre Fleury made 36 stops in the win.

* Columbus put up a touchdown and then added the successful extra point in a win against the Hawks. Rick Nash netted two goals, Jiri Novatny added two more and even tough guy Ole-Kristian Tolleffsen added a goal in the win. Chicago's overall number 1 draft puck, Patrick Kane scored his third goal of the season.

* Edmonton welcomed back that crybaby Ryan Smyth [yes Im bitter] with a heartfelt loss 4-2 to Colorado. Smyth didn't score but did cry like a baby when he received a standing ovation.

* Is Atlanta considered a hot team now?? They defeated Toronto 5-4 in a shootout tonight. Speaking of hot, Mats Sundin scored his 6th of the season. Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal as well and added the game winner in the shootout.

* St Louis held off Anaheim in a fight filled game 4-2. Brad Boyes scored two goals, including the game winner and Paul Kariya iced it with an empty netter.

* The Kings made easy work of the Predators 6-0 with Michael Camalleri scored twice. Tough guy Raitis Ivanans scored his first of the season as well. Los Angeles goaltender Jason Labarbera fell asleep in the third period seeming he only faced 17 shots all game. The Kings held Nashville to only 4 shots in the first period.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rangers v. Penguins

9:25 Game Over - Final 1-0 Penguins

My estimate was wrong before and it is actually closer to 130 consecutive minutes of scoreless Ranger play. Henrik Lundqvist cannot be happy. All the Rangers have to do is put 2 in to win back to back games, and failed to do so. Callahan and Jagr added post shots in the third, but other than that, Fleury really wasn't tested. That penalty on Hossa was nonsense too. If a goalie is out of the crease, and the opposing player skates by and knocks into him, it shouldn't be the player's fault. Recchi helped it out too by making sure Hossa couldn't get any further away from Fleury. It's a shame that the Rangers' best player was Nigel Dawes. That whole line had a good game, as did the 4th line. There is no excuse for no goals from Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Drury and Prucha though. We need a fire lit under us. Fast.

8:35 End of the second - 1-0 Penguins

It has now been 105 minutes since the Rangers scored a goal. That's unacceptable. Chris Drury is invisible on the ice. Dawes has hit a post, as has Malkin, who has Pittsburgh's goal on the power play off some brilliant passing. Fleury hasn't been overly tested, but he has stopped everything thrown at him. Gomez is skating well, and Tyutin looks a little shaky on defense tonight. The "Hartford" line looks good as well. Hossa looks like he has a little rust on him, but he is a good asset to have on that top line with Jagr. Let's hope we don't have a goose egg the next time I check in.

End of the first - 0-0

Good solid period by both teams. Couple of power play chances for each side. The Rangers first unit was Shanahan, Gomez, Jagr, Drury and Roszival, and it looks alright, but not as impressive as it should. A little more traffic in front of Fleury and we should bang home a few this game. Ryan Hollweg continues to look more and more impressive to me offensively, even if it's coming in short bursts. I really think he'll chip in a few goals this year. Back after the second.

I'll update after each period but here's the lineup for the Rangers:

Hossa - Gomez - Jagr
Prucha - Drury - Shanahan
Dawes - Dubinsky - Callahan
Orr- Betts - Hollweg

Roszival - Malik
Tyutin - Girardi
Mara - Staal

Straka is out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger. The third line was Hartford's top line last season, so chemistry with that line should be no problem. They will be exciting to watch.

Berard Out 2-4 Weeks

Isles defenseman Bryan Berard will be out 2-4 weeks with a groin injury, suffered during Saturday's game against the Devils. The Islander power play will likely suffer without him to quarterback things on the backlines.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Devils Release Some Tickets For Saturday

Check out right now for some $100 seats to Saturday's game.

With Injuries Mounting and Rangers Struggling, What Now?

The best thing going for the Rangers today is that they don't play tonight. Marred by questions of why three quarters of their payroll is under performing, when players are returning from injury and when Tom Renney is getting fired, they need to right a sinking ship. The season is still early, and it's not a time to panic, but it is a time to question, and there is a big difference between the two. Some hot topics on a slow Monday:

Martin Straka's finger was broken at the base, meaning he will need some time off. In his absence, who replaces him on the second line and penalty kill? With Marcel Hossa getting closer to being healthy, chances are we see him tomorrow night against the Penguins. You might see Hossa on the first line though, and not the second. Nigel Dawes has been extremely impressive, but someone needs to jumpstart Jaromir Jagr, and with chemistry being there with Hossa already, Renney might try that out. Dawes would work on the second line also, playing with Drury and Shanahan could be good for him. He can have a shooting mentality more, since the pressure to get the puck to Jagr won't be there. It would provide the same speed Straka had as well.

Fire Tom Renney? I understand he has an undying loyalty to several players that maybe he shouldn't, and that his playing of youngsters is limited, but this would be a panic move. Who takes over for him if he were to be fired? Perry Pearn? Glen Sather? Ken Gernander? It's not in the best interest right now for the Rangers to get rid of him. If we're still struggling 15-20 games in, then maybe the question should be asked. You can't blame him for Jagr, Drury and Shanahan all having only one goal.

Overhaul the defense. The defense looked good against the Bruins on Saturday. Unfortunately the offense didn't show up. It is just a matter of time before they do though. The best part of the defense right now is the Tyutin - Girardi pairing. Renney rightfully made them the top pair on Saturday, and they continued to impress. Both are physical, both take away passing lanes and know where each other is on the ice and both have shown an increased desire to shoot the puck. Roszival and Malik look good, but might be better suited with less time on the ice. Staal continues to flourish, but Mara looks out of position and flat footed sometimes. With Strudwick proving that he can step into the lineup in emergency situations, the Rangers should look to trade Pock. They could get a decent return on him, as he still has a bit of upside. Maybe a pick in the draft, or a midlevel, older defenseman they can stash in Hartford incase injuries hit.

Got something else? Let me know. There won't be much on the Ranger front today most likely so hopefully this can hold us over until the Penguins tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

BoNY Update - 10/20/07 FINAL EDITION

Boston defeated the Rangers 1-0 in the shootout. Phil Kessel got the game-winner for Boston. Shame, because Henrik Lundqvist was fantastic. He made 9 great saves in the 1st period and 19 overall. Manny Fernandez stopped 26 for Boston. The Bruins are now 5-2, while the Rags are now 2-4-1. Who'dve thunk that?

Chicago came back from a 3-1 third period defecit to beat the Leafs in Toronto 6-4. Patrick Sharp got the winner for Chi-town, while Pat Kane had 2 assists. Mats Sundin got 2 for the Leafs in a losing effort. The Hawks are now 5-3. Who knows? Maybe they'll compete. I think Kane has earned his chance here though.

Chris Higgins got the game-winner and added an empty net goal, as the Long Island native's team defeated Buffalo at Le Centre Bell by a score of 4-2. Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad scored for the Sabres.

Another victory for the Senators, breezing by Florida by a score of 4-1. Ray Emery was big, making 31 saves. The Sens move to 8-1.

The Islanders beat the Devils 4-3 in Overtime.

Simon Gagne's second of the night came :48 into overtime, as the Flyers beat the Hurricanes to maintain first place in the Atlantic, 3-2. Eric Staal got his third of the year for the Canes.

Ryan Whitney's late second period goal turned out to be the winner, as Sid vs. Alex round 9 went to the Penguins. The Pens have won 5 straight vs. Washington. Jordan Staal finally scored his first of the year for the Pens.

Vinny Prospal's hot start continued, netting his sixth and seventh as the Bolts beat the Thrashers 6-2. Brett Sterling got his first NHL goal for ATL, while Marty St. Louis got his first of the year for Tampa.

Mike Ribeiro had a game-winner and an assist as the Stars beat the Ducks, 3-1.

33 Saves from Nicklas Backstrom and an Eric Belanger game-winner lead the Wild over the Blues at Scottrade Center, 3-1. Scott Wagner got his first NHL goal for the Blues. Boy, I hope they win this year, bigtime, not only as a JD supporter, but all 3 games have sold out and been raucous.

Kirk Maltby's 2 goals included a game-winner, as the Red Wings cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Coyotes. Henrik Zetterburg netted #7 for Detroit.

Jarome Iginla had the game-winner for Calgary at home against provinicial rival Edmonton, 4-1. It was Iginla's 5th, while the hapless Oilers could only manage 18 shots on Mikka Kiprusoff. Sam Gagner scored his first NHL goal for Edmonton.

Jeremy Roenick scored #498 as the Sharks defeated the Preds at the Tank, 2-1.

Enjoy It Folks!

I tried to show off some of the less obvious stuff, you've all seen pics of the rink and seating, here's some more interesting stuff.

The Puck Stops Here


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