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Posts Tagged ‘brendan shanahan’

The Rangers are on the road to take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at MSG West the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  The puck drops at 7 pm and can be seen nationally on Versus and TSN.

 

Hey y’all!  I know we’ve been terrible about updating for the last week or so, and we’re very very sorry, please don’t hate us.  Our poor little hearts can’t take it.  We promise to be better, jsut please don’t leave me for that  hot chick with the tongue ring us for another blog!

So the last time we saw our Rangers, they were shitting the bed and rolling around in it in Dallas, losing 10-2 to the Stars.  It was the first time the Rangers have given up 10 goals since April 9th, 1993 against Pittsburgh, and the Stars haven’t scored 10 goals in one game the entire time they have been in Dallas.  Terrific!

This is all Nastia Liukin's fault.  Bitch.

This is all Nastia Liukin's fault. Bitch.

 

To be entirely honest, I have quite possibly the lowest expectations for this team going into this game that I’ve had since before the lockout.  The die-hard fan in me wants to have faith and really believe they can pull it out and grind out a win, but good lord in heaven have they looked terrible the entire month of February.  So I’m not sure, let’s just hope it’s not a complete embarrassment.  We all know how I feel about the Devils.

I think we can say that we must never, ever vote Henrik into the All-Star Game.  Ever.  Clearly the dude needs a vacation at the mid-way point of the season, and this year he didn’t get it and it shows.  Hopefully the couple days off he got with the flu made up for it and he’ll be back in Kingly form tonight.  Hopefully.  Plus I think my t-shirt is cursed.  I ordered it and Hank played like hell in the ASG.  Now every time I sleep in it/wear it to the gym they lose.  And lose horribly.  Balls.  I like that shirt, too.

 Anyway, tonight’s really a toss up.  The Rangers are coming off of 4 straight losses, the Devils are coming off of two straight after being on a hot streak for a long time.  The Rangers could rebound with an awesome game and remind us why we all endure the misery of being a Ranger fan, because it will eventually pay off with glorious victory, or they will once again get embarrassed in spectacular fashion, and we can all storm MSG with torches and pitchforks.  Sound fun?  I think so.

 

In other(ish) news: Tonight is the first time the Rangers will be facing Brendan Shanahan, a former Ranger

Shanny. Shan-Shan. Shan-dog. Shan-diggity-dog.

Shanny. Shan-Shan. Shan-dog. Shan-diggity-dog.

 who Glen Sather let twist in the wind for the entire summer, preseason, and the better part of this season.  I loved Shanny, always did.  I was sad to see him go.  If the Rangers lose tonight, I hope it’s Shanny who scores the game-winner.  Yeah, I said it.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Steve Zipay, tonight’s lines:

Naslund-Gomez-Drury
Callahan-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Dawes-Korpikoski-Sjostrom
Voros-Betts-Orr

Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net after missing the last game against Dallas with the flu.

 

Numbers breakdown:

Devils record: 33-17-3   –   8-2-0  in their last 10  –  15-10-1 at home

Rangers record: 29-19-5   –  5-4-1  in their last 10  –  13-11-2 on the road

Average goals scored in a game:

Devils: 3.04

Rangers: 2.40

Average goals allowed in a game:

Devils: 2.49

Rangers: 2.70

Power Play

Devils: 18.6%

Rangers: 14.9%

Penalty Kill:

Devils: 82%

Rangers: 86.6%

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Brendan Shanahan

I really wanted the  Rangers to sign Shanahan in the off-season.   I continued to support a Shanahan signing in the early season.   I thought the Rangers were going to sign Shanahan after they waived Rissmiller (see here).  They didn’t.  I did not understand why the Rangers would not sign Shanahan when their power play continued to struggle, and when they OBVIOUSLY needed a power winger.  I still don’t.  After Sundin spurned the Rangers for the Canucks, I thought for sure Shanahan was the logical choice for the Rangers.

But alas, Shanny is a New Jersey Devil.  He debuted tonight, and guess what… he scored a power play goal.  Yes, I am bitter.  Yes, this will haunt the Rangers.

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The Rangers freed up some room on their cap by waiving Rissmiller.  (Ideally for the Rangers, nobody else will claim him, and he will end up in Hartford for the season.)

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d much rather see Brendan Shanahan skating along side Drury and Naslund than a constantly rotating winger group of Prucha, Fritsche, and Rissmiller.

Now, if the Rangers would just sign the guy already.

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I actually look like this.

I actually look like this.

Is this introduction and season preview horribly late? Yes. Is this probably not going to be published until after the season technically begins? Yes. But do you care all that much? Probably not. If you’re that pissed, blame Eric.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rory, and I’m an angry, sarcastic, die-hard, 3rd-generation Ranger fan born in New York and raised in New Jersey. In addition to the Rangers, I love coffee, stiletto heels, and curly fries. Most likely due to my Ranger-fan-in-Jersey upbringing, the New Jersey Devils are the bane of my existence, and it is my personal belief that one of the most important things Lundqvist can do in his career will be to pummel Marty Brodeur in a team brawl until he oozes donut jelly from his man boobs chiseled athletic form.

That being said, I do hope y’all will find what I write, at the very least, amusing, as I do love ranting and raving about my beloved Rangers to anyone who can hear me, whether they want to listen or not. And this is a Rangers blog, so if you’re here and don’t want to hear(read) it, then, um, yeah that’s your business.

So anywhoozle, you’ve all read all summer about every reason why or why not we should or shouldn’t have let Jagr, Avery, and Shanahan go; and the same goes for signing Naslund, Redden, Zherdev, and blah blah blah. So I’m not going to bore the piss out of you by rehashing what you already know. But, since you are taking the time to read this, I’ll at least sum up my overall feelings. In bullet points! Yay!

  • I loved Jags. I don’t care about the prima-donna reputation or him sitting out in shootouts. I loved that man for everything he did for this team: bringing us back from being a league-wide joke. Not to mention his willingness to be open and honest about how the team was doing, good or bad, his humor, and, yes, that massive ass. So Naslund is going to have to work extra hard to win me over, which is his ultimate goal, of course.
  • Last year’s power play was basically a piece of butt crack lint with some spray glitter on it, so if Redden ends up blowing (Ed. Note: Not shooting the puck), oh well. How much worse could things get?
  • Love him or hate him, Sean Avery was, at the very least, entertaining. I’ll miss his borderline unsportsmanlike ass.
  • We signed a lot of key guys and spent a lot of money on the premise of them “benefiting from a change of scenery”. Not exactly a good plan, if you ask me.
  • In dumping both Marek Malik and Christian Backman, us fans have no immediate option for booing at MSG. I nominate Dimitri Kalinin, he seems to be shaping up pretty well for it.
  • The Rangers owe Brendan Shanahan an official ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Just letting it drift away and not saying anything is like breaking up with someone by just not calling them anymore and resetting your Facebook status to ‘Single’. Uncool, and super un-classy.
  • Lundqvist’s preseason had been somewhat worrisome, as is the situation with his knees slowly deteriorating. But the last couple of games he’s gotten his form back, and looks Kingly for the start of the season, so I’m willing to push that worried feeling to the backburner for now. He’s poised to make NHL history this season, potentially the first NHL goalie to post 30 wins in his first 4 seasons. Pretty awesome.
  • Speaking of Lundqvist, on an un-Ranger-related note, Eric made fun of me for drafting him to my fantasy team (go Bea Arthurs on Ice!), but I think this is Joel’s year to bust out and have an awesome year. You can quote me on that. But only if it comes true. (Ed. Note: Great Success will have great success this season.)

Alright, I’ve rambled enough. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. I’m very excited to be here at 5-Hole, and I hope y’all are just as excited as I am for this upcoming season.

LET’S GO RANGERS!

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It’s just that there’s been nothing to write about.

Okay, that’s a lie. There’s been lots to talk about. Here’s a quick update:

  • Gomez: still a Ranger.
  • Prucha: still a Ranger.
  • Shanahan: not a Ranger but was working out with the team. Still has no contract with the Rangers and training camp officially starts today.
  • Petr Nedved is still trying out for a spot on the team.
  • The Rangers prospects dropped their first two games at the Traverse City Tournament over the weekend.

More later.

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Man I’m bored.  Aside from Brendan Shanahan still wanting to be a Ranger and Mats Sundin not being sure of anything, there is absolutely nothing going on.

To pass the time, why not check out some of the links on the right side of the page?  I’ve even sorted them into three different categories for you guys!

One in particular that you should all check out is PolkOut.com.  It has nothing to do with the Rangers or hockey but it’s still pretty freaking hilarious.  GO NOW!

Faux Rumors has been updating pretty frequently and Scotty Hockey has been previewing all the teams in his “NHL Four-cast.”

Anywho, go check out those links and if anything Rangery happens, we’ll let you know about it.

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I have to admit I completely underestimated the Penguins before this series. I look back at my series preview and I can’t believe I gave the edge to the Rangers offense. I let the flashy shot totals from the regular season get to my head. What I didn’t take into account was which team was going to capitalize on their scoring chances.

These Penguins certainly know how to put the puck into the net, scoring on 5 out of 17 shots in this game. You can’t fault Lundqvist. His save percentage looks terrible on paper, but not one of those goals was his fault. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad either.

How did the Penguins score 5 goals? It’s as simple as this: The Penguins offense was faster than the Rangers defense with and without the puck. The Rangers defense was burned several times, and frequently coughed up the puck throughout the game.

In the 2nd period, the Rangers seemed to have stolen the momentum after tying the game at 3 and keeping possession deep in the Penguins zone for well over a minute and a half. Then, Ryan Hollweg took a braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.  The Penguins power play, which was absolutely killer, capitalized to make it 4-3. The Pens only had 2 power play chances, but scored on both. (The Rangers went 0 for 5).

So where do the Rangers go from here? The series isn’t technically over, but really, it is.

I’d be surprised if the Rangers can even pull out a win in game 4.

Game notes: I’m not sure what happened to Drury, but he’s definitely hurt. After missing most of the 2nd period, he came back in the 3rd but wasn’t taking faceoffs. (Avery skated at center with Drury on the wing). Blair Betts might be seriously hurt after blocking a slapshot. Renney tried a number of different line combinations, but none of them seemed to work. I really don’t like seeing Brendan Shanahan on the 4th line. Gomez and Avery did not generate any scoring chances with Sjostrom on their line. If Renney was going to keep Shanny on the 4th line, why wouldn’t he dress Prucha instead of Hollweg?? I just don’t get it. I’d really like to see someone, anyone, other than Hollweg after that braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.

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This is an obvious statement, but the Rangers have to win this game tonight. If they get the series back to 2-1, they are still alive. 3-0 is a different story.

You won’t see me quote a basketball coach too often in a hockey blog, but Doc Rivers had a great quote last night after the Celtics lost game 4. He said, “I could hear them in the locker room, saying ‘hey, guys we’re going back home, it’s going to be okay.’ I told them, ‘You have to go make it okay.’ We have to go make it okay.”

Since falling into the 0-2 hole, the Rangers have all been saying that they were still in this series because they were heading home to MSG. I just hope they remember that nothing magical happens when you take your home ice that suddenly makes you play better. The team is going to have to earn these wins. Playing at MSG with 18,000 fans at your back is going to help, but nothing is automatic.

A few game notes:

Remember that lineup shuffle from yesterday? Scratch that. Petr Prucha will be scratched in favor of Ryan Hollweg, which presumably means that Shanahan will skate in his usual spot with Gomez and Avery. Strudwick will also be scratched, which means the fans at MSG will see plenty of Christian Backman tonight. Renney said that Paul Mara will probably see some time on the power play unit, so we got that right.

Despite Therrien’s comments yesterday that suggest otherwise, the Rangers feel they have done very little this series to make it hard for Marc-Andre Fleury to see the puck. Renney’s reaction to hearing Therrien’s comments: “Really?” The Rangers beat up on Martin Brodeur in round 1 by putting bodies in front for screens and deflections. Look for a return to that form tonight at MSG.

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Ok, so that’s not an exact quote. But in all seriousness, the Penguins coach just won’t stop complaining. Earlier in the series he was complaining about the Rangers raising the issue of Sidney Crosby’s alleged diving. Yesterday, Therrien felt the need to complain about the Rangers getting too close to Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He said:

“They tried to put pressure on Marc-Andre, they tried to get in the crease, and we discussed it with the referees; they’re not supposed to stand there and if there’s a goal, it’s not a goal. . . . It’s tough to give penalties if they’re really close to the crease, but if Fleury’s in the crease and he can’t play the puck, it’s no goal. This is what the referees told us. . . . I noticed what Shanahan did. Guys with experience, they try to find that line, and I addressed it with the referees. They were saying that they were going to pay attention, there’s no doubt, you can’t obstruct the goalies.”

The Devils complained about the Rangers crashing the net on Brodeur, and the response from the Rangers (and the refs) was “That’s hockey.” They aren’t breaking any rules, and last time I checked it was still okay to screen the goalie (at least if your back is to him). The Shanahan play in the 1st period that Therrien referred to looked to me like a pretty standard screen in front of the goalie. But Therrien said he spoke to the refs between the 1st and 2nd periods about it and they assured him that if the Rangers were interfering with Fleury during a goal, it would be disallowed.

If the Penguins had their way, the NHL would go back to the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs where virtually every goal was reviewed to see if 1 inch of a player’s skate was in the crease.

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I’m not sure why Michel Therrien is so ticked off, especially after a game in which the referees did not hesitate to blow the whistle when Crosby hit the ice, but he had some interesting comments for the Rangers today.

“And where I’m kind of disappointed is that there’s gamesmanship before the series about Sidney drawing penalties. And I’m disappointed. I’m kind of disappointed about that.”

“And we all know what Tom Renney’s trying to do. He tried to do it before we started the series. He tried to do it last night, I saw his comments today. He’s trying to get attention to the referees and complaining about the penalty last night at the end of the game.”

“[Sidney’s] not going to go to the outside. That’s the way he is. He’s not going to take the easy road. He’s going to take the tough road and try to succeed. And yesterday, on that play, he had a step on [Straka] and if he didn’t get hooked, we’re probably going to go on a breakaway. And he drew a penalty.”

I’m pretty confused about that last part. I’m not sure what Therrien was watching if he thought Sid was going to end up on a breakaway on that play. Gomez made a great recovery to dive and sweep the puck away from Hossa, and the penalty was called well behind the play. If no penalty was called, the play would have continued with the Rangers in possession of the puck.

As for Therrien’s claim that Renney is trying to draw the refs attention, well, I have to wonder what Therrien is reading. Renney has been pretty quiet on the subject and today he refused to respond to what Therrien said.

Brendan Shanahan, however, did respond. “I haven’t read the papers today but I feel like the only thing our team did last night was defend Martin Straka. . . We certainly didn’t come into the room and throw down our equipment and say we got hosed by the refs. So I’m kind of surprised that Therrien’s making a big issue today. I’m actually really surprised. But if he wants to bring the referee’s attention to it, that’s fine.”

I’m not a psychologist, but do you think Therrien might be feeling a little guilty?

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