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Posts Tagged ‘Colton Orr’

Yes, Sid the Kid graced us with his presence and Marc Staal and Colton Orr showed him to his seat.  If you’re looking for analysis of the game as a whole, Jen C. over at Rangerland.net described it best.

Every time two good teams get together, no one team dominates. One might dominate for a period of time and the other will dominate for other times during the course of the game. And there will be times that the game is even.

And I think we saw that for the most part Wednesday night. The Penguins had their moments of dominating play, and the Rangers had theirs. It was a back-and-forth game, and I thought overall it was a good game.

That is exactly how that game played out.  The Rangers, of course, came tumbling out of the gate (as they have been doing for a while now) and didn’t show anything good until early in the second.  Even when the Penguins went up by 2, the Rangers came roaring back and scored just 1:21 later to keep them in it.  And tied it late in the third to force OT.

Whether or not the Penguins sat back on their lead and let up on offense, the Rangers didn’t quit and that has been a common theme throughout the season.  In previous seasons, if the Rangers were trailing heading into the third period, it would seem as if they just gave up on the game.  This season, I actually have confidence that they can claw themselves out of the hole and dominate late in the games.

Some notes:

  • It was amazing how well Colton Orr distracted Sidney Crosby from playing his game.  Crosby was so worked up at one point that after getting hit by Orr along the boards in the first period, he grabbed Orr’s jersey with no penalty called there (surprise, surprise) and yapped at him until Orpik came and got called for two penalties against Orr.  Crosby and Michel Therrien were even yelling at Orr from the bench until Don “Have Another Doughnut” Koharski settled them down.
  • Orr did so much last night but only had 4:56 of icetime?  That can’t be right.
  • Dmitri Kalinin should be embarrassed at how easily Sidney Crosby took the puck from him right before the Penguins first goal.  Crosby gave Kalinin no respect and frankly, why should he?  Crosby knew how easy it would be to overpower Kalinin and it paid off.
  • In a combined 46:12 of icetime, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held to 1 assist and 5 shots on goal.
  • Petr Prucha looked like he was everywhere on the ice with only 13:10 of icetime.  He came through in a big way by burrying that bounce off the boards.  That was a typical Petr Prucha goal.  Now put him on the PP to clean up the rebounds from Drury’s shots.
  • Oh yeah.  I liked having Drury at the point during the power play in the second period.  He was ripping shots like there was no tomorrow.
  • I’m glad the refs decided to swallow their whistles in the 3rd.  It gave the game some flow and made it much more intense and physical.  It almost felt like a playoff game.
  • PRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Prucha

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I guess you could call this a Season Preview but we’ll just call it the Game Preview. Also, today is my birthday!

Back on October 5, 2005, the New York Rangers played a game for the first time in over a year. The NHL was finally back after a lock-out that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

It had been 8 years since the Rangers had last made the playoffs–when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals–and the idea that the Rangers were going to end the drought was ludicrous. That year, almost every “expert” had picked the Rangers to finish 30th in the NHL.

Honestly, did you have much faith in that team? Look at the lineup they sported for the 2005-2006 season opener against the Flyers:

Rucinsky-Nylander-Jagr
Straka-Ruccin-Hossa
Moore-Betts-Ward
Hollweg-Lundmark-Ortmeyer

Rozsival-Malik
Poti-Strudwick
Tyutin-Kasparaitis

Weekes
Lundqvist

Admit it. You looked at that team and thought, “We’re screwed!” But Slats was keeping his word; the Rangers were rebuilding. We couldn’t expect greatness in the first year. Honestly, I would have been content no matter what happened that season. But what happened that year stunned everybody.

The Rangers sat in first place in the Atlantic Division until the very last day of the season when they were passed by both the Devils and the Flyers. More importantly, for the first time since 1997, the Rangers had made the playoffs and Jaromir Jagr broke the Rangers single season records for both goals (54) and points (123).

Now fast forward to this season. The Rangers come into the game with a 2-0-0 record with two wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning last weekend in Prague.

Here is the line up that the Rangers sported for the first two games of the season:

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

Rozsival-Redden
Girardi-Kalinin
Staal-Mara

Lundqvist
Valiquette

Only two, yes two, players from the 2005 opening night roster are still on the team. Only one of them actually played in that game! Petr Prucha was called up from Hartford soon after the start of the season and stayed up for most of it. But still that is only 3 players that remain from the October 5, 2005 to October 4, 2008. Speaking of Petr Prucha, of all the players currently on the roster, he has the most games played and most goals scored as a Ranger.

Looking ahead to this season, the Rangers are a younger, faster, more offensive minded team that can still shut things down when needed. The problem is that almost every offseason move the Rangers made is counting on the player playing better because of a change in scenery. So far, Naslund and Redden have scored goals. Zherdev has shown how wonderfully he can control the puck but has not finished. He does have the potential to set up many goals for Brandon Dubinsky. I really hope Zherdev doesn’t end up like Matt Cullen did with the Rangers.

There were some questions heading into this season about Dubinsky. Would he have the dreaded sophomore slump? Would he be able to produce without Jagr on his wing? We’re only 2 games into the season, but Dubinsky doesn’t look like he’s going to hit the proverbial wall any time soon. He was arguably the best player on the Rangers throughout the Preseason and has skated very well with new linemate Nikolai Zherdev.

Some other young players that must prove themselves are Nigel Dawes, Ryan Callahan, and believe it or not, Petr Prucha. Dawes and Callahan will most likely thrive in a faster and more offensive minded environment. As will Prucha who is scratched for tonights game. But Tom Renney has to give Prucha more ice time. At least some more time on the Power Play.

As for any predictions, I think the Rangers will fight for control of the Atlantic with the Penguins for the majority of the Season. They will probably end up finishing in second place in the division which is good enough for 4th or 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Tonight, the Rangers will hold their true home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. This team made a big splash in the free agency market by signing Brian Campbell to an 8 year contract for about $56.8 million. They also improved in goal with the addition of Cristobal Huet. This team is young and looking to prove themselves. They were very close to making the playoffs last season and you can be sure that New Captain Jonathan Toews and Sophomore Patrick Kane will skate circles around our defense at least once.

Hopefully the Rangers can find their scoring and break out against Huet who they have been fairly good against in recent memory.

I will be at the game and I might snap some pictures. I’ll post them later tonight if I can along with the recap.

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As if coming back from 0-3 in the series wasn’t going to be hard enough, the Rangers are going to have to do with it without Sean Avery (lacerated spleen), Blair Betts (broken bone in face), and without a 100% Chris Drury (torso injury). Drury is probable but after watching him skate at half speed and not taking any faceoffs in the 3rd period of game 3, I have to think he’s playing hurt.

So, where does that leave the Rangers? Well, the situation is not very good. Betts and Drury are the team’s top penalty killers, and the Penguins power play was destroying the Rangers despite Betts and Drury’s best efforts. I would be surprised to see Drury on the penalty kill even if he does play tonight. Now, without their services, it will be up to Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan, and possibly Brandon Dubinsky to really step up their penalty killing.

Who is going to fill the empty spots in the lineup? Hartford call-up Lauri Korpikoski is going to play center for the 4th line but it’s not clear who will play wing and it’s also not clear who will play on the 2nd line in place of Sean Avery. It will be some combination of Prucha, Orr, and Hollweg. Korpikoski, the 19th overall pick in the 2004 draft, will be making his NHL debut tonight. Hopefully he can make the most of his 2-3 shifts per period. I think Prucha makes the most sense to fill in on the 2nd line. On Defense, Jason Strudwick will play along side Paul Mara in place of Christian Backman.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation does not look very good. But, there is still some hope. The Rangers have lost 3 in a row, but the Pens haven’t exactly dominated the Rangers in this series. The Rangers let a 3-goal lead slip through their fingers in game 1, and in game 3 the Rangers dominated the flow of the game but couldn’t capitalize on scoring chances as effectively as the Penguins.

It’s possible, right?

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I mentioned it yesterday, and now it has been confirmed. Petr Prucha will see his first game action of the playoffs this season. Here’s what Coach Tom Renney had to say:

“Petr is really, really hungry. . . . I see it in his eyes and he has had some success against Pittsburgh. I liked his game against them. He’s done a good job. He’s worked hard. He’s got a good touch. I like the second and third effort in his game and because usually beyond that, there’s a result with good consequence. . . . It gives us a little more quickness, a little more speed.”

Prucha will take Colton Orr’s place in the lineup.

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Going into game 4 of the series the visiting team has won each game. In fact, visiting teams are 13-14 so far in the playoffs. Jaromir Jagr, while laughing, had this to say.

It’s been huge so far. I knew it was going to be like that. That’s why we lost the last game (of the season). Everybody thought we lost but it was pretty smart. Sometimes when you lose, you actually win.

Hopefully the Rangers can break the streak in their series tonight when they play Game 4 against the Devils at Madison Square Garden.

Tom Renney is gonna be going with the same lineup as Game 3. That means that Petr Prucha (poor Petr 😦 ), Jason Strudwick, Marek Malik and Colton Orr will be the scratches. I guess it makes sense to keep Petr out of the lineup since the series has been very rough and he’s a pretty small guy. I have a feeling that Orr might take Hollweg’s place once he’s skated some more.

Something to look for in tonight’s game:

  • Does Sean Avery set up shop in front of Martin Brodeur?
    • Which way is he facing?
  • Does he continue his goal streak?
    • Sean Avery has scored a goal in all 3 games so far.
  • Will anyone drop the gloves?
    • There’s been so much tension between the two teams yet there hasn’t been a fight yet.
  • Will VS be blacked out again in the Philadelphia area?
    • They showed PBR (bull riding) here at Drexel (which is in Philadelphia) on Sunday Night
    • Oh yeah, the Game is on VS. Kill me now!

Note: in the NY area, the game is on MSG. -Marc

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I’d really love to see Ryan Hollweg back in the lineup. I’d have him take Orr’s place. With Hollweg on the 4th line instead of Orr, I feel it makes the line an actual threat to score a goal once (maybe twice) in a while. By swapping Orr for Hollweg, you make that line much faster.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the 4th line go out and think to myself, “The crowd is back in it, the Rangers are back in this, the momentum has swung back to our side.” And I say it’s because you don’t see Hollweg flying around the ice making the opposition pay for touching the puck. Sure he takes a couple penalties but I’d be willing to turn a blind eye on that (unless the other team scores of course) just to see some God damned ENERGY!

Speaking of energy, where the hell is Petr Prucha when you need him? When I watch the line of Straka-Drury-Callahan on the ice, I see a line that has the potential to succeed but then I hear Sam and Joe go on about how they all want the other to score. It’s not all three of them. It’s just Straka! Petr may be only a buck 85 but he’ll play his little heart out no matter what. We saw him play on a line earlier in the season with dubi and cally. They clicked. If you put him back with one of them and add Drury into the mix (who can really play with anyone) That line, I feel, will succeed.

Slats needs to think long and hard about re-signing Martin Straka for next season. I mean, how does a player go from scoring 29 goals and 41 assists in one season to scoring a measly 12 goals and 20 assists in the next? To even match last year’s pace, he’d have to score 12 goals and 15 more assists in the final ten games. And that’s assuming that he’s gonna play all of those games. If his arm and shoulder are giving him trouble when it comes to shooting, he needs to realize that if he’s not going to shoot, and he can’t even put up more than 20 assists he shouldn’t be playing, let alone playing the point on the PP.

What Martin and Glen and even Tom have to realize is that their decisions are possibly hurting this team. So what they have to keep in mind over the remainder of the season and beyond is this:

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The NHL handed down a one-game suspension to the Sabres’ Andrew Peters this morning. This comes after he involved himself in an altercation that was on the ice while he was on the bench. Peters reached over the boards and punch Colton Orr multiple times. Both players were given 10-minute Misconducts. Peters was probably still upset over having his ass handed to him early in the first period (the altercation at the end of regulation is also in this video):

Peters suspension is without pay meaning that he forfeits $2807.49. That money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Peters will not play tonight against the Penguins.

Colton Orr is waiting for the 2008-2009 schedule to be released so he can mark down on his calendar when Andrew Peters will receive his next severe beat-down.

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