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Posts Tagged ‘Gomez’

You’ve heard all of the complaints:

  • The Rangers can’t score!
  • They have so much talent (allegedly) but their offense is stagnant and their power play is putrid.
  • They are a team of second-fiddles being paid first-fiddle money.

And the retorts?

  • Renney is a defense-first coach.
  • This team will win with solid goaltending and solid defense.
  • Drury and Gomez might not score 25 goals, but they add so much on the defensive end (and gosh, Drury is just soooo clutch!)

Well, the team that gave up 10 goals to Dallas was absolutely abysmal.  At one point, Joe Micheletti even called out the Rangers for too much stick-checking and not enough body-checking.  Welcome to the 2008-2009 season Joe!  I’ve only been saying that all freakin’ year.  If Joe notices it, it has to be reallllly egregious.

And that was the effort the Rangers put forth after stinking out the joint on Graves night?  THAT was the best they could muster after Renney put the team through a “wake UP people!” puck-less practice??

You could see it in the effort.  You could see it in the body language.  This team has quit on Renney.  Let’s hope they haven’t quit on the season.

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Take a look at the Rangers projected roster for 2008-2009.  The top 3 lines and the defense are pretty much set, but there seem to be too many forwards.

Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund
Prucha-Drury-Dawes
Callahan-Dubinsky-Sjostrom
Voros-Fritsche/Rissmiller-[Anisimov?]
Hollweg/[Byers?]-Betts-Orr/[Moore?]

Redden-Staal
Rozsival-Girardi
Mara-Kalinin-[Sanguinetti?]

By my calculations the Rangers have an excess of 3 NHL forwards plus 3 more NHL-caliber forwards currently in Hartford.  Because of this, it might be a good idea to make a salary-clearing trade for draft picks.   It’s safe to say that the Rangers still have interest in signing a proven goal-scorer either during the off-season or before the trade deadline next year.  If the Rangers can add some cap space to the $3.3 million they currently have, they would be in the running to make a play for a top-quality winger.

 

Update: Forgot about Kalinin. Thanks to the commenter “Jagr”.

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Let’s go through a projection of how the Rangers roster might shape up:

Zherdev-Gomez-[Jagr or some UFA]
Dawes-Drury-Callahan
Sjostrom-Dubinsky-Prucha
Hollweg-Betts-Orr
Fritsche-Rissmiller-Voros
Shanahan?

Rozsival-Staal
Redden-Girardi
Pock?-Strudwick?-Sanguinetti?

The Rangers have $14.5 million in cap space but that number does not include Dawes, Sjostrom, Fritsche, Rissmiller, Voros, or Strudwick.

Assuming the Rangers will spend roughly $4 or $5 million between those players, they will have about $9 or $10 million to spend on Jagr, Shanahan, and any UFA’s the Rangers might desire.

That doesn’t leave much wiggle room.  Decision time for Slats.

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On the front lines, Petr Prucha and Brendan Shanahan switched spots, meaning Prucha skated on the 2nd line with Scott Gomez and Sean Avery, while Shanny skated on the 4th line with Blair Betts and Fred Sjostrom.  The Rangers used this lineup in the last game of the regular season against the Devils.

On D, Jason Strudwick skated in place of Christian Backman, and Paul Mara looks to be the D-man who will take over Backman’s duties playing point on the power play.

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Here once again is the definitive series preview, brought to you by a joint effort of the creators of this blog. The Rangers posted a 5-3 record against the Penguins this season. Can Henrik Lundqvist keep Sid the Kid and his cronies from punching the Rangers out of the playoffs? The only way to find out is to keep reading.

It’s on the long side, so click the “more” link below to continue reading.

(more…)

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Wow, that was an interesting game to say the least. Scott Gomez played awesome. He was everywhere. Flying all over the ice, making plays on both ends, and of course, setting up one of the best goals I’ve witnessed in a while.

In the battle of two great goaltenders, Lundqvist outplayed Brodeur in round 1… hands down, not even close. The Rangers first goal was a bad angle wrister from Shanahan that somehow managed to squeeze through between Brodeur’s arm and body. Gomez was in front, so that goal is excusable because of the screen. However, on the Rangers second goal, Brodeur lackadaisically left the puck at his feet in the crease. BIG mistake. No doubt he didn’t see Ryan Callahan absolutely flying around the back of the net, but still, you just don’t leave the puck laying around in your crease. I know this because I am a goalie. You just don’t do that. Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice, Lundqvist was solid. The highlight save of the evening came with the score tied 1-1 late in the 2nd with Henrik sliding across the crease to stone Elias with the left pad. Beautiful save.

P.S. It’s gotta be a stomach punch to hear your team’s goalie being taunted LOUDLY by thousands of opposing fans in your own building. I was at the game tonight, and the Rangers fans were loud from start to finish. I’d say about 30-40% of the audience was cheering for the Blueshirts.

On the negative side, the Rangers defense coughed up the puck a little too easily on several occasions, but fortunately the Devils couldn’t capitalize. Girardi and Tyutin, after receiving stellar praise in our series preview, did not play their best. In particular, there were at least 3 defensive zone turnovers that led directly to scoring chances. Let’s hope this trend does not continue into Game 2.

Here are the video highlights from Game 1 (TSN broadcast – nice!) and these are my 3 plays of the game:

  1. Lundqvist robs Elias – 2:38
  2. Brodeur leaves the puck, Callahan bangs it home – 3:17
  3. Gomez lights up the Devils – 3:38

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The Rangers and Penguins will meet again tonight for the 2nd day in a row in what is the 8th and final matchup of the season between the two teams. After yesterday’s 3-1 loss, the Rangers are 4-3-0 on the season against the Penguins, with three of those wins coming at MSG.

I don’t want to jump on the “Crosby dives” bandwagon, but did anyone else think that the alleged high stick penalty perpetrated by Gomez seemed to catch Crosby in the chest, followed by a slight delay, then an over-exaggerated reaction from Sid?

Anyway, in the standings, wow is this thing getting crowded or what! This will be a real battle for 6th place. If you’re going to be in the bottom half of the standings, 6th place is the place to be. Even though you don’t have home-ice advantage, you open the playoffs against the 3-seed, which is the weakest of the division leaders.

The Rangers line-up will remain the same tonight. Blair Betts skated for the first time since his surgery, and should be ready to come back soon. Colton Orr is wearing a boot on his foot and will be out for at least another game. I liked the 4th line with Prucha, Sjostrom, and Hollweg. They had a couple of scoring chances and looked like our best line for much of the 3rd period.

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Scott Gomez will be on the ice for warm-ups but will make a game-time decision as to whether he can play against his former team. If Gomez plays, the three scoring lines should return to “normal”. That is:

Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr
Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan
Straka-Drury-Callahan

For the 4th line, I’d like to see Prucha and Hollweg stay in the lineup with Sjostrom joining them. Prucha showed enough feistiness and a willingness to throw a hit on Tuesday that I think placing the little guy on the 4th line is not too much of a stretch. Plus, having a 4th line that might actually score a goal would be nice for a change. This would leave Colton Orr as the odd man out, which certainly brings down the team’s toughness quotient, but in a game that has such big playoff implications, I think fighting and toughness take a back seat to scoring goals.

Speaking of playoff implications, a win tonight does not move the Rangers up the standings, but they can equal the Devils at 91 points if they win in regulation. (Devils have the tie-break with more wins)

Having Michal Rozsival back will be a big plus for the team. With a much slower Defense on display Tuesday against the Flyers, the Rangers played a conservative game in an effort to keep a Blueshirt between the Flyers speedy forwards and Mr. Lundqvist. It worked fairly well until we were exposed in the 4-on-4 extra frame. Having Rozsival in the lineup gives the Rangers the luxury of being more aggressive moving the puck up the ice.

The biggest question for Rangers tonight, (aside from whether Gomez will be in the lineup), is if the Rangers can generate some offense and put some pucks behind Marty Brodeur.

Marek Malik and Jason Strudwick will be healthy scratches.

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The Rangers play the Flyers for the eighth and final time this season tonight at the Garden. The game starts at 7:30 and is on ESPN OLN Vs. Good thing I’ll be there!

Here’s what the lines will look like:
Straka-Dubinsky-Jagr
Shanahan-Avery-Dawes
Callahan-Drury-Prucha
Sjostrom-Hollweg-Orr

D is the same and Henrik Lundqvist gets the nod.

Scott Gomez is Day-to-Day with bruised ribs.

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After a three day break, the Rangers get back to work tonight in Carolina. The Hurricanes are playing pretty well going 7-2-1 in their last 10 and 3-1-1 in their last 5.

Two of the four newest Rangers will be in the lineup tonight. Fredrik Sjostrom will take Colton Orr’s (chest pain) place on the 4th line and Christian Backman will skate in Paul Mara’s (head) place next to Marc Staal.

The last two times the Rangers have had a long break, the first team they played after was the Sabres. The Rangers won both games (5-1 and 4-3). Before that, their last long break came during the All-Star break. They played the Hurricanes and lost 3-1. The Rangers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and 4-0-1 in their last 5 with that “one” being the game against Montreal.

The lineup should look something like this:

Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr

Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan

Straka-Drury-Callahan

Hollweg-Betts-Sjostrom

Rozsival-Malik

Tyutin-Girardi

Staal-Backman

Lundqvist

Petr Prucha is “good to go” but coach Tom Renney says, “we want to give our new guys a chance to play.”

Maybe Sunday against Philly?

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