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Posts Tagged ‘hollweg’

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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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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After a 13-game streak of aggressive, hard-nosed, and winning hockey, the Rangers returned to their pre-All-Star-break ineptitude in this weekend’s losses to the Panthers and Lightning — two teams outside of the playoff picture.

The Rangers showed no energy whatsoever in the two games.  The Eastern Conference is so tight that going into the weekend, it looked as if 1st place might have been within reach.  Now, the Rangers might struggle to hold on to their playoff spot.

It is frustrating to watch a hockey game where the players refuse to forecheck,  refuse to finish hits along the boards, and miss FOUR open-nets in the 3rd period!  I can deal with Sjostrom getting robbed by the stick of Tampa’s goalie Mike Smith, but Jaromir Jagr should be ashamed for letting a Defenseman slide across and block his shot.  No question that puck should have been ripped to the upper half of the net.  Instead, he unleashed a flittering misfire along the ice. Just horrible.

Anyway, the Rangers had better figure out where to find some energy, and quick.  They have three games this week against Atlantic Division foes: Pittsburgh on Tuesday, New Jersey on Wednesday, and Philadelphia on Friday.  I, for one, would really like to see Ryan Hollweg back in the lineup Tuesday.  And I know Eric (and our sister Melissa) would love to see Petr Prucha back on the ice.  We shall see.

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This is the 4th and final meeting of the season between the Rangers and Bruins, with the Bruins having won all 3 games thus far (although the Rangers have posted an 0-1-2 record). The Rangers will be trying to extend their unbeaten-in-regulation streak to 12 games.

There seems to be consensus among sportswriters that the Bruins have been struggling of late because of their 1-2-1 record in their last 4 games. Well, what about the 6 games before that in which they ripped off 6 W’s in a row? 7-2-1 in their last 10 is hardly struggling, and if they had lost any momentum they certainly regained it yesterday with a ridiculous come-from-behind win over the Capitals (see yesterday’s post).

In net for the Bruins today, it’s a mystery. The Boston Globe says Alex Auld “deserves” to play against the Rangers after allowing just 1 goal in two straight starts. Meanwhile, Steve Zipay of Newsday says to “expect” Tim Thomas in the net because Auld played yesterday. My prediction: they will both play.

Bruins defenseman and all-around tall guy Zdeno Chara will not play today because of an injury to his shoulder. (That whoosh sound you just heard was Jaromir Jagr breathing a sigh of relief).

The Rangers have adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy during this hot streak, and will continue with the same lineup they’ve had for the last few games, which means Prucha, Strudwick, and Hollweg will be healthy scratches. That also means Mr. Lundqvist will be between the pipes once again. I expect Valiquette will get in there sometime next weekend, whether it’s Friday against the Panthers or Saturday against the Lightning.

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Maybe the defense was asleep. Maybe the refs forgot the rules of hockey. Maybe Christian Backman got 10 penalty minutes (6 officially but it was him that made Cole’s face bleed, not Marc Staal. See second “maybe.”).

But does that really matter? Henrik played pretty well and Malik of all people had a sound game. He threw at least TWO HITS! And, oh yeah, we won!
The young’uns again showed us why they are still playing in the big leagues. Dubinsky completely fooled Ward with a beautiful deke to his backhand that he buried top shelf (Props to Jagr for the steal and the blind drop pass to set the whole thing up). Callahan stood up for himself by fighting Conboy. Dawes looked like he knew where everyone was on the ice at all times. Especially when he set up Shanny for the go-ahead-by-two goal.

***

Fredrik Sjostrom and Christian Backman played their first games as Rangers last night. Sjostrom played on the fourth line with Betts and Hollweg and played very well. He even made a nice drive to the net that needed a fair bit of effort on the part of Cam Ward.

Backman played alright except that he took quite a few penalties. He was the cause of 10 penalty minutes even though he was only charged with 6.

Now this doesn’t mean that I’m throwing him under the bus. I’m just waiting to see him play a few more games. For all we know, he was a nervous wreck last night. Hell, I would’ve been.

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