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Posts Tagged ‘prucha’

20mar07_antropov

Dear Glen Sather: This dude is a beast. Love, 5-hole.com

It’s that time of the season again.  Yes, the annual trading frenzy as fading teams try to get something worthwhile for their unrestricted free agents.  The NHL trade deadline is March 4.  Take a look at this list of the top 50 UFA’s from the 8 worst teams in the league.  I like the Maple Leafs’ big power winger Nik Antropov.  And, with a cap hit of just over $2 million, I hope the Rangers like him too.

Let’s take a look at the games tonight.  We have some good matchups (i.e. Rangers-Ducks, Wings-Coyotes) and some complete mismatches.  Speaking of mismatches… in my opinion, the standard play for the *Gimmie* is to bet on the biggest mismatch, which would presumably be the safest bet.  Tonight, we have the Canadiens taking on the Thrashers (#5 vs #29) and the Capitals playing the Senators (#4 vs #28).  While we all agree on the picks (Habs and Caps), none of us picked either team as our gimmie.  Does that mean we smell upsets?  Or do we all just hate the Habs and we’re just too afraid to pick the inconsistent Caps on the road?  In other news, Eric picked the Hurricanes as his gimmie against the Penguins.  He must know something I don’t.

On to the picks!

(more…)

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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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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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Lauri Korpikoski is going to play center for the 4th line between Sjostrom and Hollweg.  Renney dangled this possibility before game 4, but this time it’s actually going to happen.

Strudwick is in for Backman.  Prucha will probably be on the 2nd line again just like game 4.

Here we go.

Let’s go Rangers!

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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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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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The loss to the Panthers was a tough one because they had some serious scoring chances at the end and just couldn’t put the puck in the net.  The loss snapped a 13-game streak in which the Rangers had not lost in regulation.

Earlier in the week, Tom Renney had mentioned he would probably start Valiquette in one of the two games in Florida.  After the loss last night, however, it seems he has abandoned that plan and will stick with Lundqvist.  Lundqvist is playing well right now, and I understand Renney’s desire to stay with what’s been working, but with games this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, he has to be careful not to overwork Henrik.

The rest of the lineup will probably stay the same for tonight’s game.  The Defense will definitely be the same tonight, since Mara and Malik are both hurt.  We might see some changes in the forwards — Petr Prucha anyone?  We shall see.

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