Rangers Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 10:08 am and is filed under Hockey, Rangers Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

As the Rangers get ready for their real home opener against Chicago on Friday night, here are some leftover observations from their two-game set in Prague.

The Drury/Gomez/Naslund Line Works: The Rangers top line (at least for now) seems to be working. Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund scored two of the four Rangers goals, and Gomez picked up two assists and Naslund one. They seem to work well together, and Tom Renney is also using them as his top line on the power play. Chris Drury didn’t collect any points but he and Gomez have acquired instant chemistry. The captain doesn’t seem to have any problems shifting over to the right side. Now that they don’t have to worry about fitting in with Jaromir Jagr, Gomez and Drury look ready to take over the team, on the ice and in the locker room.

Fifteen + Six Doesn’t Add Up: With six games in nine days starting on Friday, the Blueshirts’ lopsided roster of 15 forwards and six defensemen needs to be changed. Dmitri Kalinin may be on his way to replacing Marek Malik as the Garden’s most-likely-to-be-booed-every-time-he-touches-the-puck Ranger. Unless he picks up his game he has healthy scratch written all over him. But with only six D-men, there’s nothing to be done. Patrick Rissmiller, Dan Fritsche and Fredrik Sjostrom were all left out of the lineup over the weekend. Throw in the name Petr Prucha and one of those guys will have to traded, sent down to Hartford or dumped one way or another. Obviously, the salary cap and clearing waivers will be an issue. Glen Sather gathered up too many of the same third/fourth line players and now has to admit he made a mistake with one of those guys and say adios. I’m guessing if they can get a taker for Prucha’s $1.6 million contract, he’s the one to go, and if not, Rissmiller will be the odd one out. And then Aaron Voros can be bumped up to the third (or even second) line. Look for Corey Potter or Brian Fahey (there are conflicting reports on whether he has to clear waivers or not) to make it back up to the big club. And Brendan Shanahan is still skating in circles waiting for the Rangers (Red Wings? Charlestown Chiefs?) to make a decision on him.

New Style Rangers: New York played a puck control/speed game against Tampa Bay. They forechecked, controlled the neutral zone and backchecked successfully, and aggressively went after the puck. Passing will be emphasized over the Jagr style of skating around with the puck and getting too cutesy. If you’re looking for the Broad Street Bullies, though, look elsewhere. They don’t have a lot of physical players on offense or defense. But they’re fast.

The Power Play and Penalty Kill: The power play was only two for 11 in the two games against Tampa Bay, but it sure looked different than last year. They were taking shots from the point, and always had a man in front screening the goalie. Renney didn’t mix and match the lineup. He just used the first two lines (with the third line getting a few minutes), with Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival starting out on D, and they actually shot the puck! No Jagr skating around for a minute/twenty with no shots. The penalty kill was nine for nine, and looks to be more aggressive this year with Drury, Gomez, Blair Betts, Ryan Callahan and  Brandon Dubinsky on the ice. Nothing not to like there.

Henrik Lundqvist Is Still Good: After looking shaky in the preseason and answering questions about his knees, Lundqvist was sharp in the first two games. He stopped 38 of 40 shots. It’s good to be the King.

Comments are closed.

  • Press Harbor