Thu 26 Oct 2006
The Rangers are picking a great time to hit the road considering their less-than-stellar effort against the Florida Panthers.Ã‚Â The Blueshirts have to use their four game road trip, and nine of the next 11 on the road, as another part of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“team buildingÃ¢â‚¬Â that Tom Renney has stressed in his two training camps as Ranger coach.
Often long road trips serve to pull a team together better than any contrived team building exercises can.Ã‚Â Teams have the opportunity to focus on the task at hand when the distractions of home, and the media, are removed.
Frankly, all of the team building exercises mean nothing if the Rangers do not stop their annoying habit of turning the puck over Ã¢â‚¬â€œ especially when they try cross-ice passes or clearing the puck up the middle in the defensive zone.Ã‚Â If there is a bad pass to make, the Rangers are likely to make it, rather than chip the puck off the boards.
<>Renney must use the four game trip as a wakeup call for his troops.Ã‚Â Last year he played no favorites when it came to benching veterans who were not performing.Ã‚Â Renney did it to Michael Nylander, so it should be easy to sit down a Karel Rachunek or Michael Rozsival.Ã‚Â With eight defensemen on the roster, there is no excuse to keep playing blueliners who are not pulling their weight.Ã‚Â <>
<>According to John Dellapina of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Daily NewsÃ¢â‚¬Â, Renney sat Sandis Ozolnish against Florida because he wants the veteran defenseman to get some playing time under his belt before he subjects him to the Garden boo birds.Ã‚Â If that is true, then the Rangers will be forced to call up reinforcements when they return home to face the Buffalo Sabres.
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