December 2006

While the team has lost a step, it seems that Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti haven’t lost a step when it comes to spouting the company line. They were talking about the Rangers not recalling a forward with Cullen and Nylander out of the lineup when they said the Rangers didn’t call a player up because the Wolf Pack has played Friday and Saturday and any recalled forward would have been playing his third game in as many days. That would be sound thinking except for the fact Hartford played last night as well! I know it wouldn’t make a difference with the Rangers because Tom Renney has virtually forgotten the fourth line – except for everyone’s “hero” Colton Orr and they could have used an extra defenseman with Marek Malik getting hurt. Too bad we dressed Sandis instead of a seventh defenseman . By the way, this was the fifth time that Hartford has played three games over a weekend this season so the experience would not have been a new one.

Note to Sam and Joe: don’t pee on my leg and then tell me it is raining. If you have to manufacture a story say something like the Rangers thought Cullen or Nylander would be able to go and didn’t have time to call up a player given the pack’s 4pm start time on Sunday.

I know the Rangers are going to a rough spot on their schedule with 10 games in 17 nights, battling a nasty flu bug (notice athletes never get the sniffles), and are running into a stretch of injuries of late, but I hate it when announcers, players, coaches, team officials use it as an excuse. Perhaps the Rangers would have been in better position to combat these problems if they were running four lines game in and game out.

All teams in all sports go through the exact same thing at various times during their seasons. That is why it was refreshing to read that Brendan Shanahan would have nothing to do with making excuses. The bottom line is the Rangers forgot that disciplined hockey and hard work are the building blocks to winning hockey.

Add to Yahoo Add to Google Furl this Add to Spurl Save to Digg IT! Live Bookmarks! Blogmarks

With the NHL’s Christmas Trade Freeze looming tomorrow, reports that the New York Rangers have placed defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh on waivers.  As Lyle Richardson reports on his Spector’s Hockey web site, given his nearly $3 million salary, he will pass through waivers and must report to Hartford or face suspension.  The bottom line is that the Rangers have opened up some salary cap space.

Add to Yahoo Add to Google Furl this Add to Spurl Save to Digg IT! Live Bookmarks! Blogmarks

Hopefully Santa Claus has brought the New York Rangers, and their fans, a little pre-Christmas present.  It seems that Santa has returned the “real” Tom Renney to the Rangers – at least for the time being.  With the Blueshirts languishing in a bit of a holiday malaise, Renney has decided to shake up the lineup for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jarkko Immonen has been recalled and will be installed as the second line center between Matt Cullen, who shifts to the left wing, and Brendan Shanahan.  Immonen, who got off to a dismal start in Hartford, has rounded into form with the Wolf Pack.  Cullen, who started off hot, has cooled considerably.  With Immonen in the lineup, Renney has the chance to use Cullen on the point on the power play – a place where he thrived last year for the Carolina Hurricanes.

If Renney sits little used Colton Orr, the Rangers have the makings of four lines with Marian Hossa and Petr Prucha flanking Blair Betts and Ryan Hollweg and Adam Hall playing between Jason ward if forms holds true.  Personally, I’d like to see Hollweg between Prucha and Hall as a scoring third line and let Betts play between Hossa and Ward as a checking fourth line.  Truth be told, my preference would be to have Brandon Dubinsky in the lineup ahead of Hossa but one has to learn how to walk before one can run – or in this case skate.

It seems that another prodigal son is about to the rejoin the lineup.  Darius Kasparaitis practiced with Karel Rachunek as the struggling Sandis Ozolinsh appears to be the blueliner heading to the bench.  While it would be nice to see Thomas Pock get a shot, beggars can’t be choosers.

Add to Yahoo Add to Google Furl this Add to Spurl Save to Digg IT! Live Bookmarks! Blogmarks

I spent three years covering my alma mater’s hockey team before Iona College pulled the plug on the program in 2003. I still have a fondness for all of the schools in the Atlantic Hockey League, the follow up to The MAAC’s Hockey League.

Anyway, my new favorite player is Sacred Heart University’s Bear Trapp. Yes, you read that correctly. Bear is a 6-foot-1 and 185 sophomore with the Pioneers. The 22-year-old was Atlantic Hockey’s rookie of the Year as he posted 16 goals and 43 assists in 34 games. Trapp finished eighth in scoring last year as a freshman. This year, Trapp is third in the league in scoring with 7 goals and 10 assists in 11 games.  If you would like to read more about Bear and the Pioneers, check out Sacred Heart’s official web site at

With a name like this, you have to hope that Bear Trapp makes it into the NHL.

Add to Yahoo Add to Google Furl this Add to Spurl Save to Digg IT! Live Bookmarks! Blogmarks