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Posts tagged: Corey Potter

Sloppy Sloppy Sloppy

Sloppy. That’s the only way you can describe the game against the Penguins yesterday afternoon. In a pivotal, must win game, the Rangers turned in one of their sloppiest performances under John Tortorella. Were there bright spots? Sure, his name was Ryan Callahan, who again played very well, and scored his 20th of the season.

Michael Sauer saw about 4 minutes of ice time all game, as he regressed from his solid performance against Minnesota into a mistake prone rookie. You can’t fault him, after all, he is just that, a rookie. After his poor performance, the Rangers called up Corey Potter, and sent Sauer back down to Hartford.

As for the standings, the Rangers still sit in 7th place with 87 points, holding a 1 point advantage over Montreal, but now Montreal has the game in hand. The bad news? They hold just a 2 point lead over Florida. The magic number still sits at 10, after the Rangers loss and the Panthers dominating performance over Dallas. I still believe that 94 points will get the Rangers into the playoffs, so they will need 7 points in their final 6 games to ensure a playoff spot.

I’m sitting in the world’s worst airport Laguardia, going to Atlanta for work for the week. It’s going to be 70 degrees there all week, I’m looking forward to that.

Game 58: Rangers at St. Louis

Usually I begin these game threads with something along the lines of ‘looking to rebound’ or ‘looking to keep the winning going’. I decided that’s not the case. I am fed up with the lackadaisical play of this team. None of us think the team is top in the conference, but we as fans deserve better than the effort we have been seeing over the past few weeks.

A few notes, Paul Mara didn’t make the trip to St. Louis. Considering the description of the injury so far, I would guess either dislocated or separated shoulder, which would put him out for a long time, probably the remainder of the regular season. Dmitri Kalinin is skating in his place, his first game since injuring his back, and Corey Potter did not make the trip.

The Blues have only lost once in regulation in the past 7 games. They allow a lot of goals, so maybe, just maybe, the Rangers can put more than 2 in the net tonight.

Game time is 7pm on Vs. tonight. Sorry, but I won’t be live blogging the game.

Update: I forgot to add that Renney’s job is likely on the line tonight and Wednesday against the Islanders. Two wins secure his job for the time being.

As for Sather, no word on if Dolan has watched a game this year.

Avery Clears, to be Assigned to Hartford

Sean Avery has cleared waivers and will likely be sent to Hartford. He will then, as per Rick Carpiniello, be placed on re-entry waivers and claimed by the Rangers (assuming none of the teams below them claim him). The interesting bit here is that the Stars appear to be receiving no compensation for Avery. Personally, I was hoping the Rangers would send a higher priced player to them in exchange for taking Avery off their hands.

Just to clarify things, I am not against Avery for the remainder of this year. His situation here has worked out in the past, and the locker room clearly needs something to shake things up. He isn’t the scoring winger that they so desperately need, but he would definitely add a certain toughness that Aaron Voros has failed to bring.

What I am against is Avery for the next THREE years. Avery is but a bandaid on the bullet wound that is the problem with this team. As much as I respect Mr. Renney for taking this team from laughing stock to the playoffs for what will be the 4th year in a row, his time has run out. And considering how much a lot of us want this change, do you really want to handcuff a new coach with Avery for three more years?

Update 1:30pm: Corey Potter has been sent back to Hartford. Not unexpected.

Hundqvist & Mara sick, and not because of the offense

As Dave alluded too earlier, Corey Potter is back with the club, but not to serve as the 7th D-man. Steve Zipay notes that the flu has made it’s rounds in the locker room, and neither Henrik Lundqvist or Paul Mara skated this morning. With Dmitri Kalinin’s back still acting up and uncertainty surrounding Mara’s available for tomorrow night’s game in Dallas, Potter’s presence was more necessity than luxury.

Jane McManus also reported on some (surprise!) new line combos, as Aaron Voros skated with Scott Gomez and Markus Nasund this morning. The Betts-Orr-Sjostrom and Drury-Dubinsky-Zherdev units are still in tact, while Nigel Dawes was skating with Lauri Korpikosi and Ryan Callahan. Petr Prucha will again be a healthy scratch. I’m sure Dave’s thrilled.

Renney Explains the Prucha Situation

So Rick Carpiniello caught up with Tom Renney the other day and asked about the Petr Prucha situation. He had this to say:

Renney feels that Prucha — who, as we know is not afraid to play a physical game for a smallish player — wears down. And wears down significantly, to the point where it affects his skating.

“With a guy like Pruch, it’s a matter of him getting in and being able to sustain it,” Renney said. “He’s not a big guy. For our needs, at least, a guy like Petr is good for a while and then it seems to dry up on him. Then I can get him back in again. The bottom line is it’s his size. It’s getting banged around, and then because of that, not being able to sustain what he can deliver over the period of more than four or five games. And that’s the dilemma that I have.

“And it’s too bad,” Renney said, “because he’s a helluva guy.”

I don’t get it, earlier in the season Renney said that Prucha was the best conditioned Ranger on the roster. But yet he wears down after a few games? Maybe I’m missing something, but that seems extremely contradictory.

But let’s give Renney the benefit of the doubt, and say Pru does wear out a little faster than you would expect. Does that mean that he should play 7 games, then sit out for 10? How about play 5, and rotate in Voros when you need some size in the lineup?

I don’t buy his excuse for the Prucha treatment. But then again, if you read this blog often, this shouldn’t surprise you.

Update 2:15pm: Corey Potter has been called up. I’m guessing he will make the trip as the 7th defenseman, with Kalinin still hurt.

Odds and Ends

  • The Islanders just can’t get lucky.  Mike Sillinger is now out for the year. They lost another tradeable asset to help rebuild. It’s unknown what Sillinger could have gone for, considering he played an entire 7 games all year, but something is better than nothing. This just creates more time for us to laugh at the Islanders for their ridiculous team right now. They remind me of the Kansas City Royals.
  • Henrik Zetterberg re-upped with the Wings, which shouldn’t really shock anyone. His deal is 12 years, $72 million, which is just a $6 million cap hit (still less than Wade Redden). That deal is great for the Wings. With Michael Cammalleri poised to make Jarome Iginla money ($7 million/year), Zetterberg would surely have received more money from any other team. This does pose an issue for the Wings though, bringing their cap number to roughly $48 million for next year, with Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen set to become UFAs. My guess is that Hossa goes for greener pastures and Franzen stays in Detroit. If Franzen winds up as a free agent, how much will Sather be kicking himself for signing Markus Naslund to two years (or Redden to 6, but I digress)?
  • The Vinny Lecavalier to Montreal rumors have all but died for this season. That’s pretty good news for all Ranger fans. The Blueshirts can’t even beat the Habs now, without Lecavalier, can you imagine what it would be like with Vinny in Montreal?

The Return of Potter?

With Dan Fritsche officially waived and probably on his way to Hartford in a few hours, you have to wonder what Sather and company have planned for the extra cap room. Are they going to use it to potentially make a trade for a missing piece? Possibly. I would certainly hope that Sather is at least kicking the tires on Keith Tkachuk, Nik Antropov, Denis Gauthier, and others mentioned here in previous posts. Sather’s most recent trade history has been pretty decent (Zherdev, Avery, Sykora), so let’s hope he can pull a rabbit out of his hat again.

We could also, finally, see a seventh defenseman called up. That defenseman would in all likelihood be Corey Potter. We have long wanted a seventh defenseman here, it will at least light a fire under the under achieving defense. But if Potter gets called up, who sits? There’s the obvious person, Dmitri Kalinin, who forgot how to take the body. The seventh defensemen creates some competition. And competition breeds improvement.

Or maybe both? Would that be too much to ask?

Game 39: Rangers vs. Isles

The Boys in Blue have four days off after tonight’s game, so you know they want to go into the New Year break on a one game winning streak opposed to a four game losing streak. The Isles have lost 10 of their last 11 (yikes), but have franchise netminder Rick DiPietro back after a knee procedure cost him 27 games. He hasn’t started against the Rangers since Nov. 27th of last year. Of course I wrote all this before learning that DiPietro won’t play tonight due to a bum groin. That dude is the Carl Pavano of hockey.

Michal Rozsival is back in the lineup, and Corey Potter was shipped back to Hartford. Aaron Voros is a healthy scratch, with Petr Prucha taking his spot in the lineup. Here’s the forward lines for tonight’s game:

Korpikoski – Gomez – Naslund
Dawes – Drury – Callahan
Prucha – Dubinsky – Zherdev
Orr – Betts – Sjostrom

I’ll provide updates periodically throughout the game. Enjoy.

Update (7:10pm): I just saw this on ESPN; Claude Lemieux is making a comeback? Ugh. Oh, and the game is on Versus tonight, in case you’re staring at MSG trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Update (7:18pm): Quality fight right there. Versus is terrible, as usual.

Update (7:23pm): Another good scrap right there. Good hit by Dawes on Okposo, Comrie stood up for the rook. Hillary Duff is going to have to take care of her boyfriend later, Dawes landed a few good ones.

Update (7:35pm): Brutal. Just brutal. Nice giveaway deep in the zone by Kalinin. Drury’s -4 in the last four periods.

Update (8:15pm): Hey look, it’s Scott Gomez. In all seriousness, that was some killer puck movement right there. Nice job using the point men, brilliant pass by Zherdev.

Update (8:33pm): This has been one physical game. Every player is finishing every check. I love it.

Update (8:36pm): Nice deflection by Okposo there. It hurt even more coming with 12 seconds left in the period.

Update (8:55pm): Ouch. Ryan Callahan just plowed Trent Hunter into the boards, but the penalty box door opened and Hunter went face first into the edge of the partition. It was a clean hit, but Hunter’s down. Both trainers and the MSG medical crew are out on the ice.

Update (8:58pm): They brought the stretcher out, but Hunter skated off under his own power. Looks like he just had the wind knocked out of him.

Update (9:00pm): Note to Tom Renney: PLAY PETR PRUCHA!!! Nice job driving to the net by Dubie, nicer job by Prucha sticking with the play. We’re tied at deuces.

Update (9:01pm): And there’s another one. Rozy from bad angle, through the wickets.

Update (9:02pm): Good grief. Blake Comeau all by his lonesome in front of the net, now we’re tied at three.

Update (9:11pm): Amazing what happens when you win a faceoff, eh Scotty? Naslund tips in Gomez’s feed out front after a faceoff win in the zone. 4-2 good guys. Wade Redden & Dmitri Kalinin are getting the Marek Malik treatment.

Update (9:23pm): Dawes just netted one, but I missed the goal and Versus hasn’t bothered to show a replay. Chants of PE-TR PRU-CHA are raining down from the heavens. And by the heavens I mean the blue seats.

Update (9:29pm): Comrie just chopped one in with 18.7 seconds left. They always have to make it unnecessarily interesting.

Update (9:32pm): Game over, Rangers win 5-4. Rangers win. THAAAAAAAA RANGERS WIN!!!

Mike Axisa writes for River Ave. Blues and can be reached here.

Game 38: Rangers vs. Devils

I don’t know about you guys, but it took a tiny little occurance called Christmas for me to forget about that brutal loss on Tuesday night. I mean, seriously. You’re up FOUR goals with a touch more than 35 minutes to play and one of the best netminders in the planet behind you. How do you let that one go? Stupid lateral passes at the blueline were their undoing, and in overtime it almost seemed like they were just trying to hold off the Fightin’ Ovechins long enough to get to a shootout. Bah, whatever.

The Devils come to the Garden tonight, and the last time these two teams met we got a wild 8-5 offensive explosion. The Blueshirts took home W’s the first two times these teams met, outscoring the Devs 9-3 in the process. This just in though, Scott Clemmensen’s pretty good: 1.96 GAA & 0.928 SV% this month (nine games).

I’ve still got some family over for the holidays, so it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to post any updates. Enjoy the game.

Update (7:07pm): Michal Rozsival is dealing with some “personal issues” and is out of the lineup. Corey Potter is back up from Hartford to fill in.

Update (8:28pm): A rather blah first period. The Rangers appeared to be in “beat themselves” mode early, allowing a PPG on a too many men call, then yet another shorthanded job. Nice job of bouncing back with a tally of their own, but the refs need to let them play more. Way too many soft calls on both sides.

Oh, and this team needs a power play quarterback in the worst way. Wade Redden just isn’t cutting it. Jay Bouwmeester, anyone?

Update (9:13pm): Well, they showed some signs of life at the end of the period there, and it only took a 5-on-3 power play. Gonna have to man up in the third, Clemmensen’s doing his best Marty impression.

Update (9:37pm): When Dmitri Kalinin scores a goal, you just have to find a way to win. Do it.

Mike Axisa writes for River Ave. Blues and can be reached here.

Game 37: Rangers vs. Caps

After a surprisingly successful west coast trip, the Rangers are taking on the Washington Alexanders Capitals tonight. They will look to build on what has to be a confidence boost from last week: two wins in the LA area, and a dominant third period against the Sharks where they were one break away from tying the game.

Corey Potter was returned to Hartford, which points out that I clearly made a mistake when I said that players cannot be reassigned to minor league affiliates during the roster freeze. Apparently they can. With Potter in Hartford, I still won’t get my wish for Kalinin to get the Prucha treatment.

It also looks like Fritsche and Prucha will be the scratches, again. Fritsche hasn’t played since Nov. 30, and Prucha since Dec. 7. Combined they have played in 26 games this year. But considering the road trip, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have no qualms with the forwards playing tonight.

This has to be the slowest day of the year in the business world. I’m the only one on my floor (that’s right, floor) at the office today. I should be out early and home in time to do in game updates.

Update 7:08pm: Same lines as the last few games. No surprises there.

Update 7:12pm: You know, I was looking at that injury report, and I forgot that Tom Poti was on the Caps. I have to admit, as much as I didn’t like him, he got a raw deal in NY. He was touted as the next Leetch, and the Rangers gave up Mike York (fresh off a 30 goal rookie season) for him. In retrospect, that deal wasn’t so bad.

Update 7:13pm: Wow, what a pass by Zherdev. What a trade that is. I loved it from the beginning, and this kid is going to be a superstar. 1-0 Rangers, Naslund from Zherdev and Gomez.

Update 7:18pm: Hank looks strong tonight, nice save on that mini 2 on 0.

Update 7:22pm: You know, I have a bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier cologne, but after that commercial I don’t think I’m going to use it anymore. And Kalinin was on the ice for that goal. +1 for him! He’s now -15 on the season.

Update 7:25pm: Wow. What a shot by Rozsival. His play is picking up. He needs to shoot more. And as I write this, they score again! Theodore is not a good goalie anymore. The second goal was Rozsival from Drury and the third Callahan from Drury and Dawes. This is just a raping right now. But remember, the Rangers were up 4-0 on Philly earlier in the year and barely won that game. Goalie change. Johnson in net.

Update 7:36pm: The Rangers are just beating the Caps to every single loose puck. They look real hungry today. I like it. It looks like someone lit a fire under their ass.

Update 7:38pm: If not for a bad hop, that would have been 4-0. The Rangers are just all over the Caps so far. But let’s see if they can keep this up for the entire 60 minutes, which seems to be a problem for them. 3-0 Rangers, end of the first.

Update 7:57pm: Theodore back in net, apparently Johnson is sick. Just put pucks on net.

Update 8:02pm: Nice series by Hank. And on that Dubie shot, it looks like Johnson got his stick on it. If he did, that’s a real nice save.

Update 8:04pm: What great passing by the Rangers, and what a move by Callahan, that makes it two on the night for him. Callahan from Dawes and Drury again. That’s three assists for Drury.

Update 8:08pm: The Caps have now been outscored 11-1 in the past four periods. That can’t be good for morale on that young team.

Update 8:11pm: I agree with Micheletti, the PP does look so much better when Rozsival shoots. He has a cannon.

Update 8:18pm: That one deflects off Rozsival. Nothing he can really do about that. 4-1 Rangers. Ovechkin gets the goal, assisted by Backstrom.

Update 8:22pm: They needed that stoppage, they got outplayed for a long time. Let’s hope that was just a blip and not the usual 2nd period let down.

Update 8:28pm: Good kill by the Rangers. That was needed.

Update 8:30pm: 4-1 Rangers after two. Good period, they had a little blip in the middle, but recovered nicely with a good kill and then drawing a penalty at the end of the period. The PP carries over for about a minute.

Update 8:50pm: 4-2 Rangers, what a deflection by Fleishman. Fleishman gets the goal from Backstrom and Laich.

Update 8:53pm: Wow. Theodore just stood on his head. He just kept them in the game.

Update 8:57pm: Zherdev is playing a hell of a game. He is far and away the best Ranger skater tonight.

Update 9:02pm: So much for consistency. They look flat in this period. 4-3. This game shouldn’t be this close.

Update 9:05pm: Wow. What a save by Theodore. He looks like a different goalie this period. What did he eat in the intermission?

Update 9:07pm: This is real sloppy. That penalty was a good penalty to take by Girardi. And what a terrible pass to send Kozlov on the break.

Update 9:09pm: Huge kill by the Rangers there. They really needed that.

Update 9:12pm: Why am I not surprised that they blew this lead? Too many miscues. Bad pass by Dawes. 4-4, Ovechkin unassisted.

Update 9:24pm: The Rangers just gave a point to the Caps, that might loom large in April. What a terrible third period. To OT we go. Or should I just say shootout by now?

Update 9:27pm: I thought the Rangers were playing the Caps, not the Habs. Rangers give up 5 straight goals, and snatch defeat from hands of victory. That’s all for tonight folks.

Thanks to Mike A. from River Ave. Blues for the shout out tonight.