Sweeeeeeeet Carolinnnee

Yes, it’s Sweet Caroline the song. The song that the Rangers play at MSG everytime they win at home. Big win for the Rangers last night, which could spell….. Cup Contender?

The gambling scandal is spreading around the media, good or bad?

Just four days away from Olympic Hockey. Is Team USA good enough? And the Jay Bowumeester decision…. bad one?

My MVP player of the past few weeks, you’ll be surprised who it is.

Where will Keith Tkachuk go?

The Panthers….chaos on the horizon?Two big victories for the last two Rangers games, one against the Philadelphia Flyers and last night’s against the Ottawa Senators. Rangers reclaimed 1st place spot in the Atlantic Division….and is it now time to say that they could compete for the Stanley Cup?

Where do the Rangers stand?

The Rangers are the 2nd best defensive team in the NHL with a GAA of 2.45 and 137 total goals against. Yes, tons of credit goes to Henrik Lundqvist who has now moved up my rankings of Calder points to 2nd place behind Alex Ovechkin. But, last night the Rangers managed to kill all of Ottawa’s eight power plays, one point it was a 5 on 3. This is due to the great defensive work of no names such as Michal Rozsival (3rd in +/- rating in the league), Jason Strudwick, Fedor Tyutin, Jed Ortmeyer, Dominic Moore, and Jason Ward.

When talked about in the media, journalists only mention names like Jaromir Jagr, Henrik Lundqvist, and sometimes Martin Straka, and of course Petr Prucha, now injured. These guys are the key ingredients for the Rangers, but they are not the whole team. The Rangers would not be where they stand right now without the other players. Marcel Hossa is playing pretty good hockey right now and he has his rare moments where you actually think it’s Marian Hossa. Ville Nieminen had a slow and ugly start, but since the second half, he has been….well… he’s been the same Nieminen that Calgary Flames know about. Jed Ortmeyer is one of the hardest working players in the league. Jason Ward was never given such a fair chance in Montreal, and since he received a chance in the Big Apple…he’s been a huge contributor to the wins. How about Dominic Moore? Solid player. The “overpaid” defenseman, Marek Malik, that Larry Brooks called the worst signing of the off-season. And…. yeah, Tom Poti gets a positive comment out of me. The guy has been terrible offensively, but has become dependable and reliable defensively. Amazed? Yeah, so am I.

These are the New York Rangers. Hard working, chemistry, with a strong coaching staff.

They are very sound defensively, and quite good on the offense due to their defensive awareness and solid forechecking. Lundqvist could become this year’s Mikka Kiprusoff, and the Rangers may find a possible chance to appear in the Cup Finals. They beat the Senators, Flyers, Hurricanes, Sabres, Devils, and the Lightning. The Rangers can do it, and if they do…well….teams will want Sports Illustrated to rate them 30th in the league for the 2006-2007 season.

The gambling scandal is getting attention from nation wide news, even big outlets such as ABC, FOXNews, and so on here in the US.

I am not going to make any judgements or speculate on the people involved. I just hope that it clears up cleanly. I wish the best to Mr. and Mrs. Gretzky, to Rick Tocchet, who I think will be a great future head coach, and definitely to the New Jersey state trooper. You know, a lot of people think state troopers are quite mean….but they are actually nice. I was supportive of them in NJ, and very supportive of the troopers down here.

Anyway, is this bad or good for NHL hockey? Ethically, it’s bad. I am not a gambler…I never gamble with games and use money. Sure, I can bet with a friend on a sporting event and whoever loses buys lunch. But when played seriously, it’s a dumb game. If you want to gamble, go to the casinos.

Now for publicity….this CAN be good for the NHL. Why? It gets attention, and the key factor is that Gretzky is recognized by tons of sports fans. This story has the potential to get people involved and take a peak in the NHL world to see what goes on. Of course, this story won’t last too long, unless drastic updates come along, because of the Winter Olympics.

So…. for publicity I think it can have some positive impact, but ethically it is just sad and wrong.

Annnnd…. we’re just FOUR days away from the Winter Olympics. Excited? I am! Starting tomorrow I’ll be setting up all the goodies for you to read about Northern Italy. Hope you all kept a good diet the past few weeks. I tried… I really did. I go to the gym so I’m okay….but darrnnn… how can I say no to food and beer…..wine? I just can’t. …. bah…

Anyway….is Team USA good enough? And my answer is…. N…………O. No, it’s not good enough. I’m not going to say the offense has issues, or the defense… or the coaching. Management is the problem!

Here is what ticked me off about GM Don Waddell. The guy locked Keith Tkachuk on the USA roster even when he was injured TWICE, one long-term, but he totally looked away from the best US goalie of the year… Ryan Miller.

Obviously if he was not injured he would have been selected, but he was injured and that was a good enough reason for Waddell to not pick him. I call BS on that poor decision. Miller was definitely coming back before the Olympics, and quite a while before the break. Yet Miller is sitting in the taxi squad, but will stay in Michigan. Poor decision. I am not going to point fingers at the selected goalies, but let’s face reality… Grahame, Esche, and DiPietro have not been consistent, not even close. Esche has been slightly better, Grahame much better….but that’s in recent games. Miller has been solid all throughout the season.

DiPietro has been the weakest of the three, can’t the guy drop from the roster so Miller is added on, and then DiPietro gets selected on the taxi squad? I know it sucks, I know it is unfair to DiPietro….but it’s Team First.

Team USA will struggle if the goaltending is not going to be sharp. I like the offense, the speed, and the grinding force of the team. I don’t like the selection of Paul Martin. I think Tom Poti has been better than him and Poti has Olympic experience too, plus….he’s got the best poke check and his stick stops passes.

How did Waddell get chosen anyway? Jay Feaster won the Cup in 2004 by building his team… shouldn’t he have gotten it? What about Brian Burke? Waddell…guaranteed Thrashers Hockey will be present in the playoffs….but a 2-8-0 performance in the last 10 games doesn’t back up his statement well enough….unless a big trade comes along.

I guess time will tell, hopefully the three goalies can pull it off. Go USA Go!

As for Team Canada…. I am still scratching my head over the Jay Bowumeester selection over Dione Phaneuf. I’ve been watching Panthers hockey for two seasons now and Jay Bo is far…. so very very very very FAR from being a defenseman worthy of the Olympics. The guy has skills….talent, but the mental side of his game is out in space. There is not much thinking process in his decision making. The guy is just not that good. Why can’t the media understand that? I’d say Lukas Krajicek has been a more effective player than Bowumeester. Yeah, he’s got a good amount of assists, but no goals and he takes very untimely penalties.

Phaneuf has by far outperformed Jay Bo in all categories for a defenseman. He plays physical, makes smarter plays, and is MUCH better on the point for the PP. Jacques Martin is known to develop good players, especially defensemen. I’d give Bowumeester one more season and if he does not show any good improvements….then he is a bust. He was expected to be a top pair defenseman, yet on a good team….the guy is a 3rd pair guy…..nothing special. Bad pick by the Panthers, imagine where they would be if they picked Rick Nash to then play with Jokinen and Horton. More on the Panthers later on.

My MVP player of the past weeks is….. Patrick Elias of the New Jersey Devils! Surprised? I know, I am a Rangers fan and it’s a sin to make such a decision, but I am a great diehard hockey first….and Elias is my choice. The guy comes in and the Devils come out of the swamps as they were sinking deep. He’s an impact player…probably the best Czech captain in the NHL, maybe even in NHL history. Great skills, smart player…. and Team Czech is not upset to see Prucha out and Elias in. Way to go Elias for a great recovery and for saving the Devils. GM Lamoriello should already set up contract proposals to lock him up long term this time.

Where will Keith Tkachuk end up, IF he even gets traded? So far, I have four thoughts on Tkachuk’s future.


-He is a Gainey type of player. The Canadiens are struggling big time and things seem to get worse. Gainey has two choices, fire sale or playoff force-in. The Blues could be looking at Theodore, but I highly doubt it. Larry Pleau wants another 1st rounder so he can draft three prospects in the 1st round. With Tkachuk having a team option of a fair $3M or so, he is more valuable than just a soon-to-be UFA player playoff rental. A first rounder is a lock and maybe Michael Ryder plus Jan Bulis. Bottom line: He’s a possibility, an impact player….Gainey can pull a trade.

2) Boston: The reason why I say the Bruins is because they have picked up their game and getting Tkachuk could lock them up for the playoffs, which would save O’Connell… PLUS…. Tkachuk is a Mass. born player who would enjoy his time there. A force-in playoffs move, but possible. A first rounder, plus Raycroft and a B-level prospect.

3) Philadelphia: They lost Primeau, which means losing more character. Tkachuk is a typical Bobby Clarke player and Clarke knows he has to make an impact in the playoffs this season. Of course, the guy never gets it because the re-occuring problem is not the Flyers offense, defense…. but goaltending. Maybe Esche could find his way back to Phoenix and Curtis Joseph to Philly? Who knows. Anyway, Tkachuk can fit in the Flyers and though he is not a center…the guy can lift them up a few levels, plus…he gives them more security if Forsberg is not healthy enough for the playoffs. A 1st rounder, maybe Branko Radivojevic and prospects.

4) St. Louis: Hey…it won’t be a surprise to me if GM Pleau feels he is not getting good enough offers and ends up not trading Tkachuk. He could then pick up his option, which would make Tkachuk happy since he loves to stay there in St. Louis, and that would give Pleau enough interest from the free agency market to sign some good free agents, which will be plenty available.

The Panthers may face some difficulties soon as Olli Jokinen changed his mind about the contract. First, he wanted a proposal before the Olympic break. Second, after he got one, he basically says “I’ll get back to you in April”.

Hey….that’s not good enough Olli. The Panthers need to know if you want to stay or go. Stop listening to The Clash singing “Should I stay or should I go now”. It’s not April, make it early March. If you don’t like the offer, which I think is VERY fair, of four years $16M…. then say so and let Keenan trade on in March. He can’t lose you for nada.

If that happens, this also kills all hopes of Roberto Luongo wanting to re-sign long-term, which also means he is a possible trade bait in March, but possible in June, or off-season, too.

Annnd…. before I end this, I’d like for every reader of this article to vote on the poll (top left of the page). It’s for my Olympic writing for you guys to read about…so.. I’ll know better what you guys want to know.

Thank you all for reading!

Micki Peroni

Vice Administrator

96 Responses to Sweeeeeeeet Carolinnnee

  1. The-President says:

    your comparing this years rangers to the lightening?

  2. CanDude says:

    uh… what?

    He scored 25 goals last year, was a contender for the Calder, and right now, 26 games away from the end of the year, he’s at 23 goals, despite never being on a good passing line.

    He’s the top goal scorer of the habs by 9 GOALS (Kovalev is 2nd)

    He’s never injured.

    He’s practically free.

    He checks hard.

    He’s VERY young. Still learning seeing as he’s in his second year in the NHL…

    I don’t know man.. but that was one of the dumbest statements I’ve read. He’s a friggin’ blue chip right now. Team him up with the right guy, and he’ll be the top goal scorer for a while, with an even better +/-.

    He’s -4 right now… But the team average is -2 so… Needs to be slightly more defensive.

    32 Minutes in penalty, which is the team average…

    I dunno. But he’s an EASY keeper.

  3. Tweek says:

    Didnt the Red Sox start the sweet caroline singing during a sporting event? Are the rangers “punking” the idea or has this gone on for a while?

  4. Gretz99NYR says:

    Mik, you said the Rangers beat “Senators, Flyers, Hurricanes, Sabres, Devils, and the Lightning”

    Well, the Devils have beat the Senators, Flyers, Hurricanes, Sabres, Rangers and Lightning.

    k lets see…..all these teams will play each other between 4-8 X this season. we are 2/3 through right now. For ANY team to beat the top 4 or 5 teams( and why are the bolts on that list?) is not a big deal, so they may win 1 game and drop 3. maybe split. that does not mean they are anything special. really, use some logic.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    No. I am not. What I am saying, is that you cannot underestimate any team that is tough enough to make it into the playoffs. Let’s just say that Calgary and Tampa were not consensus picks to reach the Stanley Cup finals. So you just never know. There are too many upsets year after year in the playoffs, to just write any team off.

  6. The-President says:

    I can tell already with the rangers, anybody in here besides a ranger fan that would like to agree

  7. robinson19 says:

    you forgot the “L”. The Theodore thing doesn’t make canada look bad, it makes us look bald.

  8. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    Member when the Penguins made it to the Confrence finals in 2001? there team was pretty much ALL euro aside from Lemieux

  9. robinson19 says:

    Ryder for Ktachuk would be a horrible trade for Monrteal, let alone all that other stuff. An up and coming pure scorer who’s learning the defensive side of the game in leaps and bounds due to good size and work ethic, for a fat old whiner who used to be good but was always a dirty player? Sure.

    Please tell me you don’t watch Montreal games, that’s the only way you could evaluate Ryder that way.

  10. Neely4Life says:

    naw, but pound is right thats all.

  11. The-President says:

    What I am saying is most and i mean most of the rangers are soft and will get knocked on their ass

  12. Neely4Life says:

    I woudlnt take them lightly, but the Leafs dont have a shot if they make the playoffs. maybe 15 teams do, not the Leafs.

    I dont know what you consider a contender this year, tough to say, plus, its really gonna depend on whos refing these games. The Series with the better refs, the better teams will win.

  13. parrotheadta says:

    He’s not a pending UFA. He’s got another year left at 3.7 mil. Very reasonable for his caliber of player. I do hope he stays in St Louis.

  14. WelcomeBackHockey says:

    Wow!!! Mikster gives a Devil some respect!!?? What the hell is going on here?!?!?! hahaha. Well said Mik. The Devils have been a different team since his return. Probably not conference champs but definitly not a pushover team like everyone pegged them for in October. As far as the Rangers go, they’re lookin’ more and more like the team to beat in the East. I have the pleasure of having 3 teams to watch in my area so I catch as many Rangers games as I can. Lundqvist is the real deal and I enjoy watching him play. I know Im supposed to hate the Rangers according to all the 14 year old Devils fans but I give credit where credit is due. But beat the god damn Flyers already!! Yer killin’ me Smalls!! Yer killin’ me!!

  15. ThomasHawks says:

    he has 13 point this season.Talk shitter

  16. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:






  17. mikster says:

    Rangers have a bad case of allowing the FLyers to score crappy goals in the last few minutes of the game!

    By giving credit to the Rangers, you’re only being a great hockey fan and one who gets appreciated. Nice username!

  18. Flyers70 says:

    I think the Rangers are legit. As a Flyers fan, that was difficult for me to type, but they are as good as advertised. I am interested to see how Lundqvist handles the playoffs as he has never been there before.

    Speaking of goaltending, Robert Esche was NOT the reason the Flyers lost in the Eastern Conference finals two years ago. Esche was very good in goal; they lost because they were worn to a nub after 2 emotional series against NJ and Toronto, and also down to 4 NHL quality defensemen because of injury. Sami Kapanen was playing a regular shift on D, if you recall.

    As a Flyers fan, I would like to see them get someone with a bit more speed as they have not handled speed teams particularly well. I am OK with the goaltending of either Esche or Nittymaki; both of whom are in the Olympics, so they must not be as bad as the original poster of this message would have us believe.

  19. mikster says:

    I do watch some Montreal games, not as many as i used to also because they quite stink this year!

    Tkachuk is 33… will be 34. Is an impact player… he is quite unstoppable right now with a horrible Blues team. He is projected to score 60 some odd points in 42 games….

    To me, that’s a big impact player who plays aggressive. He would push the Canadiens in the playoffs.

    Ryder is a good player, but Habs fans do the usual of making their young players turn out to be too great to trade. Ryder is good, don’t get me wrong, i really like him…. but he is far from being anywhere near Tkachuk.

    Tkachuk doesn’t whine that much… he was suspended for being “””””overweight”””” yet once he came back he scored like a mad man. Quick response, a winner’s type of response.

    Gainey always built a veteran team, he did it with the Stars… he could do it with the Canadiens.

    Fine, take Ryder out of the deal, but then Kostistyn is got to come in the deal.

    Apparently, you don’t watch enough Blues games since that’s the only way you could evaluate Tkachuk.

  20. mikster says:

    Esche wasn’t good enough to win a game though. That Flyers team of two years ago deserved a top goalie in the league. Obviously could not be Hasek… but Curtis Joseph would have been the typical goalie to bail a strong Flyers team.

    I know he couldn’t do it in Toronto, but the Leafs could never have won with that kind of play and that kind of defense.

    Flyers have had one of the best teams in the past years…. no major all-stars, just great teams… yet they never got anywhere, mainly due to goaltending.

    Clarke should get a guy like Cujo.

  21. pratt25 says:

    and who would you cheer for??

  22. RangerSteve says:

    Rangers are more than worthy of being a contender. I watch this team nightly, and all bias aside they have the goaltending to carry them far in the playoffs.

  23. dvast8 says:

    what a crock putting bowmeester on the team..

    Dion Phaneuf’s the best defenseman between 18-25

    in like 3yrs he’ll be the best defenseman in the league.

  24. HalGillTheNew99 says:

    Wait a second. The Rangers play Sweet Caroline after every win? Isn’t/wasn’t that the Red Sox’ song? What are they going to play next? Dirty water?

  25. Neely4Life says:

    still a rookie, and things to prove.

  26. NinjasOnly says:

    I wouldn’t say Pound is right at all. He may have an angle if he wants to change his statement from steriods to stimulants, because that would be a problem I’m sure. As a Hockey player I know half the dressing room would take something for a little extra edge before the game but it wasn’t anything that wasnt off the shelf at a local convience store or such. There is no way all these guys are on steriods though. It’s not that hard to put on the weight when you need to. They have specifically designed programs and strength condition stints that force you to gain muscle mass as quickly as possible. Is it entirely healthy to do so, not at all. But, is it illegal what they do?, no. You have to remember that each NHL team has hired trainers who are there to help these guys specifically add or gain mass when they need to. I, myself have been able to put on about 12 punds in two weeks doing nothing but working in the gym for a few hours a day and putting back nothnig but protien packed foods and a tonne of water. It’s not at all unreasonable to say it is possible.

  27. Neely4Life says:

    No, the biggest problem with proformance drugs in the NHL is with the prospects. While they r developing, they put them on roids or some sort of growth drug, and they gain mad wieght and muscle. Ive seen it first hand, and not to say they dont work hard, but they do n e thing for an edge, and for them to make the lineup, and the organizations promote this. Not everyone can gain that much weight, and it be all muscle, and more than 1/2 the guys come back heavier and with less body fat. You cant do all that with just protien and a solid diet, it helps, and its in addition to it as well.

  28. mtl_prince says:

    good points

  29. GretzNYR99 says:

    What’s this?!?

    It’s Flashlight and Ville Idol!


  30. GretzNYR99 says:

    First it’s all of the Rangers are soft euros, now it’s most.

    Stick to your guns, or don’t speak about something you have no clue what-so-ever about.

  31. Gretz99NYR says:

    Ummmm…..you know, in hindsight I was kind of, well, rude and arrogant in my previous post, and I dont want to keep being a pushy person…I am so sorry. I know, you have a good point. Here we are, supposedly a “all american team”…you know, “the big apple”, NYC, manhatten, broadway, and all that jazz…and here we are, with hardly a US born player and our best guy can hardly speak the american tounge. we really ARE nothing but a bunch of soft Euros, but at least we try not to let to many people onto it. so dont tell anybody, Sather probably wouldn’t be very happy should he hear about it.

  32. Gretz99NYR says:

    Ummmm…..you know, in hindsight I was kind of, well, rude and arrogant in my previous post, and I dont want to keep being a pushy person…I am so sorry. I know, you have a good point. Here we are, supposedly a “all american team”…you know, “the big apple”, NYC, manhatten, broadway, and all that jazz…and here we are, with hardly a US born player and our best guy can hardly speak the american tounge. we really ARE nothing but a bunch of soft Euros, but at least we try not to let to many people onto it. so dont tell anybody, Sather probably wouldn’t be very happy should he hear about it.

  33. The-President says:

    Now I respect you, no offense taken

  34. GretzNYR99 says:

    Good times, Mik, good times. Let’s get to business…

    – Sweet Caroline played by the Red Sox?!?!? Who the hell cares about the Red Sox, and do you honestly think Darius Kasparaits, who started playing “Sweet Caroline” after wins, in the locker room, follows baseball any bit?!?! I’ll take the over with NO.

    – As for the Rangers, you gotta love this team. You just can’t hate them. They work hard, they score pretty goals, they’re sound defensively, and they’re getting THE BEST goaltending in the league, hands down. They’re running on all cylinders.

    – Hall Of No-Namers?: The Rangers defense, which is 2nd in the league in goals allowed has been INCREDIBLE. What superstars does this team have on defense? Poti, Malik? HAHA. Tyutin has matured into a SOLID two-way defender at such a young age, and his offensive prowess is just starting to show. Kasparaitis has played solid and agitated just about every player outside of the Rangers. Rozival and Poti who were in the doghouse earlier this year have really turned their games around at both ends of the rink, Poti scoring tonight against the Leafs on a lucky, but heads up play. Malik has been our best defender all year, and Larry Brooks, haha, what a jackass, I mean I know that’s old news, but Malik has done everything to show Brooks up on calling him out as the worst Ranger signing of the offseason. And one of my favorite transactions of the offseason, Jason Strudwick has quite possibly been our most consistent defender all year.

    – Making Everyone Feel Blue: The Rangers forwards are a pain in the ass to play against. They have two SOLID scoring lines with league leading scorer and potential Hart winner Jaromir Jagr leading the attack playing on a line with setup men Martin Straka and Mikael Nylander, who have played as good as any line in the NHL together. On the 2nd line, Steve Rucchin although he hasn’t been scoring like he used to, has played sound defensively and set up the now injured Petr Prucha who is in the top 3 in rookie goals, and the newly acquired Petr Sykora, who has been a BLESSING for the Rangers. Then on the bottom two lines, you have the HMO line of Hollweg, Moore, and Ortmeyer, which has disturbed enough shit to wake the dead with their tenacious forecheck, good puck movement and cycling downlow, and huge hits, and Jason Ward playing with Marcel Hossa and Ville Nieminen. Ward’s been great all year, and has both of the Rangers’ shorties, Hossa and Nieminen have had their good times and bad times, and both have been better as of late. My only concern here is what happens when Betts and Prucha come back after the olympic break? Does breaking up that chemistry create a rift through the team?

    – All Hail King Henrik Of New York: Henrik Lundqvist has been the best goaltender in the league for my money. I know I have a bias when I’m saying that, but when you watch him, and you see the blunders that this defense was making earlier in the year, you’ll see what I’m saying, and probably agree. The guy was standing on his head, how he’s not getting the credit he deserves in the Calder race is beyond me. He’s #1 in Save percentage in the league. He’s #2 in goals against average. He’s #2 in goals allowed by goalies who have started in 30+ games. He’s got 2 shutouts, and considering that Kiprusoff leads with 6, that’s great for a rookie in this new NHL. He’s the real deal, people. So everyone who wanted to him or expected him to dissapear, quit fooling yourselves, and start bowing to the King.

    – Red, White, and Blue: Me and you can agree that the US has not a chance of winning this year. The next Olympic go-around might be a little better for this US squad, which is young and still has quite a bit of maturing to do, although they will probably lose stars such as Mike Modano. I disagree on Poti, but I don’t think that Paul Martin exactly deserves to be there either. What has he done this season? I’ve watched the Devils, surprisingly, and he hasn’t been spectacular or anything close to it, nor has he been bad. There are other young defenders that could easily come up and play better for this team than Martin. I think everyone agrees that Ryan Miller should be the man in net, he’s a phenomenon, and if it’s not for Lundqvist, Miller’s far and away the best rookie goaltender in the league. Although the US doesn’t stand a chance, it doesn’t mean don’t support them. Remember… the same was said about that 1980 team that won gold on some WELL EXECUTED STRATEGY and a “Never die” work ethic instilled into his players by a man name Herb Brooks… (R.I.P.)

    – As for Canada, they don’t impress much, but I still have them as favorites. They’ve downgraded their team heavily, and great call on Phaneuf. He’s been rock-solid this year, and it’s a shame that he’s not getting the credit he deserves as well in the Calder race. This is one of the best Calder races I’ve seen a LONG TIME.

    – One of my favorite Devils of the last 10 years has been Patrik Elias, and there is no denying him of being 2nd half of the season MVP. So far, there’s not a player, – although I love Lundqvist, that team has helped him out somewhat, recently – that can hold a candle to what Elias has done. He single-handledly turned that team around from cellar-dwellar to cup contender. Everything just seems so rejuvenated about that team, it’s like they got their mojo back. They went undefeated in their first 10 games back with Elias. The Rangers snapped their streak, and Elias is scoring at about a point and a half per game, on a team that lacks offense, which is just a testament to his play and what he does to that team. The fact that he has become such a leader has taken me by surprised and has not shocked me at the same time. I mean when you get a prominent offensive player like that back from injury and he’s scoring, it lifts the team’s morale, but Patty as a leader? I just never envisioned him in that kind of role, which is why I thought the Devils were still not going to be in the playoff mix with him back. Boy was I wrong. I’m happy to see Patty back and in full force, because it’s a pleasure to watch a guy like that play the game.

    – If you’re Mike Keenan, you trade both Jokinen and Luongo. You’re barely in the playoff hunt, and you don’t want to lose those guys who you could easily get 3 or 4 blue-chip prospects and a 1st rounder or 2 for. You’ve got all the bargaining power in where they go, although teams will try to bluff at Keenan saying we won’t trade for those two, you know teams like Vancouver, Tampa, Colorado, and quite possibly Philly could use a goaltender who can steal a playoff game from you. Plus, two of your key prospects are turning out to be busts… Bouwmeester and Weiss, who were drafted 4 and 5 years ago respectively have had all the time in the world in a no pressure situation to pan out, and neither has done so. Weiss is on par for career highs, but his numbers still are not that impressive for a prospect who was as highly touted as he was. Bouwmeester is even worse, and is one of the bigger busts so far of recent years. He was a sure-fire, bluechip, homerun, over the top future superstar on the blueline, and has not nearly played up to his potential on a team that’s not a human wasteland like Pittsburgh or Washington or St. Louis. Make your move, and get what you can for them before it’s too late. Make sure your team plays well so that it hikes up the return, and you’ll have saved yourself a few years in the rebuilding process, being that they’re probably going to get a top-10 overall draft pick while they’re at it this year.

  35. GretzNYR99 says:

    Anyone from NY would know how to spell the name of “The City,” which is spelled “Manhattan,” by the way, shit-for-brains.

    Quit the act, and stick to your day job.

  36. GretzNYR99 says:

    Anyone from NY would know how to spell the name of “The City,” which is spelled “Manhattan,” by the way, shit-for-brains.

    Quit the act, and stick to your day job.

  37. Sands says:

    I have to admit… rangers are a contender now. I said a while ago that they need a power play QB to get anyplace in the playoff’s but, with all of these players on D like Roszival, and Malik actually stepping up and scoring now They have kind of whipped out that opinion I once had.

    I was at the game tonight against Toronto great comeback even after they scored to tie and then lost the tie 10 seconds later they still bounced right back. I have faith this playoff year… The only thing to worry about is if the kids get over excited and nervous during playoff time… that or Lundquvist or Jagr get’s hurt. Otherwise Rangers got something this year.

  38. miker183 says:

    What surprised me about Elias’ return was, it seemed the Devils got better defensively as well. Always knew he could fill the net, so I’m not sure if its a new team confidence or what? As a Devil fan, what are your thoughts?

  39. miker183 says:

    I’ve only seen him play once, but he’s pretty damned close to the best right now. Great shot, quick feet, haven’t seen enough of him to know his defensive game, no question, this kid’s got talent. Unfortunately, as a d-man, will never get the consideration he deserves for “rookie of the year”, much like Lundquist.

  40. Gretz99NYR says:

    on second theough, Lundqvist isnt really ALL THAT GREAT….I was painting a prety picture of him, but anybody who has seen this guy play KNOWS that he would be in the doghouse if it werent for guys like TOM POTI standing up and knocking down every son-of-a-gun who dares head towards the crease. Almost singlehandedly he has TRANSFORMED this team into a SERIOUS knock-em-down-an’-drag-em-out mentality team. And naturally, being the modest performer he is, passes the glory on to his coach and the little goalie guy who sits behind him. What a guy.

    Also, come to think of it, Hollweg, Moore, and Ortmeyer have been OK this year…I was a little high when I previously mentioned them, and may have casued me to oogle about them in excess. They have been good enough to play, and thier turnovers have been less and less recently….Sather really has faith in his boys.

  41. wheresthesoda says:

    all i have to say, the game the rangers lost 6-2, weekes started that game, thats all i gotta say

  42. wheresthesoda says:

    its gonna be just like the Giants and Eli, a learning experience…maybe theyll go far kinda like marty in 93-94

  43. GretzNYR99 says:

    Really? I didn’t know you spoke for me.

    Gotta be a little better than that if you’re going to mock me, kiddo.

  44. wingerxxx says:

    I think that when Betts and Prucha come back, Hossa is an obvious candidate to be either sent down or scratched, and I hate to say it, but Hollweg or Niemenen as well. Betts can pretty much take Hollweg’s place on the checking line, and play center, while Moore slides over to left wing. You hate to break up a line’s chemistry though.

  45. wheresthesoda says:

    i think they’ll put Betts back together with Ward, we need betts, he is such a great penalty killer, and the only centerman that can actually win faceoffs on the rangers

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