Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The root of the problem, no surprise, is that Jaromir Jagr once again just hasn’t found that right fit to work as his pivot. Sometimes it’s Drury (6 points in nine games). Sometimes it’s Gomez (3 points in nine games). And thus far, neither of the new centers has come close to striking up the kind of magic and chemistry Jagr shared last year with Michael Nylander, the ex-Bruin center who eventually made his way back to the Capitals after Gomez and Drury signed their lucrative pacts.
We have seen this before, of course. Just as in Boston, where we’ve learned to live with the Manny-being-Manny reality, it has been that way for both Capitals and Rangers fans with Jagr, the superstar Czech winger. Partnered with the right center, he is often the game’s most dominant force. When not paired with the right give-and-go associate, he looks stagnant and lost, sometimes petulant and brooding.
read on & other NHL bits too…
from the Blueshirts Blog at the NY Daily News,
Stuck in the minors with virtually no chance of being recalled because of his contract and how it fits under the salary cap, Kasparaitis has agreed to play the rest of the season for SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Elite League. He told the Daily News that he’ll join the Russian club next week.
Technically, heading to Europe will be a violation of Kasparaitis’ contract. However, as the NHL has no transfer agreement in place with the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, the Rangers would have to sue SKA St. Petersburg to prevent the move.
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
These days some dear, dear Rangers fans I know remind me of a TV director with whom I once worked.
Whenever there erupted a crisis in our production, Mr. Director would shout, “Oogah.” This was his take-off on Hollywood flicks about submarines in World War II. When it was time for the U-boat to crash-dive, the “OOGAH” signal would blare and all hands would man their battle stations.
I’m hearing too many versions of “Oogah” from the Blueshirts faithful these days.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
It’s just like old times for Sather and the Rangers. Spend big. Lose big.
As much as I admire Drury, I hope the Rangers continue to struggle, compared to teams that build the old fashioned way.
From within. Via the draft.
By identifying YOUR guys and locking them up. And then by adding a tiny sprinkle of free agent talent as required.
from Rangers Report,
This was Devils coach Brent Sutter speaking to reporters today about facing Scott Gomez tomorrow:
“I had no impact on Gomez whatsoever. I was never here when he was a New Jersey Devil and personally I could care less. It was his choice to decide where he wanted to go play. It was his choice not to want to play in New Jersey anymore and that’s his prerogative. So, to think that we should be easy on him is dead wrong. We’ll treat him like any other player…It’s his choice to across the river and play there. That’s up to him. But our job is go to there and win a hockey game.”
more on the Rangers including Callahan out with knee sprain…
from the New York Times,
The Rangers have not scored in 126 minutes, dating to the final minute of their loss Thursday in Atlanta, and have a total of 13 goals in eight games. That is one goal fewer than the Washington Capitals have through seven games.
“It’s tough to take,” Rangers center Chris Drury said. “You feel for your goalie and you feel for your ‘D’ that’s playing solid. It’s our job to put some goals in the net.”...
“At some point, it’s got to give,” Drury said. “You get 30-plus shots every game, at some point they have to go in. That’s the way it works. We just have to keep shooting.”
added 6:06am, from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If Shanahan were going to be 29 in January rather than 39, his lack of finish wouldn’t cause alarm bells to ring. But he is 38, and though Jagr’s lack of production can at least partially be attributed to learning how to play with a new pivot, Shanahan is simply failing to bury shots he’s made a Hall of Fame career of burying….
Shanahan came into the season, experienced. The Rangers had best hope he hasn’t become old.
In honor of tonight’s game between the Penguins and Rangers, Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has posted what they think is the best NYR video to be found on YouTube. (So go check it out.)
Meanwhile, I think I have a pretty strong challenger for that honor. If you ask me, this one should win the prize:
*hat tip to GGower.com.
from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
In its lengthy rebuttal to the lawsuit brought by MSG over new media rights, the NHL alleges MSG’s “real gripe” is with a league-imposed $100,000 fine — not the NHL’s effort to migrate MSG’s New York Rangers Web site to a league platform.
The league also dismisses MSG’s antitrust charges in the lawsuit saying, “MSG’s implicit suggestion that the NHL and its Member Clubs have somehow limited the scope of their joint venture to scheduling games and agreeing on limited broadcast rights is absurd.”...
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote, “The Rangers’ complaint amounts to an attack on the fundamental manner in which the league and every other professional sports league is organized and operates. … Granting MSG its requested relief would strip the league of its essential and fundamental structure.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Manhattan, we’ve got a problem.
Let’s face it. Gomez has looked lost skating with Jagr the last two games, but what’s even more troubling, Chris Drury also looked lost skating with Jagr the first five games of the season. Really, there hasn’t been a single shift on which either center has appeared to be speaking the same hockey language as No. 68….
As long as Jagr insists on playing the game his way - and obstinacy is a trait shared by every great player extant - then going with Gomez as his pivot is a dicey proposition. So too is reverting back to Drury. So what to do with the 2-4-1 Rangers who have scored two even-strength goals their last six games and pretty much will go as Jagr goes as long as he’s here?
From Lynn Zinser at the NYT [reg. required],
The Bruins held Travis Roy Day to help Roy’s foundation raise money to help victims of spinal cord injuries. Roy was paralyzed in his first shift as a freshman at Boston University in 1995. One of his teammates was Rangers center Chris Drury, who has stayed close to Roy. Before the game, Drury met Roy outside the Rangers’ locker room and leaned down to give him a hug and hugged him again when Roy dropped the ceremonial first puck. “Chris is such a great guy,” Roy said. “He’s always been there, supporting me. It’s so fun to watch him succeed.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org