This one is easy. The Rangers win and they play on Sunday, lose and scatter to all parts of the world for golf. What are the Rangers chances? No better or worse than they were Wednesday night. It all depends how and if Renney can fire up his troops.
The Rangers have now lost eight straight so the fire hasn't worked, has it? Does a team with all the veterans the Rangers have still need pep talks to get them going? Plus the Devils are one hot team and are rolling now with a fourteen game winning streak. This team does not beat itself so the Rangers must revert to pre-Olympic form if they are to have a chance. The last time the Rangers were swept in a playoff series was 1995 against the Flyers. They have been swept five times in their history.
How can it be worse than Wednesday? It depends on how Jagr, Rucinsky and Rucchin feel after playing with serious injuries. Can Darius Kasparaitis be effective after missing seven of the last nine games. That the first two propositions are positive it is imperative that the Prince returns to form. Certainly the crowd will be with him.
Renney has to do some things different for it to be better and give us a chance to win. First of all, Sandis Ozolinsh must be benched. No if's, and's or but's. If Renney hopes to have any chance at credibility with the fans, and maybe even the team, Ozolinsh must be benched.
Shake up the lines. Its no big deal to do that now, we have been outscored 13-2 in the first three games. Have Rucchin center Jag and Rucinsky. The line seemed to click in the third period and Rucinsky brought much needed speed to that line and was moving quite well.
Have Nylander center Straka and Sykora. Sykora has been skating and shooting in tough luck. A couple of posts and one disallowed goal, quick whistle, have Sykora talking to himself. However he is a pure sniper and might fit in well with the two passing fanatics like Nylander and Straka who seem to be embarrassed to shoot.
On the third line have Betts center Hollweg and Prucha. It is crazy having Prucha on the fourth line. This line has the two Ranger goals in this series, Betts and Prucha, and Hollweg has an assist and has been playing tough. The fourth line will become the HMO line again only this time Hossa will be the H. Hossa, Moore and Ortmeyer should generate good energy from four to six minutes, plus kill penalties. The other option is putting Jarkko Immonen in for Hossa.
On defense I would put in Thomas Pock for Jason Strudwick. Pock is a solid defenseman who also adds some offense, especially on the power play. I would rather see him replace Poti, but there is no way in hell that Renney would sit Poti in what could be the final game of the year. Maybe someone showed him how to play a two on one. The rest of the defense pairings will be Kaspy-Tyutin, Rozsival-Malik with Pock paired with Poti.
However all of this will go for naught if Lundqvist doesn't rise to the occasion. It has to be big because we can't seem able to put the puck on net no less into it. We are not going to score from the side and we must, let's all say this real loud, crash the net, the goal, and Brodeur. We must put off Brodeur's boyhood dream of beating the Rangers in a playoff series.
If we are to lose this series, let's not lose it in the Garden. As I have said before we have to play this one period at a time and we win by scoring one goal at a time. Is there any other way?
I don't expect Renney to pull off any of my moves and suggestions. After all I have been suggesting for 68 years and they haven't been listening.
So you tell me who is right and who is wrong. In 68 years they have won two Stanley Cups so how smart have they been? How smart am I to stay with this team? So how smart have GM's Boucher, Patrick, Francis, Ferguson, Shero, Patrick, Esposito, Smith and Sather been? How smart have coaches Boucher, Patrick, Watson, Ferguson, Sator, Patrick, Shero, Esposito, Nielson, Francis, Trottier, Lowe and Sather been. Two Stanley Cups in 68 years. Gimme a break. Maybe it's me who is nuts to keep coming back year after year, but I love those Blueshirts.
Let's go Rangers, win one for the geezer.
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