Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Case Against Renney

Petr Prucha mis-used under Tom Renney
Many news writers and commentators have been quick to defend Renney in seeking to explain why the Rangers are a better team under Torts. They point to the (re)acquisitions of Avery, Antropov and Morris to explain why the Rangers are a different team. They are wrong. Renney’s failure was his inability to recognize and properly use young talent. Allow me to make the case.

1. Torts quickly understood that Callahan has burning energy and desire as well as talent. He has been rewarded with power play time and first line duty. He has responded with production.

2. Torts quickly understood that his youngest defenders were his best defenders. Now Stahl and Girardi get 37 shifts and 24 minutes of ice – and they perform. They even kill penalties.

3. Renney did not even play Lundqvist over Weeks until his performance and fan unrest forced his hand.

4. Wayne Gretzky realized that Prucha is the real gem, not Dawes. Last night Coach Gretzky had Prucha on the ice for 18:50, more than any other Right Wing – in fact more than any other wing or center iceman. Dawes was a healthy scratch.

5. Wayne Gretzky realized that Kalinin had significant offensive talent, and last night Kalinin had an assist and a power play goal. In seven games he has a goal and two assists. In his two full healthy years at Buffalo he scored over 20 goals each time.

Just imagine if Renney had used Prucha, Kalinin, Stahl and Girardi correctly. Do you really think we would be fighting for our playoff lives right now?

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  • Kerri said...

    Just imagine if Renney had used Prucha, Kalinin, Stahl and Girardi correctly. Do you really think we would be fighting for our playoff lives right now?

    Of course not. My number one complaint since October following the unjustifiable scratching of our... I mean, the Coyotes... former 30-goal-scorer was that the signings of offensive d-men like Redden and Kalinin only to play them as if they were stay-at-home blueliners.

    For everyone's suggestions that Renney is a brilliant hockey mind, he sure didn't grasp some basics.

  • jb said...

    The case against Renney is like the case against Bernard Madoff -- overwhelming.

    Thanks for the update on Prucha. I haven't had a chance to check on how he's doing with Phoenix. Sounds pretty good.

    A major felony was the powerplay, which was maliciously butchered for over two years. A multiple count offense over state lines. It was also a conspiracy - aided and abetted by co-conspirator Perry Pearn.

    Another major co-conspirator, AKA Slats or Tomato Face, is indicted, but still on the lam.

  • kels said...

    I can't disagree with any of the above. It was a shame it was allowed to go on so long.

    I'm not saying I'm thrilled with the entire sum of the Rangers players right now, but just look at them. Look at what they've been able to do without Renney and his system.

    Look in Hank's eyes and see the relief. Look at Drury; he's smiling. Look the the team - they're SCORING goals!

    Imagine if this was the way it was to start the year. It'd be a different team in many ways right now. And in a better position, surely.

    jb: The Prucha stuff gets better. He's playing the powerplay, thankfully, but he's also getting a chance to showcase his penalty killing. Refreshing stuff.

  • jb said...


    Agree about the entire disposition of the team being much better under Torts. Renney was up tight to begin with and I think he got even worse as his strategy collapsed around him.

    Yes, more confidence and smiles. They even bailed out Henrik in Montreal.

    I'm becoming more a fan of the defense. Especially, now that Redden has moved down the depth chart. This blurb from Rangers Review caught my eye.

    Another thing became very apparent to me while watching this game. We might have the best top 6 defenseman in the East, if not the NHL right now. Seriously, did you see those guys out there? They are playing damn near flawless hockey on nearly a nightly basis. Even Wade the pariah Redden has played superb hockey for the most part under Tortorella (don’t boo the guy when he gets points, thats just retarded). As a group though they seem to compliment each other very well. Their styles are similar, but different enough to bring an all around effectiveness thats hard to match in the east, if not the NHL. We are mobile, we are smart, we are somewhat physical, and we are relatively young. The only thing we aren’t, is deep. But with the 6 we have, it’s not tough to see why we lack so much depth. Also, Marc Staal just continues to grow as the most dominant defenseman in our lineup, and possibly the most underrated defenseman in the entire NHL. Did you see the play where he steals the puck from Koivu, skates around 2 guys, head up the entire way, and passed the puck up to Korpedo? Jesus Christ, this kid is only 22 years old!!! Imagine how he will be when he hits 27, the prime of an NHL defensemans career. Sheesh.

    I'm not this pumped (yet) about the defense. But, Redden might not be a bad 3rd string D-man, just a bit on the pricey side.

  • jfl1066 said...

    imagine if we didn't run jagr out of town....

  • Section 335 said...

    I agree with the comments above. Pru is a very good penalty killer. In fact he has strong defensive skills if he is allowed to choose how to play rather than feeling he has to score each shift. I have always liked Pascal Dupuis and Betts type players and Pruca is just as talented defensively with much more on the offense. He will be a star if used right.
    Our defense is strong as a unit of six when the older players skate 18 instead of 24 minutes. Redden made one hell of a play in Montreal and Rossi actually took the body. Mara just continues to impress.
    I would not want to face the Rangers right now if I were a top seed. They are getting better with each game under Torts.

  • Section 335 said...

    Just to add a little salt to the Renney wound, last night Prucha was the #3 star of the game in the Coyotes loss.

    Renney, I hate you for what you did to Petr.

  • kels said...

    I fell asleep before the game got to the 3rd. I heard he had a great go in the shootout and Hiller stoned him.

    And yes, sec 335, agreed. I think many of us will forever associate Renney's time here with his mis-use and abuse of good players like Prucha. I know I will.

  • Jim said...

    Great article Mike. Prucha was wasted by Renney.

    jfl1066, I disagree with you on Jagr. It was time for both parties to move on. Jagr's importance to the Rangers can't be understated, he made them relevant again, but I think it was for the best.

    Mike I hope you'll come visit us at, you go back a long way with the Rangers, even longer than I do, and we could benefit from your knowledge over there. Thanks for linking my site!