Thursday, October 30, 2008


Are you a good coach? Could YOU coach the New York Rangers? Take our quiz and find out!

:With a special shout out to Lucky 13 for her editing and pep talk.:

Note: These following situations are purely hypothetical.

Situation A:

Player P
has always had one of the best work ethics on the team, and still is a bit of a fan favorite. He dives in for pucks, he creates chances in front of the net, and he works hard on the boards, but he had difficulty scoring last year. The Rangers will start the 2008-2009 season in Prague, Czech Republic his home country, but there are many similar type "fringe" players looking for a go. You need to decide who gets scratched. Do you…

A) Play Petr Prucha Player P! He works harder than anyone on the team, and how often will he get to play in front of his home crowd? The substitutes aren't better in any stretch of the imagination; they are almost like interchangeable parts anyway. If this third liner winger spot makes or breaks the team, the Rangers have more serious problems than we'd hope.

B) Play Player P, only after Ranger fans and beat writers throw a collective fit. Tell Player P he will be the healthy scratch, but then go back on it when some New York beat writers say how unclassy that move is.

Situation B:

You have always supported Defenseman M. Despite what the boo birds at MSG, Defenseman M (usually) makes good plays and is a part of the Rangers first pair defensemen, so he's playing against the best of the best night in and night out. After being a healthy scratch for a couple games, and is never told why he was being scratched in the first place, he finally gets back in the lineup. One game later, Marek Malik Defenseman M gets scratched to let Jason Strudwick play in front of his home crowd (but notice how Player P in Situation A almost didn't get the same courtesy). In anger, Defenseman M doesn't shake your hand after the game. Do you…

A) Get over it. The guy is frustrated, and really, who wouldn't be with the way Ranger fans treat him? He's been having a rough go, and you really didn't give him a fair description on why he was sitting. A handshake is no big deal.

B) Freak. Scratch him for the next few games due to "insubordination." Let the media have a field day with asking questions and trying to get inside "the drama" which is the New York Ranger locker room.

Situation C:

Matt Cullen Center C comes to you from the previous Stanley Cup champions via free agency. He scored a career high 25 goals with his previous team, mostly from goals scored on the point on the power play. He isn't playing the point here, but New York's power play is struggling. Do you…

A) Put Center C on the point! He had much success there with Carolina the Stanley Cup Champions. It's worth a shot!

B) Don't put Center C on the point. Because the Rangers normally only play defensemen on the point. Center C never works out with the Rangers, and gets traded back to Carolina.

Situation D:

All Star S is a brilliant hockey player. He has an amazing shot, over 600 goals, and is considered a great leader, although he was never the best skater. He signs with the Rangers over free agency from the Detroit Red Wings another Original Six team, where he won a couple Cups. After a year, it is clear All Star S is feeling his age; being 38 in the NHL might do it to you. Put that with a serious concussion after a run in with Mike Knuble , and Brendan Shanahan All Star S is looking pretty tired. Do you…

A) Limit All Star S's time. Don't play him on the PK, because the Rangers have a great PK with a lot of capable players. Maybe give him a couple days rest. The Rangers need him in tip-top shape when we get to the playoffs.

B) Play All Star S on the power play, the penalty kill, and give him second line minutes. Watch his point production drop and drop as the Rangers struggle to get goals. Maybe if you increase his penalty time, he'll score more goals?

Situation E:

My boy Prooks Player P is back. He was a rookie in 2005-2006, right after the lockout, where he posted 30 goals, 16 of which came on the power play. When Shana... I mean, All Star S signed with the Rangers over the off season, Player P lost some valuable ice time, and some PP time. Player P still pots 22 goals. In his third season, the Rangers power play is dismal. His goal scoring struggles have continued, and is given no power play time. The power play doesn't get better; it might even get worse. There is no production. Do you…

A) Try Player P on the power play again. The kid needs some confidence, and some PP time might get him going. Nothing could hurt this awful power play. He had a lot of success there before, let's see him get going again.

B) Don't put Player P on the PP. Don't do… anything. Keep banging those square pegs into the round holes. Watch the power play suck all season. Watch Player P rot on the bench, watch him not produce, and watch his trade value plummet.

Situation F:

The New York Rangers can't score. Do you…

A) Push a more aggressive forecheck! Dump and chase, use scott Gomez for what you pay him 7 million dollars to and have him carry it up ice alongside speedy wingers who can keep up (READ: Not Jaromir Jagr or Brendan Shanahan). Keep the pressure down low. Don't forget about defense, but being in the offensive zone is the best defense. And mix up the god-awful PP, please!

B) Don't change the PP, but shuffle lines constantly. Keep telling them to play better defense. Because it's more of a problem if you let in a goal, then it is that you can't score more than one. Goal: To win every game, 1-nothing. Make Rangers fans look like hypocrites after all their years of blaming the Devils for everything wrong with the NHL.

If you picked mostly A… you're me.

But congratulations if you picked mostly B's! You're Tom Renney! You are a coach who many players love because of the respect you show them. You are a really, really nice guy, who likes defense way more than offense. You play favorites, and like to give the fourth line of the offensive dynamo's Colton Orr and Blair Betts power player time. Veterans get more ice time than goaltenders, and you enjoy low goal against averages. You don't enjoy scoring any more goals then necessary, and you'll hold the team back from forechecking just to "take the point" for overtime. (Forget that you're also GIVING a point). And beware if your name is Petr Prucha, Tomas Polk, or anyone else who might not be on Tommy's good side; you'll learn to look good in a suit and tie.


Meaghan said...

LOL ... oh dear!

Ellie said...

does renney have much to do with shannahan still being a free agent or is it mostly your gm?

Kerri said...


I would say both.

This issue with Shanahan is that Renney wants to play a quick transition game that relies on defensive breakdowns from the other team. Shanahan can't keep up with most of our players. Wouldn't be SO bad if you put him on the third line, where the transition probably won't go so hot anyway, and then give that killer shot of his some PP time. Renney won't use him that way, though, and GM Glen Sather knows it, I think. We also need cap room desparate, and we tried by putting Rissmiller on waivers, and we've been shopping Prucha for years now, but we can't seem to dump any salary.

I'd love to sign Shanahan, and it makes me sick to see him go somewhere else, but what can you do? Sign Drury and Gomez to 7 million dollar deals, strap Redden and Rosival on for another 10 and then 6 to Lundqvist and the cap is looking tight. Something like 60% of the cap dedicated to 5 or 6 players.