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Lawrenceville, NJ • United States • 29 Years Old • Male
As a Ranger fan, I am used to disappointment. We have memories of 1997-2004 that I am still trying to repress, but now in 2008, here is the situation that the Rangers are in:

1.) Inconsistency [the facts]
2.) The blame game [the frustration]
3.) Possible solutions [the realism]

The Rangers have had both mini and large streaks, be it the abysmal beginning, the impressive 9-1 follow-up, a four game win streak and now the four game losing streak. Tom Renney has used many combinations in the lineup, be it Dubinsky centering Jagr, Gomez doing the same, and even Drury at one point.

The Rangers have also been plagued with injuries. Bad-Boy Sean Avery has only played 21 games, so he's missed about 1/4 of the season.. the same Sean Avery that is necessary to give the Rangers that needed spark. Avery will be gone another week or possibly more, but in the time he has played, he has posted 2 goals and 10 assist (and a -1 if you think that stat is useful).. Assuming he played the rest of the season, he'd be on pace for 6 goals and 29 assists.. not awful, but seems reasonable.

Shanahan has also had some difficulty this season. The guy is getting up there in age, but he's a trooper and a half. I feel that he should have rested because we need a 100% Shanny come (hopefully) playoff time.

Straka has been out with a broken finger (Thanks, Chara grr) and now a concussion.. he is Jagr's catalyst.

Jagr has been fluctuating from the point of absolute domination to invisibility.

Lundqvist had an amazing start, but lately has been faltering. This may be attributed to his father's recent brain surgery and slow recovery.. Lundqvist has told the press his father is often on his mind, and who can blame him? My father is no longer alive, and he's constantly on my mind.. imagine being a professional athlete, but your close relative is miles away and not doing so well...

On the plus side, Gomez is leading in points and Drury has come through in the clutch on several occasions, but has also proven himself a worthy two way player, often killing penalties taken by common offenders Malik, Hollweg, Avery and Rozsival.

Unfortunately, as a whole, the Rangers have not been giving 60 minute efforts, instead they fall asleep for the second period, and maybe show up for half of the third period.. that is simply not enough!

The Blame Game
The fans are not helping. Malik is booed whenever he touches the puck.. I'm not a fan of the guy either, but I'm not going to boo him on home ice. The Rangers' bulletin board is filled with posts of "rebuild", "trade Jagr", "fire Renney" after each loss, but "the kids are awesome", "Jagr is the best player in the world" and "Renney is a genius" after each, albeit rare, victory.

Every blog out there, be it from the NY Post, NY Daily News, Blueshirt Bulletin, etc is filled with bi-polar Ranger fans' comments that I'm sure some people in the organization are aware of.

We, the fans, are not helping the cause. We need to be patient. This team was built to win, but they need breathing room. Let Gomez and Jagr do their thing.. I know we are plagued with injuries to Straka, Shanny and Avery, but there are still 40 games left.. and an 80 possible points!

Possible Solutions
There are many things that could turn this season around. It could be a trade, perhaps? Last year, the Rangers traded Ward to LA for Avery, and that turned our entire season around.. along with Lunqvist's Vezina-worthy performance in the second half of the season.

Is it smart to trade anyone now?
I'm sure Malik, Hossa, Hollweg, Prucha and Montoya are names running through your mind.. but you also have to ask yourself, have the fans ruined any potential trade?

It's no secret that a majority of Ranger fans hate Malik, Hollweg and Hossa (just to name the top three), and it's also no secret that the rest of the league knows this. If fans are getting on someone's case so often, on home ice mind you, don't you think that diminishes the trade value just a bit?

So again, just calm down. Let Sather do what he does, and that is manage the team.

Does Renney need to be fired?
The moment we lose or put the fourth line out with 5 minutes left in the game when we're down a goal... yes.. but if you think about it.. who would replace him?

After the embarrassing 97-04 years, Renney has made the Rangers a playoff team.. and the performances were better each year.. that has to count for something, right?

So let's be realistic. The first half of the season has been scary, but it was the same last year, and look what happened?

I am glad that Gomez and Drury have at least meshed well in their roles.. they are leaders, both on the scoreboard and off.

The main concern for Ranger fans is consistency, but you have to be patient. These are all professional athletes that will earn their paycheck sooner or later.

Speaking of contracts, I think that the priority at the moment is re-signing Henrik Lundqvist to a long-term deal because he is the future of the organization. No offense to Drury or Gomez, but I will take a franchise goalie over anyone.

Once Lundqvist is signed, perhaps then we can have some kind of closure and a much-needed sigh of relief.

Remember, though, that playoff spots were not handed out in January of 2007 and it is the same for January of 2008.
Filed Under:   Avery   Gomez   Drury   Rangers   Lundqvist   Shanahan   Malik  
January 10, 2008 12:00 PM ET | Delete
The Rangers Letting Renny go would be a huge mistake. He is a coaching guru with the young players and the team is only gonna get younger. I agree Rangers fans have to lighten up on their players.
January 10, 2008 1:36 PM ET | Delete
I agree 100% that the fans need to have a little more consideration. I personally don't like Malik either but if you put yourself in his shoes. What kind of confidence will you have on the ice when you're own home fans are boo'in you off the ice. Even though they're professioanls, you can still get in their heads. So when you're at the game and feel the need to boo Malik, keep it to yourself because you aren't helping his game.
January 10, 2008 1:48 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog, PwozNYR.
January 10, 2008 2:52 PM ET | Delete
Agree on the booing of a particular player because of a past performance. Boo the team if you must or even a particular play. Most of these type "fans" should be laughed at while doing their jobs everyday. Maybe they are and this is their outlet. It is rare you will find past athletic competitors ever booing a performance. These "fans" who boo, likely never played a meaningful role in their lives. Diminishing trade value may have some merit as well but that will never stop one of these "fans' who place themselves above the team. They have no concept of team.
January 10, 2008 6:05 PM ET | Delete
A couple minor deals could give your team a needed boost. Your record with Avery in the lineup shows that your team is lacking an emotional edge and some focus. Drury and Gomez were great additions and it would seem to me that the two of them and Shanny should be enough to pull that team together and get them moving. I think you need to minimize the Jagr issues within the team. Meaning, last year he was the center of attention of a larger European factor in the lockeroom. He may not have run the room but he was the big dog. Now you have Gomez and Drury and Nylander is gone (you know Jagr's not happy about that), look at the fall off in production in the European players on the team other than your goalie. Trading Hossa or Prucha for some hard working, gut it out kind of players might get the bulk of the team pulling in the same direction then you can let Jagr do his thing without it being an issue.
January 10, 2008 6:54 PM ET | Delete
Poetic Justice will be watching the Sabres, Flyers, and Rangers all miss the playoffs while NJ makes it in. Jersey held their ground and let Gomez and Ralfalski walk away for big bucks. Drury and Briere thought they were leaving for greener pastures but must realize now they left something special in Buffalo. Their new teams are only average at best with little room to improve because both clubs are locked down by the cap. Being a Sabres fan, you can throw Buffalo in the mix with them as being an incredibly average team. Buffalo spent 10 years to acquire the talent to win the President's Cup and lost it in a couple months due to unreasonable salary demands and poor executive management. Welcome to the New NHL. Sign a few high priced guys and live or die with them and their huge egos and contracts. Parity will rule the NHL!
January 10, 2008 10:16 PM ET | Delete
If only you guys had $130 mil open. You could've signed Ovechkin.
January 11, 2008 9:46 AM ET | Delete
Nice blog and I agree with you! Listen the bottom line is that anyone who thinks that Renney should be fired is a complete IDIOT! Do you really think it was a coach's fault that we gave up that goal from behind the net last night? Or perhaps it was Renney's fault that Jagr decided to take a penalty with less than 10 minutes to go and the team down by a few goals last night? Or better yet, it must have been Renney'a fault that Jagr passed the puck instead of shooting it from 5 feet infront of the net!!!! There is no doubt in my mind that some kind of a deal will be done, and I believe in Sather. When these same fans were calling for Sather to be fired 2 years ago, I knew that he was the right guy and just needed time. Two years ago we were the laughing stock of the NHL. It was Sather and Renney that got us out of that, so let's not forget that! I know that the expectations are high this season, but overall we are still a rebuilding team, with MANY solid young players. Perhaps it is time to move Jagr, and give players like Prucha and Dowes bigger roles along side Gomez and Drury, and make Shanny captain!
January 11, 2008 10:14 AM ET | Delete
I wrote something on this,but moving Jagr could be a solution. It's got to effect a team when their always walking on eggshells around someones ego. Calling up Montoya needs to happen,its time for a spot start after King
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