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New York Rangers Fan Club

by Eric Vecchione

Don`t Stop Believing
November 1, 2005

Here we are, November 1st, almost one month into this very different journey, and the New York Rangers - Tex's perennially disappointing, listless, oftentimes embarrassing Rangers - are in first place.

Certainly it would be my greatest fabrication (some class cutting excuses in college are close) if I were to say that I expected a performance anywhere near what the Rangers have managed to accomplish so far. I was the consummate naysayer in this column- predicting more doom and gloom and bemoaning nearly all of our off-season acquisitions- and for that I want to apologize. I underestimated the effect the confluence of the new NHL rules and the new Ranger work ethic would have, and I have been continually surprised by the the team's play. Martin Straka, Marek Malik, and Martin Rucinsky in particular are players whose acquisition I disapproved of that have been performing well this year.

 Watching them now I can't help but think "So this is what it looks like when you have guys who aren't just collecting their paychecks?" We really haven't seen a Ranger team play this hard since the 1997 playoff run. That team battled, rallied, and just kept plugging in holes as guys went down to injury. (Remember Dallas Eakins on the 2nd line wing?) This version of the Rangers has played just as hard, and it has been very satisfying so far, with plenty of bright spots -King Henrik, Tyutin, the Czechs among the leading scorers- but there is still a long way to go and plenty of work to be done.

There are some fans on this site who criticize other Ranger fans who complain about moves made and not made by Glen Sather and Tom Renney. Sure, we should be glad that we've done so well, but why should we settle? Why shouldn't we bang our head against the wall and wonder why Nieminen still is allowed to own hockey equipment? We're entitled to. We're not an expansion market. Winning a few games for once doesn't make everything OK. This is New York. These are the Blueshirts, not the Blue Jackets. (Though this is the first year there really has been a distinction) We've suffered for far too long, and honestly, there are still vestiges of the old guard bad personnel days that I know make me -and I'm sure many of you- nervous.
 
Aside from the Nieminen debacle (ESPN's John Buccigross just downgraded the Nieminen situation from "blunder" to "debacle"), we're still left scratching our heads wondering why Petr Prucha's production is inversely related to his position on the depth chart, why Jason Ward and Steve Rucchin get so much ice time (Rucchin looks really old out there sometimes, and by some I mean all), and when Kevin Weekes brainwashed Sather and Renney. (Seriously, are there any other explanations for how this guy is considered a #1 goalie?) Aside from those, I would like to see Jarkko Immonen up with the team soon. He has been doing very well in Hartford, and we've clearly seen that youth and speed is the name in the game in the new NHL. (Plus I will be able to root for Brian Leetch vicariously through him, as I do through Kondratiev.) Things are going well, but a few changes on the fly here personnel-wise I think will keep us ahead of the game.

These are all moves that can be -and should be- made if not now, then soon. The decision to go with Lundqvist is encouraging, but I need to see more before I'm convinced. The Rangers have done nothing but disappoint in the past seven years, and it's going to take more than ten games before I forget how many times the Blueshirts have redefined "depressing" for me. So when I see Rucchin lagging around the ice, Moore only getting 10 minutes, Nieminen and Poti dressing up as hockey players for Halloween, I get nervous. I can't help it, I just do. I want to believe again. I really truly do. I know things have been better so far but it's going to take me a little more than 10 good games to get over it. And if we don't make the playoffs again, I think the Rangers should have to pay for the Paxil prescription I'm going to need for another silent spring. In the event we do make the playoffs, I'll gladly cover the Xanax.

Last Words

Of all the ways this team is going about rebuilding, the one particular aspect of our plan this year that I'm a huge fan of is the organizational decision to go after the younger, much less talented brothers of elite hockey players. I don't know when the meeting took place but I love the idea - even if just for the momentary excitement of seeing a "RANGERS ACQUIRE HOSSA" or "RANGERS LAND FEDOROV" headline on www.newyorkrangers.com, this strategy is paying off for Ranger fans. This is clearly a cutting-edge, unprecedented strategy in the Modern Era of sports. Ranger fans still still get big name players, but just...not...really. Not even close, actually. But it is fun, and it adds a little bit more anticipation and excitement to each Ranger game, as I anxiously await Stan Fischler's report about how Sather reached a verbal agreement with Darren Forsberg after getting rebuffed by Barry Modano

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September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Capitals 46 30 11 5 65  
  Bruins 46 27 8 11 65  
  Penguins 45 28 12 5 61  
  Islanders 43 27 12 4 58  
  Lightning 44 27 13 4 58  
  Maple Leafs 45 24 15 6 54  
  Hurricanes 45 27 16 2 56  
  Flyers 45 23 16 6 52  
  Blue Jackets 46 22 16 8 52  
  Panthers 44 23 16 5 51  
  Sabres 46 20 19 7 47  
  Rangers 44 21 19 4 46  
  Canadiens 46 19 20 7 45  
  Devils 44 16 21 7 39  
  Senators 45 16 22 7 39  
  Red Wings 46 12 31 3 27  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

NORMAND ROCHEFORT
(1988-1992)
  Born: Jan 28 - 1961  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 112  
  G: 7  
  A: 15  
  Pts: 22  
  PIMs: 108  

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