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As Season Circles Drain, Rangers Circle Wagons

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Old
02-25-2004, 06:58 AM
  #1
KING
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As Season Circles Drain, Rangers Circle Wagons

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/25/sp...ey/25RANG.html

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02-25-2004, 07:12 AM
  #2
riz
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Notes: Center Petr Nedved missed yesterday's practice at the Madison Square Garden Training Center after being hit with a puck above his left knee in the third period of Monday's loss to Montreal. He said after the game he expects to play tomorrow. Wings Jaromir Jagr and Chris Simon and goalie Jussi Markkanen missed practice (flu). Mark Messier rested. ... Healey and Cory Larose were sent back to Hartford.
Soooo.....what else is new Who wants to count the number of times Mess has practised this season ? Might be easier than counting the ones he has "missed"...

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02-25-2004, 09:53 AM
  #3
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Originally Posted by riz
Soooo.....what else is new Who wants to count the number of times Mess has practised this season ? Might be easier than counting the ones he has "missed"...
Yeap, because Mess is THE #1 REASON the rangers are not in the playoffs this year ... yeap, that fourth line center is always a problem ... can't get the fourth line center to produce enough to win ...

BTW ... as an aside, a long time ago (or earlier as dates kinda run together for me) ... some teams used to send their older players to florida for a week or so over the all-star break (and the players would miss a couple of games) to get rejuvinated for the playoffs ... don't you think it is unreasonable to expect a 43 to practice everyday ??? And doesn't that tell you how inept and horrific all of our other forwards have been that Mess has been one of our most effective if not THE most effective forward for us this season ...

Sorry if the tone is a little edgy, battling a bad hangover this morning.

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02-25-2004, 11:29 AM
  #4
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Originally Posted by ddheyman
Yeap, because Mess is THE #1 REASON the rangers are not in the playoffs this year ... yeap, that fourth line center is always a problem ... can't get the fourth line center to produce enough to win ...

BTW ... as an aside, a long time ago (or earlier as dates kinda run together for me) ... some teams used to send their older players to florida for a week or so over the all-star break (and the players would miss a couple of games) to get rejuvinated for the playoffs ... don't you think it is unreasonable to expect a 43 to practice everyday ??? And doesn't that tell you how inept and horrific all of our other forwards have been that Mess has been one of our most effective if not THE most effective forward for us this season ...

Sorry if the tone is a little edgy, battling a bad hangover this morning.
First of all, I hope your hangover was worth it.

Regarding your post, I don't know if you watch many Ranger games but Mess is not the fourth line center. He averages almost 17 minutes a game. If you want to talk about fourth line centers, you can start with Lundmark.

And as far as Mess being the most effective forward for the whole season, I would disagree with you. How can a guy who has scored two or three goals since December be the most effective forward? If he kept up his pace, maybe this team would be in a different situation. But I'm not going to lean on the performance of a 43 year old player but I do expect that player to play defense when he does hit the ice...something Mess didn't even do when he was here the first time.

Mess deserves credit for bringing a Cup to this team...ten years ago, but, he hasn't been anywhere near a top forward since his return...if you look at the whole season and not just Oct/Nov.

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02-25-2004, 11:53 AM
  #5
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Once again, Sather misused Mess...

Mess' first 1/4 of the season was splendid. Couldn't ask for much more. A productive 'fourth' liner playing with two grinders. They were producing and weren't a liability and often were the team's best line, which may not have been saying much, but they were. He also didn't go out to start every PP, and didn't even play on every PP. He was getting between 13-15 minutes per night, mostly, and many were happy - some feeling as though he was still through and would only be satisfied if he didn't play at all.

Then came some tough stretches. As the defense started to fall apart, and thus goaltending, and forwards stopped scoring as much, Sather went to the hold and relied on Mess more and more. There still were those 13-15 minute nights, but most were near the 18-20 level. Mess tired a bit more slowly than previous seasons, but his line became ineffective and eventually his linemates would play with Lindros, with Mess playing with some kids. His line wasn't scoring - can't blame Mess 100% because his linemates weren't that offensive-minded. But he had to work harder, tired, and got more PK time, and dabbled here and there on the PP.

Once again, Sather failed to recognize what he had in Mess, as he has in most of his players. He had a guy playing effectively on the fourth line, and who was a smart penalty killer, and wasn't a bad option for a second, or third at times, PP unit. 13-15 minutes max. Keeps Mess fresh, and keeps the lineup fresh. Mismanagement of assets once again.

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02-25-2004, 11:58 AM
  #6
True Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddheyman
Mess has been one of our most effective if not THE most effective forward for us this season ...
Messier has not been effective since December. As predicted by many on this board, he ran out of go-go juice.

"yeap, that fourth line center is always a problem ... can't get the fourth line center to produce enough to win ... "

How many 4th line centers play 19 minutes a game as Mess did in the last game?
Wouldn't that time have been better used by a developing player like Lundmark instead of going to a soon to be retired 43 year old?
Messier's average ice time is 6th amont our forwards. How many 4th line centers can say that?

"don't you think it is unreasonable to expect a 43 to practice everyday ??? "

You're missing the point. Messier is the team Captain. He has to set the example. He did not just miss a few practices here and there. It seems like every time I read the paper, there was always a caveat about Messier missing practice for rest. If you age is catching up to you, why not be like Yzerman and stop playing back-to-back games? If you are fine enough to play everyday, then you are fine enough to practice every day.

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02-25-2004, 01:13 PM
  #7
ddheyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue
Messier has not been effective since December. As predicted by many on this board, he ran out of go-go juice.

"yeap, that fourth line center is always a problem ... can't get the fourth line center to produce enough to win ... "

How many 4th line centers play 19 minutes a game as Mess did in the last game?
Wouldn't that time have been better used by a developing player like Lundmark instead of going to a soon to be retired 43 year old?
Messier's average ice time is 6th amont our forwards. How many 4th line centers can say that?

"don't you think it is unreasonable to expect a 43 to practice everyday ??? "

You're missing the point. Messier is the team Captain. He has to set the example. He did not just miss a few practices here and there. It seems like every time I read the paper, there was always a caveat about Messier missing practice for rest. If you age is catching up to you, why not be like Yzerman and stop playing back-to-back games? If you are fine enough to play everyday, then you are fine enough to practice every day.
My point was not that Messier can no longer carry the team, nor that he shouldn't be at practice or a leader ... it was more to the effect that when he was used properly this year as a power play specialist and on the fourth line he performed extremely well ... when the moron (aka Sather) reverted to his typical need to play Messier as if he is still a first line center he began to tire out which everyone, myself included, predicted would happen.

My problem is not with the fact that everyone is stating that Messier has declined as the season has progressed, it is more based upon the fact that people keep blasting him as if his play is the cause of the teams failures ...

If anyone at the beginning of the season would have told me that Mess would play with Barnaby and Simon (for the most part the whole year except occasional shifting when someone was injured) and would have 15-17 goals, 20 assists (not 100% sure on the stats, but I think those are probably what he'll end up with) and won 4-5 games for us I would have been thrilled ... who knows, maybe others would not.

As for the practicing, I believe that he should to the extent he is able practice ... however, the question is whether or not he is more valuable to the team in practice or in the game, and if he needs rest ala yzerman, then I would rather rest him in practice then for the games (assuming our goal at one point was to make the playoffs).

As for his ice time or the development of other players ... I believe going forward he should be playing with the younger players ... I believe lundmark / ortmeyer / murray would benefit greatly from playing with him ... at least a hell of a lot more than from playing with Nedved ...

As to two other random comments I watch almost everygame and I don't think it is 1994 anymore or that we should continue to pay or play him for 1994. I believe he could and would have been a very effective fourth line player for us if any other forward on the team (other than like Barnaby and Ortmeyer) showed up ... which they didn't.

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02-25-2004, 01:20 PM
  #8
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I have not problem with him resting here and there...

but when the TEAM needs obviously practice time and he plays an integral part of that TEAM, as captain and as a guy on the ice for 18-20 minutes, then yes, I have a problem. When the TEAM has one of the worst specialty teams and he's the one that leads the TEAM's forwards in ice time on the PK, then I have a problem with him not practicing. To the extent he's on the PP, one of the worst PPs in the league, I have a problem with him missing practice.

Of course, on the flip side, as there always is, the TEAM seemed to be practicing their breakouts, and not specialty teams, when it did practice, but that's a whole other story.

If he needs rest, don't play him 18-20 minutes per game.

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02-25-2004, 01:40 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddheyman
My point was not that Messier can no longer carry the team, nor that he shouldn't be at practice or a leader ... it was more to the effect that when he was used properly this year as a power play specialist and on the fourth line he performed extremely well ... when the moron (aka Sather) reverted to his typical need to play Messier as if he is still a first line center he began to tire out which everyone, myself included, predicted would happen.

My problem is not with the fact that everyone is stating that Messier has declined as the season has progressed, it is more based upon the fact that people keep blasting him as if his play is the cause of the teams failures ...

If anyone at the beginning of the season would have told me that Mess would play with Barnaby and Simon (for the most part the whole year except occasional shifting when someone was injured) and would have 15-17 goals, 20 assists (not 100% sure on the stats, but I think those are probably what he'll end up with) and won 4-5 games for us I would have been thrilled ... who knows, maybe others would not.

As for the practicing, I believe that he should to the extent he is able practice ... however, the question is whether or not he is more valuable to the team in practice or in the game, and if he needs rest ala yzerman, then I would rather rest him in practice then for the games (assuming our goal at one point was to make the playoffs).

As for his ice time or the development of other players ... I believe going forward he should be playing with the younger players ... I believe lundmark / ortmeyer / murray would benefit greatly from playing with him ... at least a hell of a lot more than from playing with Nedved ...

As to two other random comments I watch almost everygame and I don't think it is 1994 anymore or that we should continue to pay or play him for 1994. I believe he could and would have been a very effective fourth line player for us if any other forward on the team (other than like Barnaby and Ortmeyer) showed up ... which they didn't.
If, as you say, play Mess as he should be, a fourth liner with some PP time, then I agree to all of your points. Mess is not the problem but he sure as heck is PART of the problem. The man couldn't backcheck or play defense to save his life...as are most of the Rangers.

Btw, didn't mean anything personal with the watching of the Rangers comment...just a bad day here thinking Sather still has control over this team.

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Old
02-25-2004, 01:58 PM
  #10
Larry Melnyk
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To me, the problem with Messier never had to do with what he could do on the ice..Though he started off fine and has been an utter waste product for the last month means very little to me....His presence is another matter....This team was doomed the moment he decided to stay another year....A captain with his own set of rules, his own practice regimen, and totally out of touch with the majority of the team..As Captain, this was supposed to be his team to lead. He did absolutley nothing..Though not really his fault, in the past and this year, he embodied the epitomoy of the double standard, non-accountabily, favoritism and utter cluelessness of the coach, which made success almost unattainable.....The presence of Messier on the team and the impact it had on the coach and the team can not be ignored as one of the reasons for this team's failure

All that being said, I think Messier could ba a great 4th line and speciality tream addition to a team with a set leadership heirarchy and accountable vets going for the cup. The Rangers were the wrong place for him, for everybody's sake..

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02-25-2004, 02:14 PM
  #11
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I find the whole notion of Messier as a power play specialist a little strange. He has 1 goal and 2 assists with the man advantage in 61 games...

He actually has as many points on the PK (2 goals and an assist)...

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02-25-2004, 05:29 PM
  #12
ddheyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish
I find the whole notion of Messier as a power play specialist a little strange. He has 1 goal and 2 assists with the man advantage in 61 games...

He actually has as many points on the PK (2 goals and an assist)...
Not exactly like our power-play is on fire, but yes your point is well taken, maybe I meant more that he plays the fourth line, with some additional special teams ice-time.

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