Friday, October 31, 2008

Video: Orr vs. Boulton - The Never-Ending Fight

For those of you who missed this epic battle last night.

...this fight reminded me of the last round of the Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed fight in Rocky II when they couldn't even stand and were just throwing bombs at each other.

Blues Show Interest in Shanahan

The Blues have contacted Brendan Shanahan's agent Rick Curran about his availability, but have not offered a contract.

Former Rangers TV Analyst and current Blues President John Davidson had this to say...

"We put a call in to Rick ... we're playing it by ear," Davidson said to Jaime Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Our forwards have done well for the most part. But I think you always have interest in a player like Brendan Shanahan. It's something we'd be wise to look at, but it has to fit to do something like that."

...JD would really be helping his former employer out by keeping Shanahan away from Eastern Conference teams such as the Canadiens, Devils and Flyers.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Columnist Bernie Miklasz has mixed feelings saying...

"If the Blues were a player away from getting there, then Shanahan would make more sense. But I just don’t see the wisdom of putting him on one of the top three lines at the expense of a baby Blue. Do we really want to see, say, David Perron, Patrik Berglund or Backes see less ice time or be otherwise demoted to give regular shifts to a golden oldie?"

...Toronto has also said Shanahan's age doesn't fit with what they are doing, meaning a young up-coming team would probably have not interest in Shanahan. I think Montreal will probably end up signing Shanahan to give them veteran experience come playoff time.

And It's Valiquette and the Playstation line

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report confirms that Steve Valiquette will start tomorrow night in Toronto.

Weinman also reports that Dan Fritsche practiced with Drury and Naslund today, while the Playstation Line (Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev) was re-united.

...Renney had re-united the Playstation Line late in the Atanta game and looks like he wants to keep them together. Makes sense since Dubinsky and Voros have slumped since Zherdev was taken off the line.

Valiquette Should Start Tomorrow in Toronto

Despite Henrik Lundqvist having an all-world start to the season, the Rangers need to make sure he gets appropriate rest so that he's not run down for the "dog days of winter" and is fresh for the stretch run.

Tom Renney has mentioned recently that he would like to see Steve Valiquette play very soon. Tomorrow in Toronto is the perfect spot. Last year Valiquette was 2-0 with a 2.08 goals-against-average against the Maple Leafs. And this year Toronto is hardly an offensive juggernaut with a 2.42 goals-a-game average, good for 23rd in the league.

Toronto is also Valiquette's hometown and we all know how Renney likes to parade the hometown kid in front of his family and friends. See Prucha in Prague and Fritsche in Columbus earlier this year.

Plus Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report, who is obviously a lot closer to the team and Renney than I am, says that it sounds like Valiquette will be getting the start tomorrow.

Rangers Again Connected to Sundin

Eklund at HockeyBuzz is reporting that a Mats Sundin signing is upon us. Giving these two notes from his "sources"...

"I am told with certainty that Mats Sundin news is upon us. It is done. Mats is returning. Rangers, Canucks, and Habs are aware of what it will take. But in honesty, Mats will decide based on the best chance to win a Cup in his head. NOT MONEY."

"Look out NHL, Mats is coming back. Either the Rangers or Canucks. It will come out of nowhere."

...i don't doubt that the Rangers are looking into Sundin. I doubt that it's a very serious consideration, especially with the Rangers cap situation. I think he end's up in Montreal. Which isn't good for us. I'd rather see him in Vancouver.

Lots of Pluses for Zherdev

Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News looks at some absurdities of this early NHL season including this one about the Rangers Nikolai Zherdev...

"Nikolai Zherdev, minus-52 for his career entering this season, has the best plus/minus in the NHL at plus-9. (Tied with Carolina’s Niclas Wallin.)"

...make that leading the league with plus-11 after last night.

...i think plus/minus is an over-rated stat in the NHL. Remember the gaudy plus/minus numbers Marek Malik put up as a Ranger which had nothing to do with his talent (or lack of it) and everything to do with him playing with Jagr.

...obviously Zherdev's plus/minus in Columbus were awful. He was a young player on a bad team. He's now on a successful team with a defined defensive system that he's bought into. Oh yeah and he's offensive skills are limitless.

Video: Analysis & Reaction to Atlanta Win

Friday Headlines

The Journal News - Zherdev sparkles as Rangers beat Thrashers

The Journal News - Rangers trade Jessiman

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rangers 3, Thrashers 2

The New York Rangers (10-2-1) defeated the Atlanta Thrashers (2-6-2) by the score of 3-2 tonight. For a recap and box score go to

...Zherdev is officially filthy. For him to steal the puck, come in on goal and roof a backhander shortside in traffic was unreal. Sprinkle in a couple of other moves, including the one on Girardis' game winner, and this guy is something to watch. You also have to love the effort this guy puts forth as shown by his hustle to break-up a breakaway in the second period. The one thing he has to work on is his celebration after he scores a goal he almost killed an unsuspecting Girardi tonight.

...Naslund is another player who is locked in as he now has a five game point scoring streak. Although he wasn't trying to kick the puck in on the disallowed goal, I thought the refs made the right call as it was a distinct kicking motion that guided the puck into the goal.

...can't say enough about the fight of this team in the third period. Right now I wouldn't count this team out of any game in which they are down in the third period.

...i know we were saying the same thing this time last year and he fell apart in the middle of the season, but Lundqvist has to be the early season favorite for not only the Vezina but for League MVP.

...has anyone ever seen a fight like the Orr/Boulton scrap tonight. That went on forever and they were both throwing absolute bombs. I'd like to see a punch count for that one. negative tonight was the power play (1 for 6) which, in my opinion, has been awful all this season (10 for 66, 15.2%, tied for 24th in the league). Tonight's version of this abomination was highlighted by a dreadful 5 on 3 where Rozsival thought Jaromir Jagr was back on the team and refused to shoot. I think Renney needs to look at a complete overhaul of the power play starting with the firing of Perry Pern. tomorrow then Saturday night in Toronto.

Rangers vs. Thrashers (Game 13)

The New York Rangers (9-2-1) host the Atlanta Thrashers (2-5-2) tonight at MSG starting at 7 p.m. For a preview go to

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 7-2-1, 1.99 gaa, .927 sv%, 0 so.

Kari Lehtonen - 2-4-0, 3.48 gaa, .902 sv%, 0 so.

- The Rangers have tied the franchise record for best start through 12 games, improving to 9-2-1 on the season for 19 points; The Blueshirts also registered 19 points through 12 games in 1978-79 (8-1-3) and 1989-90 (8-1-3).

- The Rangers are 5-2-0 at home this season; The Thrashers have posted a 0-2-2 record in four road contests.

- In three games last season against Atlanta, Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 1.95 goals against average and one shutout.

- The Thrashers have lost four in a row coming into tonight, including a 7-0 loss to the Flyers in their last game.

Rangers Trade Jessiman

The Rangers have traded former 2003 first round pick Hugh Jessiman to Nashville for the ever-popular future considerations reports Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report.

In what was called one of the strongest drafts in NHL history, the Rangers pick of Jessiman was a huge (no pun intended) mistake. Especially when you consider some of the players drafted after him including Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, and Mike Richards just to name a few. In fact he is the only player drafted in the first round that year not to play in an NHL game. For an entire list of 2003 first round picks click here.

...just add Jessiman's name to a long list of first round busts traded away by the Rangers including Pavel Brendl, Jamie Lundmark, Manny Malhotra and Al Montoya.

Hold the Phone

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes is now reporting that the line combinations that I had posted earlier were only practice pairings and that Tom Renney said he is starting the same line-up as against the Islanders with the exception of Fritsche being inserted for Prucha. Meaning the lines will look like this tonight against Atlanta...


Zipay also has quotes from Renney on Brendan Shanahan and reports that Henrik Lundqvist will be back in goal tonight.

...i guess I jumped the gun on posting Weinman's practice pairings as tonight's starting line-up.

...with the way the Rangers are playing this makes more sense. Although there is still almost 5 hours till game time so this could change again.

Another Line-up Shake-up

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says that Tom Renney has again shuffled the lines for tonight's game against Atlanta, giving them a familiar look...


This mean Petr Prucha is being sent back to the press box. Weinman says the defensive pairings look the same.

...not sure a drastic change like this in the midst of a three game win streak is a great idea.

...but I have a feeling Renney really liked the old lines and just switched them up to try and get both Drury and Naslund some confidence before reconfiguring them again.

...and as you guys know, anytime Fritsche is in the line-up I'm game.

Rangers Named #2 On Forbes Most Valuable NHL Team List

Michael Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen at name NHL's most valuable teams, with the Rangers coming in at #2...

"The value of the Rangers continues to surge as they have once again become a perennial playoff team and dominate the metropolitan hockey market, despite the New Jersey Devils' new building across the Hudson River."

The Toronto Maple Leafs were named #1.

...this isn't much of a surprise since the Rangers are owned by Cablevision Systems which also owns the Knicks, Liberty, all the MSGNetworks, MSG Arena, WaMu theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre and the Chicago Theatre. being an original six team, the Rangers brand is very much in demand.

Naslund's Gained New Life With Rangers

Lyle "Spector" Richardson at Fox Sports had this to say regarding Markus Naslund's start with the Rangers in a story on aging veterans bouncing back after struggling last year...

"Former Vancouver Canucks forward and team captain Markus Naslund was considered washed-up after going unsigned by the Canucks last summer but he's gained new life with the New York Rangers.

The 35-year-old Naslund is currently tied with three others for second in team scoring."

...Naslund started on fire in Prague, but when he got back to the US he looked like the old washed up player a lot of fans worried he'd be. But for the last week or so Naslund has really stepped up his game (2 goals, 4 assists in the last five games). He's looking to shoot more and seems a lot more confident on the ice.

Thursday Headlines

Journal News - With Rangers not calling, Shanahan looks for another team

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shanahan Moving On

In an exclusive for The New York Post, Larry Brooks reports that Brendan Shanahan has told his agent Rick Curran to explore teams other than the Rangers.

Shanahan had this to say...

"I've told Rick [Curran] that I can no longer wait and that it's time to move on," Shanahan, referring to his agent, told The Post this afternoon. "Until now, Rick has been under instructions to tell inquiring teams that my focus was on re-signing with the New York Rangers , and that I was not accepting any other offers.

"That has changed."

...this is obviously best for all involved.

...while I was a big advocate for the Rangers not re-signing Shanahan, I can't over-state what he did to help bring this franchise back from the dead. When Shanahan was a free agent two years ago he could have signed with a lot of other teams for more years, but he signed a 1-year contract with us in an attempt to revitalize this franchise. And he along with Jaromir Jagr did. For that I thank him and wish him good luck.'s a little video that represents everything Shanahan brought to the Rangers...

Korpikoski Sent to Hartford ***Updated***

Rangers center Lauri Korpikoski, who was a healthy scratch in five of the last six games, was sent to Hartford after practice today.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says that Korpikoski can be recalled without going through waivers. No indication on whether Wolf Pack defensmen Corey Potter or Brian Fahey would be called up.

Zipay also speculates that Dan Fritsche could be in the line-up tomorrow over Petr Prucha.

***Update*** Tom Renney had this to say before Korpikoski was sent down...

"We have to make a distinction as to what's good for him," Rangers coach Tom Renney said to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants. "He's practicing hard, he can play, there's no question about that. If he's getting in every third or fourth game, you have to ask yourself if that's worth it."

...this was the right move as having Korpikoski sitting up in the press box wasn't doing anybody any good. Hopefully, the kid can get some confidence down in Hartford similar to Callahan last year.

...while I've been on the Fritsche bandwagon this year, I would have liked to see Prucha get a little longer of a look.

Zipay To Hold Web Chat Today @ 1pm

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will hold another live web chat today at 1pm. To participate click here.

Rissmiller Plays Waiting Game

It's been a week since Patrick Rissmiller cleared waivers, however, the Rangers have yet to assign him to Hartford and could even play him against Atlanta tomorrow night. He's caught in NHL purgatory.

According to Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report because Rissmiller hasn't been assigned to Hartford since clearing waivers, "after 10 NHL games or 30 days, the Rangers would have to again put Rissmiller on waivers, where he could conceivably be claimed by another team." However, if he isn't claimed he could end up being a $3 million dollar practice player for the rest of the year if the Rangers decide to keep him with the big club.'ve got to feel bad for the guy. He signs a fairly big contract for someone of his talent and now he can't even get on the ice.

...the Rangers need to send him down to Hartford immediately. Having him take up $1 million against the cap this year while sitting in the press box just doesn't make financial sense.

The Metro Ice Challenge Is Back!!!

I'm so embarrassed for my negligence in updating you guys on the Metro Ice Challenge (What happened to Hummer?). For those of you who don't know, the Metro Ice Challenge is a head-to-head contest introduced by Madison Square Garden Network last year between the Rangers, Islanders and Devils. The winner is determined by the best record of head-to-head match-ups at the end of the season. 2 points are awarded for a win, 1 point for an overtime/shootout loss and 0 points for regulation loss. The winning team receives a $50,000 check for its designated charity.

We all remember the fiasco from last year (see here, here, here, and here), so there's been some rule changes this year:

In the case of a tie at the end of the season:
- First tie-breaker is the team with the better head-to-head record.
- Second tie-breaker is the team with the most wins in the MIC.
- Third tie-breaker is the team with the highest NHL seed.

Current Standings:
Rangers - 2-0-0 - 4 points
Devils - 1-1-0 - 2 points
Islanders - 0-2-0 - 0 points

Rangers Stay at #6 in Fox Sports Power Rankings

Fox Sports has kept the Rangers ranked at #6 in their power rankings for the week of October 28, 2008...

6. Rangers - The Rangers continued on their torrid pace, winning two of three in Week 3 and improving to 8-2-1 in their first 11 games. The piping-hot club put an end to the Penguins' three-game winning streak on Saturday when it came from behind to tie the score in the final seconds of regulation and then downed Pittsburgh in the shootout.

...the Rangers have the most points in the league (I know they've played more games than anyone) and they're only ranked 6th? I might have to change what poll I'm watching. The Hockey News Power Rankings here I come.

Wednesday Headlines

Journal News - At 9-2-1, Rangers have figured out how to win

Newsday - Rangers goalie Lundqvist is playing like MVP

New York Times - Score Another One for Putin


...Brooks' article in the Post is pretty scary regarding the Rangers cap situation. They have $39.159 million committed to Henrik Lundqvist; Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal; Scott Gomez, Chris Drury; Markus Naslund - for next season, when the cap is more likely to decline somewhat rather than increase from the current $56.7M. And this summer, Group II free agents Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev and Ryan Callahan need to be signed. If any of these Group II free agents receive huge offer sheets we could be in trouble.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Faceoff Fanatics

I would like to welcome Faceoff Fanatics, a partner of Football Fanatics, to The New York Rangers Blog family. Faceoff Fanatics sells NHL licensed merchandise while providing its customers with great prices, superior products and impeccable service.

Check them out by clicking here or on the link on the side of the page.

By the way how classic is this hat (click on it for more info)...

Voros-Thompson Fight Breakdown

Greg Wyshyinski at Puck Daddy breaks down the Aaron Voros/Nate Thompson fight from last night's Ranger/Islander game. He also includes video...

"The first beautiful thing about this fight is that it takes place at the Nassau Coliseum during a New York Rangers/New York Islanders game, which means the crowd makes it sound like Round 8 of an Oscar de la Hoya/Manny Pacquiao fight. It's bedlam.

The other beautiful thing is that Aaron Voros and Nate Thompson were tossing bombs; even the ones that missed were rather awesome."

...bombs definitely thrown but not many landed. This will not go down as one of the better scraps in this rivalry. Unlike the Dan Cloutier beating of Tom Salo.

Why A Fast Start For Rangers?

Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report looks at the reasons for the Rangers fast start to the season including goaltending, favorable schedule and coaching among other factors.

...i don't want to take any credit away from the players for their outstanding start to the season. But I think the biggest reason is the favorable early season schedule. Being able to rack up wins against some very sub-par teams (Tampa, Islanders and Columbus) has kept the fans, many of whom were not happy with the off-season overhaul, at bay allowing the team to gel and new players to get comfortable in New York. Could you imagine if this team started on the road in Colorado and Minnesota then came home to play the Canadiens and Penguins possibly starting 0-2-2 or 1-3-0? The fans would have been all over this team. Especially newcomers Redden and Naslund.

...having said that, I really don't care what the reason is, I'm just happy with the results.

Lynn Zinser at Slap Shot also looks at the Rangers fast start.

Obernauer To Hold Live Web Chat Today

Michael Obernauer at The Blueshirts Blog will hold another live web chat at 12 pm today. Click here to participate.

Rangers Focused On Bolstering Blueline, Not Sundin

Lyle "Spector" Richardson at The Hockey News has this little nugget on the Rangers current interest in Mats Sundin...

" The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers were also linked to Sundin, but like the Habs they lack the cap space to sign him. Both clubs are now believed to be focused on bolstering their respective bluelines."

...not sure why the Rangers would looking to bolster their blueline. They've been great so far this year (sans a Kalinin giveaway every now and then), plus they have depth down in Hartford with Potter and Fahey.

...although it is great to hear that the Rangers will most likely not be pursuing Sundin.

Video: Reaction to Win Over Islanders

Tuesday Headlines

Journal News - Rangers top Isles, continue hot start

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rangers 4, Islanders 2

The New York Rangers (9-2-1) defeated the New York Islanders (2-6-0) by the score of 4-2 tonight. For a full recap and box score visit

For post game quotes, go to Rangers Report.

...did anyone else hear that big exhale around 7:10 pm tonight after Drury scored his first goal of the season? You knew he needed a bounce to go his way to get him back on track. Boy did he get one tonight. Not only did he end the game with 2 goals he also had a game high 8 shots on goal. Now if we can get Prucha a nice bounce we'd be unstoppable.

...very entertaining game tonight with both goalies (I'm running out of adjectives to describe Lundqvist's superb goaltending) making big time saves, end to end action and lots of rough stuff after the whistle. Just another great Ranger-Islander game to add to the list.

...despite going 1-8, I was very happy with the shooting performance of our defensemen on the power play and for that matter during the rest of the game as well. It looked like the Rangers were trying to create offense from the point. The defense combined for 10 shots on goal and had 5 assists on the night.

...thought Dubinsky and Zherdev had off nights. Dubinsky so much so that Renney actually benched him in the first period. I just felt they both took some ill advised penalties. I know I'm knit picking, but I had to come up with some criticism tonight.

...congratulations to Tom Renney for passing Roger Neilson into fourth place on the Rangers all-time coaching victory list with 142. He takes heat sometimes for not being a fiery coach on the bench, but wins are wins and he's had a lot of those since becoming the head coach.

...couple of days off and then the Thrash is in town on Thursday.

Rangers @ Islanders (Game 12)

The New York Rangers (8-2-1) visit the New York Islanders (2-5-0) tonight at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum starting at 7 p.m. For a preview go to

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 6-2-1, 1.99 gaa, .927 sv%, 0 so.

Joey MacDonald - 2-3-0, 3.43 gaa, .887 sv%, 0 so.

- The Rangers were 2-2-0 at the Coliseum last year and lost the season series 3-5-0.

- The Islanders are 1-3-0 at the Coliseum this year. The Rangers are 3-0-1 on the road this season.

It's Lundqvist and MacDonald

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Henrik Lundqvist will make his fifth straight start tonight against the Islanders, while the Isles will turn to back-up goaltender Joey MacDonald.

Zipay also reports that Petr Prucha will be back in the line-up for the second straight game meaning Lauri Korpikoski, Dan Fritsche and Pat Rissmiller are healthy scratches.

Tom Renney shot down the idea of Korpikoski possibly being sent down to Hartford.

Lundqvist or Valiquette Tonight?

The Islanders aren't the only ones who have a goaltending decision to make tonight. With this being the Rangers third game in four nights and Steve Valiquette proving he is more than a capable back-up there's been speculation that Valiquette might get the start against his former employer the New York Islanders.

However after reading today's Newsday and Ranger Report it seems more and more likely that Lundqvist will be getting the nod tonight. Especially with the schedule lightening up a bit (the next game isn't until Thursday at MSG against Atlanta) and Valiquette a strong candidate to start Saturday night in Toronto against a Maple Leafs team he owned, similar to the Flyers, last year. gut says Lundqvist tonight and Thursday and Valiquette Saturday.

DiPietro Questionable For Tonight

TSN is reporting that Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro will see a doctor today for an undisclosed injury and is questionable to play tonight against the Rangers. DiPietro was injured Saturday night during the first period of the Islanders' 4-3 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He allowed two goals on 12 shots and didn't return after the intermission.

Joey McDonald, who is 2-3 with a 3.43 gaa so far this year, would start in DiPietro's place.

...only 11 more years on that contract Islanders fans.

...although with the way Wade Dubielewicz played against us last year maybe we don't want to see DiPietro's new backup.

Rangers Pre, Pre Early Favorites for Kovalchuk

Eklund at HockeyBuzz is reporting...

"...there is a lot of talk among NHL GMs that the the Thrashers may look to move Ilya at the deadline. He's right. It has been going on “off the record” for about a month. It will be interesting to see who steps up. At this point it would be easier pinning down the teams that won’t, but look to the NY Rangers, Calgary and Ottawa here as the pre-pre-early favorites…" would have to assume if Kovalchuk is available the Rangers would be willing to listen. But as with trying to sign a free agent, the Rangers have to think about the cap space. Not only for this year but the years ahead.

...and obviously if the Rangers continue with their winning ways there is no way I want them to bring in a player like Kovalchuk who could disrupt the current chemistry.

Beukeboom Named Best Name

Fox Sports names their Top 10 Best Hockey Names and a familiar fellow is named # 1...

Jeff Beukeboom
Sure, he's retired but there's no way we could do a list of best hockey names without including Jeff Beukeboom. How is "Beukeboom" not the epitome of a hockey last names?

...this is a very strange list. Every player #s 10-2 is currently in the league and then for some reason their #1 best name is a retired player. Not a very consistent list.

Monday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers (8-2-1) haven't played their best hockey


Bergen Record - Staal, Mara help Rangers

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rangers 3, Penguins 2, SO

The New York Rangers (8-2-1) defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2-2) by the score of 3-2 in a shoot-out tonight. For a recap and box score go to

...that's as big of an early season win as you can get. One thing we can count on from this team all year is a fight to the bitter end. Something we couldn't count on last year.

...Zherdev looks like he's starting to turn the corner on becoming a great player in this league.

...Lundqvist once again showed why he is the top goaltender in the NHL. Him not even flinching on any of Crosby's shoot-out moves was just unbelievable.

...second straight solid game for Naslund (1 goal, 1 assist tonight). Like Micholetti mentioned a few times tonight, Naslund is finally looking to shoot the puck.

...thought Prucha had an inspired effort tonight. The guy was all over the ice and drew the penalty leading to Naslund's goal. Would be shocked not to see him in the line-up against the Islanders on Monday. I've been a big advocate for Fritsche, but if Prucha can put out that type of effort every night he should be given a regular spot in the line-up no questions asked.

...i think Sjostrom has officially taken over Dawes' spot as "Mr. Automatic" on shoot-outs.

...the only thing I can think right now is that Drury is just snake bit. Once again a number of scoring opportunities he can't cash in on. Keep your head up Chris it'll come. I hope.

...Rangers have tomorrow off before they face-off against the hated Islanders on Monday on Long Island. Enjoy this one Rangers fans.

Rangers vs. Penguins (Game 11)

The New York Rangers (7-2-1) host the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2-1) tonight at MSG starting at 7 p.m. For a preview go to

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 5-2-1, 2.01 gaa, .926 sv%, 0 so.

Marc-Andre Fleury - 4-2-0, 2.22 gaa, .928 sv%, 0 so.

- Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 12-6-3 record with a 2.11 goals against average and one shutout in 21 career regular season appearances vs. the Penguins.

- Tom Renney won his 140th game as the Blueshirts' Head Coach last night in Columbus, and is now one win shy of tying Roger Neilson for fourth on the Rangers' all-time coaching wins list.

- The Rangers outscored Pittsburgh 15-5 in four games at Madison Square Garden last year.

- Sidney Crosby has 2 goals and 9 assists this season, while Evgeni Malkin leads the league in points with 3 goals and 10 assists.

Renney Shakes Off Injury, Ready to Go

The Rangers Report, Blue Notes and Rangers Rant all report that Tom Renney has been cleared to coach behind the bench tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sam Weinman at The Rangers report jokingly says "We’ll know he’s not 100 percent if he suddenly puts Blair Betts out on the power play."

...this is obviously great news. Especially after seeing the training staff needing to hold Renney up as they walked him to the lockerroom.'d be nice to see the team rally around their coach again tonight.

Ulf Samuelsson's Transition to Coaching

Ex-Ranger defenseman and current Assistant Coach in Phoenix Ulf Samuelsson writes about getting his start in coaching with the Hartford Wolfpack in his blog over at The Hockey News...

"In Hartford of the American League – where I started coaching professionally - it began with myself and Ken Gernander (as assistant coaches) under Jim Schoenfeld. It was a great learning experience for me in pretty much all aspects of the game."

...i've got to admit that I had no idea Samuelsson was not only coaching in the NHL, but started his coaching career in Hartford.

Video: Analysis & Reaction to Win in Columbus

...Renney definitely still seemed out of it during his post game press conference.

Saturday Headlines

Journal News - Zherdev has big game in return to Columbus

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rangers 3, Blue Jackets 1

The New York Rangers (7-2-1) defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets (3-4-0) by the score of 3-1 tonight. For a recap and box score go to

...maybe Renney should take a stick to the head every game. Just kidding Tom, glad to see you're ok. But you have to admit the Rangers looked like a completely different team after Renney went down. game as a Ranger for Zherdev. Not just because of his box score (1 goal, 2 assist, +2), but he also helped out defensively and threw his body around a few times. Columbus management must have been kicking themselves tonight especially watching Tyutin flub shot after shot. Although I have to admit Backman actually looked pretty good. good as Zherdev was, Girardi was just as impressive. Defensively he was all over the ice and he chipped in with a goal and an assist.

...Drury and Naslund should thank Zherdev for getting them on the score sheet tonight. In all seriousness I thought Drury had a solid game. He just couldn't put the puck in the net. concern was that early on I thought we were dominated physically by the much bigger Blue Jackets. The diminutive Dawes-Gomez-Callahan line was invisible until late. I think Renney needs to spread the size around.

...oh, sorry two concerns. Dmitri Kalinin is the other. I can't kill him for misplaying the bouncing puck that lead to the only goal, but he does need to do a better job there. He also had some Malik-like giveaways. He did however end the game on a positive note by drawing a 4-minute power play by taking a stick to the face.

...thought we caught a huge break on the Dubinsky goal. Despite Dubinsky making a kicking motion well after the puck hit his skate, I thought the fact that he made a kicking motion at all was going to be enough to overturn the original goal call. Heck I'll take it. did I make it this far without mentioning the King. Great game, huge save on Nash in the second when the Rangers where trailing 1-0.

...right back at it tomorrow against the Cindy Crosby and defending Eastern Conference Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Rangers @ Blue Jackets (Game 10)

The New York Rangers (6-2-1) visit the Columbus Blue Jackets (3-3-0) tonight at Nationwide Arena in Columbus at 7 p.m. For a preview go to

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 4-2-1, 2.15 gaa, .921 sv%, 0 so.

Pascal Leclaire - 3-2-0, 3.58 gaa, .876 sv%, 0 so.

- The Rangers are 2-5-1 all time against Columbus.

- In his last start Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire made 25 saves and gave up less than three goals for the first time in his last eight games.

- After getting a point in each of his first four games, Markus Naslund has one in the last five.

- Nikolai Zherdev has failed to record a point in the last four games.


Renney To Go With New Lines Tonight

According to Steve Zipay at Blue Notes, Tom Renney will go with the new lines he formed at practice yesterday against Columbus tonight. Meaning the lines will look like this...


Zipay also reports that Lundqvist will most likely play both tonight and tomorrow against Pittsburgh while Valiquette will get the Islanders on Monday.

...hate to see the Dubinsky line broken up, but Renney had to do something to get Drury and Naslund out of their funk.

Catching Up with Tyutin & Backman ***UPDATED***

With the Rangers visiting Columbus tonight I thought I'd check in on how both Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman were doing so far this year...

Backman - 1 goal, 2 assists, -2, 2 PIM
Tyutin - 0 goals, 2 assists, -4, 6 PIM

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock's take on Tyutin and Backman...

Hitchcock also said ex-Ranger defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman are both doing well in their new roles. Tyutin is seeing more ice time, particularly on the power play and Hitchcock is impressed with his work there. At the same time, he called Backman "a surprise" in how solid he's played.

...i feel Tyutin never lived up to expectations in New York and Renney's decision to put him on the power play last year seemed to have turned fans against Tyutin. Still scratching my head as to why Renney did that. Although Hitchcock has him there now so you never know. far as Backman goes...I really don't care and I'm sure you don't either.

...the early season returns seem to show the Rangers got the better end of the Zherdev-Fritsche for Tyutin-Backman deal.

Rangers Minor League Affiliate Releases Messier's Son

Cliff Mehrtens at Inside Hockey reports that the Rangers ECHL minor league affiliate Charlotte Checkers have released Mark Messier's son, rookie defenseman Lyon Messier.

After playing in the NHL prospect tournament in Traverse City, Mich., Messier was in camp with the Rangers and Wolfpack and only played one game for the Checkers and was scoreless. was nice for the Rangers to at least give the kid a chance in respect of his father. But we've got an organization to think of and if Lyon wasn't going making an impact with the Rangers they made the right decision letting him go.

A Big Thank You From Voros

John Shipley at the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes that Aaron Voros recently wrote a letter to his former coach in Minnesota, Jacques Lemaire, thanking the future Hall of Famer for being the reason for his success this year...

Lemaire had this reaction...

"It's really nice to see that he appreciates what we did, and all the coaching staff," Lemaire said.

...while people have been comparing Voros to Avery on the ice. He is more like the anti-Avery off it. No fights with broadcasters, no Vogue internships, just a workman's like attitude and respect for others in the league.

...i think Ranger fans are going to love this guy more and more as the season rolls on.

Friday Headlines

Journal News - Rangers' Fritsche remains upbeat

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogs: Wants, Western Woes, Boring, Prucha, Three Faced, Cherepanov & Announcers

The Ranger Pundit gives a list of five things he wants to know.

Pucks On Broadway takes a look at the Rangers inability to defeat teams from the Western Conference.

Jim at HockeyBird says Tom Renney's boring system of play has caused him to cancel his season tickets.

The Manic Ranger Fan wants to see the Rangers give Petr Prucha a real shot to make an impact.

M Hurley at My Blueshirt Heaven looks at the three faces of Sean Avery.

Beyond the Blueshirts has done an outstanding job covering the Cherepanov tragedy under difficult circumstances.

Bryan at The Rivalry wonders which local hockey team has the best announcers.

Drastic Change In Line-up Tomorrow?

Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report says that in an effort to jump start Chris Drury and Markus Naslund, Tom Renney inserted Nikolai Zherdev onto their line at practice today.

Renney then replaced Zherdev with Dan Fritsche on the Dubinsky-Voros line.

Here's Renney on the new line combinations: "I'm not 100 percent sure I'm going to do that yet," Rangers coach Tom Renney said to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants. "I wanted to see that today. It is something I will certainly contemplate."

Weinman and Gross also attempt to explain Rissmiller's contract and how it will affect the Rangers payroll.

...if Renney was willing to make such a drastic move breaking up the team's best line, he should have at least tried to also split-up the struggling duo of Drury and Naslund.

Kevin Smith Rips Ranger Fans

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy recently sat down with Director and Devils fan Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy) to talk about his newest film 'Zack and Miri Make A Porno'. Of course Smith's hatred towards Ranger fans came up.

Smith said of Ranger fans:

"Doing the hockey blog [for] was fun, but it also opened my eyes in a weird way to how vitriolic Rangers fans can be. It's bad enough when you're sitting at a game, and you've got Rangers fans screaming at you because of a game going on that you have nothing to do with -- expect for the fact that you're rooting for the team that they don't like."

...i'm never going to watch another Kevin Smith film again. Ah, who am I kidding, I'm watching Mall Rats right now. Snoogin.

More Live Web Chats Today

Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report will hold another of his famous live video web chat today at 1 pm. To participate click here.

While Michael Obernauer at The Blueshirts Blog will host his second web chat today at 2 pm. To participate click here.

Brodeur Gets His Revenge

Last night the New Jersey Devils defeated the Dallas Stars 5-0 behind Marty Brodeur's second shutout of the season.

There were a few fireworks during the game with Avery parked in his familiar spot in front of Brodeur taking a couple of whacks from the netminder. Broduer stopped both of Avery's shots and almost took Avery's head off with a clearing attempt (not sure if it was on purpose).

Brodeur had this to say on the game...

"[Avery] not scoring is [big]. You can't shut guys like that up," Brodeur said to Mark Everson at The New York Post. "I'm just glad it didn't get carried away. You expect things, but you never know what's going to happen. No suspensions. One thing I'm happy about is that he didn't take anyone off their game."

For video highlights of the game go to

...i planned on watching the game but didn't get the chance. Looks like there were some interesting moments but nothing out of control.

What Failing Economy?

John Grigg at The Hockey News looks at the Top 10 highest payrolls in the NHL. Guess whose number 1?...

1. NY Rangers – Cap payroll: $55,714,676, Cap Space: $285,324 (incl. $700,000 cap penalty)
• Too few players taking up too much cap space.
• Gomez, Drury, Naslund, Redden, Rozsival and Lundqvist count for almost $37 million against the cap.

The Blueshirts have some serious holes to fill with $40 million already accounted for next season and just nine NHL players signed. If the high-priced stars up front and on the blueline don’t pull their cap weight, this team will have a tough time retooling.

FYI, $700,000 cap penalty is from the Rangers being over the cap last year. wonder ticket prices went up this year.

Lines That Are Working

Scott Burnside at looks at some lines that are clicking so far this season, including one (duh, I wonder which one) from the Rangers...

After opening with two wins in Europe with Scott Gomez centering Chris Drury and Markus Naslund, the New York Rangers have tinkered with their "top" lines but haven't suffered in the standings. That's because Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev (who came over from Columbus, where he was too inconsistent for coach Ken Hitchcock) and the surprising Aaron Voros have provided consistent production for the Rangers (6-2-1). At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Voros has been the biggest surprise since his offseason arrival from Minnesota (five goals, four assists in nine games), providing a nice compliment to the skilled Zherdev (five points).

...while I enjoy all the accolades this line is garnering. I'd rather there be columns on how all four lines are having early season success. But that's just me, I'm a little greedy.

Thursday Headlines

Newsday - New safety practice for Russian league

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rissmiller Clears Waivers

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that Patrick Rissmiller cleared waivers today but that the Rangers have not assigned him to Hartford yet.

There's been a lot of confusion on Rissmiller's contract in the last day, but Gross has confirmed that it's a 3-year, $1 million per year contract. Which is probably why no one claimed him. Financially this has not turned out to be a smart move by Sather.

If the Rangers try to recall Rissmiller and he is claimed by another team the Rangers will be on the hook for half of Rissmiller's salary.

Avery and Brodeur Renew Aquaintances

Just a heads-up, Sean Avery and the Dallas Stars will visit Marty Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils tonight in Newark. This will be their first meeting since the Rangers ousted the Devils from the playoffs in five games last year. After the series Avery famously called Brodeur "fatso" when Brodeur didn't shake his hand during the traditional post series handshake.

Brodeur is already taking shots at Avery...

"What's he going to do? He's not going to fight anybody," Brodeur said to Mark Everson at the New York Post yesterday. "That's the type of player he is, like Claude Lemieux. Everybody wanted to take his head off."

...i'm definitely going to be watching this game tonight. Hoping for more fireworks than Monday night.

Zipay Holding Web Chat Today @ 1pm

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will be holding another live web chat today at 1pm. To participate click here.

Video: Renney/Voros/Naslund On Ranger Offense

Update On Avery/Giannone Fued

Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report had a vague report yesterday about a heated argument between Sean Avery and MSG's John Giannone during the first intermission of the Rangers/Dallas game.

Today Steve Zipay at Blue Notes fills in the details noting that 'Avery emerged from the Stars locker room with about four minutes remaining in the break and unleashed a barrage of obscenity at Giannone.' Apparently during that barrage Avery made a remark about Giannone's wife which prompted the broadcaster to fire back. Zipay says it's still unclear what lit the fuse.

Here's what MSG had to say about the confrontation...

''There was a verbal exchange between the two last night. It's over and we won't have any further comment."

The league is not expected to discipline Avery.

...i wonder if Giannone will be disciplined by MSG. I know Avery said something (and I don't even want to speculate how vulger it was) about Giannone's wife, but he's covered Avery's antics the last two years and should know better. Giannone should have been a professional and just laughed it off.

Rangers Drop to #6 in Fox Sports Power Rankings

The Rangers fell from #1 to #6 in the Fox Sports NHL Power Rankings for the week of October 21...

#6 - Rangers - The Rangers continued their solid start, picking up five out of a possible eight points in Week 2. New York's backup goalie Steve Valiquette stole two points for the Blueshirts, backstopping the club to a 1-0 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wednesday Headlines

Journal News - Workouts in Brewster pay off for Rangers' Orr

Bergen Record - Rangers waive winger

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rangers Waive Rissmiller

TSN is reporting that the Rangers have waived winger Patrick Rissmiller.

Rissmiller had 0 goals, 0 assists and was a -2 in 2 games with the Rangers this year.

For more go to The Rangers Report and Blue Notes. figured something had to happen with the glut of forwards. And with Rissmiller's performance last night you knew he was probably the odd man out.

...i wonder if the next move would be to send Korpikoski down to Hartford to get some offensive confidence and insert Fritsche on the Drury-Naslund line.

...which would mean Prucha will be loading up on hot dogs and beer in the press box.

Your Reward for a Strong Start to the Season...Wind Sprints

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report notes that Tom Renney put the players through an extended series of sprints today at practice. To which Marc Staal said are "Always a blast." Renney will give the players a day off tomorrow.

Weinman also reports that Renney is still busy evaluating four players (Petr Prucha, Patrick Rissmiller, Dan Fritsche, and Lauri Korpikoski). Renney had this to say about the process...

“It’s more of what we have in front of us, and who gives us the best chance to win. The other side of the equation is if management were to say, ‘We’ve got something going on for that guy. How does that interest you?’ That’s a different equation and we’re not at that equation. We’re looking at these three guys, really four, and identifying who makes our team stronger.”

...i actually like that Renney is skating these guys so hard. This is especially important because the Rangers don't have a bona fide scoring threat and are going to have to outwork and outskate their opponents to win this year.

Avery Hangover

Here's some post 'Sean Avery Game' blog entries from Ranger beat writer's...

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report blogs about a heated altercation between Sean Avery and MSG's John Giannone in between the first and second period last night.

At Slap Shots, Lynn Zinsler says seeing Sean Avery last night only reinforced the Rangers need to add more grit.

On that same note, Brett Cyrgalis at The Blue Seats noted that the Rangers needed an Avery-type player last night, and they didn't have one.

No European Jinx

In Damien Cox's column at we find out that the Rangers are demonstrating that 'Starting the season in Europe doesn't automatically jeopardize a team's start'...

'...the Rangers proving this season that just because the Ducks and Kings seemed to suffer ill-effects from overseas travel last season, the travel alone doesn't mean that has to happen. It may keep Chris Drury pointless for a while, but team-wise, it may just be a handy excuse.'

...hopefully not that long of a while.

Video: Avery on Being Back in NY; Post Dallas Loss Analysis & Reaction

Tuesday Headlines

Journal News - Garden fans boo Avery, Stars top Rangers

Newsday - Voros is no Avery... thank goodness (Didn't I already write about this? See here)

...anybody else notice that since Cablevision took over Newsday there's been a lot more Ranger coverage in that newspaper?