Friday, October 31, 2008
...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.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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.
...here's a little video that represents everything Shanahan brought to the Rangers...
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.
- 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.
Newsday - Rangers goalie Lundqvist is playing like MVP
New York Times - Score Another One for Putin
New York Post - RANGERS IN 'DUBI'-OUS $ITUATION
...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
...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.
Monday, October 27, 2008
For post game quotes, go to Rangers Report.
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.
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.
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.
...my gut says Lundqvist tonight and Thursday and Valiquette Saturday.
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?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
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.
Friday, October 24, 2008
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.
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.
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.
....as 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.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
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.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
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.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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.
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.
'...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.