Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants says expect the deal to be a one-year deal for slightly over the NHL minimum of $500,000.
...a cheap veteran who can assist with the development of Del Zotto and Gilroy. Nice signing.
Here is video of Semenov from earlier today before the signing...
“No, no, it’s going to take some time,” Tortorella said. “We’re working on it every day, our neutral-zone forechecking, our deep forechecking, and all the different things as far as rush coverage. It takes time, and there’ll be some mistakes as we go through, as we start the season, but that’s when you keep on teaching. That’s when I think it becomes instinctive, when you’re constantly teaching after each game.
“I think as you get into late November, early December, I think your team concept is something that should be instinctive because we’re heavily laden in tape, the season is kind of spread out at the beginning of the year more than it is in the middle and the latter stages. So we’re going to keep working at it, and then we’ll back off the tape. When we feel it becomes more instinctive we get away from the tape a little bit and allow them to play and let it happen from there. We don’t want to map it out. You don’t want to over-coach it because it’s such an instinctive game.”
Ryan Callahan also chimes in...
“It was hard last year, him coming in, and we had two practices and we had to jump into a game,” Callahan said. “It’s hard to teach a new system that quickly. It’s nice to have this whole training camp with him. I feel the guys are starting to get it. You can see it in practice and some of the preseason games, that it’s starting to become second nature and you don’t have to think about that.”
...in my opinion this aggressive system will help the Rangers mask some of their deficiencies by being able to out work their opponents. Something we Ranger fans haven't seen a lot of.
"It felt good," Avery said. "It's been about a week since I got on the ice (Sept. 21) so that's a good feeling for sure. We'll take tomorrow and see how it goes."
...looks like we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if Avery's a go for the season opener.
Gross also notes that there is still no word on the Rangers offering Alexei Semenov a one-year deal. NHL rosters are due this afternoon so they are likely will be some waiver candidates the Rangers could be looking at.
Other notes from practice are Marian Gaborik absolutely freezing Henrik Lundqvist before beating him with a wrist shot on a penalty shot called after he was taken down by Michael Del Zotto; and Aaron Voros going down hard along the boards during line drills.
...didn't someone tell Del Zotto about Gaborik's brittle body.
Vinny Prospal-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik
Christopher Higgins-Chris Drury-Ryan Callahan
Enver Lisin-Artem Anisimov-Ales Kotalik
Donald Brashear-Brian Boyle-Aaron Voros
"The Remparts via Coach Patrick Roy (yes that Patrick Roy) are saying that it has not been ruled 100% a concussion but Bourque believes he has suffered one. Bourque is going to sit out a 2 game road trip (game 1 was Tuesday night, game 2 Wednesday) and will be re-evaluated when the Remparts return back to Quebec by Friday."
...Ranger brass better get on the horn right away and make sure the Remparts doctors and organization are doing the right thing here. The last thing the Rangers need is some QMJHL doctor saying he's clear to play before he's symptom free.
Looks like Gilroy won't be on until after 1 p.m. as it's 12:45 p.m. and Phoenix GM Don Maloney is on.
Rangers rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy will be live for the 1st "Realizing the Dream" segment of season on NHL on XM at 12:45 p.m. Click on below video to view live...
9. Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers
After being nominated for the Vezina Trophy in each of his first three NHL seasons, Lundqvist didn’t garner top-three support last year. But he still collected one first-place vote and he’s recognized around the league as the reason the Rangers remain relevant. Aside from Niklas Backstrom in Minnesota, there might not be a more important player to his team’s fortunes.
...with the way the Rangers rely on Lundqvist game in and game out Lundqvist will always be in the conversation for the Hart.
"Winning, and winning early, will help bring the team together and keep it immune from clownish behavior. I know some have the Rangers out of the Eastern Conference playoff mix (injuries could render that true), but I think there is too much coaching, goaltending and leadership here to keep them out."
...first Barnaby, now Buccigross. Why are people all of a sudden jumping on the Rangers bandwagon?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Gross thinks the reason is that the Rangers are waiting to see what names pop up on the waiver wire.
...makes sense to see who might be out there, but Semenov did everything right during the preseason and deserves a contract in my opinion.
Gross also spoke with Dan Girardi on the recent criticism and the defenseman admitted that his decision making needs to get quicker and perhaps he was getting too comfortable in his play.
Tortorella has yet to make a decision on alternate captains, though he will by Friday's opener.
...my vote goes to Callahan and Staal.
Today's forward lines were:
...that Higgins-Drury-Callahan line could potentially be the hardest working line in the NHL.
"Right now he has made the club. Based on his play, he has made the club."
Bob McKenzie at TSN is even reporting that Del Zotto is running the power play.
...you've got to assume Torts is only talking about the first nine games. Those nine games will sort of be important for Del Zotto.
Zipay also reports Sean Avery didn't skate today and Tortorella acknowledged that if a player didn't skate three days before a game, it was doubtful that he would dress
...guess that means no Avery in Pittsburgh.
Finally, Tortorella notes that in order to keep Henrik Lundqvist, who will appear on the David Letterman Show with nine other Rangers to read the Top 10 list, fresh at season's end, the organization must reel in some of his media "distractions".
"If Gaborik stays healthy and Lundqvist gets some support and Marc Staal continues his rapid maturation into a legitimate shutdown defender and if...well, you get the picture. The Rangers look to be a playoff bubble team. A few bounces go their way, they're in. If those bounces don't go their way..."
Muir's team MVP is Lundqvist, kid to watch is Anisimov and player to keep an eye on is Gaborik.
...blah, blah, blah just drop the damn puck already.
Also, Ken Campbell at The Hockey News predicts which teams will improve, decline or remain the same compared to how they finished in the regular season standings last season.
...i'm sure you can guess which way he had the Rangers trending.
Moment of the Preseason
Monday, September 28, 2009
22. Rangers - There is something not quite right with the Rangers. Marian Gaborik will have to prove us wrong.
...now I know the Rangers are making the playoffs.
"I could not sign with another team," he said. "I retire a Calgary Flame."
...sorry to hear this news, but I guess he did what was right for him and his family.
...its funny how a new system can effect players in different ways. Girardi, a more stay at home defenseman, is struggling mightily, while the more offensive minded Redden could flourish.
...now I'm not saying Redden is going to be rejuvenated this season, but his game did get much better under Tortorella last season and I'm hoping he'll come into this season with a chip on his shoulder as well. Either way he still won't be worth that ridiculous contract.
...as far as Rozsival goes, he has been atrocious this preseason as evidenced by his giveaway on the Capitals first goal yesterday. Yuck.
For more go to Blue Notes.
Official statement here.
...by far the best thing for Grachev's development.
...looks like it's Boyle and Voros for the last spot when Avery comes back. My vote goes to Voros who has had a much better camp.
“There were turnovers and we had no battles,” Tortorella said. “Everybody was bad, it wasn’t like one of the young kids struggled, it starts with our veteran guys. I think they thought it was a 7 o’clock start. Those were the worst two periods of the exhibition (season). I don’t think we competed. Maybe it was the 12 o’clock start. We skated them hard the last couple days, maybe that had something to do with it. I’m not holding any grudges. I’m glad they answered (with three goals) in the third period. But now this is done. We’ll use the tape of the first two periods as a teaching tool.”
...afternoon games was a problem with this team last year also.
“If we played like that for the first two, it might have been a different outcome,” said Vinny Prospal, who played left wing with Brandon Dubinsky at center and Marian Gaborik on the right. “We didn’t support our goalie and didn’t have enough shots. Then we got our (butts) kicked between periods.”
Tortorella on Girardi:
"He's got some work to do there," Tortorella said. "We've had running discussions going through training camp, him and I and the coaches. He's got some work to do. It's a pretty big week for him. But, to say the least, I'm disappointed with his camp."
...this is the first critism I've heard of Girardi since he was called up three years ago.
On his game Grachev said:
"The first period for me was the worst period for me, ever," the 19-year-old Grachev said. "I didn't think I'd get more ice time. I was way too bad in the first."
Post-game analysis and preseason wrap from John Giannone and Joe Micheletti:
Sunday, September 27, 2009
G: Henrik Lundqvist
- Semyon Varlamov will start in goal today.
- Alex Ovechkin will be in the line-up.
- Two former Rangers Mike Knuble and Michale Nylander are expected to play as well.
"That's always my problem, playing without the puck," said Lisin, who had 13 goals and eight assists in 48 games with the Coyotes last season as he struggled to find consistency and a regular spot in the lineup. "I try to focus on it. I try to listen to the coaches."
Gross also has quotes from Vinny Prospal on his easy transition to center this training camp.
...Lisin has shown speed and an ability to finish this preseason, but if he can't be responsible away from the puck he's going to find it hard to stay on the ice under Tortorella.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Other things Gross says to look for are Brandon Dubinsky centering Christopher Higgins and Marian Gaborik; Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle fighting for the fourth-line center position; Vinny Prospal starting as a center but being used at left wing; Michael Del Zotto being evaluated on the power-play point; and Henrik Lundqvist playing his second straight full game.
...i find it hard to believe that Anisimov is fighting for that position. He should be a lock right now not only for the fourth-line center position, but for the third-line center position.
No. 5: New York Rangers
We tend to lean toward cool sounds, but this is also about tradition. No matter what other arenas sound like, there is one goal horn that is probably familiar to even people who don't follow hockey.
With apologies to all fans who feel nothing but general annoyance when the Rangers score, we can't pass up the old horn at Madison Square Garden.
...you know what's funny, I'm usually so pre-occupied with singing the goal song I don't think I've ever really noticed the horn.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Fleury said he will have a press conference on Monday but would not commit on whether or not he was retiring from the game.
...this most likely means Dubinsky and Prospal will be at center to start the season. Which is not good news for Brian Boyle.
On Enver Lisin, Tortorella said...
"I'm pretty sure he'll start here, we want him around us to teach him."
Tortorella hopes to have the opening-game roster finalized by Tuesday.
In other bubble player news, Leslie Treff at Hockey's Future NY Rangers Blog thinks that it may be time for Evgeni Grachev to be assigned to Hartford...
"Although Evgeny Grachev had some bright moments, I think its time to send him back to Hartford to get some solid playing time this weekend. He just does not look ready."
...got to agree here. He will develop much quicker getting quality minutes down in Hartford rather than six minutes a game or being a healthy scratch with the Rangers.
33. Artem Anisimov
With good size, work ethic and solid two-way play, Anisimov has made an excellent adjustment to the North American game over the past two seasons in the AHL. The 21-year-old has the hands, instincts, and vision to be a top player in the NHL. Anisimov had an outstanding regular-season sophomore campaign with the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2008-09. Fifth overall in the league in scoring, Anisimov was the top point producer among AHLers under the age of 25. A reliable contributor, he didn't miss a single game last season. He is expected to center a line with the New York Rangers roster this fall.
39. Ryan McDonagh
McDonagh was Minnesota’s reigning “Mr. Hockey” when he was selected first among the US defensemen available in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 12th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. A quick-skating, big, powerful, offensive blueliner, he entered the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2007. A steady presence along the blue line, McDonagh was a solid performer on defense for Team USA in the 2009 U-20 WJCs. The 20-year-old was recently named a tri-captain of the 2009-10 Badgers as a junior. With the departure of Jamie McBain (CAR), McDonagh will get the opportunity to show more of his offensive skills in the coming season.
...man that Gomez-Higgins trade was a coup by Sather to get this guy McDonagh included.
...wow, talk about a quick turnaround. A few days ago this guy was fighting for a roster spot now the team is shopping him.
...i really thought he'd be back up soon, but after seeing this report I'm not so sure anymore.
Gross also has quotes from John Tortorella on Sanguinetti...
"We wanted to get down in numbers," Tortorella said. "He had a really good camp. He, to me, is a guy that needs to keep playing. The difference in him going down versus the others (read: Michael Del Zotto, Matt Gilroy) is the speed of his game, the speed of his decision making, the speed he moves the puck. Everything about his game just needs to be quicker
"He'll improve. (The AHL) is a great league. Will he be back? I don't have a crystal ball. He had a great attitude. He still has some work to do."
Dubinsky talks about being back with the Rangers after his holdout here.
Marian Gaborik talks about the feel of the game and Chris Higgins describes what happened on his game-winner here.
Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti break down the play of Marian Gaborik, Chris Higgins and Brandon Dubinsky in the Rangers win over the Caps here.
For more quotes visit Blue Notes and Ranger Rants.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals in their sixth preseason game tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to newyorkrangers.com.
G: Henrik Lundqvist
- Former Ranger Michael Nylander is likely out of the line-up.
- Jose Theodore will start in goal.
- According the the Capitals Insider, it looks like Alex Ovechkin is playing.
...what's up with the re-uniting of The Albatross Twins? I thought they were done?
...keep your head up Bobby you'll be back up with the big club soon enough.
Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has analysis and Sanguinetti quotes from yesterday...
"Obviously, you can always improve on things," said Sanguinetti, a New Jersey native who grew up in Lumberton. "As far as my overall game, defensively, I've learned a lot. Offensively, I have to get comfortable. Ultimately, I'd like to be here and develop at this level."
Tortorella said Staal would play Sunday at Washington but did not know whether Sanguinetti would get another chance to play in the preseason.
...that's not good news for Sanguinetti's chances of making the team
Gross also reports on two minor incidents today including Matt Gilroy taking an Ales Kotalik shot off his left ankle and Chris Dury pulling up during a line rush.
...doesn't sound like either injury is that serious.
...not sure what the line-up will look like tonight against Washington, but you have to assume Sanguinetti and Grachev will get another chance to prove themselves.
...got to assume there will be a lot of interest in Jagr who has played well in the KHL.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Not as much as a Del Zotto and a Gilroy. We know it's in him, we tried to give him some power-play time the last game, and we'll probably give him some more in the next game or two to give him a look.
Right now I don't think he's on the same plane as the other two kids in that offensive part of it. Sometimes maturity at that position, in all facets of the game, is different for different people. But he's certainly put himself on the map here as far as me getting to know him as a player. I didn't know anything about him."
...i guess we know who the front runner is for the sixth and final defensive spot.
Gross also notes that it appears Henrik Lundqvist will play the full 60 minutes both tomorrow and Sunday in the preseason finale at Washington.
...looking forward to watching a full squad tomorrow night.
...interesting. Could be why a lot of players weren't re-signed in the off-season.
"Another summer of housecleaning by GM Glen Sather leaves New York fans wondering what their Blueshirts will look like once the puck drops. The arrival of East Bloc wingers Gaborik, Kotalik and Prospal swings the team’s makeup back to the European side of the ledger, much like during the Jagr-led 2005-06 campaign. But the new trio is far from stable when it comes to health and consistency and Gabbo is already feeling twinges in his groin – not a good sign for the marquee winger."
Kennedy predicts the Penguins will finish 1st, Flyers 2nd, Devils 3rd and Islanders 5th.
...there are so many questions with this team right now, I wouldn't be surprised if they won the Stanley Cup or missed the playoffs.
"The four pairs in the hopper in last couple days have one youngster with a partner with NHL experience, with one of the two counted on for joining the rush. Torts wants Staal to increase his offense.
So Del Zotto-Redden; Gilroy-Girardi, Staal-Rozsival, Sanguinetti-Semenov."
...breaking up The Albatross Twins was a necessity. Hopefully their play won't bring down Del Zotto or Staal.
The coach is right. Lundqvist did appear tired as the Washington series extended to a seventh game. A respite would have been beneficial.
I've been a Steve Valiquette fan ever since his Islanders days. He always has been underplayed and underrated. Without a doubt, he's one of the best back-ups in the NHL.
For video of Aaron Voros talking training camp and Marian Gaborik click here.
Also Jim Cerny at Newyorkrangers.com has a feature on the Rangers getting down to the business of preparing for the season now that the roster has been trimmed down to 24.
Here's Tortorella on getting to this point of camp...
“I have my checklist as far as our team concept, and I get a little antsy because that checklist is a little long,” said the head coach. “It’s just so hard to get to everything when you are caught up in the evaluation process and have such large numbers (of players). So I am anxious, though this is the fun part of coaching for me.”
...we Ranger fans are getting anxious to Torts.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Higgins, Drury, Lisin, Gilroy, Redden/Rozsival (aka The Albatross Twins)
Staal on the injury...
"It was sore today but one more day and it should be good to go," said Staal, who first felt the soreness in the warmups prior to Saturday's 5-2 win at Boston, where he did not play the third period. "Better now than at the start of the season."
...thankfully, it doesn't sound that serious. Unfortunately, Redden's injury doesn't sound that serious either.
Also on the injury front, Gross says Sean Avery (sprained right knee) was on crutches in the Rangers dressing room and that there was no update on his status.
Finally, Gross notes that Brandon Dubinsky was back at center today during line rushes but that Tortorella still seems to be leaning toward leaving Vinny Prospal at center meaning Dubinsky could be moved to wing.
On playing wing...
"I think I'm better naturally as a centerman," Dubinsky said. "I've felt like that's where they want to slot me. But I played wing last year and wherever I fit in with that concoction of players, I'll be ready to go."
...this is the second time this preseason that a Rangers player is talking about not playing at their natural position (Gaborik was the first). Can we please keep our players in the positions they're most comfortable with?
On the talk he had with Tortorella after he was re-assigned...
"He likes me, he likes the way I played," said Parenteau, playing on a one-way contract for just around the NHL minimum of $500,000. "Torts and Schoney (assistant GM/coach Jim Schoenfeld) and the guys really know me. They know what I can accomplish. I go down with my head up. I'll be back this year, that's how I'm feeling and I'll be ready when I get the call."
...unfortunately for Parenteau the top three lines are filled and he's not fit for the fourth line. I think this might be what happens to Grachev as well.