Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bruins 1, Rangers 0


The New York Rangers (29-18-4) lost to the Boston Bruins (38-8-6) by the score of 1-0. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...is there a less entertaining team in hockey right now? They're almost unwatchable. I don't care that they had 35 shots on goal, not a single one of them was a tough chance. No crashing the net, no offensive flow. Just trapping. It wasn't until late in the game when Renney finally abandoned the trap did the Rangers show some offensive ability. But they've got to play the system to win.

...the Rangers went 10-2-1 in the month of September playing a high tempo, fast paced, exciting game. Then the month of November came and it's been trap, trap, trap and the most boring brand of hockey I've ever seen. At least when the Devils were doing it they were winning. Why did the game plan change? Was the coaching staff not happy with the defense despite winning? I'd love to know.

...this team makes it very difficult to recap these games. I feel like I write the same things over and over again. No offense, the power play stinks, why isn't Prucha in the line-up. It's almost like the movie Groundhogs Day. But a least Bill Murray makes me laugh, whereas this team makes me want to cry.

...the Rangers have scored a grand total of one goal in the four afternoon games this year. And are now 28th in the league with 2.43 goals scored a game.

...Anisimov better be on a bus from Hartford after this one.

...next game is Tuesday against the Thrashers on Adam Graves Night. The Rangers organization should do the fans a favor and cancel the game as to not end the night on a sour note.

Rangers @ Bruins (Game 51)

The New York Rangers (29-17-4) visit the Boston Bruins (35-8-6) today at TD Banknorth Garden starting at 1:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Korpikoski
Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 24-14-3, 2.61 gaa, .911 sv%, 2 so.

Tim Thomas - 21-5-5, 2.15 gaa, .932 sv%, 3 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Five of the last six meetings between these two teams have gone to a shootout. Including a 3-2 Ranger win at MSG in November. The Bruins won both shootouts in Boston last year.

- On Tuesday the Bruins got Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Ference and Milan Lucic back from injury and all three will again be in the line-up today.

- The Bruins are 1-0-1 since the All-Star break and 18-2-2 in their last 22 home games.

- Phill Kessel leads the Bruins with 24 goals, while Marc Savard leads the team in assists (41) and points (59).

Opponent Blogs:
Here Come the Bruins!
Stanley Cup of Chowder

Graves Played Through Pain

Newyorkrangers.com continues their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night by recalling Graves' willingness to make any sacrifice for the team, including playing through pain.

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

Video:
In the sixth installment of newyorkrangers.com's nine-video look back at Adam Graves' career, former teammates and friends discuss Graves' remarkable off-ice work here.

Saturday Headlines

New York Post - RANGERS HOPE REITZ HAS 'D' STUFF


The Bergen Record - Rangers out to tame Bruins

Friday, January 30, 2009

Graves Answers Questions

Earlier today Ranger great Adam Graves answered fans questions at Newyorkrangers.com. For a recap click here.

Fritsche Was Praying to Get Out of New York

Michael Russo at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune has this quote from Dan Fritsche on being traded from the Rangers...

"I've been hoping and waiting -- no, praying -- for this day to come," said Fritsche, 23. "I don't think excited really even describes it. I can think of a million different things [as to why I didn't play] in New York. Coaches have their guys. It's been a long year for me up to this point."

...i sort of don't blame Fritsche for having that reaction. But he's not on the team anymore so F'em.

Reitz Speaks

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes spoke with the newest Ranger Erik Reitz today, who had this to say...

"I can bring a physical presence on defense, finish my checks and stick up for my teammates, as Tom already said in the paper," Reitz said after the skate. "With six d, I hope I can work my way into the lineup and show the team what I’ve got."

Reitz also spoke about some familiar faces on the Rangers...

"Girardi played with us (in OHL Barrie) for just one season then burst his spleen, then the next season I was in Houston the AHL," he said "I know Chris Drury, I used to surf with him in LA when I used to go out there and train, and I know Voros from Minny, played with him in Houston too."

Zipay doesn't think Reitz will play tomorrow in Boston.

...i'm of the opinion of getting the new guy right in the line-up. So I'm a little disappointed Reitz won't get a chance tomorrow. Any one of our defensemen could use a much deserved rest right now.

Graves Delivered in Game 7

Newyorkrangers.com continues their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night by recalling Graves' role in the '94 Stanley Cup run and his performance in Game 7 vs. Vancouver.

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

Videos:
In the fifth installment of newyorkrangers.com's nine-video look back at Adam Graves' career, Mark Messier and Stephane Matteau describe what Graves was like as a teammate here.

Watch the complete pregame ceremony in 1994 when Adam Graves was honored for breaking Vic Hadfield's Rangers record for goals in a season here.

Watch Adam Graves' interview following the March 23, 1994, game in Edmonton when he scored his 50th and 51st goals of the 1993-94 season here.

Friday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers trade Fritsche to Wild for Reitz



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weitz Seventh Defenseman

Katie Strang at Blue Notes says that newly acquired defenseman Erik Reitz won't be heading to Hartford and instead will join the Rangers for their game in Boston. Renney said having Reitz around as a seventh d-man will allow the team more flexibility and that Reitz can bring an element of toughness to the club.

Strang also reports that both Dan Girardi and Aaron Voros have played with Reitz previously and characterized him as a solid, tough defenseman who plays physical, is willing to fight, and has a hard shot.

Finally Strang noted that Wade Redden didn't skate at practice today because of "maintenance issues" but will be able to skate tomorrow.

...did someone say toughness and Rangers defenseman? Nah, couldn't have.

...Reitz might only be with the team as insurance in case Redden's "maintenance issue" is worse than anticipated.

Fritsche Sent to Minnesota

TSN is reporting that the Rangers have sent Dan Fritsche to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Erik Reitz.

Reitz, 26, has a goal and an assist in 31 games for Minnesota this season, his third in the NHL.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes adds that Reitz, a 6-1, 210-pound Detroit native, is a banger who piled up hundreds of penalty minutes in OHL Barrie and with the Houston Aeros. Reitz, an RFA next season, was earning $500,000 this season.

...happy to see Fritsche will get a chance with another team. Wonder why Minnesota didn't just claim him yesterday?

...not sure if Reitz is now our seventh defenseman or will be assigned to Hartford.

Weinman Leaving Journal News

Sam Weinman of the Journal News and The Rangers Report will be leaving the Rangers beat to become senior editor at GolfDigest.com.

Rick Carpiniellio who covered the Rangers for years will be taking over for Weinman.

...i don't have to tell you guys what a blow this is for Ranger fans. There's no better source for Rangers news (besides this blog of course) than Weinman's Rangers Report. We will miss you Sam.

Salt in the Wound

As if I didn't feel bad enough this morning after the Ranger's third period meltdown last night, Greg Wyshynski, a Devils fan, at Puck Daddy has a blog post on how Eric Godard finally bested Colton Orr last night and then dropped this bomb on Ranger fans when talking about Sidney Crosby's third period goal...

"While there's no denying the skill and accuracy in pulling off the shot, this really shouldn't make the goal-of-the-year highlight reel when you consider it came at 18:20 of the third, with a three-goal lead and against a goalie in Henrik Lundqvist who probably realized that he had allowed more goals in the last 72 hours (12) than Scott Gomez has scored this season (10)."

...that's not good no matter what angle you look at it.

...in regards to the Orr/Godard fight, I've got agree with reader Fleisch's comment that Orr showed a boatload of toughness by popping right up after being dropped by a right cross that would have put me in the hospital for a month.

Graves Series Continues With OT Goal in '97 Playoffs

Newyorkrangers.com continues their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night by recalling Graves' OT goal against the Devils that put the Rangers in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals.

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

Video: In the fourth installment of their nine-video look back at Adam Graves' career, Newyorkrangers.com returns to the 1994 playoff run that ended with a Stanley Cup championship here.

Eklund: Rangers Could Up Ante In Lecavalier Sweepsteaks

Eklund at HockeyBuzz reports that his "source" says this about the Rangers trying to trade for Vinny Lecavalier...

"I find it hard to believe that the Rangers would not be able and willing to throw more into a deal for Vinny than anyone else. Staal, Dubinsky, Prucha, +"

...i almost have to apologize for posting this one.

Rangers Are Paper Tigers

Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News takes a look at which teams have fared well against Division leaders and which have fallen short. I'm sure you can guess where the Rangers stand...

Here are some playoff-bound paper tigers who need some statement wins over the next 30 or so games…

NEW YORK RANGERS (three wins)
They’ve whiffed against the West and haven’t beaten the Caps yet with just one rematch left. Unless the Blueshirts face the Devils (whom they’ve beaten twice so far) in the first round, it could be an early curtain call on Broadway this year.

...i can't image that this Ranger team strikes fear in any team in the league right now.

Video: Highlights & Reaction to Loss Against Penguins

Rangers vs. Penguins highlights here.

Rangers head coach Tom Renney talks to reporters after the Blueshirts' 6-2 loss to the Penguins here.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and defenseman Paul Mara discuss the Blueshirts' 6-2 loss to the Penguins here.

Thursday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers crumble in third




New York Post - PENS RIP RANGERS



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Penguins 6, Rangers 2


The New York Rangers (29-17-4) lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (24-21-4) by the score of 6-2, tonight. For a full recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...looks like Lundqvist's All Star performance followed him back from Montreal. That's as bad of a goaltending display as you're going to see from him. Lundqvist's now given up 12 goals in the last four periods. Can anyone say Valiquette on Saturday? Just kidding.

...the game was over after the second goal bounced in off Lundqvist's skate. You could just see the whole team sag and it was all down hill from there. You'd love just once for this team to pick up Lundqvist when he has a bad game. But in Renney's system if Lundqvist gives up more than three goals they lose.

...once again the power play fails us as the Rangers get a golden opportunity in the second period with back-to-back power plays and can't do anything with it.

...not that it mattered but it was nice to see Zherdev get on the score sheet after 13 straight games without a goal. Actually what was even nicer was Zherdev flattening Bissonnette after he whacked at Lundqvist twice in third period. He's played with an edge these last two games.

...probably should have known it was going to be a bad night when Orr took one on the chin from Godard to open the game.

...Lundqvist better find his game quick or it could get ugly when the Rangers take on the Eastern Conference leading Bruins on Saturday in Boston.

Callahan Flu; Prucha In

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Ryan Callahan will sit out tonight with the flu and Petr Prucha will take his place on the first line with Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund.

...Prucha could score a hat trick tonight and he'd still sit the next game.

Rangers @ Penguins (Game 50)

The New York Rangers (29-16-4) visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (23-21-4) tonight at the Igloo starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Prucha
Dawes-Drury-Korpikoski
Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 24-13-3, 2.53 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Marc-Andre Fleury - 15-12-2, 2.81 gaa, .910 sv%, 2 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Sidney Crosby will be in the line-up tonight. However, forward Matt Cooke will miss the game due to a two-game suspension for a blow to the head on Carolina's Scott Walker.

- Pittsburgh is 8-15-0 in their last 23 games.

- Pittsburgh is 6-for-66 (9.1 percent) with the man advantage since Dec. 23.

- The Penguins are 8-0-2 in their last 10 regular-season home games versus the Rangers.

Opponent Blog:
Pensburgh

Submit Questions for Graves


On Friday, January 28, at 1 p.m., Adam Graves will be responding to questions posted on the New York Rangers Message Board.

Graves will join Rangers fans live at that time, but you can submit questions for him in advance. To post questions click here.

Fans will have to setup an account before they can enter a question.

Fritsche Clears Waivers

TSN is reporting that Dan Fritsche has cleared waivers.

...looks like he'll be headed to Hartford.

Crosby Likely to Return Tonight

The National Post is reporting that Penguins center Sidney Crosby practiced for the second straight day Tuesday and hopes to return to the lineup for tonight's game against the Rangers.

Crosby missed this past weekend's All-Star Game with an injured left knee.

...what is this, Crosby only decides to play when the Penguins match-up against the Rangers? Good. I hope Orr smacks him around a bit tonight.

Fritsche Fate Sealed at Noon

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Dan Fritsche will know by noon whether he's been claimed by another team or will be headed to Hartford.

...either way Fritsche doesn't have a future with this team. He is a RFA at the end of the year and I really don't see the Rangers matching any offer sheets extended to him.

Gomez All Star Break Workouts Payoff

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says that while other Rangers headed for warm weather during the All Star break, Scott Gomez stayed at the Rangers practice facility...

Here's Steve Valiquette on Gomez...

“He stayed back in New York and trained really hard. I know he came to the rink every day and lifted weights and got on the ice,” said Valiquette. “He was the one guy who used our break to focus on getting stronger for the second half of the year. I know he’s going to be outstanding the rest of the way.”

...hopefully last night was a glimpse of things to come for Gomez. I'm really impressed with his decision to stay in New York and work to get better.

All Graves All the Time

Newyorkrangers.com continues their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night with a look back at the off-ice life of Graves.

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

Other Graves Night Features:

Video: In the third installment of newyorkrangers.com's nine-video look back at Adam Graves' career, they revisit the night of March 23, 1994, when Graves scored goals No. 50 and 51 here.

Radio: Adam Graves joins Boomer & Carton on WFAN to reflect on his time in New York as well as his NHL career here.


Video: Highlights & Reaction to Win Against Hurricanes

Rangers vs. Hurricanes highlights here.

Rangers head coach Tom Renney talks to reporters about his team's 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes here.

Rangers players Scott Gomez, Steve Valiquette and Brandon Dubinsky look back on the Blueshirts' 3-2 victory over Carolina here.

Rangers Stay At #10 in Fox Sports Power Rankings


The Rangers stayed at #10 in the Fox Sports Power Rankings for the week of January 26, 2009...

10. Rangers - Rangers rolled into the break by winning four of their last five games. New York won its only Week 16 game 4-2 thanks to two power-play goals and 32 saves by All-Star Henrik Lundqvist.

Gomez Needs to Step It Up

In ESPN.com's 10 Burning Questions for the second half feature, Scott Burnside names Scott Gomez as an underachieving player who needs to step it up in the second half to help his team...

7. Which underachieving player needs to step it up in the second half to help his team?

Burnside: Scott Gomez is on pace for about 60 points this season, a 10-point drop from 2007-08 and 24 fewer than he collected in 2005-06. Gomez, who is also minus-9, has yet to find the trigger man for his playmaking skills, but he needs to find a way to produce more. Otherwise, the Rangers will be one-and-done come playoff time.

...so far so good.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Gomez's hard work pays off for Rangers




New York Post - GOMEZ MAKES IT WORK



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rangers 3, Hurricanes 2


The New York Rangers (29-16-4) defeated the Carolina Hurricanes (23-21-5) by the score of 3-2, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...now that's how you come back from the break. Quick start (haven't seen many of those this year) then rely on the defense and a timely goal to win it. Get used to that formula because it's what you're going to be seeing for the rest of the year.

...looks like the break helped someone heal as Gomez was flying tonight. Would love to see that Scotty for the remainder of the season.

...another solid performance by Valiquette. He was especially sharp on deflections tonight. Don't think I remember a game with so many tips on goal.

...i think it's safe to say Dubinsky has rediscovered his scoring touch as he now has three goals in his last six games.

...while Zherdev has now gone 13 games without a goal it looks like Renney's message for him to shoot more sunk in over the break as he had four shots on goal and at least three more that missed the net. Oh yeah and his assist was pretty sweet as well.

...Voros probably played his best game in about two months as he was reeking havoc in front of Cam Ward all night. If he can stay out of the penalty box, he should expect a regular spot in the line-up. Really liking him on the power play.

...another player making a real push for an everyday spot in the line-up is Korpikoski who now has two goals and two assists in the last five games. Lots of confidence from him right now.

...another great game from the league's best penalty kill with a four-for-four.

...right back at it tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

Rangers vs. Hurricanes (Game 49)

The New York Rangers (28-16-4) host the Carolina Hurricanes (23-20-5) tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Korpikoski
Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Steve Valiquette - 4-3-1, 2.19 gaa, .928 sv%, 1 so.

Cam Ward - 18-14-3, 2.57 gaa, .911 sv%, 2 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Carolina won its last two games before the All Star break, but that followed a five-game losing streak - which was preceded by four straight victories.

- Cam Ward has given up one goal in the last two games.

- The Rangers won the first meeting of the season 3-2 in a shootout at MSG.

- Marc Staal leads the Hurricanes in goals with 20. While Ray Witney leads in assists (24) and points (39).

Opponent Blog:
Canes Country

Fritsche Waived ***UPDATED***

Updated, 3:15 p.m. - Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says the Rangers are now confirming that they have waived Dan Fritsche.

It may be in french, but RDS is reporting that the Rangers have in fact waived Dan Fritsche...

Fritsche au ballottage
Les Rangers de New York ont placé le nom de Dan Fritsche au ballottage mardi.

A couple of reader comments on some Ranger blogs are stating Darren Dreger at AM640 in Toronto is also reporting that the Rangers have waived Fritche. Nothing on the TSN website under transactions.

...we all talk about how Peter Prucha doesn't get a chance on this team. But no one got less of a chance than Fritsche.

...the Rangers open up $875,000 by waiving Fritsche. Unless of course he clears waivers and the Rangers keep him on the roster the way they did with Rissmiller.

Anisimov Has Big Night in AHL All Star Game; Sanguinetti Sits

Newyorkrangers.com reports Rangers prospect Artem Anisimov had a goal and two assists in helping the PlanetUSA squad to a 14-11 win over the team of Canadian players in yesterday's AHL All Star game.

His second assist was on the game winning goal.

Wolfpack defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti was supposed to play in the game, but he sat out the game with an injury suffered last week. Sanguinetti did participate in the Skills competition on Sunday night.

...at least we had one All Star play well this weekend. Just kidding Hank.

Korpikoski & Voros In Tonight

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Laurie Korpikoski and Aaron Voros will dress tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.

On Voros' panache for talking penalties, Tom Renney had this to say...

"I talked to him about it. I thought he had a tough call on one of them; he was doing what he was asked to do, and maybe even a second was a little... it was one of those cantankerous type penalties, that's how he has to contribute to our team, we need that in our lineup. You want to avoid the penalty box when you play that way, but you don't want to stifle a guy from doing what he does best."

...hope the penalty kill is ready to go tonight.

Graves Mastery of Habs in 1996

Newyorkrangers.com continue their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night with a look back to the '96 playoffs, when Graves went on a scoring rampage vs. Montreal.

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

VIDEO: As the Adam Graves Night event draws nearer, Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen and Blueshirts legend Mark Messier recall the way Graves played the game here.

Tuesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers know they can't relax



Monday, January 26, 2009

Video: Graves Viewing Party and First Impressions


Graves Viewing Party Preview: Find out how to be part of the Adam Graves Night event by attending the exclusive Viewing Party at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden here.

In the first of a nine-video look backs at Adam Graves' career, current and former Rangers recall their earliest memories of No. 9 here.

Rangers Moment of the Week 1/26

Each Monday, newyorkrangers.com's 'Moment of the Week' invites Ranger fans to vote for the top moment from among three finalists. On Wednesday at noon, the winning moment will be posted along with selected comments from fans who voted for it.

This week's nominees are Scott Gomez scores game winner vs. the Ducks, Marc Staal gets two goals in YoungStars Game, and Henrik Lundqvist robs Patrick Kane in NHL All-Star Game.

Last week's winner was Chris Drury's overtime winner vs. the Blackhawks.

Vally In; Line Changes

After speculating earlier today, Steve Zipay at Blue Notes now confirms that Steve Valiquette will start tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricane. With Henrik Lundqvist slated to go Wednesday vs. the Pitssburgh Penguins. Unless, Tom Renney says, ' Vally gets a shutout and stops 45.'

Zipay also reports that based on the lines at practice today Aaron Voros and Laurie Korpikoski will play tomorrow meaning Dan Fritsche and Petr Prucha will be headed upstairs. However, Sam Weinman at the Ranger Report says that Voros and Fritsche were the last two to leave the ice today, signaling they’d be scratches tomorrow. So who knows.

...if Voros could stay out of the penalty box, I'd be advocating for him to be in the line-up because of his presence in front of the net on the power play. But he's taken too many ill-advised penalties to warrent a spot right now.

...i'm hoping for Prucha and Korpikoski, as I feel that line-up gives us the best chance of winning every night.

Rangers May Be Out of Winter Classic Next Year

Ken Campbell at The Hockey News says to look for next year’s Winter Classic to be played between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at the 69,000-seat Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

There have been rumors of a Rangers/Bruins matchup at the new Yankee Stadium next year, but Campbell adds that the league has come to the conclusion that outdoor games work much better in a football stadium than a baseball venue and a Montreal-Boston game would be great for ratings on both sides of the border.

...man we are totally getting hosed.

Messier to Become Ranger Scout?

The Edmonton Journal has a story on Mark Messier looking to get back into the game of hockey and the Rangers being the most likely destination.

The Journal has this quote from Glen Sather saying Messier could start out as a scout with the Rangers before ascending through the ranks to GM...

"A couple of years ago we talked and he wasn't that keen on being a scout, but I think he's refined that," said Sather. "I'm sure this summer Mark and I will have another conversation about it. He's got a good eye for talent. And the scouting, it's not just the NHL, it's going to places like Sudbury (junior) and Hartford (their AHL farm club) and going to meetings and filing reports."

...would love to see Messier come back to the Rangers in some capacity. He's going to have to swallow his pride and start as a lowly scout, but if he wants to become a great GM he has to learn the ropes and his experience as a scout will give him valuable insight that will serve him well down the road.

Valiquette Tomorrow?

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that the Rangers will re-group today at 3 p.m. to prepare for tomorrow's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Zipay assumes Steve Valiquette will get the start giving Henrik Lundqvist an extra day to rest before Wednesday's second game of the back-to-back in Pittsburgh.

...Lunqvist might need both games off to rest his ego after yesterday's goal scoring barrage.

Countdown Looks at Day Graves Became a Ranger


Newyorkrangers.com begins their nine-day countdown to Adam Graves Night with a look back to Sept. 3, 1991, the day when Graves began his life as a Blueshirt

Newyorkrangers.com is devoting a dozen weeks to extensive coverage of Graves' 18-years with the Rangers organization with year-by-year reviews and other features leading up to Graves Night on February 3, 2009.

Recap of Lundqvist's All Star Performance

Newyorkrangers.com takes look at Henrik Lundqvist's performance in last night's All Star Game...

"...Lundqvist got the full experience of life as an All-Star goalie at the Bell Centre, facing 21 shots in just 20 minutes of work. The Rangers netminder, the first Blueshirts goalie to appear in an All-Star Game since Mike Richter in 2000, played the entire second period. He was impressive in stopping 15 of the Western Conference All-Stars’ shots, but – as is always the case in the All-Star Game – pucks were bound to get by him."

Watch Lundqvist in the highlights from the 2nd period of this years NHL All-Star game here.

Watch Lundqvist's Save on West's Patrick Kane here.

...unfortunately for Lundqvist the best part of his night was the introductions because it was all downhill from there. Not that the six goals he allowed was all his fault as the Eastern team pretty much left Lundqvist out to dry in the second period (You'd think he'd be used to that).

...i thought he finally settled down late and his save on Kane was, in my opinion, the best save of the game.

Monday Headlines

The Journal News - East wins NHL All-Star Game in shootout, 12-11


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rangers Skill Competition Recap

Newyorkrangers.com has a recap of Henrik Lundqvist, Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal's performances in yesterday's SuperSkills portion of the NHL All-Star Weekend.

Lundqvist stopped 12 of 16 shots in the Elimination Shootout, while Staal had two goals in the YoungStars match. Dubinsky was held scoreless.

...i really enjoyed the Superskills competition last night. The traditional competitions (fastest skater, accuracy shootout and hardest shot) still hold up in my opinion (especially when Chara breaks the record for hardest shot and two players go 4-for-4 in the accuracy) and the YoungStars game is great way to showcase the league's up-and-coming players. While the newest event, the elimination shootout, was outstanding.

...the one negative for me was the free style shootout. I know the NHL is trying to bring in more fans with some flare, but to me it's just not working. Only a small fraction of the moves worked and it turned into a circus when, instead of trying to pull off the puck flip, spin-a-roma that he couldn't complete last year, Ovechkin decided to dress up like a fool and skate around while doing nothing to dazzle me. Don't get me wrong I love Ovechkin's enthusiasm, but I'd much rather see him show off his skill level than his silliness.

Sunday Headlines

New York Post - LUNDQVIST: SLOWING STARS UNLIKELY


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anisimov an All Star; Tkachuk Anyone?

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes is reporting that Ranger prospect forward Artem Anisimov (20-26-46) has been added as a replacement player to the Planet USA AHL All Star team. Anisimov will join fellow Harford Wolfpack teammate defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti on the team.

Zipay adds that he may start lobbying for the Rangers to bring aboard Keith Tkachuk (15-16-31) as a rental at the trade deadline.

Tkachuk is in the final year of his $4 million a year contract.

...great to see Anisimov get some much deserved recognition. I'd love to see him get a shot with the big club at some point this season.

...as far as Tkachuk goes, I'd be down with that move. A nice veteran presence in the final year of his contract who can still score. Nothing wrong with that. We would need St. Louis to take a Petr Prucha ($1.6 million) or an Aaron Voros ($1 million) to open up the cap space for Tkachuk though.

Lundqvist picked for Elimination Shootout

Newyorkrangers.com is reporting that Henrik Lundqvist was chosen to participate as one of the four All-Star goalies competing in tonight's Gatorade NHL Elimination Shootout at Montreal's Bell Centre, which will be the finale to the 2009 Honda/NHL SuperSkills competition.

Each of the four goalies will face penalty-shot attempts from nine All-Star shooters in a game of hockey survivor. Only shooters who score will advance, and the competition will continue until a round is completed in which only one shooter scores.

During a random draw conducted on Friday in Montreal, each goalie selected nine players to face from among the 36 All-Star Game skaters.

Here is Lundqvist's line-up:

Shane Doan (Phx.), Dustin Brown (L.A.), Stephane Robidas (Dal.), Andrei Markov (Mtl.), Zdeno Chara (Bos.), Keith Tkachuk (StL), Jeff Carter (Phi.), Rick Nash (CBJ), Vincent Lecavalier (T.B.).

...hopefully Lundqvist remembers Chara's shootout goal against him last year when he just wound up and fired it passed Lundqvist to win the game.

Saturday Headlines

New York Post - RANGERS TANDEM EXCELS WHEN A MAN DOWN


Friday, January 23, 2009

Eklund: Prucha to be Traded this Weekend?

Eklund at HockeyBuzz is reporting that Petr Prucha may be traded this weekend with Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Colorado, Minnesota, Buffalo and Nashville all as possible destinations.

Eklund says while the Penguins want Prucha the most the Rangers aren't trading him to a divisional rival. Which he said gives Vancouver a distinct advantage at this point.

...while I don't believe a word Eklund ever says, for Prucha's sake, I hope this is true because he's never going to get a chance with this team.

...i'd love for the Rangers to trade him out west giving him the opportunity to find his game while not being able to burn us ala Shanahan.

Rangers Are About What THN Expected

Adam Proteau at The Hockey News takes stock of team showings and puts the Rangers in the 'About What I Expected' category saying...

New York Rangers: Now, some of you are saying, ‘Wait a second – didn’t you pick the Blueshirts to finish 11th this year? How is that not exceeding expectations?’ And some of me is admitting that is true. But would anyone bet their house the Rangers’ defense corps makes them a threat to play deep into May and June? Anyone other than Jaromir Jagr, I mean.

...while the team's record should put them in the 'Better Than Expected' category the team's play makes Proteau's categorization correct.

Friday Headlines

Newsday - Ranger Insider: 5 Rangers musts after break


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rangers B+ Students At All-Star Break

Scott Burnside at ESPN.com puts a mid-season team-by-team grades report together and gives the Rangers a B+...

Rangers - B-plus
Although they've played better of late and were in first place in the Atlantic as of Wednesday morning, there's still something not quite right in New York, where a fast start has been replaced by maddening inconsistency. The Rangers have scored just two more goals than they've allowed, and that's not the mark of a Cup contender.

...maddening inconsistent is the perfect wording for this Ranger team. However, this recent hot streak has me very excited for the rest of the season.

Thursday Headlines

The Journal News - No rest for the All-Star: Rangers hope Lundqvist can stay fresh

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oops!!!!


...i can understand the jersey guy making a mistake, but c'mon man you can't wear that in public until it's fixed.

...i remember when I got my first Ranger jersey with Bob Froese on the back, sadly I'm not kidding, I checked the spelling 100 times to make sure it was correct.

...hat tip to Puck Daddy for the pic.

Rangers #10 in Fox Sports Power Rankings


The New York Rangers dropped one spot to #10 in the Fox Sports Power Rankings for the week of January 19th...

10. Rangers - While the Rangers dropped one place in the rankings this week, the team had to be happy with its two wins in three tries in Week 15. New York finished off its longest road trip of the year with a 3-1-1 mark.

Video: Highlights, Analysis & Reaction to Win Against Ducks

Rangers vs. Ducks highlights here.

Rangers broadcasters Al Trautwig and John Giannone give their take on the Blueshirts' 4-2 win over Anaheim here.

Rangers players Blair Betts and Henrik Lundqvist, the No. 1 and No. 2 stars of the game, look back on the Jan. 20 victory over Anaheim here.

Rangers head coach Tom Renney discusses his team's 4-2 victory over Anaheim here.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers end first half with win






Daily News - The Bitter Bill: Isles be darned, Whalers may be back - Wow a return of the Whale. That would be sweet!!!

The Bergen Record - Rangers Notes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rangers 4, Ducks 2


The New York Rangers (28-16-4) defeated the Anaheim Ducks (23-20-5) by the score of 4-2, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...great way to go into the All-Star break with a solid win against a good Western Conference opponent. The Rangers are now 4-1 in their last five and hopefully feel real good about finishing the season strong.

...couldn't be happier to see Betts get the empty netter to seal the victory. If there was a season ending award for excellence on the penalty kill he'd get it hands down.

...i think my quote earlier today was '...if you want to get Fritsche some ice time, Renney could easily insert him on the fourth line for Sjostrom without losing anything.' Thanks for making me look bad Freddie. Nice goal though.

...you just have to love Callahan. First he instigates a fight with a guy twice his size then draws an ill-advised penalty on Pahlsson after blasting one of his Duck teammates into the boards leading to the winning goal. You need to have guys like him on your team if you're going to win in the NHL.

...Naslund was playing like he was back on a line with Morrison and Bertuzzi tonight. Awesome to see.

...Voros pretty much cemented his spot in the press box with three minor penalties including the first one just 16 second after Naslund gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead resulting in a Ducks power play goal. For what it's worth, I did like Voros' presence in front of the net on the power play.

...quick fact. Tonight was Kalinin's first minus game since December 20th. He was a +8 during that span.

...Gomez actually earned his paycheck tonight. Congrats on your first power play goal of the season. Wow!!!

...the Rangers now have a week off for the All-Star break and will be back in action next Tuesday at home against Carolina.

Rangers vs. Ducks

The New York Rangers (27-16-4) host the Anaheim Ducks (23-19-5) tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Fritsche
Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 23-13-3, 2.54 gaa, .913 sv%, 2 so.

Jonas Hiller - 11-8-1, 2.09 gaa, .930 sv%, 4 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Anaheim has lost eight of its previous 11 on the road and four of six overall.

- Anaheim has been playing this month with several regulars out with injuries, including star winger Teemu Selanne (thigh).

- Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in goals (17), assists (38) and points (55).

Opponent Fan Blog:
Girl With A Puck
Ducks Blog (OC Register Newspaper Blog)

A Ranger Collapse Coming?

Michael Menser Dell over at LCS Hockey says "It’s only a matter of time before the Rangers collapse" and gives these reasons why...

"Combine the pitiful power play with their lackluster five-on-five scoring, and the Blueshirts have no margin for error. They’re going to have to ride Henrik Lundqvist and their penalty killing to victory most nights. And that could be a winning recipe if their top two blueliners weren’t Michal freakin’ Rozsival and Wade Redden."

Dell also adds that the Rangers team combined plus-minus of -69 (21st in the league) makes them the only current playoff team outside the top 16.

...the other day I had a Chicago Blackhawks blogger e-mail me wondering why Ranger fans were so hard on a (at the time) first place team. He only need to read this article to find out why. This team wins ugly and they lose ugly. And there's only so much ugly Ranger fans can take. If they threw in a beauty queen every once in-a-while we might be a little more excited.

Voros, Fritsche In; Korpikoski and Prucha Out

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says that Tom Renney has once again decided to tinker with the line-up as Aaron Voros and Dan Fritsche (scratched the last 20 games) will play tonight against the Ananheim Ducks with Laurie Korpikoski amd Petr Prucha headed to the press box.

Renney said the move was more a match-up decision against the bigger, physical Ducks.

Here is Prucha on the benching...

“Aaron is a bigger, stronger guy than me, so he can play more physical. So if coach wants to match up against bigger players, he’s probably a better player than me for that.”

...despite the letdown in Pittsburgh the Rangers have been playing some pretty good hockey lately. Seems like an odd time to make a line-up change. Especially sitting two energy players in favor of guys that have been collecting mothballs.

...i also don't like that Prucha always seems like the first guy to sit. How about giving Sjostrom a rest? Sure, the fourth line has been the most consistant line all season (maybe because Renney keeps them together for more than a week) and he's not out there to score. But if you want to get Fritsche some ice time, Renney could easily insert him on the fourth line for Sjostrom without losing anything.

Video: Post Practice Interviews

From yesterday...

Rangers head coach Tom Renney speaks to the media following the team's Jan. 19 practice at the MSG Training Center here.

Markus Naslund, Ryan Callahan and Wade Redden discuss the importance of playing well before the All-Star break following the Rangers' Jan. 19 practice here.

Rangers Moment of the Week 1/19

Each Monday, newyorkrangers.com's 'Moment of the Week' invites Ranger fans to vote for the top moment from among three finalists. On Wednesday at noon, the winning moment will be posted along with selected comments from fans who voted for it.

This week's nominees are Nigel Dawes game winner vs. the Islanders, Chris Drury's overtime winner vs. Blackhawks, and Henrik Lundqvist stopping Sidney Crosby penalty shot.

Last week's winner was Lunqvist stopping Penguins 2-on-0.

Shanahan Scores Power Play Goal in Return

In his first game in more than eight months Brendan Shanahan broke a scoreless tie by scoring a power play goal in the Devils 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. For full story click here.

...at this pace Shanahan will have more power play goals than the entire Ranger team by the end of the week.

...in all seriousness, despite this goal it still doesn't change my mind that the Rangers were right to stay away from Shanahan.

Tuesday Headlines

New York Post - AARON SET VOR' RETURN

Sick Bay

Sorry folks I was holed up with a nasty stomach virus yesterday. Doesn't look like I missed much.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Penguins 3, Rangers 0


The New York Rangers (27-16-4) lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (23-20-4) by the score of 3-0, today. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...looks like someone forgot to tell the Rangers the game started at 12:30 p.m. today. I guess the team was happy with seven out of a possible ten points on the road trip and decided to mail it in.

...got to blame Tom Renney for letting that happen. He needs to make sure this team is ready to go every game and he didn't today.

...since the Rangers didn't feel like playing today, I'm not feeling much like writing about them. So that's all I got.

...the Rangers are back at it Tuesday night when Anaheim is in town.

Rangers @ Penguins (Game 47)

The New York Rangers (27-15-4) visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (22-20-4) today at Mellon Arena starting at 12:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Prucha
Korpikoski-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 23-12-3, 2.53 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Marc-Andre Fleury - 14-11-2, 2.94 gaa, .905 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Pittsburgh is just 11-16-2 since mid November.

- The Penguins are 0-1-2 against the Rangers this year.

- Evgeni Malkin leads the team in goals (18) and points (69).

- Brooks Orpik is out today while Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang are all day-to-day and questionable for today's game.

Opponent Fan Blog:
Pensburgh

Eklund: Rangers In On Lecavalier Talks

Eklund at HockeyBuzz has now lumped the Rangers as one of the teams interested in the suddenly available Vinny Lecavalier (see Lacavalier availability news here).

Eklund's "source" says that the Rangers would need to part with Marc Staal to get it done.

...the Rangers would also need to part with $7.7 million off their payroll for the next seven years to bring him in.

...hey, I just post this stuff.

...actually, I'm interested. If the Rangers could somehow get Lecavalier under the cap, would any of you be willing to part with Staal to bring him in? Post your feeling in the comments section.

Sunday Headlines

Newsday - Staal quickly becoming Rangers top defenseman




Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girardi OK; Crosby Still Hurting

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that the Rangers have yet to call up a defenseman from Hartford in case Dan Girardi is unable to go tomorrow because of an upper-body injury (possibly left hand). Gross adds the Rangers could still call someone up tomorrow morning, but Girardi seems good to go.

Gross is also reporting that despite making it through the team's 50-minute practice today Sidney Crosby is still not sure whether he'll be playing in tomorrow's game. Crosby, who suffered a left knee injury Wednesday against the Capitals and did not play Friday against the Ducks, had this to say...

"I'm just kind of on the fence right now, we'll just wait and see tomorrow," said Crosby. "There were a few things that didn't feel great. That's part of injuries and stuff like that. I just want to make sure I'm comfortable playing in a game."

Finally, Gross says the same line-up will be in tomorrow with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes.

...relieved to hear Girardi is doing ok. Crosby on the other hand, I could care less.

Rangers on Last Night's Refereeing

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has these quotes from Tom Renney and Ranger players on the disgusting display of refereeing last night...

Tom Renney:

“We knew we were right there, we knew we could win,” Renney said. “We knew as the game evolved the calls were going one way so keeping our composure would be important.”

“There was consistency,” Renney said regarding the refereeing. “They were calling everything under the bloody sun. You tell me the other team was so squeaky clean in this game. I’m sure I can buy it.”

“So far, maybe the most satisfying,” Renney said about the win.

Chris Drury:

“It’s probably two of the most rewarding (points),” Drury said. “Looking back, it might be two of the most fun.”

Henrik Lundqvist:

“We played five skaters and two referees,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who made 32 saves and stopped eight of nine shots with the Blackhawks two men up. “It was unbelievable, there were so many calls. I don’t know where they came from. I’m almost not enjoying the win right now, I’m so annoyed at the calls. I can’t believe we killed that many five-on-threes.”

...again, great job by the players and coaches to keep their composure and not let the calls take them off their game. I'm hopeful a victory like this can really pull this team together and send them on an extended win streak.