Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts on Yesterday's Win

Here's a couple of thoughts from some writers on the Rangers victory over the Devils last night.

Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report looks at Sean Avery's restraint, John Tortorella's defensive adjustment and Henrik Lundqvist's turn around.

While Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says Lundqvist is the still the key for the Rangers success, that Torts adjustment was timely and Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi need to continue the push.

Finally, Stan Fischler at MSG.com says the Rangers set the offensive tone early and often and rarely, over three periods, allowed the enemy any significant shooting room.

Rangers Win Nissan Metro Ice Challenge

Somehow lost in the Rangers clutch victory over the Devils last night was with that win they earned themselves a second straight Nissan Metro Ice Challenge Championship. The Rangers and Devils came into the final MIC game tied with 14 points.

Last year the Rangers and Islanders had a controversial tie (here and here) for the crown.

Here are the final standings...

Rangers - 16 points

Devils - 14 points

Islanders - 6 points

...wonder why MSG Network didn't pick-up the TV coverage after Versus to allow Ranger fans to witness the team celebrating another Metro Ice Challenge Championship. Strange. (J/J)

Rangers Down to #19 in THN Power Rankings

The Rangers dropped 11 spots all the way down to number #19 in The Hockey News Power Rankings for the week of March 30, 2009...

19. Rangers - Don't have the breathing room to absorb any more of a slip.

...i know they lost two games over the weekend, but to drop 11 spots seems a bit drastic.

Video: Rangers vs. Devils Highlights

...i haven't posted game highlights in awhile, but last night's game was too good to leave it out.

Tuesday Headlines

The Journal News - Lundqvist lifts Rangers to 3-0 win over Devils

Newsday - Lundqvist's shutout gives Rangers needed cushion

Newsday - Mark Herrmann: Rangers-Devils has become area's hot rivalry

Newsday - Rangers defense backs off and it pays off

New York Times - Rangers Shut Out Devils, Assisted by Avery



Daily News - Rangers hit Devils with B'way smash

The Bergen Record - Lundqvist shuts out Devils, 3-0

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rangers 3, Devils 0

The New York Rangers (40-28-9) defeated the New Jersey Devils (47-25-4) by the score of 3-0, tonight. For a full recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...biggest game of the year and the Rangers respond with their best effort of the season. As a Ranger fan you couldn't have asked for a more complete game from top to bottom. You just wish that the Rangers could bottle up whatever it is that makes them drive to the net the way they do when they play against Brodeur. They'd be unstoppable.

...i said the other night that the Rangers needed Lundqvist to start stealing them some games. I would say a 38-save shutout would qualify.

...got to give Avery all the credit in the world for playing a hard nosed, lunch pail type game and not getting caught up in the whole Avery vs. Brodeur circus. I just can't believe that teams, knowing what Avery is all about, still let him get under their skin. He made Clarkson and Rupp look like complete fools out there in third period.

...The New York Rangers Blog team MVP Ryan Callahan continues to rack up the goals as he came up with another huge one to give the Rangers some breathing room. He now has eight goals in his last 14 games.

...nice to see Dubinsky finally re-discovering his scoring touch.

...what I find a amazing is that in a game where the Rangers could do no wrong, Redden's terrible play stood out like a sore thumb. Man is he awful.

...was Shanahan a healthy scratch tonight? Just sayin'.

...the final props I have to give is to the Garden Faithful. Bravo. The Ranger players couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere to play in tonight.

...two days off then the next biggest game of the year on Thursday night at Carolina.

Rangers vs. Devils (Game 77)

The New York Rangers (39-28-9) host the New Jersey Devils (47-24-4) tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen on Versus. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

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

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 34-23-7, 2.50 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Martin Brodeur - 15-6-3, 2.17 gaa, .925 sv%, 5 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Devils are looking to avoid a season-high fifth straight loss. They have scored just six goals in the four losses.

- Brodeur has also lost four straight after compiling a 9-1-0 record in his first 10 games back from elbow surgery. He is 1-5-3 in his past nine regular-season starts against the Rangers despite a 2.07 goals-against average.

- Zach Parise leads the Devils in goals (42), assists (47) and points (89).

- The Devils lead the season series against the Rangers 3-2, winning three straight.

- New Jersey has lost a season-high four straight road games and have dropped five of their last six and seven of their last 10 away from home.

Opponent Blog:
In Lou We Trust

Avery to Open Bar

Chris Shott at the New York Observer reports that Sean Avery is partnering with Beatrice Inn proprietor Matt Abramcyk in opening an intimate bar and restaurant called Warren 77, located at 77 Warren Street in Tribeca.

...you think Brodeur will be invited to the grand opening?

Oh Yeah, Shanahan's Back

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reminds us that lost in the shuffle of the whole Avery/Brodeur fiasco is the Garden return of Brendan Shanahan.

Shanahan currently has 5 goals and 7 assists in his 27 games with the Devils. He has only three points on the power play (1g, 2a).

Zipay also gives us an update on Michal Rozsival's possible return for Thursday's game at Carolina.

...you think there will be a video?

...while I know Shanahan brings more than goals to the table, by just looking at his stats I think the Rangers made the right decision not bringing him back.

All Avery/Brodeur All Day

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has a great preview of the Avery/Brodeur match-up tonight, full of links.

Wyshynski on what to expect from Avery...

"The question used to be, "What will Sean Avery do next?" in his rivalry with the Devils. But in this Sean 2.0 world, is the question now whether the post-therapy Avery will do anything outlandish at all against New Jersey?"

...i think the answer is no. This game is too important for Avery to be worried about Brodeur. The Rangers need wins.

Avery vs. Brodeur

...in anticipation of Sean Avery and Martin Brodeur's first meeting since Avery re-joined the Rangers, here's a great compilation of Avery vs. Brodeur's greatest hits.

Monday Headlines

The Journal News - Avery keeping focus before Devils game

Newsday - Rozsival close to returning for Rangers



Daily News - Avery silent as Marty, Devs visit

The Bergen Record - Avery playing it cool

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rozsival Could Be Back by Thursday

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that John Tortorella expects Michal Rozsival to begin skating no later than Tuesday. Tortorella said as soon as trainer Jim Ramsey gives him the word that Rozsival's ready to play, he'll be back in the lineup. Which could be Thursday at Carolina.

Gross also has quotes from players and Tortorella.

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report goes a step further by offering audio clips of the players and Tortorella.

Both Gross and McManus report that Sean Avery is not being made available to the media until after tomorrow night's game against the Devils as to not add any fuel to the Avery/Brodeur fire.

...for all of Rozsival's misgivings, he's still a better option than any Hartford defenseman we've seen so far.

Potter Up, Sauer Down

According to Andrew Gross over at Ranger Rants, Corey Potter has been recalled by the Rangers, while Mike Sauer has been sent back to Hartford.

Sauer only played 1:59 in yesterday's game and was a minus-2.

...man do we miss Rozsival. Did I just say that?

Sunday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers fall short again

Newsday - Rangers question officials after loss to Penguins

Newsday - Morris' role on Rangers' power play expanding

New York Times - Crosby Lifts Penguins Over Rangers


Daily News - Crosby leads Pens past Rangers

The Bergen Record - It's the Pitts for Rangers

The Bergen Record - Notes: Roster moves

Penguins 4, Rangers 3

The New York Rangers (39-28-9) lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (41-27-8) by the score of 4-3, yesterday. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...looks like the Avery/Tortorella bounce may be over. With every team battling the Rangers for a playoff spot at least gaining a point last night the Blueshirts could be in serious trouble.

...while I can forgive Morris for being dusted by Crosby, Redden's lack of effort as he just stood there like a spectator as the Penguin's Captain buried the game winner was inexcusable. He should have been released right after the game.

...might be time for Lundqvist to start stealing the Rangers some games.

...i did love the Rangers resiliency as they came back from deficits all game long and were a Fleury kick save away from tying it in the final minutes.

...man was that some terrible officiating yesterday. The five minute major for interference on Orr had to be one of the worst calls I've ever seen. Add the fact that Avery was mugged the entire game without a single penalty called and Ranger fans had plenty to be steamed about. On a side note, outstanding job by the penalty kill (9-for-9).

...off today then Devils in town tomorrow night.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rangers @ Penguins (Game 76)

The New York Rangers (39-27-9) visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (40-27-8) today at Mellon Arena 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:


Henrik Lundqvist - 34-22-7, 2.47 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Marc-Andre Fleury - 31-17-6, 2.67 gaa, .913 sv%, 4 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Penguins lead the Rangers by one point in the Eastern Conference standings.

- Pittsburgh has won the last two contests against the Rangers after dropping the first three (two in shootouts) this year.

- Sidney Crosby has put together a 14-game point streak with seven goals and 17 assists.

- Evgeni Malkin has 106 points to match his career high set last season, but has notched just two of his league-best 73 assists in five games versus New York. He does have three goals and six assists in a four-game streak, and needs three points to reach 300.

- The Penguins have gone 11-1-2 since Feb. 25.

Opponent Blog:

Saturday Headlines

Newsday - Tortorella cools off after loss; Penguins next



The Bergen Record - Rangers look to finish the job

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tortorella Speaks, Sort of

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has some actual quotes from John Tortorella after practice today.

On Sean Avery and Markus Naslund's lack of ice time in the third period last night...

“I don’t use Sean four-on-four,” he said. “I have three groups I like using there, there were some power plays, some four-on-threes that I don’t put Sean on…Naz, he lost some ice time along the way because I thought some other guys were going. He may get 20 minutes tomorrow night, he may get eight minutes, depends on what goes on, that’s just the way it is.”

Tortorella, however, did not explain why he refused to use Zherdev in the shootout.

At practice, Tortorella flipped Naslund and Fredrik Sjostrom. The other lines remained the same.

...thought I'd be reading about "Herbies" today. Guess not.

Tortorella Owes Us An Explanation

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says that Ranger fans deserved more of an explanation from John Tortorella instead of a post game outburst...

"But you know what, John Torotorella, who wants Sean Avery to keep his cool, needs to give the fans more. The fans know the Rangers ------. They deserve more of an explanation.

Like how he couldn't help them stop the bleeding.

Like why he didn't use Zherdev in the shootout

Like why the vaunted "system" keeps giving up third period goals."

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants goes as far as to call Tortorella's post game performance embarrassing.

...Ranger beat writers really taking Tortorella to task today. Brooks' article in the Post is the worst of them all.

Avery Next Most Valuable Player

Adam Proteau at The Hockey News feels the MVP of each team is pretty obvious so he looks at the next most valuable player for each team in the Eastern Conference, including the Rangers...

MVP: Henrik Lundqvist
NMVP Contenders: Nik Zherdev, Sean Avery
NMVP Winner: Sean Avery
Why? The Rangers have been one of the league’s most notorious Jekyll and Hyde teams this year and you could probably craft an argument as to why any player (other than the No. 1 goalie) on the Blueshirts’ roster doesn’t deserve the NMVP. By default, then, it has to go to the NHL’s biggest boogeyman. Besides, there’s not a small amount of irony in Avery getting an honor of being second, if you know what I mean. And I believe the smarter among you do.

...what about Ryan Callahan? (See here)

Tortorella's Style Suits Rangers

Scott Burnside at ESPN.com takes a look at John Tortorella's impact on the Rangers...

"No one is suggesting this New York Rangers team can replicate what Tortorella's 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning squad did, which was win a Stanley Cup. But if there is one major difference, it's that Tortorella had to bend that team to his will. This Rangers team seemed to have been dying for just this kind of hand on the tiller."

...after last night's effort the Rangers players are going to feel the full impact of Tortorella's in your face style today at practice.

Here's the transcript from Tortorella's brief post game press conference last night as provided by Burnside...

"Yeah, I thought we sucked, right on through the game. I think we're fortunate enough to get a point. We're very fortunate to get that," Tortorella told reporters just outside the visitors' locker room. "I don't give a [expletive] what the guys talked about. I really don't care what the guys talked about, we sucked."

...good luck today fellas.

Friday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers lose lead, game in shootout

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thrashers 5, Rangers 4, SO

The New York Rangers (39-27-9) lost to the Atlanta Thrashers (31-38-6) by the score of 5-4 in a shootout. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...no sugar coating this one. That's as bad of a lost point as you're going to get. Add the fact that Montreal and Florida won tonight and we're looking at a very disappointing night.

...gotta think if Lundqvist is in there that game never gets to overtime. Not saying Valiquette was to blame, but I think Lundqvist might have come up with a couple of those.

...combined -8 for Staal and Girardi. Toughest night of their young careers.

...not too often a team scores two power play goals and you say they had a bad night. But their failure on the 5-on-3 in the third period killed them.

...why no Zherdev in the shootout?

...on the positive side. At least the Rangers got a point. With the way Atlanta was flying towards the end of regulation I was nervous that they'd leave with nothing. With the Rangers currently in a playoff spot, as long as they continue to accumulate points they should be alright.

...not sure if anyone caught Tortorella's post game press conference. Let's just say the Rangers should be in for a brutal practice tomorrow.

...off tomorrow then on to Pittsburgh to take on Cindy and the Penguins on Saturday afternoon.

Rangers @ Thrashers (Game 75)

The New York Rangers (39-27-8) visit the Atlanta Thrashers (30-38-6) tonight at Philips Arena 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:


Steve Valiquette - 5-5-1, 2.77 gaa, .910 sv%, 1 so.

Kari Lehtonen - 18-22-3, 3.09 gaa, .910 sv%, 3 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Atlanta has given up nine goals in 22 short-handed chances while losing three of its last four games.

- Kovalchuk has just one goal in his last seven games against the Rangers.

- The Thrashers have beaten the Rangers in three of the last four games in Atlanta.

Opponent Blog:
Blueland Blog

Valiquette Gets the Nod

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Steve Valiquette will get the call tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Coach John Tortorella cited the stretch of three games in four days and four in six, including Saturday's afternoon game in Pittsburgh, for the decision.

Zipay will be hosting a live web chat at 2 p.m.

...i had a feeling this might happen. (See here)

Rangers Have 87% Chance of Making Playoffs

Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report links to a pretty cool web site that calculates the Rangers chances of the making the playoffs.

The website also informs us who we should be rooting for in games between potential playoff teams.

...Rangers got a huge boost to their playoff chances with Buffalo's comeback win against Florida last night. The Rangers now have a five point lead on the ninth place Panthers with eight games left.

Callahan Thriving Under Tortorella

Brian Compton at NHL.com looks at Ryan Callahan's success under John Tortorella...

"He should be, considering he's become one of New York's more consistent players. A tenacious forechecker who is fearless in front of the net, Callahan has helped keep the Rangers in the postseason race following a midseason tailspin that cost Tom Renney his job. Callahan, though, has thrived under new coach John Tortorella."

...Callahan, hands down, has been the team MVP this year. He hasn't taken a game off and is the only player who has consistently contributed all season long. And since Tortorella's arrival, he's actually stepped it up a notch.

Thursday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers on better road

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Naslund Sits; Power Play Struggling

Katie Strang at Blue Notes reports that Markus Naslund sat out practice today, but will play tomorrow in Atlanta.

...had to figure Naslund was going to sit out today after taking a vicious hit from Gaborik last night. Got to give him credit for not missing a shift.

Stang also has John Tortorella talking power play (1 for last 16)...

"The improvement on the power play is, something I look at right from the get-go, is just movement. I think our guys, when things aren't going well, get stagnant. For our power play to work, for any power play to work well, it's not only the person with the puck, but also the people without it, and I think sometimes we get stationary. That's where we have to be more consistent, as far as moving with and without the puck, and I think that'll help our power play."

Jane McManus at the Ranger Report looks at how the last meeting with Atlanta (Adam Graves Night) was the low point of the season.

She also has audio from Lundqvist, Tortorella and Sauer.

Finally Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants looks at the Rangers final eight games.

Brawling at the Garden

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy takes a look at the two fights during the Rangers/Wild game last night...

On the Sean Avery/Cal Clutterbuck fight...

Why fight so early? Because Avery played like a slice of crap in the Rangers' previous game, according to Coach John Tortorella: "I know Sean knows he didn't play well that other night. He didn't get some ice to play on. I think he wanted to get back into his game, bang a little bit, fight."

Wyshynski also has analysis of the Colton Orr/Owen Nolan fight.

...there's no denying Avery's ability to wake-up the Rangers when they're sleep walking through a game. Avery felt the team dozing off last night and made sure to throw cold water on the team.

A Sit Down with Tortorella

Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report has a great interview with John Tortorella.

Carpiniello asks Torts about his knowledge of his players, trap vs. pressure systems, showing video, and on the team's identity.

Here's Tortorella on the team developing an identity...

“I wouldn’t say way off, and I definitely wouldn’t say dead-on. It depends on the period that you talk to me. And that’s my concern, our consistency. It’s not consistency of the scoreboard or Xs and Os. It’s the consistency of a mindset. I still think we have work to do there, and for our team to feel they can step on that ice and feel good that they’re going to get it done, not hope to get it done. And that’s going to take some time. I know it’s going to take some time. It’s easy, you know, you win a couple of games and you get on a bit of a roll. But I know we have work to do there."

Carp also has post Wild game quotes from Tortorella here.

...the guy has come in and delivered. Not much more I can say.

Rangers Overpaid For Blueliners

In his column for The Hockey News, John Grigg says last summer can only be described as one where undeserving blueliners beefed-up their bank accounts.

Glen Sather, who Griggs says seems to relish in paying more for players than he should or, even, needs to, is taken to task for his disasterous signings of Michal Rozsival, Wade Redden and Dmitri Kalinin.

Griggs even wonders if Sather will be the GM next year.

...i said this the other day, while Sather seems to have redeemed himself at the trading deadline, Rangers fans are going to see the true incompetence of those signings when the Blueshirts are capped out for the next two or three years.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Ugly win helps Rangers' cause

The Bergen Record - Rangers notes - Sauer Debuts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rangers 2, Wild 1

The New York Rangers (39-27-8) defeated the Minnesota Wild (34-31-8) by the score of 2-1, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...during Renney's tenure with the Rangers a 2-1 game would usually put me to sleep, but even with the lack of scoring tonight, I was completely into the game and felt the Rangers took it to the Wild. They probably should have won by two or three goals.

...with a goal and an assist tonight Zherdev has six goals and four assists in his last 11 games. While he's always a candidate to be in any coach's "chateau bow-wow," Zherdev has the skills to dominate every night.

...got to give props to Orr. He hasn't played a lot since Tortorella came to town, but he had a great game tonight. Beat the crap out of Nolan and a few scoring chances.

...i thought Sauer looked real comfortable tonight. I was really impressed by his confidence with the puck. No panic.

...a little concerned with the power play as they've failed in big spots the last two games. But I'll give them a couple of more games before I start to panic.

...the win puts the Rangers into a sixth place tie with the Penguins.

...the Rangers are 7-3 since the arrival of Avery this year and are 57-26-13 overall with him in the line-up. And some Rangers fans didn't want him back?

...off tomorrow then down to Atlanta for a date with the Thrashers on Thursday. Valiquette anyone?

Rangers vs. Wild (Game 74)

The New York Rangers (38-27-8) host the Minnesota Wild (34-30-8) tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Versus. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

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

Probable Lines:


Henrik Lundqvist - 33-22-7, 2.50 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Niklas Backstrom - 32-21-7, 2.37 gaa, .921 sv%, 7 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Marian Gaborik will be playing in his second game since December 28th hip surgery. Gaborik scored five goals in one game against the Rangers last year.

- Mikko Koivo is out with a knee injury. He leads Minnesota with 62 points

- The Wild are 0-2-2 in their last four road games.

- The Wild have won three of the last four meetings with the Rangers.

- Cal Clutterbuck leads the NHL with 302 hits. The record is 311.

Opponent Blog:
Hockey Wilderness

Sauer Paired With Mara

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that Mike Sauer, who is wearing #56, will be paired with Paul Mara tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

Sauer on his recovery from reconstructive surgery to his right knee...

"My knee has been feeling good, it hasn't been an issue," said Sauer, adding his hip, which has also been injured, also hasn't been a factor. "I feel more solid on the ice, more confident, I'm stronger turning . You almost have to retrain those muscles."

Tonight's lines:


For more on Sauer go to Blue Notes.

...would love to see Sauer come in here and succeed the way Girardi did when he was a late season call up two years ago.

Rangers Report Live Video Web Chat Today @ 1pm

Rick Carpiniello and Jane McManus at the Rangers Report will be hosting a live video web today at 1 p.m. To participate click here.

Rangers Up to #8 in THN Power Rankings

The Rangers moved up four spots to #8 in The Hockey News Power Rankings for the week of March 23, 2009...

8. Rangers - What a job young Marc Staal is doing on the back end.

...somehow THN has the Rangers ranked ahead of the Bruins, Capitals and Flyers. Not sure about that.

Tuesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers call up Sauer to replace Rozsival

Newsday - Rangers defenseman Rozsival replaced by Sauer


Daily News - Sauer reality as Rozsival will sit out

The Bergen Record - Rangers tap Sauer to replace Rozsival

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rozsival Out 7-10 Days

Newyorkrangers.com reports that Michal Rozsival is expected to be sidelined for seven to 10 days with a lower body injury (knee).

Rozsival suffered the injury in the second period of Sunday night’s game vs. Ottawa at Madison Square Garden.

...man I was only kidding when I said I was hoping he'd be out 8-10 days. Better watch what I wish for.

Coaches Talk Rozsival & Sauer

Katie Strang at Blue Notes has quotes from John Tortorella on the Michal Rozsival injury as well as on the call-up of Mike Sauer...

John Tortorella on Rozsival...

"He’s played pretty well. The key thing with Rozy, he can give you some offense. He’s played defensively, but he gets us out of our end zone, he’s on our power play, and the thing I like about him, he’s been taking hits to make plays. He’s a good player and we’ll miss him, but you can’t bellyache about that, [we] have to find a way to make do without him. He’s involved in our power play, penalty kill, and five-on-five, he’s a guy who will be missed."

...not by Rangers fans he won't.

Jim Schoenfeld on Sauer:

"(He) is pretty much a stay-at-home defenseman who sees the available options for passes and can make a good pass. He's a vocal defenseman, he really helps his partner with his decision-making. He's a good skater. He's strong, he'll clear the front of the net, but he lately has added an offensive element to his game."

...hopefully Sauer fits right in because the Rangers could use a stay-at-home defenseman who'll clear the crease.

Sauer To Play for Injured Rozsival

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that the Rangers have called up rugged Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Mike Sauer who will play for the injured Michal Rozsival tomorrow night against the Minnesota Wild.

Sauer (AHL photo) is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and has played 59 games this season for the Wolf Pack where he has six goals and 16 assists.

...its always exciting when a prospect gets a chance.

Ottawa Newspaper Roasts Redden

Doug Fischer at the Ottawa Citizen rips into Wade Redden for his diminishing skills and big contract signing with the Rangers...

"Well, if Redden thought he had it rough in Ottawa, where his declining skills sparked scorn and demands for a trade on open-line talk shows during his last few seasons here, his reception in New York must have felt like a mugging."

...its funny everything Fischer writes is true and I've heard Ranger fans say all of it a thousand times, but to hear it from someone outside the Rangers circle actually makes me want to stick up for Redden and tell Fischer to go F'off. Weird.

Rangers May Not Be Able to Sign Dubinsky

Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports looks at seven restricted free agents whose current teams might not be able or willing to keep them, including Brandon Dubinsky...

Brandon Dubinsky, N.Y. Rangers:

Dubinsky has struggled in his sophomore season in New York, but he's not the only Ranger who has had challenging times this season. More important, Dubinsky is only 22 and has a lot of upside offensively, something he showed last season when he played with Jaromir Jagr. Dubinsky doesn't make much by Rangers standards -- only $635,000 -- but New York already has more than $40 million committed for next season, and only nine players signed.

...while Sather was able to save face with three outstanding trade deadline pick-ups, Ranger fans will be reminded once again of the terrible contracts he's given out when the Rangers can't sign a number of key free agents this off-season including Dubinsky, Callahan, Zherdev, Antropov, Morris, Mara and Sjostrom.

Monday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers low on energy in loss

Newsday - Ottawa ends Rangers' three-game winning streak

New York Times - Rejuvenated Senators Too Tough for the Rangers


Daily News - Senators slow Rangers' roll

The Bergen Record - Rangers derailed by Sens

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Senators 2, Rangers 1

The New York Rangers (38-27-8) lost to the Ottawa Senators (32-30-10) by the score of 2-1, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...i'm disappointed with the loss tonight, not because the Rangers looked like they did under Renney, but because I felt tonight would be a great test against arguably the hottest team in the NHL and they fell short.

...i can't believe Antropov's shot in the final minute hit Phillip's foot. If he's wearing a size 11 instead of a 12 that game goes into overtime.

...awful power play tonight, Perry Pearn must have been back in MSG picking up a few things he forgot to take home after he was fired.

...congrats to Dubinsky for scoring his first goal in 23 games. Got to give him credit for continuing to play hard every night through that goal scoring drought.

...Callahan continues to be the Rangers most consistent player as he was all over the ice. Would have liked to see him bury a few of his opportunities, but got to love his passion.

...anyone else hoping Rozsival is out 8-10 days with his knee injury.

...a day off tomorrow then the desperate for points Minnesota Wild are in town.

Rangers vs. Senators (Game 73)

The New York Rangers (38-26-8) host the Ottawa Senators (31-30-10) 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:


Henrik Lundqvist - 33-21-7, 2.50 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Alex Auld - 12-17-6, 2.56 gaa, .908 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Ottawa has won four straight and eight of nine.

- Daniel Alfredsson has five goals and 10 assists in Ottawa’s last nine games.

- The Senators’ top line (Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza) now has 36 points in the past nine games. Jason Spezza has at least a point (five goals, nine assists) in all nine of those games.

- Brian Elliott extended his club-record win streak for a goalie to eight games with a win against the Islanders last night.

Opponent Blog:
Silver Seven

ReBranding of Avery

Buddy Oakes at Fox Sports says Sean Avery has reinvented himself during his second stint as a Ranger...

"But Avery has not been just another player on the ice. He has basically been the hardest working player on the team, hustling and being around the puck on every shift."

...obviously Oakes never watched Avery before because he was the hardest working Ranger during his first stint with the team as well.

Oakes still wonders if Avery is going to continue being a model citizen with the Rangers...

"But despite being a key contributor and a model citizen right now, questions remain. Has Sean Avery been "cured" of the problems that have plagued his career both on and off the ice, or is he a ticking time bomb waiting to explode at an inopportune time? Only time will tell."

...again, if Oakes actually watched Avery his first time around with the Rangers he would know that Avery wasn't plagued by off the ice problems in New York.

Sunday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers' Callahan celebrates birthday in style

Newsday - Callahan scores twice to lift Rangers

Newsday - Mark Herrmann: Tortorella instills Rangers with fighting spirit

Newsday - Schoenfeld has big impact on Rangers' defense

New York Times - Healthy Goalie Makes Difference for Rangers

New York Times - Locks Still Flowing 20 Years Later, Duguay Returns


Daily News - Hot Rangers foil Sabres at Garden

The Bergen Record - Rangers push Sabres around

Fomer Ranger Poddubny Dies

NHL.com reports that former Ranger Walt Poddubny died Saturday after collapsing at his sister's house. He was 49.

The cause of death wasn't known.

Poddubny played two seasons for the Rangers between 1986 & 1988, playing in 152 games while amassing 78 goals and 97 assists. He was traded to the Quebec Nordiques for Jason Lafrieniere and Normand Rochefort after the 1988 season.

...RIP Poddubny.

...btw, what a terrible trade, a 40-goal scorer for Normand Richefort!!!

Rangers 5, Sabres 3

The New York Rangers (38-26-8) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (34-30-8) by the score of 5-3, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...despite a shaky third period, that was one of the better regular season games you're going to see. Goals, saves, hits and a little nastiness. Have I mentioned that I love the Rangers under Tortorella?

...happy birthday to Ryan Callahan. What no hat trick on the big day?

...what I find ironic is that the Rangers are playing much better defense now than they did in Renney's defensive system. Individually and as a unit they look more confident, especially on offense where Tortorella has given them the green light to take chances and jump into the offensive play.

...a ho-hum 37 save effort for Lundqvist. Nice bounce back after a tough outing in Montreal.

...two assists for Antropov tonight, giving him eight points in eight games as a Ranger. Got to give Sather some credit for making that move. As well as for Morris, who has really solidified this defense. He's also got a bomb from the point. How was Phoenix not using him on the power play?

...lots of help tonight, as besides the Sabres, both the Panthers and Canadiens went down. Carolina beat the Capitals to stay a point ahead of the Rangers.

...quick turn around to face one of the hottest teams in the NHL the Ottawa Senators tomorrow at MSG.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rangers vs. Sabres (Game 72)

The New York Rangers (37-26-8) host the Buffalo Sabres (34-29-8) 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:


Henrik Lundqvist - 32-21-7, 2.49 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Patrick Lalime- 5-12-3, 3.01 gaa, .903 sv%, 0 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Sabres have lost five of their last six games (1-4-1).

- Derek Roy has two goals and three assists against the Rangers this season.

- Buffalo, which lost to Philadelphia last night 6-3, are 3-7-3 in the second game of back-to-backs.

- The Sabres are 1 for their last 21 on the power play.

- Buffalo has won all three games against the Rangers this season.

Opponent Blogs:
Die By The Blade

Saturday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers find their comfort level

The Bergen Record - New system a go for Redden

The Bergen Record - Lundqvist must step up

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jagr Confirms Oilers Rumor; Will Stay in Russia

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has a press release from the KHL which quotes Jaromir Jagr confirming that the Edmonton Oilers and Avangard Omsk had reportedly reached an agreement that if Avangard did not reach the Gagarin Cup playoffs or was swept in the first round by Salavat Yulaev, he was cleared to report to Edmonton.

As was reported on this blog, Avangard made the playoffs and knocked out the #1 seeded Salavat Yulaev in the first round. Making the point moot.

On whether he will terminate his contract with Omsk, Jagr says...

"Will I voluntarily terminate my contract with Avangard and go to America? That definitely won't happen. Only if the two hockey clubs reach an agreement. But I won't do it by myself"

...i'm actually really surprised to hear Jagr was close to joining the Oilers.

Tortorella on WFAN

This morning John Tortorella appeared on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Radio Show. To listen click here.

...even the hockey ignorant FAN can't ignore the Rangers success under Tortorella.

Gomez Doesn't Expect Retaliation From Sabres

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants asked Scott Gomez if he expects the Buffalo Sabres to exact a little revenge tomorrow night after Gomez injuried goaltender Ryan Miller during a collision on February 21st...

"For what?" Gomez asked about any possible retaliation. "No. It hasn't even crossed my mind. It's not even worth talking about."

Gross also has a report from practice stating that the lines remained the same.

Jane McManus at the Rangers Report also has a report from practice.

...with Lindy Ruff behind the bench for the Sabres, I'd watch my back if I were Gomez.

Rangers Not So Good in Second Half

Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com takes a look at the second half record of every team in the NHL and has the Rangers at 13-12-5 which is good for 22nd in the league.

Non-playoff teams ahead of the Rangers include Atlanta, Toronto and Ottawa. The Devils lead the NHL with a 22-7-0 second half record.

...while the Rangers do have a mediocre second half record they are 6-3-1 in their last ten. Which to me is way more important.

Friday Headlines

Newsday - Callahan finds scoring touch in Tortorella's system

Newyorkrangers.com - Rangers agree to terms with Paul Crowder

Newyorkrangers.com - Morris steps right in to help Rangers win

MSG.com - The Rangers Make the Playoffs Because...

NHL.com - Gomez developed strength, loyalty as youngster

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Intense Practice

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report reports on an intense practice this morning that included a lot of sprinting and pushups, with some line work at the end.

The lines remained the same as Tuesday's game.

Lundqvist Not Likely to Break Brodeur's Record

In the wake of Martin Brodeur breaking Patrick Roy's all-time wins record with 552 (purposely not covered by this blog), Dan Rosen at NHL.com looks at which current NHL goaltender has a chance of catching Brodeur and says its not likely to be Henrik Lundqvist.

According to Rosen, the 27-year-old Lundqvist (136 career wins) would need to average 35 wins over the next 13 seasons just to top Roy's mark of 551.

...Lundqvist would probably need to average at least 45 wins per year to give Brodeur's record (whatever that may be when he finally retires) a run. Not sure if he'll be around when he's 40. What hurt Lundqvist is not starting his NHL career until the age of 24. For a goaltender to break Brodeur's record they'd have to begin playing around the age of 20.

Thursday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers Dubinsky is productive beyond low numbers

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Does Avery Work in New York and Not in Dallas?

Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News wonders why Sean Avery is so successful with Rangers as opposed to with the Dallas Stars...

"Let's start with this: Why has he been so successful in New York? Is it because he tries harder there, that he fits in better there, that he learned his lesson in Dallas and is a new man now? Or is it simply (as so many Rangers fans will tell you) that they know how to handle him and the Stars did not?"

Heika also takes Dallas to task...

"If you don't feel the structured system is best, can you ask why the Stars weren't able to adapt to Avery? He obviously has talent. He can skate, he can agitate, he can score goals. When you watch him now and see what his high-end potential is, do you cut Brett Hull a little more slack for liking what he saw? Could Avery have been the final piece if the team was healthy or was it simply the wrong player at the wrong time? (I still believe it was the wrong player, but it sure doesn't look as foolish now that you see what the guy can do when he's on his game)."

...the reason Avery didn't work well in Dallas was because his teammates didn't have his back. From day one the Dallas players were lukewarm towards him at best. Why would any player want to go to war with teammates that won't be there for him?

...the other reason was the guy loves playing in New York and feeds off the energy in the Garden. I'm sure playing in Dallas, a non-traditional hockey city, was a letdown.

Antropov Sees Difference Between Rangers and Maple Leafs

Nik Antropov spoke with Mike Zeisberger at the Toronto Sun about the differences between the Rangers and Maple Leafs...

"The whole team is really close here," Antropov said in a phone interview. "That's something we never really had in Toronto the past few years.

"One of the reasons is all the new faces we had with the Leafs in the last two or three years. And then there were different coaches, different systems. That all plays a part in it.

"It's not a shot at Toronto. I loved my time there. But I did notice the difference when I got here."

Antropov also discusses Sean Avery and John Tortorella's system.

...should be interesting to see if the Rangers are able to re-sign Antropov this summer. The Rangers cap situation along with the vast number of Ranger free agents this summer (Dubinsky, Zherdev, Callahan, Sjostrom, Morris and Mara) will make it difficult.

Tortorella At It Again

Below is video from John Tortorella's post game news conference where is gets agitated with a Montreal reporter who repeatedly asks about the difference between the Rangers last night and the last two times they visited Montreal.

Let's just say Tortorella wasn't interested in answering the question (at around the 55 second mark)...

...man he makes the post game press conference entertaining.

Blogs: Musings, Congrats & Sabres

Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Reports gives some musings from last night's Rangers victory over Montreal.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants congratulates John Tortorella on becoming the winningest American born coach in NHL history.

Stan Fischler at MSG.com looks ahead to the Rangers next game against Buffalo.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers get big win vs. Montreal

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rangers 4, Canadiens 3, SO

The New York Rangers (37-26-8) defeated the Montreal Canadiens (36-25-9) by the score of 4-3 in a shootout, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...this might be the first time I'm saying this all year, great job by the offense bailing out Lundqvist tonight. The offense has left Lundqvist out to dry all season long and on a night where he gave up a bad goal late as well as two out of three in the shootout the offense finally found a way to pick up their goaltender by burying all three shootout attempts to get the very important two points.

...loved the team's poise after the Canadiens tied it late. We've seen all too often this team go in the tank when things go bad. Especially in Montreal. But tonight they showed resolve that allowed them to kill off a Canadiens power play in the final two minutes of regulation that allowed them to win it in the shootout.

...Antropov looks like the pick-up of the trade deadline right now as he has four goals and two assists in the seven games since being traded to the Rangers. As well as a critical shootout goal tonight.

...Callahan continues to be the most consistent Ranger all year. He brings it every night and is now stepping up offensively with four goals and three assists in his last eight games.

...was that a 'Captain Clutch' sighting tonight?

...I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Gomez' revival under Tortorella. In the 10 games since Torts came on board Gomez has 10 points. I think Gomez was the player most stifled under Renney's defense first system and now he is able thrive in Tortorella's aggressive game plan.

...lots of help tonight as Buffalo, Florida and Philadelphia all lost in regulation as well as the point the Rangers picked up on Montreal.

...next biggest game of the season Saturday night at MSG against a Buffalo team that is going to be fired up for payback against Gomez whose hit on goaltender Ryan Miller has knocked him out since their last meeting on February 21.

Rangers @ Canadiens (Game 71)

The New York Rangers (36-26-8) visit the Montreal Canadiens (36-25-8) tonight at the Bell Centre 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:


Henrik Lundqvist - 31-21-7, 2.49 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Carey Price - 20-14-7, 2.76 gaa, .906 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Canadiens have dropped two straight and four of six since a four-game winning streak.

- The Canadiens are 21-7-5 at home this season.

- Andrei Kostitsyn leads the Canadiens with 23 goals, while Andrei Markov leads in assists (43) and points (52).

Opponent Blog:
Habs Eyes On The Prize

Sather Saved Season?

Mike Milbury at CDC says Glen Sather's moves at the deadline my have salvaged the Rangers season...

"Give GM Glen Sather credit for recognizing that Plan A was not working out. And blame him for putting together Plan A, while you're at it. The game humbles us all, including the hall of fame GM and coach with a fistful of Cup rings on his resume. And befitting the competitive son of a gun that he is, Slats went to work."

...so what Milbury is saying is that Sather is the savior because he fixed the mess that he created. Huh?

Tonight's Line-up

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has tonight's line-up against the Canadiens...


Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Report looks at the Canadiens possible game plan tonight which may include the Habs anticipating the Rangers’ aggressiveness, and patiently wait for the inevitable (Wade Redden) bad pinch or turnover at the blue line, and then to counter-attack.

And finally at Ranger Rants, Andrew Gross says it was a fast-paced morning skate, as is typical of a Tortorella practice. Lots of two-on-ones, three-on-ones practiced.

...big game for the blueshirts, hopefully Ranger fans can continue their St. Patrick's Day celebrating into tonight.

Video: Yesterday's Post Practice Remarks

John Tortorella talks to reporters following the team's March 16 practice at the MSG Training Center.

Blair Betts, Henrik Lundqvist and Nik Antropov look ahead to their game at Montreal following a March 16 practice.

Zipay to Host Live Web Chat at 2 p.m.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will hold a live web chat today at 2 p.m. from Montreal. To participate click here.

Avery Making News on the Ice

Ira Podell at Yahoo! Sports reports on how Sean Avery has found his game with the Rangers while trying to fit it...

"The other unknown was whether a tamer Avery would lose the on-ice edge that makes him effective. His speed, hockey sense, and surprisingly good scoring touch on display since he got to the Rangers suggest his game is the same."

Avery on John Tortorella...

“He holds everyone accountable, including myself,” Avery said. “I feel like he is on me a lot and trying to get the most out of me and get the most out of all the guys. We are starting to respond to him a lot more.”

...he's been everything Rangers fans hoped for and more.

Rangers Up to #12 in THN Power Rankings

The Rangers moved up two spots to #12 in The Hockey News Power Rankings for the week of March 16, 2009...

12. Rangers - Sean Avery can still stir this team's drink

NHL Contradicts Itself When It Comes to Avery

Ken Campbell at The Hockey News takes the NHL and John Tortorella to task for their contradictions on Sean Avery...

Campbell on the NHL...

"It was all Avery all the time for NBC. And given their unique partnership in the game of the week telecasts, you’d have to think the NHL head office would have been able to put the brakes on that idea if it had seen fit to do so.

After all, this is the same league that, just four months ago, banished Avery for six games and ordered him into anger management counseling for having a potty mouth. It almost derailed his NHL career and the suspension was triple what Randy Jones of the Philadelphia Flyers got for almost ending Patrice Bergeron’s career early last season."

On Tortorella...

"Rangers coach John Tortorella, who as a television analyst called for Avery to be banished from the NHL for good, has the Rangers back in the thick of the playoff race in large part because Avery has played so well for New York since his return. Not surprisingly, he’s now singing Avery’s praises."

...i don't believe Tortorella is contradicting himself. As a TV analyst he's supposed to exaggerate things for ratings. And now as a coach he's finally gotten to know Avery (Torts has said he never knew him beforehand) and realizes what a talented player he really is.

...on the other hand, the NHL is a walking contradiction. How can you almost throw a player out of the league then when he comes back from a lengthy suspension have an isolated camera on the guy the entire game ? While I agree marketing Avery as mush as possible is great way to promote the game as he's the most recognizable player in the league to non-traditional hockey fans Bettman must be criticized for his handling of Avery.

Tuesday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers' Tortorella getting to know what make Drury tick