Sunday, February 28, 2010

Drury, Callahan Settle for Silver

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA earned the silver medal today by losing to Canada 3-2 in overtime in the gold medal game of the Olympics. Game recap.

...well that game lived up to the hype. Congrats to Drury and Callahan on earning silver medals.

...could there have been a worse player for Ranger fans to see score that gold medal winner than Crosby? Maybe if Brodeur was somehow able to score.

...that was the first and last time I jump out of my seat to celebrate a goal scored by a Devil.

...overall the Olympics provided amazing hockey and Bettman is out of his mind not to commit to the 2014 games yet.

...having said that, I'm happy to see the book closed on the 2010 Winter Olympics and Let's Go Rangers!!!!

Del Zotto Returns to Practice; Lundqvist Re-Joins Team

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that Michael Del Zotto return to practice today after having the 50 stitches removed from his chest 20 minutes earlier in the morning.

Gross says it's still not clear whether Del Zotto will be able to play Tuesday at Ottawa when the Rangers restart their season.

Del Zotto on how he felt after practice...

“I felt pretty good, surprisingly,” Del Zotto said of today’s skating session. “Everything, my legs felt good, it felt good to be back on the ice, it’s been 16 days.”

Finally, Gross reports that Henrik Lundqvist re-joined the Rangers for the first time since the Olympics and had this to say about being back...

“Today, I’m focused on the Rangers,” Lundqvist added. “I wanted a couple of days off. But it felt good coming into the rink today.”

Lundqvist added this on his new back-up Alex Auld, who was also at practice...

“It’s a good pickup for us,” Lundqvist said. “Personally, I have to keep playing really well to keep playing, otherwise we’ve got another guy.”

...lots of good news coming out of practice today.

...the Rangers caught a break with Lundqvist only playing three games during the Olympics with two of them being non-competitive. Big difference from 2006.

...now we just wait to hear word on Gaborik, who hopefully should be ok.

Drury, Callahan Play for Gold @ 3:15 p.m.

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA go for gold today against Canada at 3:15 p.m. on NBC. Game preview.

USA-Canada Gold Medal Game Headlines
ESPN - U.S. charges into hockey title game







...don't remember the last time I was this pumped for a hockey game. Hopefully it lives up to the billing.

...would be real awesome to have Drury and Callahan come home with the gold.

Jokinen Scores Tying & Winning Goal as Finland Wins Bronze

Olli Jokinen scored the tying and winning goal as Finland scored four third period goals to defeat Marian Gaborik and Slaovakia 5-3 to win the bronze medal last night. Game recap.

Gaborik who suffered a lower body injury against Canada on Firday played and chipped in a power play goal. His fourth of the tournament.

Game highlights here.

...still not happy that Gaborik played last night, but it was reassuring to see him get through the game without further injuring himself and scoring as well.

...nice to see Jokinen step up big in a big game. Hopefully he can keep that going when he gets back to New York.

Sunday Headlines

Bergen Record - Rangers find backup in Alex Auld

New York Post - Rangers hope banged-up Gabs will play on

New York Post - Rangers claim veteran goalie Auld

New York Post - U.S. hockey upstarts need another upset against Canada, not a Miracle

Daily News - Lupica: U.S. beating Canada no miracle

Newsday - Olympic run confirms U.S. hockey is world-class

Newsday - Twice as hard: US must top Canada again for gold

Newsday - Jokinen scores twice as Finland beats Slovakia, 5-3, for bronze

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gaborik Not Ruled Out for Tonight

Larry Brooks at the New York Post tweets that Marian Gaborik (lower body injury) has not been ruled out for tonight's bronze medal game against Finland.

While, Darren Dreger also takes to Twitter to report that Gaborik's injury is not related to his leg laceration and says he may play tonight.

...not sure how I feel about this. On one hand I'm happy to hear that he's healthy enough to not be ruled out yet, on the other I don't care how minor the injury is the Rangers are in a dog fight for a playoff spot and they don't need him to further hurt himself tonight forcing him to miss a large portion of the remaining 20 games of the season.

...i know Gaborik wants to bring a medal home to Slovakia but he's got to be smart here and make the decision to sit out.

Rangers Claim Auld (Updated)

Update: 2:55 p.m.
Richard Durrett at ESPN.com has this quote from Auld on being claimed by the Rangers...

“It’s exciting,” Auld said by phone. “Obviously, you want to play for an NHL team and that’s what I’m getting here. I look forward to going there and seeing if I can help them get in the playoffs any way I can. They have one of the best goalies in the league there in Henrik Lundqvist, but whatever they need from me, I’ll do. I’ve known throughout my career that there are many ways to contribute.”

Original Post:
Newyorkrangers.com reports the Rangers have claimed Dallas Stars back-up goaltender Alex Auld off of re-entry waivers.

Auld, who is in the final year of his contract that pays him $1 million, is 9-6-3 with a 3.00 gaa and a .894 save% with Dallas this season.

The Rangers will only have to pay 50% of his salary since they claimed him on re-entry waivers.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has analysis here.

...smart move by Sather. I love when he listens to me.

Gaborik Hurt?

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Marian Gaborik sustained a lower body injury (maybe a groin) in the second period of last night's game against Canada and is doubtful for tonight's bronze medal game against Finland.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants adds that he might have re-aggravated his leg laceration.

...nightmare scenario for the Rangers. I'll have more as soon as its available.

Gaborik to Battle Jokinen for Bronze Tonight @ 10pm

Marian Gaborik and Team Slovakia will take on Olli Jokinen and Finland for the bronze medal tonight at 10 p.m. on MNBC. Game preview.

...10p.m.?!?!?!? Come on. This is for the bronze medal and the game is buried on MSNBC after most of the east coast is sleeping. The NBC hockey hating continues.

Drury, Callahan in Gold Medal Game; Gaborik, Jokinen to Battle for Bronze

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA defeated Olli Jokinen and Finalnd by the score of 6-1 to send the Americans to the gold medal game to face Canada tomorrow. Game recap.

...i could not believe what I was witnessing in that first period. After the sixth goal the Finns were probably looking for their women's team goaltender.

...another solid performance for Drury and Callahan. I'd really like to see Callahan get on the score sheet tomorrow.

While in the other semi, Canada held on to defeat Marian Gaborik and Slovakia by the score of 3-2. Game recap.

...nice comeback by the Slovaks. This was the first game I was actually able to watch Gaborik during the Olympics and he's held scoreless. Sorry Marian.

...the Rangers are assured of three medals. Not too bad.

Saturday Headlines

New York Post - Rangers could claim veteran goalie Auld

Newsday - US-Canada, Part 2: This time it's for hockey gold

New York Times - Preparing Side by Side to Bolster U.S. Hockey Teams

Friday, February 26, 2010

Auld Available

On Wednesday the Dallas Stars placed their back-up goaltender Alex Auld on waivers, which he cleared. Now today, Bob McKenzie of TSN tweets that they Stars have put him on re-entry waivers meaning a team can claim him and pay just half his salary.

Auld, who is in the final year of his contract that pays him $1 million, is 9-6-3 with a 3.00 gaa and a .894 save% with Dallas this season.

...cheap, veteran goaltender. Can the Rangers please claim this guy and clean-up their back-up goaltending mess?

Semi-Finals Schedule

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA will take on Olli Jokinen and Finland today in the first Olympic semi-final at 3 p.m. on NBC. Game preview.

While in the other semi, Marian Gaborik and Team Slovakia will go for another upset as they face Canada at 9:30 p.m. on CNBC. Game preview.

...while everyone is rooting for a US-Canada rematch, I'll be pulling for Gaborik and the Slovaks tonight. Would be nice to see a Ranger come home with the gold. Especially Drury and Callahan.

What Went Wrong for Lundmark

TSN catches up with former Ranger first round bust Jamie Lundmark who was recently picked off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs...

"Once a can't-miss-kid touted by NHL Central Scouting, a gifted forward taken ninth overall by the New York Rangers, Lundmark is hoping to use the last 21 games of the season to prove he can play. He wants to accomplish some of the goals he set for himself back when he was 19, representing Canada and set to become a star."

On why he struggled with the Rangers Lundmark said...

"A first-rounder going into New York is obviously a lot of pressure," he said. "I was young, but also, our team was old. We had a lot of veteran, all-star players who needed to play minutes. Really, I don't think I learned a lot in the first couple years of my career, and I think that kind of set me back."

...i'm sorry if you can't learn a lot sitting in a lockerroom with Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter you're not going to learn anywhere.

...having said that, the Rangers did an awful job incorporating youth into those teams which led to the long playoff draught of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Friday Headlines

New York Post - Ousted 'King' heads home

New York Post - MIKE VACCARO: Unsung '72 squad set standard

Daily News - Stalwart Brian Rafalski principal reason behind America's Olympic semifinal matchup with Finland

Newsday - Prospal wants to stay a Ranger

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gaborik has Bragging Rights Over Lundqvist

Dan Rosen at NHL.com caught up with Marian Gaborik last night after Slovakia's upset over Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden...

On the upset Gaborik said...

"It's a very important game and we did everything we were talking about before the game. There was a system, being disciplined, being on the puck and wining the battles. We did all of that and Halak was great in net and, you know, I'm proud of these guys."

While Sawn P. O'Rourke also of NHL.com spoke with Lundqvist...

On what went wrong...

"They had a good power play. They pretty much beat us the way we thought they could beat us -- on mistakes and turnovers. They come really fast and they are pretty skilled. We think we were the better team, but they kind of hurt us in their good areas."

...loving Gaborik's domination so far, gives me lots of hope for a nice March run by the Rangers.

...as far as Lundqvist goes, like I said in an earlier post, I'm happy to see him out early. He can now go home relax for a couple of days and be ready to carry the Rangers the rest of the way.

Non-Olympians talk Break

Jim Cerny at Newyorkrangers.com caught up with numerous Rangers after yesterday's practice to discuss what they did during the Olympic break....

“It was really great for me and for my family,” said Prospal, a former member of the Tampa Bay Lightning who still maintains a home in Tampa. “We went to Busch Gardens, got some sun, visited restaurants that we haven’t been to in a while. It was really great.”

Cerny adds that Enver Lisin and Artem Anisimov headed to warm locales, while Michael Del Zotto and Eric Christensen headed home.

On watching the Olympics Prospal added...

“I’ve tried to see almost all of the games,” said Prospal, a native of the Czech Republic who represented his country in the 2006 Winter Games. “It’s hard watching from far away, but the Czechs better play better than they did (Tuesday) night.”

...it must be real nice for those guys to get an extended break to prepare themselves for the stretch run.

Drury, Callahan, Gaborik & Jokinen to Semis; Lundqvist Headed Home

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA is headed to the Olympic semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Switzerland yesterday. The Americans will face Finland in the first semi on Friday. Game recap.

...another exciting game from Team USA. Love seeing Drury and Callahan getting pressure minutes at the end of the game. Makes it that much more enjoyable to watch.

While, Marian Gaborik and Team Slovakia upset Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden last night by the score of 4-3. Slovakia will face Canada, who pounded Russia 7-3, in the other semi-final on Friday. Game recap.

Gaborik had a power play goal (third goal of Olympics) and increased his Olympic leading shot total to 27 in five games. Lundqvist made just 10 saves on 14 shots. For Gaborik's goal click here.

...got to say I'm shocked by the result of this one. I tried to stay up and watch but didn't even make it to the end of the Finland/Czech game.

...not too upset to see Hank out of the Olympics. Less chance of a repeat of 2006.

...Gaborik better save some of these goals for the regular season.

Finally, Olli Jokinen and Finland will be heading to the medal round for the second straight Olympics after defeating the Czech Republic 2-0. Game recap.

Thursday Headlines

New York Post - Olympic break helps banged-up Del Zotto

New York Post - MIKE VACCARO: Only ones cheering Americans are U.S.

Daily News - New York Rangers' Michael Del Zotto still on mend after suffering cut on rib cage on Feb. 12

Daily News - Parise scores twice to lead USA into semis

Daily News - Bondy: Team U.S.A. stays cool under fire

Newsday - Staple: Swiss test was just what U.S. needed

Newsday - Slovakia upsets Sweden to advance to semis

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Video: Del Zotto Talks Injury

See video here.

Del Zotto Sits Out Practice

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that Michael Del Zotto is still recovering from the laceration to his chest suffered at Pittsburgh and did not participate in the Rangers first practice since the Olympic break, today.

He said he wouldn’t skate until the stitches are taken out, which he expects to happen this weekend. Meaning he is questionable for Tuesday's game in Ottawa.

As far as practice goes the players were on the ice for about 50 minutes and will also be on the ice tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Monday before flying to Ottawa. Over the last 15 minutes, assistants Jim Schoenfeld and Mike Sullivan put the players through a conditioning skate that ended with rounds of on-ice push-ups.

...sounds like Del Zotto is progressing nicely.

...how about this USA/Swiss game? Great stuff.

Rangers Resume Practice Today (Updated)

Update, 1:22 p.m.:
Per newyorkrangers.com, Rangers recall Chad Johnson from Hartford for today's practice.

Original Post:
In actual Rangers news, the non-Olympic Blueshirts get back to practice today with assistant coaches Mike Sullivan and Jim Schoenfeld at the helm. Per Rangers Report and Blue Notes.

...these guys better be ready when the Rangers schedule resumes on Tuesday in Ottawa as they'll be counted on while the Olympians shake off the post-Olympic hangover.

Kreider Rolling

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park reports that Rangers 2009 first round pick Chris Kreider has eight goals in his last nine games for Boston College and any thoughts of him becoming the next Huge Jessiman can go away...

"It is scary when you realize that Kreider actually skates faster with the puck on his stick than he does without it. Becoming faster with the puck on your stick is an almost impossible task but Kreider does it as he can increase his speed.

It is always nice to be proven wrong as we had serious doubts about Chris Kreider's talents but he is showing that he was a worthy pick for the Rangers to make in the 2009 draft..."

...it seems like the World Junior Champioships really gave Kreider a shot of confidence as he has been on a roll ever since helping lead US to the gold.

...as always great job by Rubenstein keeping an eye on all the Rangers prospects.

Avery Not a Fan of Ellen

Sean Avery took to Twitter this morning to air his thoughts on Ellen Degeneres' performance as an American Idol judge last night...

"Ellen D says the same sh@t to every contestant on American Idol, she's a bore zzzzzzz."

...i know Avery is into music, but I'm not sure he should be admitting he watches "Idol."

...he pretty much just ended his ability to talk smack to opponents. Avery: "Hey Crosby, I was out with your mother last night." Crosby: "Dude, you watch American Idol?" Game over.

Today's Quarterfinal Schedule

United States vs. Switzerland @ 3 p.m. on NBC
Russia vs. Canada @ 7:30 p.m. on CNBC
Finland vs. Czech Republic @ 10 p.m. on CNBC
Sweden vs. Slovakia @ 11:55 a.m. on CNBC

...NBC is killing me with Sweden vs. Slovakia @ midnight. No love for Ranger fans from NBC.

Gaborik Dominates in Slovakia's Win Over Norway

Marian Gaborik had a goal (power play) and an assist as well as nine shots on goal during Slovakia's 4-3 win over Norway. Slovakia's win sets-up a quarterfinal match-up with Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden. Game recap.

...curse NBC for putting this game on so late. Would have loved to watch Gaborik dominate. Looks like the leg laceration is not a factor at all. Great to see.

...Gaborik vs. Lundqvist. Raise your hand if you're excited.

For video of Gaborik's goal click here.

U.S.-Canada Game Has Huge Ratings

This is from yesterday. Stu Hackel at Slap Shot reports that MSNBC’s audience for Sunday’s United States-Canada preliminary-round game Olympic men’s hockey game, 8.22 million viewers, was the second highest in the history of that network, only slightly behind its ratings on election night in 2008, when 8.23 million watched.

...nice to see a big number for hockey. Wonder what the ratings would have been on NBC.

...i'm hopeful that a nice run by the Americans will lead to increased interest in the sport. Not sure it could ever get back to the popularity of 1994, but you never know.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rangers in Playoff Position with Olympic Point System

David Oleksy at Die by the Blade takes a look at what the NHL standings would look like if the league ditched the current point format for the Olympics system which awards three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss and zero points for a regulation loss.

While the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference are unchanged, the lower playoff seeds are very much affected as the Rangers go from 9th place and one point behind 8th place Montreal in the NHL standings to 7th place with a five point lead over 8th place Tampa and a six point lead over 9th place Atlanta in the Olympic system.

The Western Conference standings were virtually unchanged.

...i hate the current NHL format. Way too many three point games which makes it difficult for teams to make a move late in the season.

...i like the Olympic system. The only change I'd make is that I'd still give three points for an OT win and zero for an OT loss. It would put more emphasis on winning and cut down on the dreaded three pont game. I'd even be in favor of scrapping the point system all together and just have wins and loses with winning percentage deciding playoff seeding.

...h/t to Puck Daddy.

Gaborik Plays in Qualification Round Tonight

Marian Gaborik and Team Slovakia take on Norway in the qualification round tonight at 11:55 p.m. on CNBC. Game preview.

Other qualifier games include Belarus vs. Switzerland @ 3pm on USA Network; Germany vs. Canada @ 7:30 p.m. on CNBC; and Latvia vs. Czech Republic @ 10pm on CNBC.

...why is the only game featuring a Ranger on at midnight? Dammit.

Langenbrunner: He's Just Clutch

Shawn P. O'Rourke at NHL.com continues the Chris Drury lovefest with a piece on, what else, his clutchness, which includes this quote from Team USA Captain Jamie Langenbrunner...

"He's just clutch," American captain Jamie Langenbrunner told NHL.com Sunday night. "I think I said that when people were questioning him on this team. There are not too many guys that are more clutch than he is.

"I'm happy to have him on this team. He is another one of those guys that can rise up and play in those pressure situations. He feels good in those pressure situations and delivers, and delivers pretty regularly."

...i hope the expectations for Drury aren't going to be out of control for the rest of the Olympics now. Because, despite the outstanding start, he should still be looked at as a fourth line player who will kill penalties.

Everyone But Gaborik a Disappointment

Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy names his five biggest disappoints of the NHL season including every skater on the Rangers not named Marian Gaborik...

4. Every skater on the Rangers not named Marian Gaborik
The only reason, and I mean only reason, the Rangers are still even talking about a playoff spot (they're currently a point out of eighth, tied with Tampa) is Marian Gaborik and his 35 goals. That's 35 of the team's 161, or 21.7 percent.

Only two other teams in the league have their leading goalscorers at anything close to that total. One is Sid Crosby for Pittsburgh, who at least has Evgeni Malkin(notes) to take away some of the offensive pressure. The other is Steven Stamkos(notes) in Tampa, who actually leads the league in this category with 21.9 percent of his team's goals, but he has Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier.

And who does Gaborik have? The team's next-highest point total belongs to Vinny Prospal(notes), who has 22 fewer points than Gaborik. Its second-leading goalscorer is Ryan Callahan(notes), who has 20 fewer goals. The Rangers offense is 24th in the NHL. Imagine what happens if Gaborik's injury holds him out for a significant amount of the season's remainder. Two words: Lottery. Pick.


...while this is a bit of an exaggeration (no love for Del Zotto?), I really can't argue with any of it.

Roenick Issues National Apology to Drury

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy reports that Jeremy Roenick issued a 'national apology' to Chris Drury on WFAN yesterday for his comments that the Rangers captain didn't deserve to be on Team USA...

"I think being in New York, I owe a huge apology, both in the New York area or across the country, to Chris Drury, who I said probably should not have been there, here in the Olympics. [He's] been a monster for Team USA. He's been one of their best players. I'll eat crow when crow needs to be eaten. This is my national apology to Chris Drury. He's just been a great, great hockey player."

To listen to Roenick on WFAN click here.

...i killed Roenick when he made those comments, so I've got to give him props for sucking it up and admitting he was wrong. As were many so-called experts and Rangers fans.

Rangers Will Need Boost from Drury, Callahan

Darren Eliot at SI.com looks at what the bubble teams must do to make the playoffs and has this to say about the Rangers...

"More than anything, the Rangers need a boost from Olympians Ryan Callahan and especially Chris Drury. Both have assumed important roles for Team USA. Drury scored an important third period goal in a 5-3 win over Team Canada. It might just be the spark he needs for a strong finish to the NHL's regular season. That would really help the Rangers' cause."

...100% agree with Eliot here. The Rangers lack of secondary scoring has killed them all season. A rejuvenated Drury and Callahan will go a long way towards getting the Rangers into the post season.

Tuesday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers' Drury shows he belongs on USA team

New York Post - Rangers captain Drury relishes role on U.S. squad

New York Post - MIKE VACCARO: Craig & Miller share special connection

Daily News - Drury's drive makes him USA's go-to guy

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gaborik's Health a Big Surprise

Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy lists the five biggest surprises of the NHL season, including Marian Gaborik's ability to stay healthy...

2. Marian Gaborik's health

He may have entered the Olympic break injured, but what kept Gaborik out of the New York Rangers' game against Tampa Bay and majority of their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was a freak accident. Other than that one game, Gaborik has been completely healthy and we're again seeing what he's capable of doing when not watching from the press box. Without Gaborik, who knows how much further down in the standings the Rangers would be. He is their offense. With 35 goals and 69 points, the closest Rangers to him on the stat sheet is Ryan Callahan's(notes) 15 goals and Vinny Prospal's(notes) 47 points. In fact, when Gaborik is held without a point, New York is 2-12-3. The fact that he's averaging over 18 minutes of ice time with Slovakia shows that his leg injury shouldn't be a concern when he returns to the Rangers next week.


...i've said it numerous times, Ranger fans would have been happy with 35 games out of Gaborik at this point. So 35 goals has us doing cart-wheels.

USA Has #1 Seed

Per Ken Campbell at The Hockey News here is how the rest of the Olympics set up...

The seeds going into the rest of the tournament are as follows:

1. USA
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Finland
5. Czech Republic
6. Canada
7. Slovakia
8. Switzerland
9. Belarus
10. Norway
11. Germany
12. Latvia

Here are the four games in the qualification round Tuesday:
Czech Republic vs. Latvia
Canada vs. Germany
Slovakia vs. Norway
Switzerland vs. Belarus

Then we move on to the quarterfinals Wednesday, which will feature:
1. Winner of Switzerland-Belarus vs. USA
2. Winner of Slovakia-Norway vs. Sweden
3. Winner of Canada-Germany vs. Russia
4. Winner of Czech Republic-Latvia vs. Finland

Then the semifinals, which are slated for Friday:
Winner of Game 1 vs. winner of Game 4
Winner of Game 2 vs. winner of Game 3

And, of course, the winners of those two games face off for the gold medal Sunday. The losers play for the bronze Saturday.


...the schedule definitely gives the Americans a great chance to make the medal round.

Lundqvist Talks Undefeated Prelims

John Dellapino at NHL.com caught up with Henrik Lundqvist after Sweden's 3-0 victory over Finland. Here's an excerpt...

NHL.com: Sweden swept Group C and gets a bye into the quarterfinals. What is the team's mindset?

Lundqvist: The first round here has been good for us. It seemed like we raised our game each game like we should. And now we get a good day off tomorrow, a good practice Tuesday and get ready for Wednesday.But it's just down to one game. So it doesn't matter how we did over these three games. We have to start over now.

...Lundqvist hasn't had to be great, but the prelims gave him a nice warm-up for the quarterfinals.

Another Shutout for Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist made twenty saves for his second shutout in as many games during Sweden's 3-0 win over Olli Jokinen and Finland last night. For a recap click here.

...i watched the first half of the first period and went to bed, so really didn't get to see this game, but two games and two shutouts for Lundqvist sounds real good.

...as we saw yesterday with Ryan Miller, goaltending will be the difference in this tournament. Just ask Marty Brodeur. Yikes.

Drury Shows Mettle

Sarah Kwak at SI.com explains how Chris Drury once again stepped up when the spotlight was on...

"It had been awhile since the old Drury had been spotted, but we got a glimpse of it tonight as he scored the U.S.' third, pivotal goal to take the lead in the middle of the second period. Camped out at the right side of the crease, Drury took advantage of a scrambling Martin Brodeur and buried the loose puck. It was his second goal in two games, and sweet satisfaction in the face of critics who wondered why he'd made the roster in the first place."

...i have definitely been critical of Drury's ability to captain the Rangers, but I never doubted his choice to the US Olympic team. It's always a smart idea to have a vet whose been there and knows what it takes to win. Not just on the ice, but off as well.

Monday Headlines

New York Post - 'Minor Miracle on Ice' stuns Canada

New York Post - Ovechkin checks Jagr; Russians defeat Czechs

New York Post - MIKE VACCARO: U.S. rolls on by T-Ryan harder

Daily News - Rangers' Drury stars as Team USA puts Canada on thin ice with stunning 5-3 upset in Olympic hockey

Daily News - FILIP BONDY: Do you believe in meltdowns? Team USA's Olympic hockey upset has Canada reeling

Newsday - ARTHUR STAPLE: Hard-working U.S. earns some respect

New York Times - Waking Its Neighbors, U.S. Upsets Canada

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drury Scores, Callahan Blocks in USA Upset Over Canada

Chris Drury scored his second goal of the Olympics to break a 2-2 tie and Ryan Callahan made a huge block in the final minutes to help USA defeat Canada 5-3. Here's a game recap.

...any questions about Drury being picked for Team USA now? I didn't think so. 'Captain Clutch' is back. Too bad he can't do that for the Rangers.

...Callahan just blocked another shot.

...i must say that I'm loving the way Wilson is using Drury and Callahan during the Olympics. He's putting them in situations they'll succeed and not over-burdening them. I hope Torts is taking notes.

...the two of them are third line players at best and should be used that way for the rest of the season.

For video of Drury's goal click here.

Jagr Gets Crushed By Ovechkin

If you didn't see Jaromir Jagr get run over by Alex Ovechkin (what the hell were you doing today?) during Russia's 4-2 win here it is...



...hated seeing Jagr get run over, but to his credit he put it behind him and actually played better than he had before the hit.

...unfortunately, the play was the turning point of the game.

Jagr and Ovechkin talk about the hit over at ESPN.com.

Lundqvist/Jokinen Talk 2006 Gold Medal Game

In prep for tonight's rematch of the 2006 Gold Medal Game between Sweden and Finland, newyorkrangers.com talks with Olli Jokinen and Henrik Lundqvist...



...i completely forgot that save was on Jokinen. I wonder how much ribbing Lundqvist gives Jokinen?

Rivalry Day Schedule

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA take on Canada at 7:45 p.m. on MSNBC. Game preview.

While in a 2006 Gold Medal Game rematch, Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden face Olli Jokinen and Finland at 11:55 p.m. on MSNBC. Game Preview.

The Czech Republic plays Russia at 3:00 p.m. on NBC. Game Preview.

...i'm pumped for what should be an outstanding day of hockey.

USA vs. Canada Showdown Previews

ESPN - Team USA the underdog on Sunday






Gaborik Held Scoreless in Slovak Win

Marian Gaborik was held scoreless in Slovakia's 6-0 win over Latvia yesterday. For a recap click here.

...looks like the Rangers best player will be in the Olympics a little bit longer. Dammit!

Sunday Headlines

Bergen Record - Donald Brashear: 10 years after McSorley hit

New York Post - Bettman lets the truth slip

Newsday - LIer Schaeffer hopes to climb Rangers' ladder

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Callahan Talks Olympics on WFAN

Ryan Callahan was on WFAN's Steve Somers Radio Show today to discuss how the Olympics are going so far and the Rangers push towards the playoffs. Click here to listen.

...hockey? WFAN? What is going on?

Gaborik Only Ranger in Action Today

Marian Gaborik and Team Slovakia take on Latvia today at 7:30 p.m. on MSNBC. Game Preview.

In other games Norway faces Switzerland (3 p.m., MSNBC) and Germany plays Belarus (11:55 p.m., MSNBC)

...while today's games are sort of blah, if you're a hockey fan tomorrow is your day. Czech Republic vs. Russia, USA vs. Canada and Sweden vs. Finland. It doesn't get better than that.

Jagr Talks Return to NHL; Richter on Olympics

Dan Rosen at NHL.com was able to speak with Jaromir Jagr about a possible return to the NHL after his one goal, one assist performance against Latvia yesterday...

"NHL is a special League, no question about it. It has a lot of history and I think I was playing 18 years in the NHL and then I decided I am going to go back to Russia, and I can not say anything about my decision because I said I am not going to look back," Jagr said. "I'm just going to finish my contract there and then I am going to make a decision what I'm going to do next. But they treat me so well in Russia that it would be tough to leave them. On the other side, I want to maybe try to come here."

...Jagr has looked like the best player in the Olympics so far and could be a real asset to any team in the NHL.

For more on Jagr check out NHL.com's John Dellapina's one-on-one here.

Meanwhile, former Ranger and Team USA goalie Mike Richter talks Herb Brooks and Olympic goaltenders stealing games.

Jokinen Assists & Lundqvist Sits

Olli Jokinen picked up an assist in Finland's 5-0 win over Germany. Jokinen now has a goal and an assist to help lead Finland to a 2-0 record. For a recap click here.

While the Lundqvistless Swedes hung-on to defeat Belarus by the score of 4-2. The win moved Sweden to 2-0 in the round-robin. Game recap here.

...Rangers fans should be excited as Jokinen has been a force on the power play so far in the Olympics.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cap Will Keep Rangers From Being Big Buyers

Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News says the salary cap will keep the Rangers from making any major moves at the March 3rd deadline including obtaining Edmonton blueliner Sheldon Souray...

"Rozsival and Redden have almost no trade value, so moving their contracts is almost impossible unless Sather is willing to package one of them with a more tempting option (such as, perhaps, center Brandon Dubinsky), but that would do more harm than good to the Blueshirts roster."

Souray still has two years left on his contract worth $5.4 million per year.

...since it doesn't look like the Rangers are sending Redden down to Hartford, I've got to ask the question: Would you be willing to give up Dubinsky to turn Redden's contract, which has four years left at $6.5 million per year, into Souray's contract?

Lundqvistless Sweden & Jokinen Today

Team Sweden, who will rest Henrik Lundqvist, face Belarus today at 3:00 p.m. on MSNBC. Game preview.

While Olli Jokinen and Finland take on Germany at 11:55 p.m. also on MSNBC. Game preview.

The Czech Republic plays Latvia at 7:30 p.m. on CNBC. Game preview.

For a full Olympic schedule click here.

Lundqvist to Sit Against Belarus

Dan Rosen at NHL.com tweets that Henrik Lundqvist will not start today against Belarus.

The Maple Leafs Jonas Gustavsson will get the start.

...if Sweden can't correct their offensive woes from Game 1 they might end up regretting this decision. Having said that, Sweden should be able to defeat Belarus with me in goal.

Drury Scores, Callahan Assists and Gaborik Leads Upset

Chris Drury scored his first goal of the Olympics in Team USA's 6-1 victory over Norway to help improve America's record to 2-0 in the round-robin.

Ryan Callahan picked up an assist on Drury's goal. For a full recap click here.

...despite getting limited ice-time, Drury and Callahan have been very effective. Lots of energy and physical play. Hopefully, the more offense they can bring the more ice time they'll get.

While, Marian Gaborik had six shots on goal (five in the third period) and failed on his overtime shootout attempt during Slovakia 2-1 shootout upset victory over Russia. Slovakia is now 1-1. Game recap here.

...didn't see the game, but sounds like Gaborik was dominant. Not happy to see the Slovaks get a victory but very encouraged with Gaborik once again getting stronger as the game wore on.

Friday Headlines

New York Post - Drury leads USA past Norway

New York Post - U.S. up against heavyweights in quest for Olympic hockey gold

New York Post - Checking in with Rangers and Devils in Vancouver

Daily News - Rangers captain Chris Drury scores as U.S. men's hockey team beats Norway 6-1 in Olympic tournament

Daily News - Gary Bettman won't commit NHL players to 2014 Olympic Games

Newsday - U.S. beats Norway; Rangers' Drury scores

Newsday - Staple: Despite win, U.S. has a ways to go

New York Times - U.S. Men’s Hockey Win Stirs Questions

New York Times - N.H.L. Commissioner Lists Reasons for Failing to Commit to 2014

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Zipay Talks to Prospects

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes was able to speak with Ranger prospects Ilkka Heikkinen, Evgeni Grachev, Bobby Sanguinetti and P.A. Parenteau...


“I think I’m not going to get a one-way contract, not if I play the whole year in the AHL,” a discouraged Heikkinen, 25, told Newsday yesterday after practice in Hartford. “I’m not going to play a second year here. I’ll go back to Europe or maybe Russia.”

...the ridiculous contracts for Redden and Rozsival will be the reason the Rangers lose a young, skilled defenseman.

Grachev, who the Rangers moved to wing this season after scoring 80-points as a center in juniors, on his first professional season...

“I don’t get as much points as I’d like,” said Grachev.

...the Rangers have a lack of depth at center and they move their #1 prospect from his natural center position to the wing. Unreal.

Sanguinetti, who has been out with an ankle injury, on making the big club as a regular...

"That’s my main focus, just a matter of trying to win a spot. It’s tough not being up there, it's everybody’s goal. You hate to think about it, but maybe I would have been there if I hadn't been hurt."

...i'm starting to get worried that Sanguinetti will become another over-hyped Rangers prospect. Next year's training camp will be huge for him.

Parenteau, who has been sidelined with a concussion, on whether he's gotten a chance with the Rangers organization...

"I’m not gonna answer that one; I just want to finish the season healthy."

...while Parenteau may not have gotten a legitimate chance with the Rangers, I'm not so sure he deserved on. A couple of shootout goals doesn't make you a successful NHLer.

Gaborik: I Wanted to Play

Former Ranger beat writer and current NHL PR Guru John Dellapino assesses Marian Gaborik's performance last night for NHL.com...

"He looked tentative in the warm-up and stayed out of traffic early in the game. But when he found a small opening, took a feed from Marian Hossa and wired a quick wrist shot under the crossbar to tie the game, 1-1, 47 seconds into the second period, Gaborik was energized.

He spent the rest of the game buzzing around the Czech zone and peppering goaltender Tomas Vokoun with six shots on goal."


...great hear that Gaborik got stronger as the game went on. My concern is that he may be compensating for the injury and could end up pulling a groin or hammy.

On playing last night Gaborik said...

"I mean, it was what it was," Gaborik said of his physical condition. "It got a little better throughout the game. Hopefully, it's going to get better and better every day. I wanted to play and I tried it. It's a tight tournament."

Drury, Callahan & Gaborik on Tap Today

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Team USA will take on Norway today at 3 p.m. in their second game of the round-robin, which can be seen on USA Network. Game Preview.

While Marian Gaborik and the Slovaks will avoid falling to 0-2 when they take on Russia tonight at 11:55 p.m. on CNBC. Game Preview.

Canada plays Switzerland at 7:30 p.m. on CNBC. Game Preview.

Full schedule can be seen here.

Celebrity Doubles

SI.com takes a look at Olympic hockey players' celebrity doubles.

Chris Drury is said to look like Luke Wilson. While Henrik Lundqvist is compared to Michael Vartan. Finally, Marian Gaborik has a strong resemblance to Rick Schoder.

...this list is classic. Very funny stuff. Especially the Ovechkin comparison.

Drury & Prust Named Tough Guys

Fox Sports named last week's "Tough Guys" and both Chris Drury and Brandon Prust made the list...

5. Chris Drury helped the Rangers pick up their first win in Pittsburgh since Nov. 17, 2007, dishing out an assist, two hits and some punches in New York's 3-2 overtime win over the defending Stanley Cup champs. One of Drury's hits caused Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke to go after the Rangers' captain, prompting the two to exchange blows.

9. Brandon Prust may have changed uniforms recently but not his ways. On Sunday afternoon against Tampa Bay, the Rangers' new tough guy dropped the gloves for the 22nd time this season, putting him one behind the league leader in fighting majors at the Olympic break.

...got to give Drury major props for that fight which seemed to spark the Rangers in their win vs. the Pens.

Lundqvist Gets Shutout; Gaborik Plays, Scores; Jokinen Scores

Henrik Lundqvist had a 21-save shutout in Sweden's 2-0 win over Germany. For Lundqvist's post game interview click here.

...Lundqvist must have thought he was still playing behind the Blueshirts with the lack of offense from the Swedes yesterday.

While, Marian Gaborik, who was supposed to be out until Saturday, surprised everyone by not only playing, but also scoring in Slovakia's 3-1 loss to the Czech Republic. Jaromir Jagr scored the game winner.

...got to admit I'm routing against the Slovaks. I want Gaborik back in New York resting as soon as possible. Having said that, it was nice to see him get one.

...by the way, how good did Jagr look?

Finally, Olli Jokinen scored a power play goal in Finland's 5-1 win over Belarus.

...would be nice to see Jokinen catch fire in the Olympics and carry it over to the regular season.

Thursday Headlines

New York Post - NHL players' flamboyant lawsuit against Roger Clemens' pal could be thrown out

Daily News - Checking in with Rangers and Devils in Vancouver

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lundqvist, Jokinen Up Today

Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden will take on Germany tonight at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on CNBC.

While Olli Jokinen and Team Finland face Belarus today at 3:00 p.m. on MSNBC.

The Marian Gaborikless Team Slovakia take on Jaromir Jagr and Team Czech Republic later tonight at 11:55 p.m. on CNBC.

For the complete television schedule click here.

Drury's Role on Team USA

Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com writes about Chris Drury's role as the 13th forward on Team USA...

"But let me say this: There's a positive flip side to what coach Ron Wilson decided to do with Drury. When you have a 33-year-old veteran with Drury's international experience willing to suck it up for the team and accept a diminished role, it sends a message to a youthful squad: No one is bigger than the team."

Team USA coach Ron Wilson said this about Drury...

"Dru will do anything to help your team win," Wilson said. "We talked yesterday at practice that I saw his role as a primary penalty killer and then I would fit him in and keep him involved. He's accepting of that. He's the one guy that, almost to a man, you guys [the media] have questioned as to why he's on the team. He's there because of the way he played today. He's going to do the little detailed grunt work."

Drury on his role...

"It's about winning, it's not about ice time," Drury told ESPN.com after the game. "We will do whatever Coach Wilson and [GM Brian Burke] wants us to do. That's the bottom line."

...as Drury does with the Rangers, he will be the consummate professional and not complain once. He knows he was brought in to kill penalties and play a checking forward role. And I have no doubt he will succeed.

...to have a successful team you need role players and Team USA seems to have learned that lesson and I think are setup for a nice run in the Olympics.

Del Zotto 8th in Calder Poll

Michael Del Zotto is currently running eighth in the Hockey's Future recent Calder Trophy poll...

8. Michael Del Zotto, D - New York Rangers
6'1, 195 lbs. DOB: June 24, 1990
Drafted 20th overall (1st Round) in 2008


Early power-play success brought Michael Del Zotto's rookie year some attention as the New York Rangers started the season on a hot streak. Although both Del Zotto and the Rangers have cooled off considerably since then, the 19-year-old continues to play important minutes for the Blueshirts. Second among rookies in hits, Del Zotto is still relied upon to help run the Rangers power play, averaging more minutes with the man advantage than any other New York regular. Del Zotto has just a single goal in the past 29 games and only six points over that stretch, but his 26 points in 61 games place him second among rookie defensemen and eighth among all rookies in scoring. Unfortunately his -18 ties Tavares for the league worst among the first-year players.


...while Del Zotto seemed to be running out of gas, the Olympic break should help charge his battery. Hopefully the laceration he suffered against Pittsburgh will heal quickly and properly.

Drury, Callahan Scoreless in USA 3-1 Victory

Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan were held scoreless during Team USA's 3-1 victory over Switzerland yesterday.

However, bother were on the ice during USA goals.

For a Ranger slanted recap visit newyorkrangers.com.

...i thought Drury and Callahan had solid games. A couple of scoring opportunies and a few big hits. Nice start to the tourney for the two of them and Team USA.

...if Sather needed an example of how to build a successful team, I hope he was watching the big, physical forwards (Bobby Ryan, David Backes and Ryan Malone) for Team USA scoring all three goals.

Rangers' Vice President, Event Presentation Ryan Halkett is blogging from Vancouver which you can check out here.

Wednesday Headlines

New York Post - USA, Canada kick some ice in openers

New York Post - MIKE VACCARO: keep helmet phrase

Newsday - ARTHUR STAPLE: Drury, Callahan will be major assets for U.S. hockey team

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Follow the Rangers at the Olympics


Newyorkrangers.com gets Ranger fans ready for the Olympics with a few features on the five Blueshirts in Vancouver.

You can also follow how each player is doing throughout the tournament by clicking here.

Team USA in Your Face Style

Ryan Callahan has agreed to send Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants some e-mails during the Olympics and here's his first one...

“I think our team will be a fast, in-your-face type style,” Callahan wrote. “It seems to be a well-built team with out-grinders and checkers and our top skill guys and good goaltending. The Swiss, I think, will be a fast team that has played together now for a while, which will help them. They also have a good goalie in (Jonas) Hiller.”

Team USA opens up their round-robin schedule today at 3 p.m. against Switzerland, which can be seen on USA Network.

...if Team USA can be successful with a blue collar approach the United States will fall in love with this team.

...i think today's game will be a close low scoring affair with USA's depth being the difference.

Gaborik to Miss First Two Olympic Games

NHL.com reports that Marian Gaborik will miss Slovakia's first two Olympic games and won't ready until the round-robin finale on Saturday against Latvia.

According to Slovakian team doctor Dalimir Jancovic, Gaborik still has significant weakness in his right leg and difficulty fully flexing his knee one week after a collision in practice with New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist left him with a deep skate gash to his lower thigh.

"I think he needs without training three days still," Jancovic told NHL.com.


...this is where the Rangers are put in a difficult situation. If he still has significant weakness in the leg, I'd much rather see him fly back to New York and rest for the two weeks instead of trying to push himself which may cause further injury.

...Sather needs to make phone calls to Gaborik and the Slovakian Olympic team asking for him to come back home.

Power Rankings at Olympic Break

ESPN drops the Rangers one spot to #24 in their recent power rankings...

24. Rangers - Olli Jokinen has fit in nicely in the Big Apple.

While The Hockey News bumps the Rangers up to #18 from #25...

18. Rangers - Erik Christensen getting a golden opportunity to play as the Rangers' No. 1 center.

TSN has also released their power rankings.

Tuesday Headlines

Bergen Record - Proposal at Garden A-Ranged

New York Post - Sather will look to improve Rangers at deadline

Daily News - Blueshirt 'proposal' is exposed as fake

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rangers Involved in Proposalgate

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, who was told yesterday that the proposal gone wrong during the Rangers/Tampa game was a hoax, now reports that the Rangers organization was involved...

"However, the third source said today that the “couple,” “Nick and Melissa” were actually actors hired from an agency and that it was meant as in-game entertainment. So the Rangers and the Madison Square Garden people knew all about this, which, to be fair, is different from what I heard Sunday."

To see video click here.

...i cannot believe the legs this story has. It's all over the internet. It's almost getting to "Balloon Boy" ridiculousness.

...as far as the Rangers being involved, I like it. Not too often you see a sports organization think outside the box to entertain the crowd.

Olympic Schedule

Anybody interested in this week's men's hockey Olympic schedule, NHL.com has dates, times and TV stations.

...very handy. Can't wait for the USA/Canada match-up on Sunday.

Potter Sent Back to Hatford

Newyorkrangers.com reports the Rangers have assigned Corey Potter back to Hartford.

...this obviously makes sense as there's no reason for Potter to be sitting around in Manhattan during the Olympic break when he can be getting a regular shift down in Hartford.

...the only way I see Potter coming back up after the break is if Del Zotto's laceration isn't healed.

Zipay Live Chat @ Noon

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will host his weekly live web chat today at noon. To participate click here.

The New York Rangers Blog Not Taking Olympic Break

Just because the NHL is shutting down for two weeks doesn't mean The New York Rangers Blog will.

I'll have all the Olympic articles and features on the five Rangers participating in the games.

I probably won't have game recaps for every contest Lundqvist, Gaborik, Callahan, Drury and Jokinen play in, but I'll try to get as much to you guys and gals as possible.

Thanks as always for your readership and support. Let's Go Rangers!!!

Christensen is Sunday's 2nd Star

Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy named Eric Christensen Sunday's second star...

No. 2 Star: Erik Christensen, New York Rangers
After going down 2-0 thanks to a pair of late first period goals, the Rangers clawed back in the second with four of their own. Christensen's two goals came 1:46 apart and gave New York a 4-2 lead. Chris Drury added an empty-netter as the Rangers won their second game in a row. The multi-goal game was Christensen's first since March 29, 2007 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and has won three of his last four. Sean Avery's penalty shot goal early in the second period opened the scoring for the Rangers and started their four-goal comeback.


...big time pick-up off the scrap heap by Sather. Christensen is going to have to be counted on to provide that kind of offense after the break if the Rangers have any chance of making the playoffs.