Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Don’t Give It Away

The New York Rangers have won two of their last four games (had a 2-1 OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres and 6-3 spanking at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens) and look to continue their strong defensive play and timely goal scoring when they take on the New York Islanders tonight at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

After head coach Scott Gordon explained to the media that he wants to play his youngsters more, it’s easy to think that the Rangers may skate all over the Isles tonight and come up with two points. However folks, remember that this is the Blueshirts and that they’ve lost games like this to the Isles before.

As such, Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney is keeping the same lineup he used on Saturday night in the team’s 2-0 shutout victory over the Ottawa Senators. This means that Aaron Voros and Dan Fritsche will once again be scratches.

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  Tags: aaron+voros, andrew+gross, blue+notes, buffalo+sabres, dan+fritsche, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, new+york+rangers+web+site, rangers+rants, rangers+report, sam+weinman, scott+gordon, scotty+hockey, sny+rangers+blog, steve+zipay, tom+renney

Another Shutout for The King

For the second time in three games, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up a shutout (his second of the season). This time, it came at the hands of the struggling Ottawa Senators in a 2-0 victory.

This was a game in which Lundqvist had excellent rebound control, was in position for both the first and second shots (if there was one) and more importantly, he gave his club a chance to win a hockey game, which they did thanks to goals by Brandon Dubinsky (finally) and a beauty from Lauri Korpikoski off a great feed from Nikolai Zherdev.

As a team, the Blueshirts were disciplined, tough in front of their own net and made the game easy for Lundqvist. When they do things like that, it’s easy to see why they would win.

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  Tags: bobby+sanguinetti, brandon+dubinsky, brendan+shanahan, brian+elliot, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, lauri+korpikoski, michal+rozsival, nassau+veterans+memorial+coliseum, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, petr+prucha, scott+gomez

Will He Actually Play and other Ranger Musings

As Sam Weinman reported in his blog, the New York Rangers have called up defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti in the event that defenseman Michal Rozsival cannot play tonight after suffering a facial injury in last night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

The question that both Weinman and I are wondering is what does this say about Corey Potter? Potter played with the Blueshirts a few weeks ago and did just fine and yet, when the team is in a bind like they could be tonight, they potentially look to Sanguinetti. Yes, Sanguinetti is an all star in the AHL and leading the Hartford Wolf Pack with 20 points in 39 games, but is he ready to step in against a potentially potent offense in the Ottawa Senators?

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  Tags: bobby+sanguinetti, buffalo+sabres, corey+potter, hartford+wolf+pack, henrik+lundqvist, jim+cerny, michal+rozsival, new+york+rangers, nigel+dawes, ottawa+senators, rangers+report, ryan+miller, sam+weinman, stephen+valiquette, tom+renney

The NHL All-Star Game: A Popularity Contest?

Up on the Versus website today is an article I did regarding the voting process for the NHL All-Star game.

Feel free to let me know what you think!

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  Tags: nhl+all-star+game, versus

Time to Step Up

As I’m sure all of you New York Ranger fans are aware of, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was named to the Eastern Conference All Star team. He’s been a Vezina Trophy finalist in each of his three seasons in the National Hockey League so it’s nice that he finally got recognized by the league as one of the game’s elite netminders.

With that being said, if NHL management based their selections on the last two months, Lundqvist would not be on the team. Much like he did in 2006-07 and last season, Lundqvist is having trouble finding consistency. Just take a look at this week, for example. On Monday night, he stymies the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-0 shutout and last night, he allows five goals in a 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The team’s beat reporters went about as far to say that Lundqvist was one of the main reasons why the team lost last night. I’m sure most of you would agree.

This weekend, the team takes on the Buffalo Sabres (Friday night, 7:30 p.m., at the HSBC Arena) and the Ottawa Senators (Saturday night, 7 p.m., at Scotiabank Place). These are four points that the Rangers should be able to get so hopefully, Henrik will be on top of his game in the tilt he starts (assuming that backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette will start one of the two) because as Henrik goes, so do the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, eastern+conference+all+star+team, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, stephen+valiquette

Lundqvist Struggles As Rangers Lose to Habs

It’s amazing how fast things can change for New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

One night, he makes 27 saves and shuts out the Pittsburgh Penguins and two nights later, he allows five goals in a less than stellar effort against the Montreal Canadiens.

In a game where the Blueshirts battled all night, it was Lundqvist who let them down.

Am I saying that the “King” is terrible? No. All I’m saying is that if Lundqvist would have played like the Lundqvist of old, this could have easily been a win for the Rangers instead of a 6-3 loss.

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I Haven’t Forgotten

Don’t worry folks, I didn’t forget about the blog.

I apologize for not posting during the last couple of days. You know how it goes, family stuff, extremely busy with my day job and men’s league hockey. Just living the life I guess.

I hope to be posting somewhat regularly again soon and with the New York Rangers having three games in four nights beginning tomorrow, the timing couldn’t be better.

Before I end this short blog, I want to hear your thoughts on last night’s 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Was it well deserved or did the team get lucky because they were playing a struggling hockey club?

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

The New Season

The New York Rangers will look to put up their second straight win tonight when they take on the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

In the team’s last meeting, the Capitals overcame a four goal deficit to defeat the Rangers 5-4 in overtime thanks to the play of their fearless superstar, Alex Ovechkin. It was a real gut-check moment for the Blueshirts that showed them that they still have a lot of work to do before being considered one of the NHL’s elite teams, despite being tied for third place with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference, who each have 49 points.

In order for the Blueshirts to get back to playing consistent hockey, a lot of things have to happen.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, chris+drury, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, scott+gomez, washington+capitals

Let Valiquette Play

While New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist might be one of the world’s top goaltenders, he certainly hasn’t played like it lately.

In the last nine games, he’s allowed 36 goals, which means he is allowing four goals a game, well above his career average of 2.33.

Furthermore, his goals against average for the season continues to rise (now 2.67) and his save percentage continues to drop (.908).

So what gives?

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, stephen+valiquette, washington+capitals

An Interview with a Rangers Blogger

Since I’m sure all you die hard New York Ranger fans know what happened last night and know what this team needs to do to be better on a consistent basis, I figured I’d forget about talking about last night’s debacle against the New Jersey Devils and instead post an interview I did with a Rangers Blogger: Scotty Hockey.

Scotty was kind of enough to take time during this holiday season to tell us how he fell in love with the game and the Rangers, how he got into writing/blogging about hockey, what the future of hockey blogging will bring and of course, his outlook on the Blueshirts.

Enjoy and remember to visit Scotty Hockey for thoughts and opinions on the Broadway Blueshirts.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chris+drury, colton+orr, dallas+stars, dmitri+kalinin, glen+sather, james+patrick, jan+erixon, jaromir+jagr, john+vanbiesbrouck, madison+square+garden, markus+naslund, marty+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, sam+weinman, scott+gomez, scotty+hockey, the+hockey+news, wade+redden

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.

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