Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Valiquette to Start

According to Sam Weinman of The Journal News, the New York Rangers have elected to start Stephen Valiquette this afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Valiquette played half the game on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks and stopped all 15 shots he faced after Henrik Lundqvist was pulled by Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney (five goals allowed).

However, according to Weinman, Valiquette had been penciled in for this game for a long time and it’s not just a coincidence that he is starting after Lundqvist’s struggles on Wednesday night.

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  Tags: eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sam+weinman, stephen+valiquette, the+journal+news, tom+renney, vancouver+canucks

Who’s Better?

When it comes to goaltenders in the National Hockey League, a few names come to mind: Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, Johnny Bower, Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hasek, etc.

However, in the minds of most hockey fans, only two names really stand out above the rest: Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.

Instead of rambling on about how great these two netminders are on the night that Patrick Roy gets his number retired in Montreal, I figured I would make this open forum for you folks and you can cooment on who you think is better.

Good luck!

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  Tags: glenn+hall, grant+fuhr, jacques+plante, johnny+bower, martin+brodeur, patrick+roy, terry+sawchuk, tony+esposito

Deserving the Boos

It looks like New York Ranger fans have found themselves a new Marek Malik to boo in defenseman Michal Rozsival, a guy the team signed a $20-million contract extension over the summer.

This is something that the Rangers cannot afford to have and Rozsival needs to change things fast or else he is going to make Rangers’ management look extremely stupid for resigning him over the summer.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, marek+malik, michal+rozsival, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, tom+renney, vancouver+canucks

Embarassing

Last night’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks can be described in one word: embarrassing.

Through the first 30 minutes of the tilt, the New York Rangers were nowhere to be found, especially in the defensive zone as Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry.

That brings me to my next point: Lundqvist did not pull himself from the game last night.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sam+weinman, scott+gomez, stephen+valiquette, tom+renney, vancouver+canucks

Underappreciated

In the Rangers’ 2-1 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators last night, players such as Chris Drury, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev (with the exception of the lone shootout goal), Brandon Dubinsky or even Dan Girardi were not the team’s best players. Far from it, in fact.

In my eyes, it was Blair Betts, Fredrik Sjostrom and Lauri Korpikoski that shined as they got the team back in the game by scoring a goal in the third period. Not only that, but they kept the game simple, something that the other lines have not learned how to do yet.

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  Tags: alex+auld, blair+betts, brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, dan+girardi, fredrik+sjostrom, lauri+korpikoski, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks

Never Say Die

It was just four weekends ago that the New York Rangers were down 2-0 in third period and managed to come back and win the game 3-2 in a shootout over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was deja vu all over again tonight as the Rangers were down 2-0 in the third to the Boston Bruins, only to tie the game in the third period with 53 seconds to go and win it in a shootout thanks to a goal from captain Chris Drury.

Welcome to the new NHL folks.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chris+drury, fredrik+sjostrom, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nigel+dawes, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, tom+renney

True Test for the Blueshirts

Just over a month into the season, the New York Rangers will have their toughest test of the young regular season campaign tonight at Madison Square Garden: the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins are just three points behind the Blueshirts and are coming off an impressive 6-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. They’ve gotten strong play from guys like Phil Kessel (7 goals), former Ranger Marc Savard (17 points) and from their netminder Tim Thomas, who has a goals-against average of under two goals per game and a save percentage that is close to 95 percent.

It should also be noted that the B’s are tied for the fewest goals allowed, something that could impact the Rangers tonight who typically don’t score a lot of goals on Garden ice.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, lauri+korpikoski, michal+rozsival, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, phil+kessel, tim+thomas

Rangers Burn The Devils

It took a period (the first period of the game) of undisciplined play, stupid penalties, being outshot 13-5 and outscored 1-0 to awaken the New York Rangers.

The second period began and it was as if a new team was on the ice and this team dominated the New Jersey Devils by scoring four goals on 20 shots, cashing in on the power play and getting back to playing defense the way they know how, all en route to a 5-2 victory.

 

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  Tags: chris+drury, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, kevin+weekes, lauri+korpikoski, michal+rozsival, nikolai+zherdev, scott+clemmensen

The AHL: A Bargain for Great Hockey

For a person that has seen many, many National Hockey League games, it will probably come as a surprise to some of you that I had never been to an American Hockey League (AHL) game before, especially since I live within 150 minutes of two American Hockey League franchises: the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers farm team) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders farm team).

As I mentioned this past weekend, that all changed on Saturday night when I went to the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center) to take in a Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Falcons (Edmonton Oilers farm team) game. However, as you also all know, I wasn’t able to enjoy the game from a fan’s perspective.

Instead, I got to enjoy it as a credentialed member of the media, covering the game for the Wolf Pack web site and boy was the game ever good. This game had it all: speed, great puck movement, solid goaltending, a fight, and hard hitting. All in all, it was just as good as an NHL game.

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  Tags: corey+perry, dan+girardi, hartford+wolf+pack, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, lowell+devils, marc-andre+fleury, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, springfield+falcons, washington+capitals

Hartford Wolf Pack Coverage

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I was at the Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Falcons game as a member of the media, covering the game for Wolf Pack’s web site.

The Wolf Pack came out on top with a 4-3 victory in overtime, thanks to Lauri Korpikoski’s game winner (his third of the night for the hat trick) with five seconds to go in OT.

You can read my articles here and here.

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  Tags: hartford+wolf+pack, lauri+korpikoski, springfield+falcons

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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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