Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Blueshirts’ loss Isles’ Gain?

It was obvious that in six seasons with the New York Rangers organization, defenseman/forward Thomas Pock was never going to get anywhere with the organization.

This notion came to fruition on Saturday when the Blueshirts placed Pock on waivers. However, one team thinks he’s worth it and picked him up off waivers today.

For the New York Islanders, this move actually makes sense because as Chris Botta points out in his blog, the team has a spot for him at the NHL level, they really like him and injuries have caused a depth problem.

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  Tags: thomas+pock

Reason to Worry?

New York Ranger beat writers and fans alike are wondering why the team has had trouble scoring in the preseason. They are also wondering why the team has made every goalie look like Patrick Roy.

Folks, this is why they call it preseason. Ranger head coach Tom Renney is doing his usual juggle the lines routine and the lines are doing everything they can to gel before beginning the regular season next weekend against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So, should Ranger fans be worried about the team’s offense? In one simple word, NO!

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  Tags: markus+naslund, nikolai+zherdev, scott+gomez, tom+renney

Tampa Bay Lightning: Are They For Real?

Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were not only the joke of the Eastern Conference, but also the entire National Hockey League finishing with the worst record at 31-42-9 for 71 points.

Going into this season, however, the Lightning may turn out to be one of the better teams in the league with new acquisitions Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Olaf Kolzig, Jussi Jokinen, Vaclav Prospal, Radim Vrbata, Mark Recchi, Andrej Meszaros, Matthew Carle and oh yeah, the No.1 draft pick of 2008, Steven Stamkos.

Put those players with the likes of new team captain Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, you’re suddenly looking at a team who has as good a chance as any to win the Southeast Division and make a run deep into the playoffs.

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  Tags: barry+melrose, martin+st.+louis, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

Gomez Line Looks Sharp in Preseason Debut

They may not have registered any points but two of the Rangers’ off-season acquisitions looked right at home in their first preseason game on Broadway, a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev impressed the Garden faithful by not being afraid to shoot the puck, going hard to the net and getting back on defense (Yes, even Zherdev got back to break up a few plays). While it may just be one preseason game, Naslund and Zherdev sure looked good with their other linemate, center Scott Gomez.

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  Tags: jaromir+jagr, markus+naslund, nikolai+zherdev, scott+gomez, tom+renney, wade+redden

The Rangers Say Goodbye to another J.D.

As was reported here on Kukla’s Korner, Sam Weinman’s Rangers Report, Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes, Andrew Gross’s Ranger Rants and his own blog of course, John Dellapina is leaving the New York Rangers beat to go work for the National Hockey League.

He will certainly be missed by many of the beat writers on this team, especially Sam Weinman of The Journal News’ Steve Zipay of Newsday, who not only remember Dellapina for his hockey knowledge, but his knowledge on the game of life.

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  Tags: andrew+gross, john+dellapina, sam+weinman, steve+zipay

Chris Drury: New Leader of the Red, White and Blue?

The Jaromir Jagr era is over on Broadway which leaves a very valuable and respected position open in the organization: the team captaincy.

For the past three seasons,  Jagr did everything he could to make the Blueshirts a better hockey team better. He scored a lot of points (290), played well in the Stanley Cup playoffs (27 points in 23 games), and he said all the right things about the team to reporters whether they won or lost. However, the time has come for a new player to step up and lead this team to hockey’s promised land and that guy should be Chris Drury.

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  Tags: chris+drury, glen+sather, scott+gomez, tom+renney

Problems with Zherdev Already

I know that the regular season hasn’t even started yet but it’s a little bit disheartening to read negative reports coming out of training camp on new Rangers’ acquisition Nikolai Zherdev.

Sam Weinman of The Journal News reported that a Zherdev giveaway at Friday’s practice led to an opposing team goal and that he pretty much comes as advertised: a talented forward who is trying to do too much.

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  Tags: alexei+kovalev, eric+lindros, nikolai+zherdev, pavel+brendl

Preseason is Here, Finally

Well folks, on a nice 65 degree day here in New York, NHL preseason is finally upon us. I’ve been waiting for this day ever since the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I know that when looking at the big picture in the National Hockey League, the preseason doesn’t mean that much. However, it actually means something for the Blueshirts as they will be playing two pre-season games overseas against SC Bern and Mettalurg Magnitogorsk.

Tonight, the Rangers open up their eight game preseason schedule against the Ottawa Senators. Obviously, not all of the team’s top players will be playing but according to Sam Weinman of The Journal News, here are the guys who are expected to play tonight in Ottawa:

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  Tags: new+york+rangers

Are You Ready for Some Hockey?

While it’s great to read all the interesting news that’s coming from various teams in the National Hockey League, I would rather just drop the puck and get the regular season started.

I know that the pre-season is seen as a valuable learning tool for coaches and prospects but after listening to the Home Ice Channel on XM radio this morning, one can’t help but think that most coaches feel the same way that Detroit Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock does and that’s “My guys are hungry and are ready to play.”

As a fan, I’m constantly thinking about the game, especially during the off-season when my mind is on the upcoming season. Summer, as enjoyable as it is, is always the longest period of the year for me because like most hockey fans I’m sure, I’m just waiting for the puck to drop.

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Looking to Turn it up on Broadway

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I am a New York Rangers fan. My dad has had season tickets with the team since the 1989-90 season and I’ve been lucky and privileged to attend over 130 games at the Garden in my life

With that being said, this blog won’t be complete unless I talk about the Blueshirts every once in while. With that in mind, I would like to look at the team’s new offensive additions for this upcoming season: Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev.

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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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