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Entries with the tag: 2012 winter classic

Battling the Florida Panthers

After what happened in last Friday night’s tilt between the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, it is certainly going to be a battle tonight at Madison Square Garden.

In the Rangers’ 4-1 win against the Cats last week, tempers flared and the anger level was high after Blueshirts’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto was sucker punched by Panthers’ forward Tomas Kopecky after Del Zotto cross-checked him in the back a few times and high-sticked him in the face in front of the net. After the game, Panthers’ head coach Kevin Dineen said Del Zotto got what he deserved.

With both teams in the top three in the Eastern Conference (Rangers in first; Panthers in third), tonight should be a great game. Looking at the Rangers, they are clicking on all cylinders right now and have won their last two games and are obviously coming off an exciting 3-2 win at the 2012 Winter Classic over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Florida Panthers are 4-4-2 in their last 10 but are certainly not a pushover hockey club this season. They work hard, can put the puck in the net, and can play physical hockey, as was seen last Friday night in Miami.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, kevin+dineen, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, tomas+kopecky

Tortorella Apologizes For Negative Comments On Officials

For starters, I do not think that New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella needed to apologize for the comments he made about the officiating after the 2012 Winter Classic in Monday evening.

The officiating was inconsistent and while it was obviously not “fixed” to go into overtime, the officials certainly tried to get it to that point. They either let of things go that were being done to the Blueshirts by the Philadelphia Flyers or they made calls against the Rangers.

It appears that Tortorella is bigger than most as he apologized by saying the following:

“They were sarcastic comments by me at the wrong time, and it was frustration on my part, as far as the referees…and what was done at the end of the game,” explained Tortorella. “Not for a second in no way, time, shape, or form did I think anything like that (fixing the game so that it goes to overtime) goes on with our league, or ever will.”

Tortorella added that his comments regarding the referees meeting with NBC to conspire at having the Winter Classic go to overtime were completely “tongue-in-cheek”. “For me to question the integrity of the league, the integrity of NBC, the integrity of (referees) Denny (LaRue) and Ian (Walsh), the Flyers, the Rangers, go right on through all the people here—-there’s not a chance I am thinking that way,” Tortorella continued. “It was wrong with my sarcasm and my frustration and I apologize to everyone involved.”

Tortorella definitely did the right thing in apologizing the league but it was just a coach who was still in the moment of the game and being sarcastic. He is definitely not the first NHL bench boss to be sarcastic.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Rangers Win Classic in Philly

When the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers were a part of the press conference at the Citizens Bank Ball Park to announce that they were the two clubs in the 2012 Winter Classic, Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather said that his team would win.

While it was no Mark Messier-like guarantee, his and head coach John Tortorella’s team did all the hard work to beat the Flyers by a score of 3-2. The win enables the Rangers’ to stay in first in the Eastern Conference while also giving the team a four-point lead over the Flyers in the Atlantic Division.

For the Rangers, this was a typical victory for them. The team overcame a 2-0 lead by working hard, forechecking, getting different guys to contribute and getting timely goaltending from their netminder.

In this particular instance, the Rangers came back from a 2-0 deficit on two goals by Mike Rupp. On both goals, Rupp put two accurate shots through Flyers’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky and showed that if put on the ice with the right guys, he can provide some offense.

The team’s go-ahead and game winning goal also came from a summer pick-up in Brad Richards. Richards, known for his clutch plays and being in the right place at the right time, did those two things to give the Blueshirts a 3-2 lead 5:21 into the third period.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, daniel+briere, glen+sather, henrik+lundqvist, john+mitchell, john+tortorella, marc+staal, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Why Now?

From Katie Strang at ESPNNewYork.com:

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will make his season debut in the Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Coach John Tortorella delivered the surprising news just hours before the league’s annual outdoor game, after telling reporters Sunday that Staal would not be available to play.

While it was great to hear that Staal is ready to go, I am not sure why Tortorella decided that today was the day to reinsert him back into the lineup? While it is the 2012 Winter Classic game, it is still hockey and it is still between the Rangers and Flyers. As such, it will be rough with hard hitting and one has to wonder if the Flyers will be gunning for Staal since they know it is his first game of the season.

Click here for more on Staal.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

It’s Deja Vu all Over Again

It appears to be that way as just like the New York Rangers did last week, they will be taking on the New York Islanders again tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off a week in which they picked up six points with three victories over teams in their division. The team beat the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers last week to help move the team to first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.

With games on Wednesday (at the Washington Capitals) and Friday (at the Florida Panthers), it will be interesting to see how team head coach John Tortorella uses his goaltenders. It is not out of the question that Tortorella uses netminder Martin Biron tonight against the Islanders and then uses Henrik Lundqvist for the next three games against the Capitals, Panthers and of course, the Flyers at the 2012 Winter Classic.

Other than that, there is not too much else going on in Rangerland these days. The team is winning plenty of hockey games, battling through injuries and getting solid play from everyone on the team.

Hopefully, things will stay that way as the team begins an interesting seven days in which they could potentially pick-up eight points.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

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