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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: adam graves

Lundqvist Belongs with the Rangers’ Greats

When looking at the New York Rangers since the 1997-98 season, it is easy to see that for close to decade, there were some rough seasons.

The team went seven straight years without making the postseason, had a lot of failed free-agent signings and ended up losing the likes of Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, Mike Richter, and Adam Graves to retirement or trade. For Blueshirt fans, it was a dark period.

The names mentioned above, however, all had terrific careers despite the bad times. As a result, each went down in Rangers' lore and ended up having their number retired and hung to rafters at Madison Square Garden.

This got to me thinking on the next Ranger that will have his number hanging from the rafters at the World's Most Famous Arena. As it turned out, it did not take me too long to come up with a player.

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  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, henrik+lundqvist, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Big Two Points Up For Grabs in Atlanta

On paper, a tilt with the Atlanta Thrashers looks like an easy two points but for the New York Rangers, every game is like a playoff game and as such, should be treated like one.

The team is coming off a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild in a game where they played down to the Wild’s level. They were able to generate an array of scoring chances but once again had some difficulty finding the back of the net and were forced to play a tight defensive game, something fans are all too familiar with thanks to former head coach Tom Renney.

With that being said, good defense at this time of year certainly isn’t a bad thing but to win games, this team still needs to score more goals. Sure, they’ve scored more goals under new head coach John Tortorella but they need to do it on a consistent basis, something they have struggled with all season long.

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  Tags: adam+graves, atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, john+tortorella, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, tom+renney

Where’s the Spark?

Things certainly started right last night at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers raised Adam Graves’s No.9 to the rafters. It was a night filled with Ranger stars such as Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Gartner, as well as guys like Glenn Healy, Sergei Nemchinov, Tie Domi, Darren Langdon and Jeff Beukeboom, all there to give praise to one of their greatest mates, Adam Graves.

It was unfortunate that the current Ranger squad had to play afterwards because they put on a dismal performance against the lowly Atlanta Thrashers and lost 2-1 in a shootout. Yes, the team peppered Thrashers’ netminder Kari Lehtonen. Yes, Nikolai Zherdev played a tremendous game by generating many scoring chances. The team also got a good look at Artem Anisimov, who played well but needs more playing time to be effective. And yes, the team got a solid performance, with the exception of the shootout, from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

However, it still wasn’t enough to be the second worst team in the NHL while also being a game in which they could have gained some ground on the New Jersey Devils as they lost to the Washington Capitals 5-2 last night.

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  Tags: adam+graves, artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+leetch, chris+drury, darren+langdon, eddie+giacomin, glenn+healy, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, jeff+beukeboom, mark+messier, markus+naslund, mike+gartner, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, patrick+roy, rod+gilbert, scott+gomez, sergei+nemchinov, tie+domi, tom+renney, washington+capitals

Honoring a Man More than a Player

As I am sure most of you are aware of by now, the New York Rangers will honor Adam Graves by retiring his No. 9 to the Garden rafters. Compared to the other Blueshirt retirees (Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch), Graves did not produce as much statistically (280 goals, 227 assists, and 507 points in 772 games) but he certainly bled red, white and blue like no other Blueshirt for 10 seasons.

On the ice, Graves was a hard-nosed player who drove to the net to put in rebounds, deflect shots, create havoc for opposing netminders and generate many scoring opportunities. In 1993-94, Graves became one the league’s premier left wingers when he notched 52 goals, braking previous record-holder Vic Hadfield’s 50 goals. Five seasons later, he actually fired in 38 goals, proving that even though he was getting older, he could still play hard, do all the little things right and produce. He may not have been a Gilbert, Messier or Leetch but nevertheless, he did what he had to do to be an impact player.

“Gravey” was also a tough player. He stood up for his teammates, protected his linemates and when something needed to get done, he led by example. In a piece on the team’s web site, Messier called Graves the ultimate lieutenant. He also persevered through many obstacles and was able to capture the league’s King Clancy Trophy (1994) and Bill Masterton Trophy (2001).

With all that said, this still doesn’t show who Graves really is.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, eddie+giacomin, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers, rod+gilbert

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