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More NHL Thoughts from Lee Snowden

A lot has happened in the NHL in the last week whether it has been free agent signings or trades.

As such, I figured we would once again check in Lee Snowden (@SnowdenNHL) to get his latest views and opinions on all things NHL.

PH: So, a lot has happened in the last week or so in the NHL. What are your thoughts on what went down with the whole Shea Weber situation? Do you really think he wants to be with the Predators? Why or why not?
LS: I think he does want to be with the Preds and always has. With the uncertainty of the new CBA, and what type of contracts will be allowed, Weber just wanted to be paid. Philadelphia definitely wasn’t a bad option should Nashville not have matched the offer sheet. Weber has been in Nashville his entire career so I’m sure he’s happy staying put. If he truly didn’t want to be in Nashville, he would have forced a trade or signed a one-year deal and gone to unrestricted free agency next summer.

PH: What does Weber signing with the Predators mean for the Flyers? Do you think the Flyers will try and upgrade their back end since they lost Carle (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Pronger (concussion symptoms)?
LS: I think Holmgren will be looking to add someone back there for sure. Gervais and Lilja are decent number 7 guys, but there are better free agents still out there (Roszival, Hannan, Colaiacovo). He could also go the trade route, as I think he will be searching for a forward as well.

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  Tags: @snowdennhl, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, calgary+flames, jarome+iginla, lee+snowden, los+angeles+kings, mike+cammalleri, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, rick+nash, scott+howson+columbus+blue+jackets, shane+doan, shea+weber, tim+erixon

A Steal by Sather?

UPDATE: Dreger said this as well:

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Nash, cond.3rd (goes back to CBJ if NYR make Cup final), mnr leaguer Steve Delisle to NYR for Anisimov, Dubinsky, Erixon and 1st rnd pick.

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Howson managed this trade his way, but the components of this deal were availabe at the deadline and again at the Draft.

It appears that New York Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather is more than capable of making solid hockey deals for the Blueshirts.

According to Darren Dreger at TSN, the Blueshirts will be acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets’ sniper Rick Nash for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, young defenseman Tim Erixon and a 1st round pick. The trade is still pending the official call but should it go through, the Rangers should be considered the winners in this deal.

While Dubinsky has scored more than 20 goals before, he did not look the same last season. He did not look as confident, had trouble putting the puck in the net and was quiet offensively.

Anisimov, although a decent offensive player, was someone who was easily knocked off the puck and was not noticeable in every single game. Again, he was not a bad player but is someone who still has things to work on.

When it comes to Erixon, there is no doubt that he is a good, young defenseman but the Rangers already have a good stock of those. As such, Erixon became expendable.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, columbus+blue+jackets, glen+sather, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, tim+erixon

Rangers Take Game 1

If you are or have been a fan of either the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils for the past 20 years or so, than Game 1 between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference Finals was a very familiar story.

The Blueshirts were able to come away with a 3-0 victory thanks to third period goals from defenseman Dan Girardi, fresh out of college winger Chris Kreider and Artem Anisimov and solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. For the Rangers, it was the fifth time that the team has shutout the Devils in the postseason as Rangers’ great Mike Richter shut out their Hudson River rivals once in 1992 (Game 4), once in 1994 (Game 2) and twice in 1997 (Games 2 and 4).

This was a typical Rangers’/Devils’ game. There was lots of tight checking, lots of blocked shots, and with the exception of the third period, not a lot of goals were scored. It was like a regular season game except for the fact that this is now the Conference Finals.

For the second time in as many games, the Blueshirts outplayed their opponent in the third period. The team forechecked hard, threw plenty of pucks on Devils’ Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur (25 saves) and were able to not only get the first goal of the game, but they followed it up with an insurance marker just a few minutes later.

Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider was involved on both goals. On Girardi’s goal, it was Kreider who carried the puck into the Devils’ zone and was able to feed Girardi, who was coming off the bench on a line change, with the puck who buried one past Brodeur’s right pad.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Late Penalty Hurts Blueshirts Again in Game 4 Loss to Capitals

Much like it did in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden, a late penalty taken by the New York Rangers turned into the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in a 3-2 win in Game 4 at the Verizon Center.

This time, the culprit for the Blueshirts was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin took a two minute slashing penalty and Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green took advantage and ripped a slap shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

For the Rangers, this game was a tale of two different teams. On one side, the Rangers’ played like a team that would rely on its goaltender Lundqvist to make timely save after timely save as well as a team that had no offense to supply.

On the other side, the Rangers played like a club that was willing to go to the net, get goals from the dirty areas and play disciplined hockey. Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither of these teams prevailed as the series will now head back to the Garden for Game 5 tied at two games apiece.

On the bright side, the team got a great performance from Artem Anisimov. Anisimov, who had been quiet for much of these playoffs, picked-up a goal and an assist and was more than present in this hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+green, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Keep Pushing Through

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to continue to do as they prepare for this afternoon’s Game 4 against the Washington Capitals.

Just three days ago, the Blueshirts pulled off a triple overtime win on a goal by Marian Gaborik. It was a goal that Gaborik needed to score, which will hopefully get him going, and it was a win the Rangers needed to prove to themselves that they could win at the Verizon Center in the playoffs after struggling to do so since Game 2 in April of 2009.

While the Rangers were able to come away with a big win in Game 3, that does not mean that they can take this afternoon off. It may not seem like it to some of you but believe it or not, this series is similar to the team’s opening round series against the Ottawa Senators. Like the first round, the Rangers split their first two games with the Capitals in this round and like in Game 3 against the Senators, the Rangers were able to come away with a victory against the Capitals in Game 3.

With that in mind, the Rangers need to take advantage of the 2-1 series lead they have now and use it to get a 3-1 series lead after this afternoon’s game. Of course, one can point out that the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead in 2009 but this is a much different Rangers’ hockey club than the one that was on the ice three years ago.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Well-Shaped Roster Getting It Done

With the New York Rangers up 1-0 in their second round series over the Washington Capitals, it is easy to see that the Blueshirts are finally doing the right thing when it comes to shaping their roster.

This postseason is the example of that. The team and its head coach, John Tortorella, really want their youngsters to thrive and right now, several of them are doing just that.

However, the one that everyone is focused on heading into tonight’s Game 2 is Chris Kreider. Kreider, coming off a first star of the game performance in which he picked-up a goal and an assist, is showing the team and the rest of the NHL why he belongs in the league.

In the team’s 3-1 win in Game 1, Kreider scored his second game winning goal of the playoffs and showed how he can make a positive impact for this hockey club. At just 21 years of age, it is an impressive start and one that needs to continue if the Blueshirts want to keep on having success in the postseason.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, chris+higgins, chris+kreider, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, scott+gomez, washington+capitals

So It Begins

Well folks, it is finally here. The New York Rangers embark on their playoff journey tonight as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden.

A lot has been said and debated regarding this series and for now, it is time to put that all aside. Believe it or not, what was said means absolutely nothing because as fans, you do not and cannot control what will go on the ice in this series.

While this series looks easy for the Blueshirts based on the regular season standings, it will not be such once it begins. Remember, the Senators won the regular season series 3-1 and while it may mean nothing now, there is no doubt that the Senators have a history of giving the Blueshirts trouble.

The Senators know how to put the puck in the net. With players like Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson, there is no doubt that the Senators will be able to generate some offense on Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

With that said, the Blueshirts know how to play defense. They block shots, they play the body, they know how to move the puck out of the zone and were third in the league in goals against.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, daniel+alfredsson, derek+stepan, erik+karlsson, henrik+lundqvist, jason+spezza, marian+gaborik, milan+michalek, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

Looking to Close Out the Homestand with a Win Against the Sabres

Prior to the 7-game homestand, the New York Rangers knew that it would be a great opportunity to really establish home ice before the postseason and pick-up some points to help build on their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings lead.

In six games so far, the Blueshirts have gone 4-2. The team has beat the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings while losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight’s game between the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden is an important one for both clubs. For the Rangers, it is an opportunity to go back to being three points ahead of the Penguins as the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators last night by a score of 5-1.

For the Sabres, it is an opportunity to get two huge points to put them in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have been playing playoff hockey for the last month or so and have really turned their season around after a rough few months and after last night’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Penguins, the Sabres can move into the eighth spot over the Washington Capitals with a win.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, marian+gaborik, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

What is Going on with Biron and the Blueshirts?

This is something that has to be asked after the New York Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators tonight by a score of 4-1 .

Tonight, Rangers’ back-up goaltender Martin Biron allowed three goals, two on four shots in the first period, and did not look too comfortable out there. While I said earlier that it was smart to start Biron against the Senators tonight rather than the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, I now wonder why the team did not start Henrik Lundqvist in tonight’s inter-conference game and have Biron go in the non-conference game.

Anyways, in his last six games, Biron has lost two games in regulation, lost two games in overtime and has allowed 18 goals. While he did manage to win two games in this six game span (Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning), he has looked shaky, allowed a few soft goals and has lost games that the Rangers probably could have won with Lundqvist between the pipes.

This is not to take anything away from what Biron has accomplished this season. He is 11-4-2 and has pretty decent stats for a back-up goaltender in the NHL. With that said, it would be nice if he could play a bit better so that may be team head coach John Tortorella can have the option of resting Lundqvist a few more games before the team enters the postseason.

While Biron was not great against the Senators tonight, neither was the rest of the Rangers’ hockey club. Ryan Callahan, who scored his 26th goal of the season tonight in the first period, played well as did Artem Anisimov. Unfortunately for the Rangers, no one else on the team followed suit.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

Big Game on Tap for Blueshirts Against The Bruins

That is the case this afternoon for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night in Tampa. The Rangers were able to come away with a point because Brandon Dubinsky scored the game-tying goal with 3:27 to play in the third period.

Up until that goal, it had been an up and down performance for the Blueshirts. They were able to generate several good scoring opportunities, get goals from the likes of Artem Anisimov, Marian Gaborik and Dubinsky while also getting a solid game from Henrik Lundqvist (27 saves) on his birthday.

With that said, the team was a bit inconsistent defensively and allowed the Lightning to get into the slot way too often and force the puck in on Lundqvist. In fact, the Rangers were outshot by a 13-3 margin in the opening period.

This afternoon against the Bruins, the Rangers will go up against a much bigger team with grittier forwards. The Bruins like to throw pucks on the net from anywhere and crash for rebounds, something that the Blueshirts need to try and prevent this afternoon.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Three In a Row for the Blueshirts

With starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist given the night off, and team captain Ryan Callahan, out day-to-day with a bruised foot, back-up goaltender Martin Biron needed to give the New York Rangers a strong start against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially considering the way he had played in his last few starts.

As it turned out, Biron came up big for the Blueshirts in a 3-2 victory in Carolina. After allowing the Hurricanes’ only goal of the game in the second period, Biron really shut the door and played a solid game in making 21 saves.

For Biron, it was his 11th win of the season. In 17 games, Biron is now 11-3-2 and continues to show team head coach John Tortorella that it is okay to rest Lundqvist.

The team also got a solid performance out of the Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov line. Gaborik picked-up his 30th goal of the season as well as an assist for points 54 and 55 on the season. Stepan also had a strong game in adding two assists while Anisimov scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning

Lundqvist Dominates Bruins in 3-0 Shutout Win

There should no reason to be surprised anymore when it comes to New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Last night, the “King” made 42 saves in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Boston Bruins. It was Lundqvist’s seventh shutout of the league, which puts him first in the league.

Lundqvist’s statistics are simply terrific when it comes to NHL netminders. The soon to be 30-year-old netminder now has 27 wins (4th in the league), a 1.77 goals against average (2nd in the league), a .941 save percentage (1st in the league) and as mentioned above, 7 shutouts (1st in the league).

It may have been a 3-0 win but Lundqvist was busy all night in Beantown. In the third period alone, Lundqvist made 18 saves and in the period before that, stopped 14 shots. He was simply terrific and was the main reason why the Blueshirts won the game.

The team got goals from Ryan Callahan (a power play goal…his 23rd of the season), Ryan McDonagh (his second goal in as many games), and Artem Anisimov (2 goals in his last three games). The club also did a good job of clearing rebounds, blocking shots and working hard in front of their netminder.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Rangers’ Best Players Come Through in Win Over the Flyers

When it comes to any professional sport, you always want the best players on your team to play like the best and come up big when they need to.

This happened for the New York Rangers this afternoon in their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. For the Rangers, it was their fifth straight victory over the Flyers this season.

The reason why the Rangers came away with the victory this afternoon is because their big-time players came through. For starters, the team captain, Ryan Callahan, scored a hat trick. Callahan now has 21 goals on the season.

Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards also had big games for the Blueshirts. Marian Gaborik picked-up a goal and three assists for four points while Richards also had three assists in the game.

Other forwards that came up big for the Rangers were Derek Stepan (2 assists) and Artem Anisimov (1 goal). Anisimov has really picked-up his game since being reunited with Stepan and Gaborik and now has 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in his last four games.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Richards Wins It for the Blueshirts

When the New York Rangers went out and signed high-priced free agent Brad Richards to a nine year deal during the off-season, it is games like last night that the Blueshirts had envisioned for him.

After Brian Boyle tied the game up at 3-3 in the third period, the Rangers’ assistant captain Richards scored the game winner in overtime off a great feed from Artem Anisimov to give his team a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. For Richards, it was his seventh game winning goal of the season, which is good for second in the NHL.

While Richards may not have the point totals that people expected (17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points), he has certainly come up big when the team has needed him the most. Everyone remembers the goal he scored at the buzzer to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes. Everyone also probably remembers the game tying goal he scored against the Anaheim Ducks over in Sweden at the beginning of the season.

Richards is keeping up his end of the bargain by coming through in the clutch, something he has done throughout his career. Hopefully, he will come up even bigger come playoff time.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, tampa+bay+lightning

Rangers Do It Again Over the Flyers

There is no doubt that the National Hockey League would probably love to have both the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If you are asking yourself why, just look at the four games that have been played between the two clubs this season. The games have had it all from timely goal scoring, big hits, fights, and great goaltending.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, they have lost all four tilts at the hands of the Blueshirts. Yesterday afternoon at the Garden, the Rangers were physical, blocked a ton of shots, got timely goal scoring and clutch goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.

Playing in their Winter Classic uniforms, the Rangers put on a great show for their fans. The team got solid performances out of guys like Lundqvist, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, Marian Gaborik, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky.

It was a complete team effort, one that gave them another two points in the standings. With the victory, the Blueshirts remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with 71 points, which is three points more than the second place Boston Bruins and five points more than the fourth place Flyers.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsku, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Good for Gaborik

While two of the New York Rangers’ All-Stars were on the losing Team Alfredsson today (Henrik Lundqvist and Dan Girardi), one Blueshirt came through for Team Chara and won MVP of the game and that was Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik scored a hat trick in the game and scored two goals against teammate Henrik Lundqvist, including one where he pulled an “Anisimov” after scoring the goal. Of course, when seeing that, I am sure many Blueshirt fans thought back to this.

Overall, it was a pretty good game this afternoon. It is always fun to watch the best players in the league all on the same ice doing what they do best and giving fans in the crowd something to smile and have fun with.

At the same time, it will be great to see the regular season back in action on Tuesday. For the Rangers, it should be an interesting and exciting second half as the club looks to get into the playoffs and hopefully, have home ice advantage come April.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks.

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  Tags: 2012+nhl+all+star+game, artem+anisimov, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, team+alfredsson, team+chara

These Blueshirts Are for Real

As the New York Rangers get set to kick of 2012, it might be safe to say that these New York Rangers are for real.

Both team general manager Glen Sather and team head coach John Tortorella had a vision for this team and for once, it was the same. As such, the product on the ice has been quite successful this season so far.

The Rangers’ identity is one that is hard-working, competitive every night, has a never say die attitude and promotes team depth. Put all of these characteristics together and you have where the Rangers are today.

As of this writing, the Blueshirts are first in both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division with a 23-9-4 record. The team is one point ahead of the second place Boston Bruins and two points ahead of the fourth place Philadelphia Flyers.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brad+richards, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Another Rivalry Game for the Blueshirts

It seems to be rivalry week for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the New York Islanders tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. In that game, the team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves), Marian Gaborik (2 goals and 1 assist), Derek Stepan (3 assists), and Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist).

At the other end, the Islanders are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets and are looking to extend their winning streak to two games with a win over the Blueshirts tonight. According the Islanders’ web site, there is a good chance that netminder Evgeni Nabakov will get the start tonight.

For the Rangers, their goal should be to stay the course. The team is currently 19-8-4 and have done a lot of damage to the Islanders at the Garden. In their last four tilts at MSG, the Blueshirts have outscored the Islanders by a 20-5 margin and have also gone 8 for 20 on the power play.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, winnipeg+jets

The Marian Gaborik Show

That is exactly what it was for the New York Rangers’ last night in their 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Marian Gaborik picked-up the game winning goal, an empty net goal and added an assist for a three point night. The game before, he picked-up another two goals and now has 19 on the season.

Gaborik looks like the player he was for the Rangers two seasons ago. The puck seems to be following him and he obviously knows how to make things happen.

Not only is he scoring goals and putting up points, he is also playing consistently well on the other side of the puck. He has made some solid defensive plays this season and backchecks a lot more than he used to.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Getting Back on Track

That is something that the New York Rangers (15-6-4) will look to do tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (14-11-2) in Buffalo.

Buffalo is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the streaking Florida Panthers last night. It was a hard fought battle so there is no doubt that the Sabres may be a bit tired.

On the other side, the Blueshirts are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. According to team beat writers, the team had a good practice yesterday before heading off to Buffalo for tonight’s tilt.

The Rangers come into this game having not won since last Saturday night when they defeated the Lightning by a score of 4-2. Since that game, the Blueshirts have lost to the Leafs (4-2 on Monday Night night) and the Lightning and picked-up one point in those two games combined.

Even with their recent “winless streak”, the team still sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 34 points and is two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (fourth in the Eastern Conference) and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers (first in the Eastern Conference). If the team is able to pick up two points tonight, they will have a chance to move up a bit in the standings, which always feels good to any NHL hockey club.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

The One That Got Away

That is the perfect phrase to describe the New York Rangers’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night.

The Blueshirts had a 2-1 lead in the third period until former Ranger Dominic Moore tied it up with a shorthanded goal. The club also had several quality scoring opportunities to win the game in regulation and in overtime but unfortunately, were not able to bury their chances.

The team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan McDonagh and Artem Anisimov. Speaking of Anisimov, his goal celebration was completely unnecessary. Yes, it was a great goal but there is no need to taunt or show off. That kind of stuff is just not needed in the NHL and should be saved for the NFL and NBA.

Luckily, the team will be able to quickly forget about this game as they have two tough tilts on tap for this weekend. Tomorrow night, the Blueshirts will take on the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo and on Sunday night, will return home to take on the high-flying Florida Panthers.

With four points on the line and no wins in their last two games, this weekend will be the perfect opportunity for the Rangers to get back on right track.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, dan+girardi, dominic+moore, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

Rangers’ Winning Streak Snapped by Visiting Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to do that to the New York Rangers tonight when they picked up their second regulation win at Madison Square Garden by a score of 4-2.

The Rangers certainly did not play poorly in this game. They were able to generate several good scoring chances (32 shots on goal), found a way to make the game interesting by trying to come back from 3-0 to make it 3-2 on goals by Artem Anisinov and Marian Gaborik, and was a game that they probably could have won had some bounces gone their way.

With that said, it certainly was not pretty for the Blueshirts either. The team hung its goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves on 29 shots), out to dry on two of the goals and screened him on the other, and also took some needless penalties.

It is also apparent that Sean Avery’s ice time continues to decrease as each game goes by. Tonight, Avery had 7:32 of ice time and despite not getting a lot of ice, was still able to put three shots on goal. Not sure what team head coach John Tortorella wants him to do so it will be interesting to see how this continues to play out as each game comes and goes.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sean+avery, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Continue to Roll

It seemed to be a solid night for the New York Rangers last night as the team beat the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2 for their fifth straight win.

Unfortunately, I was not able to catch any of the game last night as I was out with my wife and her friends. With that said, it was nice to come home and see the Blueshirts pick up yet another win and also see key guys contributing.

It was nice to see guys like Derek Stepan (1 goal and 1 assist), Brad Richards (1 goal and 1 assist), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Ryan McDonagh (2 assists) all have a multiple pint night in Tampa. It was also great to see Lundqvist have another solid performance in stopping 24 of 26 shots for his 11th win of the season.

I wish I could say more about the game but like I said earlier, I did not watch it so I do not want to make assumptions based on the score sheet. With that said, a win is a win and the Blueshirts continue to surprise people in the National Hockey League.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs

Big Test for Blueshirts

That will most certainly be the case tonight when the New York Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins ride into town with the best record in both the Eastern Conference and entire NHL (14-6-4). Of course, we cannot forget that Sidney Crosby is back and once again looks like the best player in the entire National Hockey League.

The Blueshirts are also playing some pretty solid hockey themselves. They have won two straight over the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers and also sport one of the league’s best records on home ice at 6-1-1.

The key for the Rangers tonight will be to key in on guys like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. These guys know how to put the puck in the net and if given ample room to do so, especially on the power play, will make the Blueshirts pay for their mistakes.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby

Blueshirts Come Through in Weekend Sweep

When New York Rangers’ fans first looked at the schedule and saw back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, they were probably extremely worried.

Well, it turns out the Blueshirts surprised everyone by winning both by scores of 6-3 and 2-0, respectively. With the two wins, the Rangers improved to 12-5-3 on the season and are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference.

In their game against the Capitals, the team got a strong performance from their team captain, Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up three assists and was involved in all areas of the ice.

In that game, the club got goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (2), Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Brad Richards. The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 18 saves on 21 shots.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

Stepan Line Gets it Done in Win Over the Senators

The New York Rangers’ used the offense created by the Derek Stepan line to defeat the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa last night by a score of 3-2.

Derek Stepan picked up a goal and two assists. His other linemates Marian Gaborik had two goals and Artem Anisimov picked-up two assists. In all, the line combined for 7 points and was a threat to score and create offensive opportunities every time they were out on the ice.

Gaborik is on fire. He now has 9 goals and is playing like he did in his first season as a Blueshirt. He is showing tremendous speed, a nose for the net, and of course, a terrific shot.

Stepan is also starting to put together a solid season. He has a tremendous amoutn of patience with the puck, he drives to the net and is also defensively responsible.

Anisimov has also stepped up his play. He has great hands and a lot of offensive skill to offer. He just needs to do so on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Rangers Look to Extend Win Streak to Five in Ottawa

Back on October 29, the Ottawa Senators came back from a 4-1 defecit to defeat the New York Rangers by a score of 5-4 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

Fast forward a few weeks later and the Blueshirts are a much different hockey club. The team is currently on a 4-game winning streak and is playing more responsibly in their own zone and when it comes to discipline.

According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, Henrik Lundqvist will be back between the pipes for the Blueshirts. He will be coming off his 5-3 vicotry over the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday night and will more than likely look to bounce back from his average performance against the Senators back in late October.

Last time these two clubs met, there were some questionable hits. One resulted in the loss of Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson as Wolski caught him with his head down.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+alfredsson, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, wojtek+wolski, xenon+konopka

Rangers Need Secondary Scoring

In order to get everything clicking, the New York Rangers must be able to start getting some secondary scoring.

Going into the season, many hockey pundits, bloggers and prognosticators believed that this year’s Rangers’ hockey club had the most depth it has had in a very long time. With that said, it has yet to show up this season for the Blueshirts.

Obviously, the team’s top line consisting of Derek Stepan (for now), Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik will be asked to do the primary scoring. So far, Gaborik has doen his part and Richards has set up a bunch of goals and scoring opportunities.

It is the team’s second line of Artem Anismov-Brandon Dubinsky-Ryan Callahan that needs to steup to the plate and start producing. Ryan Callahan has not done much since the team’s opening weekend in Sweden and Dubinsky has been inconsistent at best. Unfortunately, Anisimov has been almost non-existent so far this season.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Lack of Offense Hurts Blueshirts in Loss to the Oilers

That might be an understatement as the New York Rangers were shutout by the Edmonton Oilers last night by a score of 2-0.

The Blueshirts were outshot 27-19, which is par for the course for the team as they usually get outshot by 10 or more shots per game this season. The team also went 0-4 on the power play and could not seem to get into any kind of a rhythm out there.

To try and get the offense going, Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella juggled his lines throughout the game. Not one worked or was able to establish enough chemistry to be kept together to have some consistency.

One forward who did stand out for the Rangers was Marian Gaborik. Gaborik had a lot of jump in his game, had several good scoring chances and showed good speed. Gaborik definitely looks like the Gaborik from the 2009-10 season so hopefully for the Rangers, he will continue to play this way because it is obvious that the team needs to establish a consistent offense.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, edmonton+oilers, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, michael+rupp, new+york+rangers

Timing is Everything

That was certainly the case last night for the New York Rangers as they scored with just over a second left in overtime to defeat the Calgary Flames by a score of 3-2.

Brandon Dubinsky did all the work to get the puck into the offensive zone and feed the puck to defenseman Dan Girardi, who then fired the puck wide off the boards for defenseman Ryan McDonagh to come in and put the puck into the open side of the net. Some might say it was a set play but it was really all about the timing.

In the team’s second straight win, the Blueshirts got solid performances from the likes of Marian Gaborik (1 goal and 8 shots), Brandon Prust (shorthanded goal), and of course, Henrik Lundqvist, who made 33 saves. The club also got a terrific game out of their penalty killing unit as the team was once again somewhat undisciplined.

The Blueshirts find themselves with two straight wins on this four game Western Canada road trip and should be feeling pretty good about themselves. With that said, there are still a few things that the team needs to work on such as staying out of the box, not allowing high quality scoring chances and getting scoring from their second line.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, calgary+flames, dan+girardi, edmonton+oilers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Liking This Team

If you are a New York Rangers’ fan, this is how you should feel about the hockey club they love.

Overall, this team has had a really good summer. First off, the team went out and signed the top unrestricted free agent on the market in Brad Richards. With a nine-year pact, Richards is going to have to be a big part of the team’s future and will also be in charge of getting Marian Gaborik going again.

Secondly, the team locked up its two best young players in Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. Last week, the team locked up Dubinsky for four years and just two days ago, the team signed Callahan to a three-year pact. Both of this guys are leaders on and off the ice while one is certainly captain material in Callahan. These two will be expected to carry the Blueshirts into the future and to make them a competitive hockey club for the next few seasons.

Lastly, look at what the team had coming into this season. Players like Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Marian Gaborik, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, and more. These players, or at least most of them, are young and still have a lot to offer the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Set at the Center Position

This is what the New York Rangers appear to be after locking up Brad Richards (via Free Agency), Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov and Erik Christensen.

Brad Richards is definitely the club’s No. 1 center, something the team has been lacking the last few seasons. The team hopes he will be able to get winer Marian Gaborik back to the way he played a few seasons ago when he scored over 40 goals. Richards is someone, if healthy, who can put up a lot of points and that is exactly what the Rangers will be paying him to do.

Brian Boyle recently resigned with the team for three years totaling $5.1 million a season. Boyle scored over 20 goals last season and proved to be extremely valuable both on and off the ice. If he continues to improve like he did last season, this will prove to be an extremely valuable signing.

Stepan is coming off a terrific rookie season. He scored big goals, played hard at both ends of the ice and showed that he has the potential to be an extremely valuable player to the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, erik+christen, new+york+rangers

And So It Begins

That’s right folks. The New York Rangers are in the playoffs and tonight is Game 1 between the Blueshirts and the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts are back in the postseason for the first time in two seasons, when, you guessed it, they were knocked out of the first round in seven games by the Washington Capitals. Is this series about revenge?

The answer to that question is no. For the Rangers, this series is about playing to what their identity says there are, which is a hard working hockey club that never gives up.

To get off to a good start in this series, they will need their hard work and resilient style in what will be an extremely loud Verizon Center. For the past couple of seasons, the Washington Capitals have been one of the best teams on home ice (25 victories this season) and their fans can really help in big games.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Well Deserved Playoff Berth and What They Need to do to Win

This can definitely be said when it comes to this year’s New York Rangers.

It was a roller coaster season for the Blueshirts that featured lots of injuries, some untimely losses as well as some inconsisten play. With that said, however, there was a lot more good than bad from the Rangers this season, which is why there is a possibility that they can make a long run in this year’s postseason.

To beat the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals, you have to first look at Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. It is more than likely that Lundqvist will face a barrage of shot in the first round from the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Arnott, Mike Knuble, Mike Green, John Carlson and others. Luckily for the Rangers’, Henrik was quite good against the Capitals this season in shutting them out twice and winning another.

The team will also need to get timely goal scoring. Guys like Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and even Brandon Prust will have to do everything they can to put the puck in the net.

This is especially true because the team will be without their heart and soul player, Ryan Callahan. Callahan was instrumental on the team’s power play, penalty kill and knew how to score when the team needed it the most. Certainly a big piece of the puzzle to replace at such an important time.

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  Tags: alex+semin, alexander+ovechkin, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, jason+arnott, john+carlson, marian+gaborik, mike+green, mike+knuble, new+york+rangers, nicklas+bakcstrom, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

The Rangers Can Put the Puck in the Net

Earlier today, our fearless leader pointed out an article that shows that despite their win-loss record, the New York Rangers have been a more than solid hockey club this season.

The author, Michael Salfino, could not be more right and to prove his point, he showed that the Blueshirts have the fourth best goal differential in the league. Despite having a sniper who is underachieving somewhat in Marian Gaborik, the Rangers have shown that they can put the puck in the net this season.

For starters, the team has five players who have 20 goals or more. Ryan Callahan (23), Brandon Dubinsky (22), Marian Gaborik (22), Brian Boyle (21) and rookie Derek Stepan have all hit the 20-goal plateau this season. Artem Anisimov could be next to hit the 20-goal mark as he has 18 goals on the season.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Goals A Plenty in Rangers’ 6-3 Win over the Canadiens

This may be hard to believe but the New York Rangers’ have won three straight home games by outscoring their opponents by a 19-6 margin.

The Rangers’ latest victim was the Montreal Canadiens in a 6-3 victory. The team scored five goals in the first period with five different goal scorers in Artem Anisimov, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brian Boyle. Vinny Prospal scored the team’s sixth and final goal in the third period.

With the win, the Rangers hit the 80-point mark and remain four points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, who had a huge OT win over the New York Islanders last night.

For a team that struggles with offense, they certainly know how to beat up on team’s when given the opportunity to do so. Last night, the team took advantage of a Montreal Canadiens’ team that played the night before against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a somewhat tired Carey Price, who was yanked after allowing the fifth Rangers’ goal. It certainly was not Price’s fault as he had no help out there.

The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who picked up his sixth consecutive 30-win season. With the 30th win, Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to 30 or more games in his first six seasons in the league.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, benoit+pouliot, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carey+price, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Rangers Set to Go Shark Hunting

If you’re still up at 10:30 p.m. tonight, I hope you hockey/New York Rangers’ fans will tune into tonight’s game between the Blueshirts and the San Jose Sharks.

After losing to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night and having a few days off, the Blueshirts find themselves in tied for seventh/eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the Rangers are also just two points up on the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, making tonight’s tilt with the Sharks even more important.

Over at The Rangers Tribune, Nicholas Montemagno wrote about how he agrees with Rangers’ beat writer Larry Brooks on having team head coach John Tortorella unleash sniper Marian Gaborik. I could not agree more as it is imperative that Gaborik gets his offense going as now is not the time in the season to struggle offensively.

I also agree with head coach Tortorella when he says that it is all about the Henrik Lundqvist show now. Lundqvist needs to bring his A-game the rest of the way if the Rangers want to have any chance of getting into the playoffs. Lundqvist has been quite good over his last few games so hopefully, he will be able to keep it up down the stretch.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, mike+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, san+jose+sharks, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Win By Playing Rangers’ hockey

In today’s 7-0 white-washing of the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers won by playing the kind of hockey that made them so successful earlier on in the season.

They forechecked, they hit, they blocked shots, they allowed their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to see the puck, they cleared rebounds and they got timely goal scoring. Normally, this is a good recipe of success for any team in the NHL but for the ost part, this has been a big part of the Rangers’ identity when they have won games this season.

This afternoon’s Ranger of the game was easily Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up his first career hat trick en route to a 4-goal and 5-point game for the Blueshirts. He drove hard to the net, used his quick release to beat Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher and with his hard work, managed to crack the 20-goal mark.

The team also got solid performances out of Vaclav Prospal (2 assists), Mats Zuccarello (2 goals), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Lundqvist (24) saves, who picked up his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, vaclav+prospal

Rangers Continue to Get it Done on the Road

While the New York Rangers’ have struggled at home this season, there is no doubting that things have been quite the opposite for the team on the road this year.

Last night, the Rangers went into Ottawa and defeated the Senators by a score of 4-1 for their 20th road victory of the season. For the Blueshirts, they were obviously able to put the puck in the net, cash in on their chances, play smart defense and get great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who made 28 saves on 29 shots to earn the No. 1 star of the game.

The team got goals from Vinny Prospal, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, and Derek Stepan. These are players that the team needs to have score more and they were all able to come through last night, especially Prospal as he now has points in his last three games and has six points in his last six games as he looks to provide his team with improtant offense down the stretch.

This game showed that the Rangers can indeed get the important goals when they need to do. For example, after Zuccarello made it 2-0 in the second period, Anisimov went in and scored to make it 3-0 just 12 seconds later. The team never allowed the Senators to get back in the hockey game.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, vinny+prospal

Rangers Set for Minnesota Wild

Once again, the New York Rangers head into tonight’s game with the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden needing to come away with two points in order to separate themselves from the eighth and ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, both of those teams, the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, play each other tonight so no matter what, someone is going to come away with two points and inch close to the Rangers. With that said, if the Blueshirts can come away with two points themselves, they will certainly be in better position and have a bit of insurance.

The Rangers need to come out and set the tone early. They need to throw the puck on net, finish their chances, protect the lead if they get one and do everything they possibly can to win a hockey game because if they cannot, they could be in trouble when they take on the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night in Ottawa and the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Sunday afternoon.

For the Rangers, it will be important that players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Vinny Prospal step up offensively. With Marian Gaborik still expected to be out of the lineup, these seem to be the guys that can put the puck in the net. Now, they need to do it on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Time to Get The Rangers’ Offense Going

It seems like this has been a key theme for the New York Rangers during the second half of the NHL season.

Unfortunately, the Blueshirts have had trouble doing so on a consistent basis, which will need to change fast especially if the team finds out Marian Gaborik will be out of the lineup for a bit (should know more today). Tonight, the team will need to start up its offense against the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes in Carolina tonight.

The Hurricanes are just two points behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings and are 15-10-3 on home ice this season. With that said, the Rangers will have a hill to climb tonight if they want to get two points before taking on the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

As I mentioned up top, this team needs to start scoring goals. The Blueshirts need guys like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, and Vinny Prospal to all start putting the puck in the net with regularity.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, jim+cerny, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal, wojtek+wolski

Gaborik Update: Disappointing 4-2 loss for the Rangers

Marian Gaborik Update: From NBC’s NHL Extra Twitter Account:

An update on Marian Gaborik from earlier today, he left the game with a concussion.

From Earlier: In a game in which the New York Rangers outshot the Philadelphia Flyers 39-24, the Blueshirts managed to lose the game 4-2 at Madison Square Garden this afternoon.

A lot of credit has to be given to Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher. Boucher was on top of his game in making 37 saves and was especially big in the third period when he stopped 14 of 15 Ranger shots.

With that said, however, this game was once again a perfect example of how the Blueshirts still lack some finish to their game. In the third period, Rangers’ forward Artem Anisimov could not get his stick on a cross crease pass on what could have been an easy goal.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible game for the Blueshirts. They put plenty of pressure in the Flyers’ zone, put plenty of pucks on net but just couldn’t get the goal that mattered in the third period.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

My Oh My How Things Changed on Broadway

Before the NHL Lockout during 2004-05, the New York rangers were all about having veterans and experience on the roster, even if it came at the expense of a younger player or prospect.

Fast forward about seven years later and the Blueshirts have completely changed their philosophy. A lot of this, believe it or not, is due to general manager Glen Sather along with former head coach Tom Renney and new head coach John Tortorella.

Today, the latter was raving about another Rangers’ prospect who he thinks should have already turned pro in Chris Kredier, MVP of the 2011 Beanpot Tournament:

“I wish he’d turn pro last year,” Tortorella said. “I hope he turns pro next year. I hope he’s with us. He’s a sophomore now and we’re anxious to get him involved in pro hockey. We think he’s got some good stuff to offer and we want to get him tracked up here with us as soon as possible.”

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, michael+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Rangers Power Play Clicks In Victory Over the Penguins

As our fearless leader Paul Kukla mentioned in my previous blog, I need to start writing about the New York Rangers needing to win now in order to get the team going.

This afternoon at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts did just that in a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping their six game winless strerak. The team was also able to get its power play as the team went three for five with the man advantage.

The game certainly did not start great for the Rangers as they found themselves 2-0 after the Penguins scored two goals on their first four shots. After Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella called a timeout, the team responded in a positive manner and exploded offensively.

The Blueshirts got goals from Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan (2), Vinny Prospal and Artem Anisimov with Callahan, Prospal and Anisimov all connecting on the power play. It just goes to show you what a good power play can do to a hockey team as this afternoon, it certainly raised the level of the Rangers.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, los+angeles+kings, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Where is the Rangers’ Power Play?

In a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens yesterday afternoon, it was the power play that lost the game for the New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts had four power play opportunities and were only able to put one shot on Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price. Yes, the Canadiens’ penalty kill was very aggressive and did a terrific job in clogging ...up othe defensive zone but the Rangers need to be heckuva lot more effective with the man advanatge going forward.

The Rangers may not have the most talented group of forwards but they do have guys that can shoot the puck such as Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov. They also have some talent at the points in Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal and Matt Gilroy who can get pucks to the net.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, carey+price, dan+girardi, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborki, matt+gilroy, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Not Great but Not Bad

That would be the phrase to describe the play of the New York Rangers last night in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

The team got off to a great start and was up 2-0 in the second period on goals by Brandon Prust and Artem Anisimov. However, the Penguins scored three goals to take the lead before Ryan Callahan tied it up with a power play goal on Jordan Staal’s five minute penalty (he got tossed from the game).

This was a game that the Blueshirts should have been able to pick up two points but instead, come away with one. They had trouble finishing both in the third period and in the shootout and ultimately, that is what did them in as they had numerous chances to get the game winning goal.

With that said, there were some positives in the game. For starters, it was great to have Callahan (1 goal) and Brandon Dubinsky (1 assist) back in the lineup. These are two of the hardest working Blueshirts and it showed last night as they generated several scoring opportunities. Callahan definitely showed some rust but since he had not played for over a month, it is excusable.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, jordan+staal, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Rangers Head Into Much Needed Break With 4-3 Loss to the Panthers

It certainly was not their best game of the season but it wasn’t exactly their worst as the New York Rangers fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-3.

The Panthers got the game-winner when Panthers’ Mike Weaver took shot from the point that was going wide and instead, it ended up hitting Rangers’ forward Artem Anisimov’s shoulder and popped up in the air and landed behind Lundqvist to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead and ultimately, the victory.

While that was a negative for the Blueshirts, there were also several positives. Down 3-1 going into the third period, the Rangers’ battled back on goals by Brandon Prust and Dan Boyle to tie the game. For Boyle, it was his team leading 18th goal of the season, a number that I don’t think anyone expected him to have heading into the season.

Another positive for the Rangers was the play of Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello picked up three assists. Zuccarello knows how to set-up his teammates, knows how to get to loose pucks and knows how to use his speed to create scoring opportunities, all skills that will allow him to have success in the NHL.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+prust, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, mike+weaver, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Blueshirts Get the Job Done Against the Capitals

When New York Rangers’ fans heard that Martin Biron was starting last night against the Washington Capitals, they all thought that head coach John Tortorella was giving the game away and hoping to pick up two points tonight against the Panthers.

As it turns out, they were wrong and the Blueshirts came away with a 2-1 shootout victory, thanks partly to some timely goaltending from Biron and a terrific defensive effort. The defense held the Capitals to just 23 shots and did a solid job of keeping the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Mike Knuble and others quiet on their way to another road victory.

Fifty-two minutes into the game, the Rangers were down 1-0 until Marian Gaborik tied it up when a Dan Boyle shot ffrom the top of the circle hit off Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby and then deflected off Gaborik’s shoulder and in. It may not have been Gaborik’s prettiest goal but it was a goal that the team needed and a goal that will hopefully get Gaborik going offensively on a consistent basis.

In the shootout, the team got two great goals from Mats Zuccarello (4/4 in the shootout this season and in his career) and the eventual game winning goal from Artem Anisimov, his first ever shootout goal, giving the team its second straight shootout victory.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, artem+anisimov, brandon+holtby, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, mats+zuccarello, mike+green, mike+knuble, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Gaborik shines in Rangers’ Victory

When we first heard that New York Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky was going to be out with an injury for the next three to four weeks, Blueshirt fans probably wondered who was going to step up and provide the offense.

As it turns out, the player that should have been supplying offense all season long stepped up in a big way last night with four goals and an assist for five points in a 7-0 white-washing of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The player I am talking about is Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik was simply an offensive force last night. He hustled, had a nose for the net, put pucks to the net and the puck always seemed to find him at the right time. These were all the things that he did last season that allowed him to score over 40 goals.

This is the Gaborik that team needs to have on a consistent basis. With someone like Dubinsky out, goals are going to be a bit harder to come by but if Gaborik can play like he did last night going forward, the team will be a lot better off.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Pull Out Gutsy Win in Dallas

Facing one of the league’s best teams is always a daunting task in the National Hockey League for any hockey club.

With that said, the New York Rangers have proved to folks this year that they can work hard for their victories and they did just that in a 3-2 shootout win over the Dallas Stars last night in Dallas. For the Blueshirts, it was their league leading 14th road victory of the season and a victory that should prove to Ranger fans that this is a much different hockey club than last season.

Once again, the Rangers’ won with youth last night contributing in a big way. Artem Anisimov scored the tying goal mid-way through the third period with a terrific wrist shot that beat Stars’ netminder Kari Lehtonen and then in the shootout, Mats Zuccarello came through once again and scored the winning goal.

Folks, this Rangers’ team does not back down. Sure, there may be games where they are clearly outmatched but these Blueshirts always put in a good fight and do whatever they can to come away with at least one or two points. Last night, the Rangers’ were not overmatched but they were definitely facing one of the upper echelon clubs in the NHL.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, dallas+stars, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues

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