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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: brian boyle

Big Week on Tap for the Blueshirts

With spring now in the air, it is certainly starting to look like playoff hockey around the NHL.

This is especially the case for the New York Rangers. This past week, the Blueshirts were extremely impressive in picking up seven out of a possible eight points in wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins (had a shootout loss to them as well) and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Watching the Rangers' this week, some familiarity was definitely present. In fact, in watching how the Rangers' played this week and looking at the performances they got out of certain players, one could even say that it felt like last season.

This past week helped catapult the Blueshirts into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The team is just two points behind the sixth-seeded Ottawa Senators and is also four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There are several reasons why the Rangers have had success of late. For starters, Blueshirts' netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely fantastic. The "King" is 6-2-2 in his last 10 games, has not allowed more than two goals in those 10 games and has posted great numbers with a 1.57 GAA and a .947 save percentage in those games.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, derick+brassard, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+lunqdqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

The Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played this afternoon in their 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts got timely goal scoring, played solid on defense, got a great game from back-up netminder Martin Biron, and did a good job at killing penalties when they needed it the most. With the exception of the first ten minutes of the game in which they looked like they were asleep, this was by far and away the best Rangers' road game of the season.

It was nice to see Rangers' forward Brian Boyle come through with his first goal of the season in the second period on a delayed penalty. On the goal, he showed patience with the puck, got into good position and showed why guys should not be afraid to put the puck on net. Hopefully, this goal will get him going.

The club also got another excellent game from Rick Nash. Nash used his size, helped create two goals and was responsible in his own end.

Another big factor in this tilt was the play of Biron. Biron was sharp in making 28 saves and did his job by keeping his team in the game, giving his club a chance to win, and stopping the pucks that he should stop.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

And So It Begins

Here we are folks. About two and a half months after the season was suppossed to begin, the New York Rangers will open up their regular season tomorrow night in Boston with a tilt against the Boston Bruins.

For the Blueshirts, this game has been a long time coming. It marks the debut of Rick Nash and what will hopefully be a more dynamic offense both in even strength situations, and on the power play.

The game also represents the start of what some predict will be a great 48-game season for the Blueshirts. While it is too early to start talking about hockey's Holy Grail, it is definitely something that the Rangers should be able to contend for this year.

The Rangers were 3-1 last season against the Bruins. The Blueshirts outscored the B's by a 11-7 margin and in those games, got great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who had a memorable 40-save shutout in Boston back on February 14.  

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+marchand, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, david+krejci, derek+stepan, dougie+hamilton, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, johnny+boychuk, milan+lucic, nathan+horton, new+york+rangers, patrice+bergeron, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, tuukka+rask, tyler+seguin, zdeno+chara

Quiet on The Offensive Front for the Blueshirts

As everyone knows, goals are at a minimum in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the exception of the first round between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, there have been many low scoring games in this postseason. This is due to tighter defenses, players diving all over the place to block shots and great goaltending.

While these things have certainly been a factor for the New York Rangers, they are not the only reason why the team’s offense has been very quiet in their second round series with the Washington Capitals.

For starters, the Rangers are not getting any secondary scoring. Guys like Ruslan Fedotenko, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, John Mitchell, Carl Hagelin, Mike Rupp, and others have all been stymied and have not been able to put the puck in the net.

This is a problem because it ends up putting a ton of pressure on the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan to put the puck in the net. While it is right to expect them to be able to put the puck in the net because of what they accomplished in the regular season or in past postseasons, that does not mean that they can come through whenever the team needs them to.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, john+mitchell, marian+gaborik, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan

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

What the Rangers Need to do to Win Game 7

While the NHL regular season does not mean much when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are things that a team did during the regular season that helps when it comes to playing in hockey’s second season.

This is the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. Tonight, the Rangers will host Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators. It is the Rangers’ first Game 7 at Madison Square Garden since they won Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks in 1994 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers were extremely successful in the regular season and the three games they won in their series against the Senators because they played “Ranger Hockey”. Ranger hockey is something that team head coach John Tortorella came up with and it has worked to a ‘T’ when implemented correctly.

For starters, playing Ranger hockey is all about having a team first mentality. This means that playing a physical brand of hockey and blocking shots are almost mandatory and when the Rangers have won in this series, they have done both extremely well.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Just Win

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the only thing that matters is winning hockey games.

It does not matter how you do it, if it was ugly or easy or if you were outplayed. The only thing that matters is subtracting from that number 16.

Tonight, the Rangers will look to cut their number to 13 as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 tonight at Scotiabank Place. Should the Blueshirts win tonight, they will be able to close out the series in Game 5 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

With Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist in the zone, the team will need to find a way to provide more offensive support for their superstar netminder. The “King” had to be perfect on Monday and the team was lucky he was as they scored just one goal (Brian Boyle) the entire game.

Players like Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky need to start producing. These guys were shut down by the Senators in Game 3 and have been quiet since their performances in Game 1.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

Lundqvist Wins Game 3 for the Rangers

Just like he did during the regular season, New York Rangers’ superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the main reason why the Rangers won a hockey game.

Only this time, Lundqvist was the main reason why the Blueshirts won a playoff game in making 39 saves to shutout the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 at Scotiabank Place. The win gives the Rangers a 2-1 series lead, a lead that they will look to extend on Wednesday night in Game 4.

Simply put, Lundqvist was outstanding tonight. He made the first save, second save and on occasion, the third save when he needed to help keep his team in the hockey game.

The “King” was especially good in the third period when he stopped 14 Senators’ shots. He made an outstanding save on a rebound shot from in close by Senators’ forward Kyle Turris which ended up sealing the shutout victory for the Blueshirts.

Had Lundqvist not been as good as he was tonight, this game could have been a much different story for the Blueshirts. The team had trouble generating sustained offense in the Senators’ zone and once again showed that they like to pass off good shooting opportunities.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, kyle+turris, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

What is Shanahan Trying to Do?

From Neil Keefe at CBS New York:

Does Brendan Shanahan think he’s doing a good job because he makes videos to explain the infractions and the punishments he determines for the infractions? Because, if anything, the videos make his decisions look even more nonsensical. At least when Campbell was recklessly throwing around suspensions (or sometimes a lack thereof), there wasn’t video evidence of him narrating plays so we could see inside his inconsistent mind.

In Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series, Matt Carkner dressed with the mission of fighting Brian Boyle and getting physical with Erik Karlsson, and I have no problem with Carkner dressing for this purpose. But when Boyle decided he wasn’t going to fight Carkner on the first attempt, Carkner decided he was going to fight anyway and sucker-punched Boyle and then continued to punch him as he went down to the ice. In the process, Brandon Dubinsky went to the aid of his defenseless teammate and was given a game misconduct for not allowing Carkner to finish a job that could have ended Boyle’s season or maybe even his career.

Carkner was suspended one game for a pre-mediated attack (which once again I don’t have a problem with since its part of the game, but square up or take care of it in the correct setting), but an attack against a guy who didn’t square up with him and led to Carkner doing what he was set out to do anyway. One game! Here’s what Shanahan said in his NHL.com video review of Carkner’s infraction.

Click here for more from Keefe.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, matt+carkner, neil+keefe, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Rangers’ Offense Comes Up Big in Game 1 Win

Coming into the series between the New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators, no one really knew what to expect except for what was on paper.

In Game 1 tonight at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers showed their fans and the league why they finished where they did in defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-2. For a Senators team that had dominated the Blueshirts at MSG the last few seasons, this was a nice change for Blueshirts’ fans.

There are several reasons why the Rangers won tonight’s game. For starters, the team got goals from players that are supposed to score goals. Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brad Richards all scored for the Blueshirts while the team also got a goal from hard-working forward Brian Boyle.

The team’s defense was also terrific for the Rangers’ tonight. As expected, the team came out and blocked a lot of shots, broke up a lot of passes, and let their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist see the puck.

Speaking of Lundqvist, he was solid in making 30 saves on 32 Senators’ shots. There is no doubt that he kept the team in the lead at 1-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second period and in general, made the big saves when the team needed him to do so.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan

Top Spot in the Division and Conference

That is what the 2011-12 New York Rangers are in terms of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference this season.

With their 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers last night, the Blueshirts clinched the top spot in both their division and conference for the first time since 1994. Yes, we all know what happened that year but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Blueshirts jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period last night and never really looked back. Sure, they allowed the Flyers to score 3 goals and yes, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist certainly had to come up big but for the most part, this game was won in the first period.

The team got solid performances from Marian Gaborik (1 goal and 1 assist), Ryan McDonagh (1 goal and 1 assist), Brad Richards (2 assists) and Lundqvist (37 saves on 40 shots). The other usual suspects such as Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Brian Boyle also put forth solid efforts in the clinching victory.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, washington+capitals

King of The Hill

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are tonight after their 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.

This was a gutsy performance by a team that never quits. Tonight, the Blueshirts came back from a 2-0 deficit on goals by defenseman Michael Del Zotto (1 goal and 1 assist) and team captain Ryan Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist).

After that, it was the team’s scoring depth that took over the game. Brian Boyle (1 goal) scored the game-winning goal just over three minutes into the third period followed by a power play goal from Derek Stepan (1 goal).

It is performances like tonight that the Blueshirts are going to need if they want to succeed in the postseason. There could be nights when the likes of Marian Gaborik (2 assists) Brad Richards (1 assist) and even Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist) are shut down so when that happens, the team’s scoring depth needs to step up and take care of business.

Speaking of taking care of business, Rangers’ starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did that tonight by stopping 22 of 24 shots for his 38th victory of the season. It was his 250th career win, which puts him tied for 44th on the all-time wins list by a netminder with the legendary Johnny Bower.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, johnny+bower, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

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

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

Blueshirts Looking for Offense

While the New York Rangers may have gotten screwed out of picking up at least a point against the New Jersey Devils in their 1-0 loss on Tuesday night, it still does not change the fact that this team is currently having trouble scoring goals.

Yes, the team put four in on Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers but before that and right now, the offense has been kept quiet. As of right now, Rangers’ forwards Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan seem like the only two players that are consistently generating scoring chances.

However, guys like Derek Stepan, Brad Richards, Brian Boyle and others are struggling to score goals. Prior to these last few weeks, the Rangers had scoring depth and right now, it appears to be missing.

When this happens, it puts a ton of pressure on the team’s goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron. It is like the goaltenders have to be as close to perfect as possible in order to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, dwayne+roloson, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, mathieu+garon, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

Rangers Impressive in Shutout win over the Leafs

It may not have been the most exciting game but the New York Rangers got the job done tonight with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For the Rangers, it was important for the club to get their offense going and for the most part, the team did just that tonight with goals from guys who do not score many of them (except for one guy). The Blueshirts got goals from Mike Rupp (4th goal of the season), Brian Boyle (his first goal in 22 games and 3rd goal of the season) and Derek Stepan (10th goal of the season and an assist).

Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron also had a solid game for his hockey club tonight. Biron picked-up his second shutout and 9th win of the season. While he was not bombarded with shots, Biron was good when he needed to be in making 19 saves and also adding his third assist of the season on Stepan’s goal.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 28-10-4 with 60 points. That has them first in the Eastern Conference (three points ahead of the Boston Bruins) and as of this writing, first in the NHL, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks.

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  Tags: bell+centre, boston+bruins, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, joffrey+lupul, martin+biron, mike+rupp, mikhail+grabovski, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

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

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

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

Always Consistent

Those two words describe New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s play as a Blueshirt since joining the National Hockey League in the 2005-06 season.

He showed that once again last night with a 40-save shutout performance of the Vancouver Canucks, helping lead the Rangers to their first victory of the season. It only made sense that he was the story of the game because since joining the league, he has been the franchises’s best player.

In last night’s 4-0 win, Lundqvist was calm, cool, and collected under pressure. He did a solid job of controlling rebounds, challenging shooters and making himself look big to some of the league’s best shooters in Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Sami Salo and many others on the Canucks.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, calgary+flames, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+rupp, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, vancouver+canucks

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

Rangers Turn Table on Flyers With 3-2 Shootout Win

Almost a year ago, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout, sending their team into the playoffs and the Blueshirts home for the playoffs and off-season.

Today, the New York Rangers turned the tables on the Flyers and defeated the Broadstreet Bullies 3-2 in a shootout, giving them points 88 and 89 on the season. With the two points, the Blueshirts now find themselves in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with one more point than the Buffalo Sabres and three points more than the Carolina Hurricanes, who play each other this evening at 5:00 p.m.

Rangers’ forwards Erik Christensen and Wojtek Wolski, two guys who haven’t played great as of late, got the two shootout goals for the Blueshirts and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 32 saves on the afternoon, went two for two in the shootout in picking up his 34th win of the season.

It was a game in which the Blueshirts showed their mettle and played tough, blocked a lot of shots, were smart on the penalty kill and were not afraid to throw the pucks at Flyers’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. They played a typical road-style hockey game and in doing so, picked up their 24th road win of the season, tying the franchise record they set back in 1994.

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  Tags: boston+boston+bruins, braydon+coburn, brian+boyle, bryan+mccabe, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, daniel+carcillo, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, sergei+bobrovsky, wojtek+wolski

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 Just Need to Win

It sounds simple, right? Especially with the New York Islanders coming to Madison Square Garden tonight, right?

Wrong. The New York Rangers will be facing a much different New York Islanders hockey club tonight, one that has won a lot in the second half of the season and one that does not look like an AHL team anymore.

For the Rangers, the task is simple - just win baby. The team is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. The Buffalo Sabres also have 76 points and the Carolina Hurricanes are ninth in the conference with 72 points. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, those teams are in action against each other tonight so one of them will definitely be coming away with the all-important two points.

The last time the Rangers were at home, they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a 7-0 score while getting four goals from Ryan Callahan. Tonight, the Blueshirts will be looking for the same kind of offense to get the crowd going and excited about the team’s playoff hopes.

For that to happen though, the Blueshirts will need to be careful against these hungry Islanders. The Islanders have gotten terrific play from the likes of John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Blake Comeau, Matt Moulson and goaltender Al Montoya. Yes, the Montoya that was drafted by the Rangers back in 2004.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vaclav+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

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

Is Tonight the Biggest Game of the Year for the Blueshirts?

Everyone involved in the New York Rangers’ organization from the brass, to its players and to its fans should answer that with a resounding YES.

The team is winless in their last five games and tonight, take on an Atlanta Thrashers hockey team that is just four points behind them in the Eastern Conference standings. To make things a bit more interesting, the Carolina Hurricanes are only three points behind their Blueshirts with one game in hand.

The Rangers need to stop the bleeding before they have nothing left and find themselves out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season. To get back on the right track tonight, the team is going to need some offense, smart play in the neutral zone and strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who should be between the pipes tonight.

When it comes to the team’s offense, Marian Gaborik needs to step up and contribute. This is a guy who can skate and shoot with the best of them and yet, he has not been able to do so this season. If Gaborik can get a goal or two tonight, it should boost his confidence and may be get him going.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, vinny+prospal

Injury Update/Rangers Earn a Point in hard Fought Game with the Thrashers

Injury/Call-Up Update: According to team beat writer Andrew Gross, Mitch Beck of Howlings Today for the Connecticut Whale said that both Evgeny Grachev and Michael Del Zotto have been been called up by the Blueshirts to replace Brandon Prust and Dan Girardi, who are both day-to-day after getting hurt in tonight’s game.

This was one of those games where the New York Rangers really needed a big goal to salvage a hockey game and tonight, they got it from one of the most improved players in the league in Brian Boyle.

With just over six minutes to go in the third period, Brian Boyle beat an Atlanta Thrashers’ defenseman to a puck in the Thrashers zone and skated to his left and flicked a shot past Thrashers’ netminder Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game up at 2-2. This goal helped the Blueshirts get into overtime and evenutally, the shootout where Mats Zuccarello scored the winning goal, giving the Blueshirts a 3-2 victory and two very important points in the Eastern Conference.

The Blueshirts got a solid performance out of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 20 saves and stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout for his 21st victory of the season. He battled his way through the game and showed that when injuries amount, as the Blueshirts lost Dan Girardi (after fighting Andrew Ladd to stick up for his defense partner Marc Staal) and Brandon Prust (blocked a shot in the first period off his right shot) in the game, good goaltending can still win you hockey games.

This was an extremely gutsy victory for a team needing a win in a big way as injuries continue to add up. They continue to work hard and just do not quit, which is why they continue to pick up points when they need to.

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  Tags: andrew+ladd, atlanta+thrashers, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec

Third Goal Hard to Come By for the Blueshirts

For the second straight game, the New York Rangers had trouble getting the tying third goal in a 3-2 loss, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Down 3-0 going into the third period, the team got goals from Wojtek Wolski and Derek Stepan before Flyers’ goaltender Brian Boucher and the rest of his hockey club shut the door and skated off the Madison Square Garden ice with two big points, handing the Blueshirts their second consecutive loss of the weekend.

The Blueshirts lack of offense is becoming a growing concern in 2011 as the team has yet to score more than two goals. One player that is really having trouble is Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik is not finishing his chances, is having trouble getting the puck to the net and is being made an example of by head coach John Tortorella, as the coach benched him for part of last night’s tilt with the Flyers.

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  Tags: brian+boucher, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

My Rangers’ All-Stars

With the NHL announcing the rest of the All-Star selections yesterday, I figured now would be a good time to look at the players who have been all-stars for the New York Rangers this season.

Some of my selections were baded on point-production while other selections were due to their overall fine play in the first half of the season.

Let me know what you think:

- Brandon Dubinsky: The Rangers’ 24-year-old has been by far and away the team’s best offensive player this season. In 44 games, Dubinsky has 37 points (17 goals and 20 assists) and has shown those throughout the organization that he has the potential to be a 30 to 35-goal scorer. Not only does he contribute offensively, but “Dubi” also plays well on the other side of the puck and is used in all game situations whether it’s power play, penalty kill, the extra man, etc. He’s done it all for the Blueshirts this season and hopefully for the Rangers, he will do much of the same in the second half of the season.

- Ryan Callahan: Before suffering a broken hand against the Pittsburgh Penguins in December, Rangers’ forward Ryan Callahan was also making a name for himself to be the top Rangers’ player. In 32 games, the 25-year-old had put up 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) and also become the perfect role model for the Blueshirts. He sacrificed his body to block shots, he skated hard at both ends of the ice, he played on the power play and penalty kill and he was a leader on and off the ice. While the Blueshirts have played well without him, he will certainly be welcomed back into the lineup with open arms.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Even Though They Were Outshot Badly, A Win is A Win for the Blueshirts

You know the saying “A win is a win”? Well, this saying definitely describes the New York Rangers as they beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 at the Prudential Center to close out 2010.

For one of the worst offenses in the National Hockey League, the Devils certainly did not seem that way against the Blueshirts tonight. In fact, in the second period alone, the Devils outshot the Rangers by a 20-12 margin.

That was not even the worst statistic in tonight’s tilt when it comes to shots against for the Blueshirts. They were also outshot badly in the first period as the Devils fired 16 shots while the Rangers only put five on goaltender Martin Brodeur.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog today, this was definitely a trap game for the Rangers. They were playing the worst team in the NHL and yet, the Devils threw everything they had at them but failed to get the victory. Sounds like the Devils’ story of the season, eh?

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, michal+rozsival, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

All About Hard Work for the Blueshirts

It may have been a 7-2 drubbing of the New York Islanders, but the New York Rangers certainly worked hard for their 21st victory of their season.

For starters, defenseman Matt Gilroy had a terrific game for the Blueshirts. He picked up his first two goals of the season, played well on both sides of the puck and looked poised and confident on the blueline. This is something that Gilroy needs to do conisistently but he certainly seems to be getting his game together at the right time for his hockey club.

It was another excellent game for grinders Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. Boyle picked up his 13th goal of the season and added two assists for three points. As always, Prust worked hard, battled in the corners and generated several scoring opportunities for the Blueshirts.

The same can be said of Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan, who are both having quite a season for the Rangers. Dubinsky scored his 15th goal of the season and added an assist while Stepan extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with his 11th goal of the season as well as picking up an assist.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, chris+drury, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, matt+gilroy, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Mats Zuccarello Aasen to Make Debut Against The Lightning Tonight

Going into a crucial game at Madison Square Garden tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the odds are already stacked against the Blueshirts with both Marian Gaborik (groin) and Michael Del Zotto (flu) out of the lineup.

To help fill the void, the team has called up Mats Zuccarello Aasen to take Gaborik’s spot. In 32 games with the club’s American Hockey League farm team, the Connecticut Whale, Zuccarello Aasen has 24 points (13 goals and 11 assists) in 32 games.

While he has been somewhat inconsistent at the AHL level, Zuccarello Aasen had recorded points in five of his last six games with four goals and four assists and has also put up 22 points in his last 20 games. As such, he is coming to the Blueshirts having played some of his best hockey in the AHL.

With that said, however, the NHL is a different animal and it will be interesting to see what Zuccarello Aasen does to adjust his game to fit the NHL style. According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants, Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella knows that he needs to put Zuccarello Aasen in a position to create offense.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello+aasen, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Playing to a Weaker Opponent’s Level at MSG

How did most New York Rangers’ fans know that a game like last night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators was going to happen?

Unfortunately, they knew because this is how the Blueshirts play sometimes. When a weaker opponent comes into Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will often play down to their level and often either lose or win a close game.

Last night, the Senators came into MSG not having scored in their last nine periods and yet, the team managed to put in three (one empty net goal) against the Rangers in winning the hockey game 3-1.

Early on in the game, one could tell that the Rangers were going to struggle given that they were badly outplayed by a team that had played the night before in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Yet, the Senators were all over the puck in the Rangers’ zone and also played tight, defensive hockey.

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  Tags: brandon+prust, brian+boyle, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko

A Snore Fest But a Win

It certainly was not the most exciting New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders game but it was a 2-0 shutout win for the Blueshirts and a sweep of the home-and-home series.

For Henrik Lundqvist, it was his fourth shutout of the season and his third career against the Islanders. He did not need to be terrific but he was able to get the job done and that’s all that should matter when it comes to Lundqvist and the Rangers.

The team got a great power play goal from defenseman Marc Staal who took a nice pass from Derek Stepan and rifled one over the shoulder of Islanders’ goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Brian Boyle added his 11th (no…I am not kidding) of the season when he put one into the empty net with less than a minute to go in the game.

Other than that, there wasn’t much to this game. Yes, the Rangers dominated a good portion of the second period and had some power play opportunities but they were not able to generate a lot of quality scoring chances. Luckily, they were playing against the Islanders so with a solid Henrik and defense in tact, not a lot of goals should be needed.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, derek+stepan, dwayne+roloson, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Rangers’ Shut Out Leafs

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the New York Rangers needed to go out and play a perfect road game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mission accomplished as the Blueshirts shutout the Leafs 2-0 thanks to terrific performances from the likes of Henrik Lundqvist (36 saves), Ryan Callahan (penalty shot goal), and Brian Boyle (1 goal). and Bradon Prust.

What else is left to say about Lundqvist? He played great last night in a losing effort and tonight, he absolutely shut the door on the Leafs, especially in the second and third periods when the Leafs had sustained pressure in the Blueshirts’ zone. Yes, he allowed four goals last night but ever since making the start in Boston a week ago, Henrik has been on top of his game.

Ryan Callahan has also been terrific for the Blueshirts. With his penalty shot goal tonight, Cally now has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 10 games. Not only is he contributing offensively, but he also throws a lot of hits, blocks a lot of shots and creates plenty of scoring opportunities.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs


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