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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: colorado avalanche

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

Step It Up

The New York Rangers need to do that with their play tonight against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

After all the hockey action this weekend, the Rangers are just now one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Atlantic Division- and Eastern Conference- lead. Oh yeah, the Philadelphia Flyers are not playing too badly either as they are now just three points behind the Blueshirts.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend. The team fired 42 shots at Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov but Varly was tremendous in turning aside 41 of them.

With that said, and it has been mentioned before, this Rangers’ team needs more offense. Right now, the only line that is producing is the Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin line. Other than that trio, the offense has been extremely quiet.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, colorado+avalanche, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, semyon+varlamov

Varlamov Steals One at MSG

Sometimes, all a hockey team needs to win a game is good goaltending.

That is exactly what the Colorado Avalanche got tonight from their netminder Semyon Varlamov in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Varlamov stymied the Blueshirts in making 41 saves on the night.

Varlamov was calm, cool, and collected in between the pipes tonight for his hockey club. He was able to control rebounds, had an excellent glove hand, recovered to make second and third stops and was the main reason why the Avalanche won tonight.

For the first time in the last few weeks, the Rangers were getting offense from all of their lines. No one was afraid to shoot the puck tonight, the team crashed the net but unfortunately, were only able to beat Varlamov once on 42 shots.

While it was the team’s second straight loss, one that has allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins to stay two points behind the Blueshirts after beating the New Jersey Devils this afternoon, there were some other good things to come out of this game for the Rangers. For starters, a healthy Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup. Callahan was his usual self while Del Zotto tried to help add some more offense to the team.

Secondly, the team got a good performance out of their starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist allowed just two goals on 19 shots and played well enough to give his club a chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, henrik+lundqvist+mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, semyon+varlamov

Get it Back

The New York Rangers need to find a way to get back their consistent hockey and a win tonight against the Colorado Avalanche would be a great start.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a game that with fewer defensive lapses and more offense from players other than Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Carl Hagelin, the team could have come away with a win.

With that said, this is an extremely inconsistent hockey club right. The club’s goals against has gone up, there seems to be more holes in the defensive zone and the team is having trouble generating offense from three of its four lines.

Due to these past few weeks, the Rangers find themselves just four points up on the Penguins in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Now that Crosby is back for the Penguins and with the team riding a 10-game winning streak, the race might become that much tighter down the stretch.

Tonight, the Rangers will face an Avalanche hockey club that is currently in a battle to hold onto one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference. The team has been playing playoff hockey for the last few months and is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, colorado+avalanche, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Blueshirts Overpowered by the Penguins in 5-2 loss

Going into the game without starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman Michael Del Zotto and team captain Ryan Callahan, one knew tonight’s game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden was going to be tough for the New York Rangers.

It was certainly tough for the Blueshirts as the team lost by a score of 5-2. The club did not have the depth to match what the Penguins were throwing out on the ice and unfortunately, it hurt them in the end.

Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain and arguably the best hockey player in the world, Sidney Crosby, had himself a solid first game back. Crosby picked-up an assist, was a +3 and had 16:00 minutes of ice time. He was also smart enough not to put himself into dangerous areas as to avoid getting hit too hard or being too vulnerable.

The Rangers were not terrible tonight but they certainly were not great. Defensive lapses early on in the second period really hurt the club as the Penguins were able to score two goals with the first 2:30 of the frame to go up by a score of 3-1.

The Blueshirts were able to cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by Marian Gaborik but that would be the last time the team would find the back of the net tonight.

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  Tags: and+buffalo+sabres., brad+richards, carl+hagelin, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby

A Brief E-mail Interview with Ian Laperriere

With all the concussions that are happening in the National Hockey League this year, I figured now would be a good time to do an e-mail interview with an NHLer who has had one and that is Ian Lapperriere.

Lapperriere has not played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season due to post-concussion syndrome. Ian was kind enough to take the time to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he became an NHLer, why he likes Twitter and more.

Enjoy:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
IL: My parents put me on skates as soon as I could walk. When I turned 5, I joined my first team.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
IL: I am from Montreal so the Canadiens were my favorite team. Guy Lafleur and Guy Carboneau were my favorite players.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, ian+laperriere, ian+laperriere, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, pholadelphia+flyers, st.+louis+blues

What Happened to Raycroft?

As every hockey fan knows, being a goaltender in the National Hockey League is not an easy job.

You can be great for one game, one season etc. and then the next game or season, completely lose it. Just look at what happened to the likes of Jim Carey or Blaine Lacher.

Another goaltender who has had both good times and bad is recently waived member of the Dallas Stars Andrew Raycroft. After winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in the 2003-04 season, Raycroft has never been the same netminder.
When Raycroft got started in the NHL in the 2003-04 season, he was absolutely terrific. He played big, was confident, did not allow many soft goals and put up great numbers with 29 wins, a 2.05 goals against average, a .926 save percentage and 3 shutouts.

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  Tags: andrew+raycroft, boston+bruins, colorado+avalanche, dallas+stars, kari+lehtonen, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Did the Avalanche Upgrade or Downgrade their Goaltending?

Did the Colorado Avalanche improve their goaltending with Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere?

Ever since hall of fame netminder Patrick Roy retired from hockey, the Avalanche’s goaltending has never been set in stone. The team has had netminders such as Peter Budaj, David Aebischer, Jose Theodore, Craig Anderson, Jose Theodore, Andrew Raycroft, Brian Elliot, Tommy Salo, etc. Does not exactly spell stability, does it?

When looking at Varlamov and Giguere, one has to wonder the same thing. Varlamov, 22, certainly has a lot of potential. He is young, he is agile, he has played and played well in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has put up very good stats in the regular season.

With that said, he has also been injured a lot and has not played in more than 28 games in any season that he has been in the NHL. If he ends up getting hurt this season, the Avs will then have to turn to the 34-year-old Giguere.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, jean-sebastien+giguere, semyon+varlamov

Defense and Suspect Goaltending Hurt Rangers in Loss to Avalanche

In hockey, it’s a well known fact that turnovers often lead to offensive opportunities against.

Unfortunately for the New York Rangers, defensive turnovers did them in last night in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Not only did defensive turnovers hurt the club, but so did the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist (3 goals allowed on 16 shots) and Martin Biron (2 goals allowed on 10 shots).

It was a game in which despite being tied in shots, the Rangers looked overmatched. Their forwards had trouble putting the puck in the net on Avalanche netminder Craig Anderson. The team’s defense was sloopy with the puck and in their own zone and the goaltending was not there to cover up the team’s mistakes.

One particular player that had a tough game was defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto was a -4 and his pinching in the Avalanche zone in the second period led to the first goal of the game and ultimately, was the start of a horrific period for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, craig+anderson, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers

Getting Set for Two-games Against Northwest Division

Two games on the road might be just what the New York Rangers need to start another multi-game winning streak.

Tonight, the Blueshirts will take on the Colorado Avalanche. If you remember, Marian Gaborik recorded a hat trick last year in the leading his club to a win. With the way Gaborik is finding the net now, is another three-goal game out of the question?

The Avalanche possess a good, young, and fast hockey club that is coming off a big win against the San Jose Sharks that saw them rally from two goals to win it in overtime. They’ve been playing solid hockey for a team without starting netminder Craig Anderson.

Unfortunately, the Rangers generally struggle against teams that bring a lot of speed so it will be interesting to see how head coach John Tortorella plans to counter that. Obviously, defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will continue to be the club’s shut-down defensive pairing with Michal Rozsival still out with an injury.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, craig+anderson, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, michal+rozsival, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers

Not Good

This is not the kind of effort you want your team to give when you’re missing two of your better players.

For the New York Rangers, this effort caused the team to lose to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 3-1. It’s even a surprise that the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of two periods.

What’s alarming is that the team’s defense continues to be porous as they allowed 34 shots tonight. While Henrik Lundqvist is a world-class goaltender, letting him face close to 35 shots a night and not supporting him with enough defense or scoring could wear on him pretty quickly.

It’s also alarming that the team’s penalty kil continues to struggle as Avs’ forward Chris Stewart had 2 power play goals tonight. Since the team is missing their top penalty killer in Chris Drury, the rest of the penalty killing unit (s) is going to have to step up. Not only that, but the team needs to play with a bit more discipline and learn to stay out of the box.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, new+york+rangers

Avalanche Warning

The New York Rangers look to snap a five game losing skid when they take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight in 30 minutes or so.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes last night, a game in which the first period did them in as they allowed three goals in the opening frame. This forced the Rangers to play come-from-behind hockey for the rest of the game, which is not an easy thing to do when you’re a team struggling to put the puck in the net.

Tonight, the Rangers will need to play with some urgency since the Eastern Conference gets tighter every single day. As it stand right now, the team is twelfth in the Conference with 55 points but just one point out of the eighth and final seed, currently held by the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Avalanche, on the other hand, are sixth in the Western Conference with 66 points as they look to get back into the playoffs after missing the postseason last year. As such, this will not be an easy game for the Rangers.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, new+york+rangers

Close But No Cigar

As it turns out, the New York Rangers got themselves back in the hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes in a 3-2 loss.

The Blueshirts actually came within an inch of tying the game when Marian Gaborik hit the post with 1:25 to go in the hockey game but unfortunately, after a great third period, the Rangers came away with their fifth straight loss.

In my last blog about the team, I mentioned a lot of negatives. Now, I’d like to mention a few positives:

- The team didn’t exactly quit and played hard for the last 40 minutes

- Marian Gaborik scored his 30th goal of the season; the first 30-goal scorer for the Blueshirts since Jaromir Jagr did it back during the 2006-07 season.

- After a shaky first period, Rangers’ starting goaltender Chad Johnson (Henrik Lundqvist was out with the flu) settled down and played well in making 21 saves. With the way Lundqvist looked on the bench, don’t be surprised if Johnson gets the start against the Colorado Avalanche Kings tomorrow night in Denver.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes

Another Potential GM Candidate Off the List for the Avalanche

From Adrian Dater at All Things Avs:

Scratch another candidate off the Avs’ GM search list. David McNab, assistant GM in Anaheim and brother of Avs color guy Peter, has not been approached by the Avs. If he hasn’t been contacted by now, one would presume he won’t be getting the job.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche

Readers: Thoughts on Coaching and GM Changes

These are two questions that I am posing to all readers:

- Who do you think the next GM and coach of the Colorado Avalanche should be? Why?

- Who do you think the next GM and coach of the Minnesota Wild should be? Why?

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, minnesota+wild

Big Two Points

Last night’s game was the kind of game that the New York Rangers may have lost under Tom Renney. However, it was a much different outcome for the Blueshirts under new guy John Tortorella, who overcame some bad bounces and bad goals allowed to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout at the Bell Centre.

Yes, I know that the team needs to continue to learn how to win games in regulation but let’s face it - they need all the points they can get and last night’s two points put them in sixth place in the ever-increasing tight Eastern Conference.

Nik Antropov continues to show the Blueshirts that he was worth getting at the deadline as he added another goal in regulation while also putting one in in the skills competition. He’s a big guy who has soft hands and a powerful wrist shot and is still working towards being a more consistent player with each passing game.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, chris+drury, colorado+avalanche, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, nik+antropov, tom+renney

It’s About Time

Well, how about that - the New York Rangers’ offense does exist as the team exploded for six goals, including four in the first period, in a 6-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

This was a long time coming as the Rangers fired over 80 shots in their last two games combined, only to find the back of the net twice. Tonight, however, was a different story.

The Rangers struck early and often as the team had a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the first period, off goals by Ryan Callahan and Nikolai Zherdev. Then later in the period, the club would get goals from Petr Prucha and Scott Gomez to give the team a commanding 4-0 lead going into the second period.

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  Tags: andrew+raycroft, colorado+avalanche, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, peter+budaj, petr+prucha, ryan+callahan, scott+gomez

Same Team, Different Day

Much like the team did on Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers dominated the first two periods of their game against the Florida Panthers and still managed to find a way to lose 2-1 in regulation.

The Blueshirts outshot the Cats’ 41-22 and yet, only got one past Panthers’ netminder Craig Anderson. Though, Brandon Dubinsky had a goal waved off early in the first period and after reviewing the play over and over, it’s clear that Dubinsky’s stick was below the crossbar so once again, the Blueshirts caught a tough break.

It really is amazing how this team can’t score. Last night, they had trouble lifting the puck, they missed open notes, they shot right into Anderson, etc. They did all the things that’s been killing them this season and got a typical Blueshirt result over the past couple of months: a loss.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, craig+anderson, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

A Promising Career on Shattenkirk’s Plate

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to interview an NHL prospect who played for Team USA in the World Juniors and is one of the top college hockey players for the Boston University Terriers.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to do an e-mail interview with Kevin Shattenkirk, a 19-year-old defenseman who was selected 14th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Shattenkirk is one of the club’s top prospects who skates extremely well and knows how to move the puck.

Hopefully, the Avalanche will get to see Shattenkirk up close in the near future. Enjoy:

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  Tags: beanpot, boston+university+terriers, colorado+avalanche, john+michael+liles, jordan+leopold, kevin+shattenkirk, nhl, team+usa

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