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Entries with the tag: dan girardi

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

Why the Rangers Can Win the Cup This Season

The New York Rangers surprised many people throughout the league last season when they not only won the Atlantic Division, but when they finished atop the Eastern Conference and were second in the entire NHL.

This season, should the Rangers do something similar, it should not come as a surprise. In fact, this season, there is a good chance that the Blueshirts can win their second Stanley Cup since 1994.

For starters, they have the best netminder in the league. With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, anything is possible.

Last season, Lundqvist became the first Ranger since John Vanbiesbrouck to win the Vezina Trophy as the league's best netminder. He did so by putting up great numbers and by being the team's best player on the ice night in and night out.

With a shortened season and many games in many nights, Lundqvist will be called upon a lot this season. For Lundqvist, that is just the way he likes it.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, john+vanbiesbrouck, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

Defenseman Gilroy back in the Rangers’ Organization

When it comes to the New York Rangers' defensive corps, the team seems set for the forseeable future.

On Broadway, the Blueshirts have the likes of Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal. Down on the farm or in juniors, the team has a group of solid defensive prospects.

Yesterday, a former Rangers' defenseman jumped back into the fold in Matt Gilroy. Yesterday on Twitter, New York Post Rangers' beat writer Larry Brooks told us that Gilroy signed an AHL contract with the Connecticut Whale and that he could also end up signing with the Rangers when the lockout ends.
 

 

In Gilroy's first tenure with the Blueshirts, things were inconsistent. He was able to supply some offense but his defensive mishaps and lack of confidence in his won zone really hurt both himself and the team. 

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  Tags: dan+girardi, larry+brooks, marc+staal, matt+gilroy, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh

Ryan McDonagh: Rangers’ Best Defenseman?

When it comes to great New York Rangers' defensemen, one thinks of Brian Leetch, Brad Park, Harry Howell, Ron Greschner, as well as a few others.

Nowadays, the Blueshirts have several terrific defensemen. Last season, along with the great play of netminder Henrik Lundqvist, the team's defensive corps finished third in the league in goals allowed and helped Lundqvist win his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.

With that said, there is one defenseman on the Blueshirts that stands just above the rest. Believe it or not, it is not Dan Girardi or Marc Staal.

Rather, it is 23-year-old Ryan McDonagh. Looking back at the deal that brought McDonagh to the Blueshirts, it appears that Glen Sather absolutely robbed the Montreal Canadiens

In his first season on Broadway in 2010-11, McDonagh scored 1 goal and added 8 assists for 9 points in 40 games. While that is not a lot of offense, it was his strong defensive plays that opened up the eyes of the organization and its fans.

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  Tags: brad+park, brian+leetch, dan+girardi, harry+howell, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ron+greschner, ryan+mcdonagh

Time to Go Off Script

For the New York Rangers, this postseason has been a story of deja vu.

There have been many similarities in each round from the number of games played, to the goal scorers in each game as well as the general outcome of each tilt. While this is certainly interesting, it is time for the Blueshirts to go off script.

In each series, the Rangers have taken a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 only to lose both times to the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, respectively. In fact, only once in this whole postseason have the Rangers been able to win two straight games and that was back in Games 6 and 7 of their first round series against the Senators.

The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they were badly outplayed by the New Jersey Devils, except for a portion of the third period when they got two quick goals from Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider. Luckily, the team got a terrific 36-save performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he made extremely timely saves against the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and others.

The Rangers were also very lucky that the goal posts were on their side on Saturday afternoon. The Devils hit four of them and had at least one gone in, it could have been a much different hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, brad+richards, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Lundqvist Stonewalls Devils’ in Game 3 Shutout

Once again in this year’s postseason, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the story for his hockey club as his 36-save performance help shutout the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 at the Prudential Center by a score of 3-0.

Much like in Game 1, except with a lot more shots in this afternoon’s tilt, Lundqvist stopped everything the Devils threw at him in the hockey game. He was especially good in the first period when he stopped several odd man rushes and made a terrific glove save on Devils’ sniper Ilya Kovalchuk in close.

Lundqvist also made several big stops in the middle frame to keep the game at 0-0 in the third period. The Devils outshot the Rangers 15-9 in that period but again were not able to put one past the “King”.

Then, in the third period, the Blueshirts found a way to put pucks past Martin Brodeur, who, like Lundqvist, was also have a solid game between the pipes for his hockey club. Rangers’ defenseman Dan Girardi put the team up 1-0 on the power play just over three minutes into the third period when a Brad Richards’ face-off win ended up in the back of the net off a Girardi snap shot that beat Brodeur stick side.

Two minutes later, the Rangers found the back of the net again when rookie Chris Kreider deflected a Ryan McDonagh shot past Brodeur for his fifth of the postseason and a 2-0 Rangers’ lead. While the Rangers did not generate a lot of offense all game long (22 shots), they were able to score two goals 1:57 apart.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, ilya+kovalchuk, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Time To Take Control

This is what the New York Rangers need to do tonight in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

With the Blueshirts coming off a 3-0 victory in Game 1 and the 1-0 series lead, the Rangers should try and do everything they can to take control of this series. Through the first two rounds, it never felt like the Rangers had the series well within their grasp and while this series is in no way easy for the team, they should be able to grab control of this series in a hurry if things go their way.

For starters, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist is more than just on top of his game. While he did not face as many shots (21) as Devils’ Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (27) did, Lundqvist made the big saves when he had to and was especially good in the second period when he made 10 saves, many of them of the difficult variety.

Secondly, the team has its forechecking game going again. This was evident on the team’s first goal by Dan Girardi when Chris Kreider got to the puck first and fed Girardi for the one timer and it was also apparent as the team won many puck battles along the boards.

It should also be mentioned just how good the Rangers’ defense has been in their last two games. The team held the Devils to just 21 shots in the game and 4 in the last period on Monday night in Game 1 and in Game 7 on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals in the third period, they held up the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, and Mike Green and gave them very little room to maneuver or shoot the puck.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marcus+johansson, martin+brodeur, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

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

Blueshirts Off to the Second Round

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they need to play tonight in order to win this tilt and luckily, the Rangers were able to implement it perfectly.

For starters, a lot of credit has to be given to the Rangers’ defense. Not only did they block a ton of shots and break up many passes, but they also helped score the only two goals of the game as both Marc Staal and Dan Giradi were able to put the puck in the net in the second period.

The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan also had themselves a terrific game. While he has only played in five NHL games, Kreider is showing that he belongs in the NHL. He has speed, he has size, he has strength and soft hands, all skills that will make him a very, very, good NHLer.

Stepan, after not scoring a point in the first five games of the series, finished up the first round with 5 points (1G 4A). He is playing with a lot more confidence and is getting a lot of scoring chances playing with Callahan and Kreider.

Callahan played like a captain should always play. He played hard, physical and was able to help this team get into the second round of the postseason.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, 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

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

Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot With 4-2 Win Over the Devils

While the first three seconds of the hockey game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils provided a lot of theatrics, it all ended up meaning very little for the rest of the game as the Rangers went onto to clinch a playoff spot by beating the Devils by a score of 4-2.

For the first since the 2005-06 season, the Blueshirts managed to clinch a playoff spot with a few weeks to go in the season. While the team will now play for seeding, all that matters is that they have advanced to hockey’s “second season” and will have the chance to play for hockey’s Holy Grail come April.

The game may have not been pretty for either squad but in the end, the Rangers were able to get the job done with timely goal scoring. Brandon Dubinsky got the team going just over a minute after the three fights in the beginning of the first period to give the team a 1-0 lead.

Defenseman Dan Girardi scored 33 seconds into the second period to put the Rangers’ up 2-0. While the Devils would get one back to cut the lead to 2-1, Blueshirts’ forward Mats Zuccarello would put one in on the power play to give the team a 3-1 lead.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

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

Rangers Come Through Again With Win Over Panthers

It seems like every single time the New York Rangers play, they find a way to win.

The team did just that tonight by defeating the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Marian Gaborik at Madison Square Garden. Gaborik had been buzzing around the Panthers’ net all night long and was finally rewarded when he got the overtime winner, his 23rd of the season.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 25-9-4 to remain in first in the Eastern Conference by 1 point over the Boston Bruins. The win was also the Blueshirts’ 11th on home ice as the team now has a 12-3-2 record on Garden Ice.

Besides Gaborik, the Rangers also got solid performances from Brad Richards (1 assist), Derek Stepan (1 assist), Ryan Callahan (1 goal), Michael Del Zotto (1 assist) and Dan Girardi. It was also nice to see defenseman Marc Staal get a bit more ice time with 12:51 minutes tonight.

Even though the Panthers scored first and also managed to knot the game up at 2-2, the Rangers controlled most of the game. The Blueshirts outshot the Panthers 41-21 and did a terrific job of getting pucks deep, forechecking and going hard to the net.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

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

Ugly

That is the perfect word to describe last night’s 4-1 New York Rangers’ loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The team had trouble generating sustained offense, looked lost in their own zone and generally disinterested in winning the hockey game. Put those three things together and it certainly spell l-o-s-s for the Blueshirts.

While St. Louis Blues’ netminder Brian Elliott did make 25 saves in the hockey game last night, the quality scoring chances that the Rangers generated were minimal. There were too many shots from the outside, not enough shots from prime scoring areas and because of the way Elliott plays, no rebounds to pounce on.

At the other end, the Rangers allowed 36 shots against and despite allowing four goals, including a fluky one off of defenseman Dan Girardi, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist was not terrible and made 32 saves in a losing effort.

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  Tags: brian+elliott, dan+girardi, dave+tippett, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, st.+louis+blues

Full Steam Ahead

That is the kind of attitude the New York Rangers should take after beating the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers over the weekend by a combined score of 10-1.

The team is clicking on all cylinders as they are supplying the offense, solid defense and getting timely goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist by Martin Biron. Put that all together and you have part of the winning formula for the New York Rangers.

The other part of the formula is hard work. This is something the team is getting from the likes of Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi and even Marian Gaborik has been playing well on both ends of the ice.

With the two wins over the weekend, the Blueshirts improved their record to 17-6-4, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference. The team is also two points behind the conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers, something that should make the Winter Classic game between the two rivals even more intriguing.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

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

And the Rangers’ Team MVP Is…

Earlier today,our fearless leader asked us who our respective team MVP’s are so I figured now would be the perfect time to give my two cents on the subject.

While you can certainly bring up a few players whether it is Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, and Henrik Lundqvist, I believe that the New York Rangers’ most valuable player on the team has been defenseman Dan Girardi.

Without all-star defenseman Marc Staal, Girardi has stepped up in a big way for the Blueshirts. Simply put, Girardi has done it all for the Blueshirts this season.

Girardi currently leads the team and the entire National Hockey League in average ice time. This season, Girardi has average 27:41 minutes of ice-time per game as he sees the ice in all situations whether it is even strength, power play, penalty kill, etc.

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  Tags: brad+richards, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Dan Girardi: Most Underrated Defenseman in the National Hockey League?

When talking about the top defensemen in the National Hockey League, members of the hockey media and fans alike always point out the most obvious names, and with good reason.

We usually talk about guys like Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings), Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings), Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs) and so on and forth. Again, it is with good reason.

One name that does not come up but should is New York Rangers’ defenseman Daniel Girardi. For someone who went undrafted, Girardi has turned out to be one of the best defenseman in the NHL today.

In his fifth NHL season, Girardi is showing that he is one of the game’s most reliable blue liners. He is first in the league when it comes to ice time as he is averages 27:49 minutes of ice time.

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  Tags: dan+girardi, new+york+rangers

Rangers Show Determination in 5-1 Win Over The Hurricanes

This is exactly what the New York Rangers used to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-1 at Madison Square Garden tonight.

A determined Rangers’ club came out in the third period and broke a 1-1 tie by scoring four unanswered goals. Defenseman Dan Girardi started it with a power play goal followed by a goal nine seconds later from Brandon Dubinsky (his first of the season) and just shortly after, Ryan Callahan made it 4-1 when he scored on a Hurricanes’ delayed penalty. Then with just under two minutes to go in game, Brad Richards cashed in on a giveaway by Hurricanes’ netminder Cam Ward to seal the team’s sixth straight victory overall and fifth straight win on home ice.

After a slow start to this game, the Rangers put the pressure on the Hurricanes and kept it up for the rest of the hockey game. The team had just 8 shots in the first period but because of their willingness to put pucks to the net, drive to the crease and get in good position, they ended up finishing the game with 40 shots on goal.

Dubinsky had a solid game for the Rangers. He showed confidence with the puck, made some great plays for his linemates and now that he got his first goal of the season, will definitely have less pressure on himself heading into the team’s next game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery

Rangers Extend Winning Streak To Three

The New York Rangers used a 3-goal first period to defeat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 at Madison Square Garden last night.

Knowing that the Canadiens had played on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts came out and took advantage of a tired Canadiens’ team. The team got goals from Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and a terrific goal from Michael Del Zotto to go up 3-0.

After that, the Canadiens found their legs and made it an interesting hockey game by cutting the lead to 3-2. However, instead of giving up the lead entirely, Rangers’ center Brad Richards came through and scored to make it 4-2 off a great shot from the slot, a place he has scored all his goals from this season.

While the Canadiens did end up cutting the lead to 4-3 late in the third period, Ryan Callahan sealed the game with an empty net goal. For the Rangers, it was there third straight win and more importantly, third straight win on Garden ice as the team improved its home record to 3-1-1.

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  Tags: brad+richards, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

A 60-minute Effort

That is exactly what the New York Rangers gave last night in their 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden.

For the first time on home ice this season, there was no third period let down, something the team struggled with in their losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. Instead, the team’s hard-work and effort lasted the whole game as the the team picked up its first win on the Garden ice in this somewhat young season.

Team captain Ryan Callahan is starting to show his scoring touch as he picked up another two goals last night, giving him five on the season. He is also showing a knack for going hard to the net and being in the right place at the right time, something the team will need from him throughout the rest of the season.

The team also got strong games from Brandon Dubinsky (2 assists), Erik Christensen (2 assists), Dan Girardi (2 assists), and back-up netminder Martin Biron (24 saves), who improved his record to 2-0. It was easily the team’s most complete game of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brandon+dubinsky, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Forget Mower In Loss to the the Leafs

In what was suppossed to be an exciting home opener in the newly renovated Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers were flat in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing in the Garden for the first time since April, the Blueshirts struggled to sustain any kind of offense in the Leafs’ zone while also allowing Leafs’ forwards to get open in front of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Put those two together and it is a losing combination for the Rangers.

While the new look Madison Square Garden was a sight to see with new seats, luxury boxes, concourse, etc., on the ice, the Rangers did not show much after Dan Girardi’s first period tally that gave the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. From that point on, they proceeded to play on their heels, not generate enough offense, and make life difficult for Lundqvist.

Lundqvist, who made 32 saves in the game, was terrific throughout the first two periods but appeared to have lost a step in the third period. He allowed questionable goals to Clarke MacArthur and Mike Brown but other than those two blemishes, he gave the Blueshirts an opportunity to win.

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  Tags: clarke+macarthur, dan+girardi, jonas+gustavsson, mike+brown, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

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

Admiring Dan Girardi

When the New York Rangers’ found out that they would be without all-star defenseman Marc Staal for an unknown amount of time, many Rangers’ fans probably cringed.

These same fans may have thought that the team’s defensive corps was too young and that without Staal, may be not as much of a shutdown team. As it turns out, these fans may actually be surprised at this very moment.

One Blueshirts’ defenseman who has always stepped up and been the club’s most consistent player on the back end is Dan Girardi. Girardi proved this in his team’s two games in Sweden by logging over 61 minutes, blocking lots of shots, breaking up offensive chances and being a solid all-around defenseman.

In his 74 on-ice shifts this past weekend, it is easy to see that it might just be Girardi who is the club’s best defenseman. He is smart with the puck, is usually never out of position and is extremely poised playing in front of all-world goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

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  Tags: dan+girardi, marc+staal, new+york+rangers

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

Captain Material

Good morning folks. I am back from my European vacation, where I had a wonderful time in Paris, Venice, Rome and London with my wife. It’s good to be back home!

Well, with Chris Drury out of the picture, the time has come for the New York Rangers to name a new captain. This topic has probably been debated by many other Rangers’ blogs and message boards but I figured I would give you guys my thoughts.

Potential Captains

- Ryan Callahan: No one embodies what it means to be a Blueshirt more than forward Ryan Callahan. Callahan does everything a hockey player should do and he does it the right way whether it is scoring goals, setting up his teammates, forechecking, playing both ends of the ice, killing penalties, sticking up for his teammates and more. Head coach John Tortorella has expressed the same thoughts so this could be a potential no-brainer pick.

- Marc Staal: Since joining the Rangers in his rookie season during the 2007-08 campaign, defenseman Marc Staal has been one of the most consistent Blueshirts. He plays hard, rarely misses any games, hits, sticks up for his teammates and is someone that the team and its coaching staff can rely on.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, dan+girardi, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

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

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’ Shutout Capitals for the Second Time in Big 6-0 Victory

Going into tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals, many New York Rangers’ pundits and fans did not know what to expect. Both parties worried about the team being without Marc Staal and Marian Gaborik as well as facing a potentially potent Capital’s offense.

May be this was a good thing as the Blueshirts dominated the Capitals on the scoreboardc in a 6-0 shutout victory. Believe it or not, this was the Rangers’ second shutout over the Capitals this season as the team shut them out back in December in a 7-0 romping.

Besides picking up the shutout, the best thing to come out of this game for the Rangers’ was their success on the power play. The team went 2-for-3 on the man advantage with goals from Erik Christensen (he had two goals and an assist in the game) and Derek Stepan. Believe it or not, the team’s power play has been a lot better of late and that is because they are being more aggresive and throwing more pucks on the net. Hopefully this trend will continue for the Blueshirts.

Speaking of Christensen, he played like a man on a mission tonight. He had three points, was around the net a lot, he had four shots on goal, played on the power play and was effective. Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella needs more of this from Christensen as the team continues to build their playoff push.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

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

Lineup UPDATE/Another Tough Test on Tap for the Blueshirts Tonight

UPDATE: Per New York Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross, goaltender Martin Biron will start tonight against the Washington Capitals:

Biron playing because Torts refuses to play Lundqvist 5 games in 7 nights. Why tonight vs. Caps and not tomorrow vs. Panthers? “Why not?”

To clarify: Marty Biron starting tonight vs. Capitals. Lundqvist should play tomorrow at MSG vs. Panthers.

EARLIER: It seems like every game these days is a test for the New York Rangers.

The test consists of questions such as:

- Can they overcome injuries to win a hockey game?
- Can they score enough goals to win a hockey game?
- Can head coach John Tortorella keep the lines consistent?

Well, more than half way through the season, it is easy to say that the team has passed each test they have been given. With that said, will the team pass the test they face tonight against the Washington Capitals?

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  Tags: andrew+gross, atlanta+thrashers, brandon+prust, dan+girardi, evgeny+grachev, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

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

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

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

Staal and Girardi: A Terrific Shutdown Pair

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog regarding the New York Rangers’ defense. In the blog, I mentioned how Marc Staal and Dan Girardi should be considered as one of the top shutdown defensive pairs in the National Hockey League.

Well, Jesse Spector, New York Rangers’ beat writer for the Daily News, wrote a great article today explaining that notion:

At the beginning of the season, John Tortorella had Girardi and Staal work together only against elite competition, otherwise preferring to have them skate separately. As the campaign has reached the halfway point, though, the duo is inseparable, and bordering on impenetrable.

“Those guys, to see them grow here, I’ve been here since Staalsie and Danny got here, and every year, you see them get more confidence, and they get more responsibilities,” said Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival. “Right now, this is it. They play against the top lines, and they’re the shutdown guys against top players from other teams. They’ve done an outstanding job. It’s not easy to play against other teams’ top lines sometimes. They have grown so much and become leaders of the team.”

Click here for more on the emergence of Staal and Girardi.

 

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  Tags: dan+girardi, marc+staal, new+york+rangers

Rangers’ Defense: Not So Bad

Going into the season, many hockey pundits and fans alike wondered how the New York Rangers’ defense would perform this season.

Well, almost halfway through the season, the team is currently eighth in the National Hockey League in goals against, averaging 2.55 goals against per game. Not bad for one of the youngest defensive corps in the NHL.

When it comes to the team’s defense, one constant has been Marc Staal. He blocks shots, breaks up plays, hits hard, makes great outlet passes and every once in awhile, shows that he has some offense in him. He has been the club’s best defenseman since joining the NHL in the 2007-08 season.

Defenseman Dan Girardi has also been one of the Rangers’ best defenseman since joining the team during the 2006-07 season. He logs a lot of ice, blocks a lot of shots, and has contributed 20 points (3 goals and 17 assists) from the blue line this season. When paired with Staal, they are one of the best shutdown pair of defensemen in the NHL.

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  Tags: dan+girardi, marc+staal, matt+gilroy, michael+del+zotto, michael+sauer, michal+rozsival, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, steve+eminger

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

Rangers Bring Dan Girardi Back Into the Fold

From the New York Rangers’ web site:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Dan Girardi on a new contract.

Girardi, 26, skated in 82 games with the Rangers this season, registering six goals and 18 assists for 24 points, along with 53 penalty minutes. He was one of four Rangers to skate in all 82 games, and has played in 280 consecutive games, ranking ninth in the NHL among active streaks.  He led the team and ranked sixth in the NHL with 180 blocked shots, tied for second on the Rangers with 178 hits, ranked second in average icetime (21:29) and third with a plus-nine rating at home.

Girardi ranked second among team defensemen and ninth on the Rangers overall in even strength scoring, registering 19 of his 24 points at even strength, and he ranked third among club blueliners in goals and points, and fourth in assists.

Click here for more on Girardi.

 

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  Tags: dan+girardi, new+york+rangers

Quiet in Rangerland

Good afternoon folks. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday weekend in the States.

As of right now, all is quiet in Rangerland. Yes, defenseman Dan Girardi has filed for arbitration and yes, things are still stalled when it comes to defenseman Marc Staal. Obviously, most Blueshirt fans are more concerned with getting Staal in the fold for the next several years as he has been the team’s most consistent defenseman since joining the league in the 2007-08 season.

When it comes to Girardi, it’s a tough call. There has been a steady decline in his play but with a new season on the horizon, may be he can turn things around and be one of the club’s better defenseman.

One thing both Girardi and Staal need to do is increase their offense. Girardi has produced for this team before and according to head coach John Tortorella, there is so much potential for Staal to do the same.

I wish there was more to report but right now, it’s quiet. I will make sure to stay on top of things for you puckheads out there.

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  Tags: dan+girardi, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers

Interesting Question from a Blueshirt Blogger

Good friend of the blog David Shapiro over at Blue Seat Blogs has been providing terrific content over the Olympic break and today, posted another gem regarding New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi:

Who do you think Slats is going to part with at the deadline? Other than the usual suspects on the wish list (Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival), who simply cannot be moved, the most notable name that I think the Rangers are willing to part with at the deadline is Dan Girardi, and I am perfectly OK with this. Now, before you jump down my throat for joining the trade Girardi bandwagon, you should know that I thought he was expendable in June of 2009, long before this “Trade Girardi” movement.

Girardi is in the third season of his young career, and although his GVT stands at 4.9, good for a top-10 place on this current Rangers squad, it is tough to overlook some glaring holes in his game. For example, he is big, but not physical. He is also slow on his feet, and constantly gets beat like he stole something. Yes, he is good with his positioning, but at his current price ($1.55 million cap hit), and a probable raise on the way, Girardi may price himself into a deadline or draft-day deal. With the defensive depth in the system, and the likes of Bobby Sanguinetti and Ilkka Heikkinen both NHL ready (and both combined make what Girardi makes), it appears that Girardi has run his course on Broadway.

Click here for more. What do you folks think? Would you be willing to move Girardi?

 

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  Tags: dan+girardi, new+york+rangers

These Guys Can Play

There is no doubt about it - Henrik Lundqvist saves his best games for Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Last night at Madison Square Garden, Lundqvist, who made 38 saves in his third shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers handed the Devils a 3-0 loss thanks to solid goaltending and timely scoring from Brandon Dubinsky, Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan. The win gave Henrik an 18-6-4 record (regular season and playoffs included) against the Devils but as Henrik told the team’s web site after the game, he was just focused on picking up the two points.

“I am happy for this one because I made up my mind before the third period that I wanted this one, and it worked out,” Lundqvist said.

The Blueshirts knew how important this game was and that certainly showed in the first period as they came out and outshot their Hudson rivals 20-10 in the first period. They were relentless in their forecheck, put traffic in front of Brodeur, crashed the net for rebounds and were solid defensively, all marks of a playoff-caliber hockey club.

For the Rangers to keep marching on towards the playoffs, they will need to deliver the same kind of performance against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night and then again on Saturday afternoon against the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins, certainly not an easy task.

However, if last night’s game tells you anything, it should be that when the Rangers are on top of their game, they can be tough to beat.

 

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, ryan+callahan

Four Big Points on the line this weekend and some Ranger Notes

With the Eastern Conference standings changing every day, every game from here on out means something for the New York Rangers.

This would especially be true for the two games they have this weekend at home against the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators. In actuality, the Blueshirts should be able to come away with four points but since the Sabres are still battling for a playoff spot and the Senators are playing better hockey under their new coach, four points are certainly not guaranteed.

The good news? The Rangers are finding ways to win, getting their offense into high gear and looking like a team that deserves to be in the playoffs.

Other notes:

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, nik+antropov, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, scott+gomez, sean+avery

Underappreciated

In the Rangers’ 2-1 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators last night, players such as Chris Drury, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev (with the exception of the lone shootout goal), Brandon Dubinsky or even Dan Girardi were not the team’s best players. Far from it, in fact.

In my eyes, it was Blair Betts, Fredrik Sjostrom and Lauri Korpikoski that shined as they got the team back in the game by scoring a goal in the third period. Not only that, but they kept the game simple, something that the other lines have not learned how to do yet.

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  Tags: alex+auld, blair+betts, brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, dan+girardi, fredrik+sjostrom, lauri+korpikoski, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks

Rangers Burn The Devils

It took a period (the first period of the game) of undisciplined play, stupid penalties, being outshot 13-5 and outscored 1-0 to awaken the New York Rangers.

The second period began and it was as if a new team was on the ice and this team dominated the New Jersey Devils by scoring four goals on 20 shots, cashing in on the power play and getting back to playing defense the way they know how, all en route to a 5-2 victory.

 

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  Tags: chris+drury, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, kevin+weekes, lauri+korpikoski, michal+rozsival, nikolai+zherdev, scott+clemmensen

The AHL: A Bargain for Great Hockey

For a person that has seen many, many National Hockey League games, it will probably come as a surprise to some of you that I had never been to an American Hockey League (AHL) game before, especially since I live within 150 minutes of two American Hockey League franchises: the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers farm team) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders farm team).

As I mentioned this past weekend, that all changed on Saturday night when I went to the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center) to take in a Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Falcons (Edmonton Oilers farm team) game. However, as you also all know, I wasn’t able to enjoy the game from a fan’s perspective.

Instead, I got to enjoy it as a credentialed member of the media, covering the game for the Wolf Pack web site and boy was the game ever good. This game had it all: speed, great puck movement, solid goaltending, a fight, and hard hitting. All in all, it was just as good as an NHL game.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: corey+perry, dan+girardi, hartford+wolf+pack, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, lowell+devils, marc-andre+fleury, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, springfield+falcons, washington+capitals

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