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Entries with the tag: erik christensen

Not the Right Fit

This is exactly what could be said of former New York Rangers’ forward Erik Christensen.

There is no doubt that Christensen had a lot of offensive potential. He is a great passer, solid in the shootout and has good vision.

With that said, Christensen never used the above-mentioned talents on a consistent basis. When he was not hurt, Christensen often found himself in head coach John Tortorella’s dog house and rightly so, since his play never fit into the team’s identity.

May be Christensen will be given a fair chance with the Minnesota Wild or may be he will continue to not do the things that made him an NHLer in the first place. The choice is really his.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers

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

Lack of Offense Hurts Blueshirts in Loss to the Oilers

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

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

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

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

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

It Was In the Cards

Unfortunately, that is all that can be said when it comes to waived New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery, who was waived by the team.

The writing has been on the wall for awhile when it comes to Avery. It is/was apparent that head coach John Tortorella and the Rangers’ pest did not get along.

Last season, Avery found himself scratched several times and that was also the case this preseason as well. Tortorella even went as far to say that there are better hockey players on the club than Avery at the current time so it was obvious that this was going to happen whether fans liked it or not.

When looking at Avery, it is easy to see that there are both pros and cons.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Avery vs. Christensen

It appears that is what it has come down to for New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella.

Rangers’ pest Sean Avery was benched for the second straight game earlier today. Based on that, one can assume that either team head coach John Tortorella is taking a closer look at forward Erik Christensen or that Avery has managed to play is way out of New York.

It is well known that many Blueshirt fans love Avery. They love the way he hits, the way he taunts, the way he stirs things up and sometimes, the way he produces. These particular fans love Avery for being Avery.

On the other side of the coin, there is not exactly troo much love for Christensen out there. Sure, he definitely has skill and talent but rarely does he show it on a consistent basis. Some fans also believe that he is a “soft” player.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

A Bit of Both

Those words can best be used to describe last night’s 2-1 overtime New York Rangers’ loss to the New Jersey Devils in overtime.

The team was not great but the club was not horrible either. Yes, it took the Blueshirts awhile to get their first shot on goal but when they finally did, they seemed to setlle down a bit and generate some good scoring chances.

Overall, the club got good performances from the likes of Dale Weise (scored the game-tying goal in the third period), Dylan McIlrath, both goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot, along with line of Sean Avery-John Mitchell-J.T. Miller as the line forechecked hard and caught head coach’s John Tortorella’s eye.

Two players that seemed to be inconsistent last night were forward Erik Christensen and defenseman Michael Del Zotto. With regards to Christensen, it is all about playing with confidence, something he has struggled with in his NHL career. In the case of Del Zotto, it is about being consistent witht the puck as he needs to know when to hold onto it, when to dump it off and when to put it on net.

It is really early so fans should not read too much into last night’s loss. Like the players and the coaching staff, the fans must be patient and go with the process as the team continutes to shape up into a regular season hockey club.

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  Tags: cam+talbot, dale+weise, dylan+mcilrath, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, j.t.+miller, john+mitchell, john+tortorella, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Rangers Back in The Series

Simply put, this afternoon’s Game 3 was one that the New York Rangers absolutely had to have against the Washington Capitals.

Luckily, the Blueshirts were able to pull out a gutsy 3-2 victory thanks to a late goal by Brandon Dubinsky. It’s a goal that makes the series 2-1 instead of 3-0 and one that gives the Rangers a huge opportunity come Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Prior to the Dubinsky goal, this seemed like another game that was destined for overtime. Mike Knuble knotted up the game at 2-2 on the power play when Marian Gaborik took a bad cross checking penalty.

This was a game where the Rangers were finally able to generate some scoring chances and get pucks through to Capitals’ netminder Michal Neuvirth. With that said, it seemed like most of the team’s good shots came during the many power play opportunities they were given, with only Erik Christensen able to cash in on one.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michal+neuvirth, new+york+rangers, 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

Big Win for the Blueshirts

Tonight’s game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders was one that the Blueshirts needed to have on home ice.

Mission accomplished. The Blueshirts came out and beat the Islanders by a score of 6-3 and picked up points 77 and 78 on the season.

Believe it or not, the Rangers got three power play goals and a shorthanded goal tonight. Erik Christensen, Bryan McCabe (his first as a Ranger) and Marian Gaborik all connected with the man-advantage while Brandon Prust picked up the shorthanded goal in the first period to give his team a 1-0 lead.

With the win, the Rangers now have sole possession of the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference as the Carolina Hurricanes shutout the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 1-0.

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  Tags: brandon+prust, bryan+mccabe, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Rangers Pick Up the All-Important Two Points in San Jose

It does not matter how you get them just as long you get them.

That is what the New York Rangers were able to do last night in their 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks. It wasn’t pretty but the Blueshirts did not allow two deflection goals against to derail them en route to a victory.

At this point in the season, one point is not good enough for the Blueshirts and they showed that last night in San Jose. The team got goals from from Erik Christensen, Michael Sauer and in the shootout, got the winner from Brandon Dubinsky after Wojtek Wolski extended the shootout by scoring on Sharks’ netminder Antti Niemi in the third round of the skills competition.

The Blueshirts also got a terrific performance from their netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 31 saves in 65 minutes and then went and stopped five of six shots in the shootout to pick up his 28th victory of the season.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, columbus+blue+jackets, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

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

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

Rangers Look to Get Back on Track Against the Canadiens/Update

UPDATE: According to web site beat writer Jim Cerny, New York Rangers’ head coach has elected to go with Martin Biron in goal against the Canadiens this afternoon:

Quick pre-game media session with Torts: Marty Biron start in goal and same defensive pairings, meaning Steve Eminger remains out.

From Earlier

The New York Rangers need to stop this losing skid before it keeps growing.

The team will get that opportunity this afternoon when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens are on a two game winning streak while the Blueshirts have not won in three games.

Looking at the positives during the winless streak, the Rangers were in all three games and probably should have won all three games. They put pucks to the net, they kept the games close, they battled back and they worked hard, all things that will keep a head coach happy.

What won’t make a head coach happy is inconsistent goaltending, which is what Henrik Lundqvist has provided over the last three games. He hasn’t been terrible by any means and has made some terrific saves but unfortunately, he has not made the saves that have ended up helping the team win.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, detroit+red+wings, erick+christensen, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Another Injury for the Blueshirts

According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, New York Rangers’ forward Ruslan Fedotenko is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an injury:

Ruslan Fedotenko will miss 2-4 weeks with a second-degree AC sprain in his left shoulder so in addition to calling up Chad Kolarik from Connecticut (AHL), the Rangers have also recalled Brodie Dupont.

So, let’s recap which Blueshirts have been injured this season: Chris Drury, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky and now Ruslan Fedotenko.

One would figure that with all these injuries, the team should be out of playoff contention. However, the Blueshirts have responded in a big way to the various injuries and find themselves right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff pack playing solid hockey.

Hopefully, they will be able to keep it up long enough to stay in playoff contention come April.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Where Has the Offense Gone in 2011?/Fedotenko Update

UPDATE: According to Jesse Spector, New York Rangers’ beat writer for the Daily News, Ruslan Fedotenko’s hand is not broken:

Fedotenko’s hand is not broken. He’s day-to-day.

FROM EARLIER: I know, I know, the New York Rangers are just two games into the new year but nevertheless, they are 0-1-1 with only one goal scored against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.

Last night against the Panthers, the team was lucky to get a point as Marian Gaborik tied the game up at 1-1 with less than a minute go before the Lightning won 2-1 in overtime. Up until that point, it looked like Lightning netminder Cedrick Desjardins was going to shutout the Rangers and the Blueshirts were going to come away with nothing.

Against the Panthers tonight, the team delivered another lackluster effort and this time, came up with nothing as Panthers’ goaltender picked up his fifth shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over the Rangers. If not for the solid goaltending of Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron (33 saves), this game could have actually been a lot worse.

With that said, however, the team did lose Ruslan Fedotenko hurt his hand after blocking a Bryan McCabe slap shot. Hopefully for the Rangers, he will not have to miss a lot of time as the Rangers are already hurting with injuries to both Ryan Callahan, Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen.

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  Tags: bryan+mccabe, cedrick+desjardins, erik+christensen, florida+panthers, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning, tomas+vokoun, vinny+prospal

Injury Update on Erik Christensen

From Nick Montemagno of The Rangers Tribune:

Reports coming out tonight are that forward Erik Christensen will be out of the lineup four to six weeks with an MCL sprain suffered in last night’s 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Christensen has registered 14 points in 37 games this season and has also been the Rangers’ best player in the shootout. As reported earlier, Dale Weise has been recalled from Connecticut (AHL) in his place.

Not too sure how I feel about this given Christensen’s inconsistency this season. Some games he looks like he belongs in the NHL while in others, you hardly notice him.

With that said, I am curious to see what this Rangers’ team will be like once everyone is healthy.

 

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  Tags: dale+weise, erik+christensen, new+york+rangers

Christensen Out, Weise In

According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants:

Erik Christensen left The Prudential Center wearing a knee brace on his right leg, a lengthy one going from his upper thigh to his lower calf. Coach John Tortorella reported Christensen had suffered a mild sprain at 8:16 of the second period after a collision with Devils defenseman Andy Greene, which led to a collision with the left post.

Christensen said he has not been told yet whether he will be making the Florida trip - the team’s charter leaves tomorrow morning for Tampa - but the Rangers did recall forward Dale Weise from Connecticut (AHL) in order for the 22-year-old to be on the plane. Christensen said he did not have X-rays taken at the arena and was not sure when he would be examined by a doctor. He had his knee iced at The Rock.

In the one game that Weise played in this season (December 18 against the Philadelphia Flyers), he was one of the team’s better places and even had a goal called back. Hopefully this weekend in Florida, head coach John Tortorella will put him in a position to exceed.

 

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  Tags: dale+weise, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers

Looking at a Few Players Who Need to Step Up

This is what the New York Rangers are faced with as they do not play a game until Thursday night at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blueshirts’ had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia when the Flyers beat them by a score of 4-1. The team did not play terribly but it is apparent that some players have a few things to work on before their next game.

- Michael Del Zotto

Del Zotto needs to get his defensive game in order. He has an abundance of offensive talent but since he is a defenseman, he should concentrate on making that part of his game better.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, tampa+bay+lightning

A Win is a Win

Before getting into the details of the blog, I first must admit that I was not around to watch the New York Rangers defeat the New York Islanders by a score of 6-5 as I had a men’s league hockey game.

With that said, however, it was nice to see the Blueshirts get strong performances from their “first line” of Erik Christensen, Sean Avery and Marian Gaborik. Each had multi-point nights and was a big part of the Rangers’ offense last night.

It was even better to see that Gaborik picked up his second hat trick of the season. It seems his goals come in bunches so Ranger fans are probably hoping they’ll see more from him in tonight’s tilt at Madison Square Garden in the second game of the home-and-home series.

I also saw that back-up goaltender Martin Biron was pulled after the Islanders took a 3-2 lead in the second period. Was he really that bad or did head coach John Tortorella make the move just to wake up the team a bit?

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  Tags: erik+christensen, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Rangers’ Home-and-Home With Isles Begins Tonight

Any time a team plays their rival, the club wants to put their best forward and do everything they can to win the hockey game even if the said club isn’t doing well in the standings.

This is especially true for tonight in tonight’s tilt at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders. The Islanders may be at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings but you know that tonight, they will bring their A-game and do everything they can to beat the Blueshirts.

With that said, this is a game that the Blueshirts cannot afford to take lightly, especially since the Islanders scored six goals on them in a 6-4 loss back in October. The Islanders are a young hockey club that certainly has the opportunity to exploit the Rangers’ weaknesses.

According to team beat writer Andrew Gross of The Record, team head coach John Tortorella tinkered with the lines in practice yesterday and could use them in tonight’s game.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, scotty+hockey, sean+avery

Blueshirts Week Ahead

I would like to introduce you folks to a new feature here at the Goal Line Report: Blueshirts’ Week Ahead.

I do a similar feature over at RLD Hockey. However, unlike RLD Hockey, this feature will focus on the New York Rangers and will include players to keep an eye on and the team’s games of the week.

This is something I will do every Monday morning from here on out.

Players to Keep an Eye on

- Henrik Lundqvist

Coming off two straight wins, it will be interesting to see if New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist can carry it into this week against the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders (2) and Ottawa Senators.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

The Enigma that is Erik Christensen

When it comes to the New York Rangers’ offense this season, the names that automatically come to mind are obviously Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov.

These three Blueshirts have produced on a consistent basis, create scoring chances and also play well on the defensive side of the puck. They may not have the skills of a Marian Gaborik but nevertheless, these three have been getting it done for the Rangers this season.

One player that has been extremely inconsistent and tough to figure out this season on the Rangers is Erik Christensen. According to team head coach John Tortorella, Christensen is one of the most offensively skilled guys the team has along with the best passer on the club. However, the consistency simply isn’t there for Christensen.

In 22 games this season, Christensen has three goals and five assists for eight points. What’s even more disturbing is he picked up three of those points in an 8-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers back on November 14.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, new+york+rangers

Gaborik Shines in Rangers’ Explosive Offensive Output Against the Oilers

While it was against a weak Edmonton Oilers hockey club, the New York Rangers flexed their scoring muscles in the name of Marian Gaborik in an 8-2 victory on home ice.

Gaborik had a hat trick and an assist in a game that was his coming out party for this season. Remember folks, this was really Gaborik’s fourth game of the season as he missed close to a month with a shoulder injury.

Two of Gaborik’s three goals came on breakaways where he made Oilers’ goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin look foolish. The first breakaway, he deked Khabibulin out of his pants and on the second breakaway, he ripped a shot past him to pick up his second hat trick as a Ranger.

His linemates, Alex Frolov (two goals and two assists for four points) and Erik Christensen (three assists) also had solid games for the Blueshirts in what was a dominating game. For Christensen, it was a huge game because he could potentially be the odd man out when injured captain Chris Drury comes back. However, if Christensen continues to play like he did this afternoon against the Oilers, he may make it hard for both head coach John Tortorella and general manager Glen Sather to send him down.

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  Tags: alex+frolov, boston+bruins, colorado+avalanche+and+minnesota+wild, edmonton+oilers, erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

A Look at Erik Christensen

When the New York Rangers acquired forward Erik Christensen from the Anaheim Ducks, many fans and pundits were shaking their heads.

Both were wondering what Christensen had done to merit GM Glen Sather’s attention as well as playing time rather than look inward and use someone from their farm team down in Hartford. In fact, both fans and media are still wondering that today but we’ll get to that later.

As it turned out, Christensen had a solid season on Broadway with 26 points (8 goals and 18 assists) in 49 games. In fact, a lot of his time was spent on the team’s “first” line with Marian Gaborik and they seemed to have some chemistry.

With all that said, is Christensen really the answer as a top-flight player for the Blueshirts? Looking at his track record, it does not seem that he would be.

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  Tags: alexander+frolov, erik+christensen, glen+sather, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers

Too Much Waiting and Not Enough Doing By Sather

In the dog days of summer, many NHL general managers and their teams are waiting and looking.

Waiting and looking to sign a free agent, make a trade or do anything they can to make their team better. While that’s what most GM’s are doing this off-season, one has to wonder what New York Rangers’ GM Glen Sather is trying to do with his hockey team.

Yes, he went out and signed/re-signed players such as Marty Biron, Derek Boogaard, Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal and Daniel Girardi. While that’s great, with the exception of the somewhat questionable Boogaard signing, one has to wonder what’s next for Sather.

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  Tags: daniel+girardi, derek+boogaard, erik+christensen, glen+sather, marc+staal, marty+biron, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal, wade+redden

What’s Next?

Many Ranger fans are wondering the same thing that I am: what will GM Glen Sather do next to help make this a better hockey team?

At this point, and may be every other point for that matter, it’s tough to read Sather. Sather will say all the right things to the press and the things he says make sense as he mentions giving the prospects a chance to play and trying to grow the team from within.

With that being said, he does things to the contrary and goes out and signs deals that don’t make too much sense, a.k.a Derek Boogaard. Yes, I know that Boogaard was not signed to put pucks in the net but the amount of money and years for a third/fourth line player do not make sense to me.

One thing all Ranger fans that Sather must do is find a way to get rid of defenseman Wade Redden. Sather needs to admit that he made a mistake and move on whethere that’s finding a way to trade him or even demote him to the Hartford Wolf Pack. If Sather can do that, in their heart, Ranger fans may find a way to forgive him for that.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, erik+christensen, glen+sather, illya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, vinny+prospal

An Interesting Day for the Blueshirts/Forgot to Mention Christensen and Biron

As always, it was an interesting first day of free agency for the New York Rangers.

Olli Jokinen is gone. Jody Shelley is gone. Vinny Prospal resigned for one year and in the team’s most interesting move of the day, they signed Derek Boogaard to a four-year deal at $1.625 million per year.

The team also signed UFA goaltender Martin Biron to be their back-up goaltender and also resigned Erik Christensen for two years.

The Vinny Prospal deal is definitely a good one. He racked up 58 points this year and was the club’s second most consistent point producer next to Marian Gaborik. He worked hard, was not afraid to speak out and say what the team needed to do and provided veteran leadership in the locker room. He’ll bring all these intangibles to the team for at least one more season.

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  Tags: derek+boogaard, erik+christensen, jody+shelley, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, olli+jokinen, vinny+prospal

Rangers’ Blogger headed to SCF

Great friend of the blog Nicholas Montemagno of The Rangers Tribune is headed to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers in Chicago. Should be a great experience for the great Rangers’ blogger!

Montemagno also noted the following regarding the Blueshirts:

In Rangers news, the New York Post is reporting that the Blueshirts will announce their signing of Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello-Aasen later this week now that the World Championships in Germany have concluded with Michael Rozsival and the Czech Republic taking Gold. The deal is believed to be two-years at $900,000.

Also, center Erik Christensen and the Rangers front office have begun talking about a new contract for the 2010-11 season. Christensen ended this year centering the first line with Marian Gaborik on his wing after being picked up by New York on the waiver wire in December.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, new+york+rangers

Is Torts blaming Gaborik for Team’s Offensive Woes?

One blogger certainly seems to think so. Good friend of the blog Nicholas Montemagno at Rangers Tribune wrote the following:

I think it has become quite clear that Rangers leading scorer Marian Gaborik has not been playing at 100 percent since returning to the lineup in Washington on Saturday. There is no question that he is not himself when playing with an injury. Especially when that injury is involving his leg, handicapping him in a way, being that his main strength is his speed. So when taking all of that into consideration, how on earth can head coach John Tortorella blame Marian Gaborik for the 2-0 loss to the Capitals on Sunday, and then once again make another relating comment after the overtime loss to Buffalo? Is Gaborik seriously the only scapegoat Torts can come up with?

Nicholas is right in his assessment that Gaborik is not 100 percent. He’s lost a step in his game, is not creating as many scoring chances and ultimately, it is leading his line and may be even the rest of the club’s offense to struggle.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

The Top Line Needs to Produce

From good friend of the blog Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

Stop us if you’ve heard this one but plenty of discussion today about the Rangers need to generate offense while, critically, maintaining a good defensive effort as they head into the season’s final 16 games battling for a playoff spot. The top line of Vinny Prospal-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik, off the scoresheet in the two games since Gaborik’s return, will be given “another whack” at trying to create some scoring chances tomorrow but it doesn’t sound like coach John Tortorella will have much patience if the line isn’t producing.

Quite frankly, he doesn’t have the time. Tortorella acknowledged that, at this point in the season, he can’t stick with a player in a game if he’s not producing as long as he might have earlier in the season.

“We can’t die on the vine,” said Tortorella, adding this stretch of season is also critical for off-season evaluation purposes.

Click here for more on the Blueshirts including a practice update, a look at the playoff race and more.

 

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Christensen Looking for Fresh Start on Broadway

From friend of the blog Jim Cerny at NewYorkRangers.com:

On March 4, 2009, Christensen was dealt to Anaheim, where he played in 17 games to close out last season and another nine with the Ducks this year. After receiving very little ice time in Anaheim this season, Christensen is pleased for a new opportunity in New York with the Rangers.

“When I compete and work hard and if I’m consistent at it, with my skill level and my skating ability and the way I can think the game, I should be all right here,” Christensen said.

With the Rangers looking to find more consistency in their collective game, Christensen will be given a big opportunity to help be a part of the solution on Broadway. Especially with Dubinsky still sidelined with a broken right hand, Christensen will be able to earn minutes as one of the team’s regular centers.

He’ll get his first chance to make a positive impression this weekend when the Rangers play back-to-back games, first in Buffalo against the Sabres on Saturday night and then at home on Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.

“I watched him in practice (Thursday) and you can see that he can skate and you can see that he has some skill,” said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “But you have to play in games. That’s where you judge your people. He’ll be in the lineup (Saturday) and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

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  Tags: erik+christensen, new+york+rangers

Kotalik Needs to Produce

In a recent blog entry, Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants points out that New York Rangers winger Ales Kotalik needs to produce more and play better if he wants to get significant ice time.

In 26 games this season, Kotalik has 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points, which isn’t terrible. However, on a team that does not have much when it comes to secondary scoring, that is not going to cut it.

At today’s practice, he was with newcomer Erik Christensen (center) and Christoper Higgins. These guys like to shoot the puck so Kotalik needs to be able to crash the net for rebounds. He needs to go into the dirty areas to make plays and if he can do that, his fortunes might turn around.

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  Tags: ales+kotalik, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers

What Does It All Mean?

As I mentioned to you folks in a blog yesterday, the New York Rangers placed backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette on waivers and at the same time, claimed Erik Christensen off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

To be honest with you, I am not sure what to make all of this. On one hand, the Valiquette move makes a lot of sense. He was clearly struggling (2-3, 3.74 GAA, .852 SV%), allowing soft goals and not keeping his team in games, all priorities for an NHL goaltender.

If Valley clears waivers and gets sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack, he will surely some significant playing time and be given a chance to get his game back in order in hopes of being sent back up to the big leagues. He’s had success in the AHL before so there is reason to believe that he will show the same professionalism and success at that level again.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: chad+johnson, erik+christensen, new+york+rangers, stephen+valiquette

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