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Entries with the tag: florida panthers

Where is the Rangers’ Playoff Team?

That is what New York Rangers' fans must be wondering after watching their favorite team lost to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2.

After scoring 18 goals in three games, the Rangers' offense came up one short tonight in Florida. Panthers' goaltender Jacob Markstrom was solid in making 36 saves and him and the rest of his team was able to survive a late Rangers' power play and a late Rangers' goal by Derick Brassard.

Even though the team had 36 shots on goal, many of them were not of the quality variety. To beat a goaltender like Markstrom, a player needs to be patient and look for the holes because when it comes to Markstrom, there is plenty of room to score goals as he came into tonight's game sporting a 3.26 GAA.

One Blueshirts' forward who seemed to struggle tonight was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin seemed lost and took just two shots on goal.

The Rangers' power play was also a let down. With little time remaining in the third period, the Rangers' had the man advantage and just could not generate a quality scoring chance. Come playoff time, assuming the Rangers get in, this kind of play will be unacceptable. 

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, jacob+markstrom, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Richards Getting Hot at the Right Time for the Blueshirts

For most of this shortened season, things have not been easy for New York Rangers' forward Brad Richards.

For much of this year, Richards struggled in all areas of game whether it was on offense, on the power play, handling the puck, etc. A few times this season, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella even went as far to bench the Rangers' nine-year man.

With that said, it really is amazing how fast things can change. After picking up a goal and an assist last night in his team's 6-1 win over the Florida Panthers, Richards went out and scored his first career hat trick in helping the Blueshirts crush the Sabres by a score of 8-4.

If you are counting at home, that is four goals and an assist in the last two games. With his three goals tonight, not only is he in double digits, but he is starting to show that he is not afraid to put the puck on net.

In many games prior to these last two, Richards seemed afraid to put the puck on goal. He was clearly snake bitten and looked like he had lost confidence in his ability to put the puck in the net.

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Taking Care Of Business

That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league. Tonight, the Rangers took advantage of that and pounded the Panthers with six goals and got strong offensive efforts from several of their players.

For starters, Mats Zuccarello is continuing to show how he has improved his game. He goes hard to the net, knows how to use his speed, gets his nose dirty and tonight, he was able to score two goals.

The club also got a strong offensive performance from Derick Brassard. Brassard had two goals and gave the team an early lead when he scored the games first goal just over three minutes into the tilt.

Rick Nash did his part in this game by picking up three points with a goal and two assists. It will be important for Nash to continue to produce as the team needs him to score in this last stretch of the season. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ron+rolston, winnipeg+jets

Keep Moving Forward

When it comes to the New York Rangers as a franchise, we have seen many consistent themes each and every season.

One of those themes has to do with streaking. Going into Thursday night's game against the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts have won two straight games in beating the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night and the New Jersey Devils last night.

With the two victories, the Rangers find themselves in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with the same amount of points that the sixth place Carolina Hurricnaes and seventh place Toronto Maple Leafs have (32). What this means for the Blueshirts is that they need to keep moving forward and keep picking up two points whenever possible.

As I mentioned above though, the Blueshirts seem to run into a theme of winning a few and then losing a few. Prior to the Rangers winning two straight this week, they had dropped their last three games and were outscored 9-2 in those three tilts.

In a shortened season such as this one, the Rangers cannot afford to be up and down. Yes, the team currently holds a playoff spot but because of their extremely inconsistent play this season, they could just as easily be in the bottom seven of the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Where does Luongo Fit in?

That is one question that is on the mind of every member of the hockey media these days when it comes to Vancouver Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo.

Bob McKenzie of TSN said yesterday that Luongo’s preference is to play on the Florida Panthers. However, McKenzie also said that the doors are not closed on the Toronto Maple Leafs even though there are reports that say the asking price for the 33-year-old netminder is too high.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
End of day, Luongo has to make sure he doesn’t end up in CHI…with AHL Wolves. Right now, tho, FLA and TOR think VAN asking price too high.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
...if FLA doesn’t pan out, doors to TOR or elsewhere are not by any means closed. Step by step process that hasn’t be formalized in any way.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
Lot of Luongo talk about waiving/not waiving NTC. Here’s my take: Process has yet to be that formal. His obvious preference is FLA, but…

In my opinion, the best fit for Luongo is in Florida with the Panthers. For starters, he has had success there before.

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  Tags: bob+mckenzie, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jose+theodore, mike+gillis, roberto+luongo, scott+clemmensen, toronto+maple+leafs, tsn, vancouver+canucks

Hockey Success Found in Somewhat Odd Places

When one thinks of hockey, one probably thinks of places like Canada (obviously), the Northeast, the Northwest, upper Midwest and so on and so forth.

One does not, however, think of places like Florida, Phoenix, Nashville, Los Angeles or San Jose. With warm climates such as those, who would think that hockey could be so successful?

Well, the above-mentioned areas have done the unthinkable and have all had various degrees of success not only in the National Hockey League, but also in developing the game in surrounding areas. This all starts from a place of building a winning NHL franchise.

In fact, all five of cities/states mentioned above all had NHL teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, where the Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history over the New Jersey Devils in six games.

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  Tags: edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, los+angeles+kings, nashville+predators, phoenix+coyotes, san+jose+sharks, wayne+gretzky

Move On and Focus

There really is not too much to say regarding the New York Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

Yes, we can easily rehash Penguins’ defenseman Brooks Orpik’s hit on Derek Stepan and also what Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella had to say about it. With that said, it does not make sense to go over it again as we all know what was done and what was said and we all have an opinion on it.

Instead, it is time to shift our focus to the last regular season game tomorrow night against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals managed to clinch a playoff spot last night with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and are just two points behind the Panthers for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

The Capitals will play hard tomorrow night to try and clinch the division and home ice in the first round of the playoffs. This is a team that knows how to put the puck in the net, even though they have not done enough of that this season.

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  Tags: brooks+orpik, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

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

Battling the Florida Panthers

After what happened in last Friday night’s tilt between the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, it is certainly going to be a battle tonight at Madison Square Garden.

In the Rangers’ 4-1 win against the Cats last week, tempers flared and the anger level was high after Blueshirts’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto was sucker punched by Panthers’ forward Tomas Kopecky after Del Zotto cross-checked him in the back a few times and high-sticked him in the face in front of the net. After the game, Panthers’ head coach Kevin Dineen said Del Zotto got what he deserved.

With both teams in the top three in the Eastern Conference (Rangers in first; Panthers in third), tonight should be a great game. Looking at the Rangers, they are clicking on all cylinders right now and have won their last two games and are obviously coming off an exciting 3-2 win at the 2012 Winter Classic over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Florida Panthers are 4-4-2 in their last 10 but are certainly not a pushover hockey club this season. They work hard, can put the puck in the net, and can play physical hockey, as was seen last Friday night in Miami.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, kevin+dineen, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, tomas+kopecky

Showdown in Miami

The New York Rangers are set to take on the Florida Panthers, a much improved hockey club this season, tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. It was a game that with a better effort and more of a finishing touch, the team probably could have won.

On the other side, the Panthers are coming off a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The Cats are third in the Eastern Conference with 45 points and are having one of their best seasons in franchise history.

For the Rangers, this will be a tuneup game for them as they get set to focus on the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, January 2. With that said, this is a tuneup game that the team cannot afford to take lightly.

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  Tags: eastern+conference, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals


That is exactly what the New York Rangers were last night in their 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The team was not terrible but they certainly were not great either. This was a game that with better defensive coverage and less turnovers could have easily been a much better game for the Blueshirts.

What was interesting to see was how the Capitals played. Their team certainly played with a lot of energy and may have even looked like the Capitals of old.

With that said, the chances were there for the Rangers’ taking. There were plenty of juicy rebounds left by Capital’s netminder Tomas Vokoun but the Blueshirts failed to cash in on them.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, tomas+vokoun, washington+capitals

It’s Deja Vu all Over Again

It appears to be that way as just like the New York Rangers did last week, they will be taking on the New York Islanders again tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off a week in which they picked up six points with three victories over teams in their division. The team beat the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers last week to help move the team to first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.

With games on Wednesday (at the Washington Capitals) and Friday (at the Florida Panthers), it will be interesting to see how team head coach John Tortorella uses his goaltenders. It is not out of the question that Tortorella uses netminder Martin Biron tonight against the Islanders and then uses Henrik Lundqvist for the next three games against the Capitals, Panthers and of course, the Flyers at the 2012 Winter Classic.

Other than that, there is not too much else going on in Rangerland these days. The team is winning plenty of hockey games, battling through injuries and getting solid play from everyone on the team.

Hopefully, things will stay that way as the team begins an interesting seven days in which they could potentially pick-up eight points.

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  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

View from the Top

That is exactly what the New York Rangers have after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-2 last night at Madison Square Garden.

The team came out and played an almost perfect home game by cashing in on their opportunities, never quitting on plays, forechecking, playing solid defense, and getting terrific goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Put these all together and you have another solid win on home ice.

With the win, the Rangers are now tied with the Flyers for the Atlantic Division lead and are second in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Boston Bruins. Not bad for a team that no one knew just how good they were going to be or what they were capable of.

For starters, the team was certainly good at deflecting pucks past Flyers’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. Derek Stepan did just that on the team’s first goal in the second period when he deflected defenseman Stu Bickel’s shot from the point and surprised Bryzgalov to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. The goal was put under a review but because Stepan’s stick was below the crossbar, the goal counted.

Ruslan Fedotenko did the same thing and his goal was also under review because it was first thought that the team hit the crossbar. However, after reviewing the play, the puck hit the back bar inside the net and the Rangers went up 2-0.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, boston+bruins, derek+stepan, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, stu+bickel, washington+capitals, winter+classic

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 Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played last night when they defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a 4-1 score in Buffalo.

The team got two shorthanded goals, including an absolute beauty by team captain Ryan Callahan, as well as one from rookie Carl Hagelin, who had two goals in the game. Marian Gaborik picked-up a power play goal in the third period to close out the scoring for the Blueshirts.

The Blueshirts also got a strong performance from their netminder, Martin Biron. Biron made 32 saves to improve to 5-1 with a 1.79 goals against average, a .937 saver percentage and 1 shuout. With his strong play, Biron continues to prove that not only is he the perfect back-up for Henrik Lundqvist, but that he may as well be the best back-up goaltender in the entire National Hockey League.

Unfortunately, the Blueshirts do not have a lot of time to enjoy this victory as they will be back in action tonight against the streaking Florida Panthers. Back on November 23, the Panthers defeated the Blueshirts by a score of 2-1 in Florida and have only continued to play better as the Panthers are 16-8-5, good enough for third in the Eastern Conference and two points behind the first place Philadelphia Flyers.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carl+hagelin, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Getting Back on Track

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

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

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

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

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

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

The One That Got Away

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rangers in Need of Some New Blood and a Quick Turnaround?

It appears that is what team management and the head coach feel as the New York Rangers have recalled both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin up from the Connecticut Whale.

With two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts will look to get back on track late this afternoon against the Washington Capitals. While the Capitals have been a streaky this team season, they certainly know how to bring the offense and with the Blueshirts’ springing leaks in the defensive zone the last two games, one would expect the Capitals to do the same tonight.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts decided to call up Mitchell and Hagelin not only for some potential new blood, but to replace forward Andre Deveaux, who will more than likely receive a fine from the NHL for his hit on Panthers’ forward Tomas Fleischmann.

As posted yesterday, both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin have been recalled from Connecticut (AHL) in anticipation of Deveaux’s absence. I suspect Mitchell, for sure, will be in the lineup today and it wouldn’t shock me if Hagelin was as well. The other fourth-liners from Wednesday’s game, Brian Boyle and Sean Avery, would probably be the first options for a healthy scratch if coach John Tortorella decides to play both call-ups.

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  Tags: andre+deveaux, carl+hagelin, florida+panthers, john+mitchell, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Not to be Taken Lightly

That is exactly the attitude the New York Rangers should take tonight when they take on the Florida Panthers tonight in Florida at the BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers are currently leading the Southeast Division and are showing that they are a tough team to play against. They are a club that never gives up, knows how to battle back and can put the puck in the net.

Much like the Blueshirts, the Panthers have also played terrific hockey in their last seven games, having won five of them. They are also off to one of their best starts in franchise history at 11-6-3 with 25 points.

With all of that in mind, the Blueshirts will need to do everything in their power to play a smart road game. For the Rangers, that means staying out of the box, getting an early lead, playing smart in their own end and getting good goaltending.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Bound To Happen

This describes the game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The club did not have their legs, failed to put any real offensive pressure on Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price and certainly did not help netminder Martin Biron. All in all, it was a sloppy hockey game that with a 7-game winning streak, was going to happen sooner or later.

With that said, the team is going to need to put this one out of their minds fast as they have a tough schedule coming up. The team will be in Florida on Wednesday night to take on the high-flying Florida Panthers followed by a game against the Washington Capitals on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and then the next day, the team will be home for a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is exactly why the Blueshirts need to forget about Saturday night’s game and focus on their upcoming games against three really good hockey clubs. To win these games, the team’s offense will obviously need to step up and the defense will need to play more responsibly in their own end.

There is no reason to hit the panic button as this game needed to happen for the Rangers. They needed something to bring them back to reality and show them that they are nowhere near to being a perfect hockey team.

It is what it is so it is back to focusing on the hear and now for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Rangers Blank Panthers in Big Win on Garden Ice

It certainly wasn’t the most exciting hockey game but the New York Rangers did what they needed to do in shutting out the Florida Panthers by a score of at Madsion Square Garden.

The win gives the Blueshirts points 83 and 84, is their fifth straight victory and also marks Henrik Lundqvist’s 10th shutout of the season as well as his 32nd win on the year. All big things happening for the Blueshirts right now and with the way the team is playing, it is certainly well deserved.

The Blueshirts had plenty of scoring chances throughout the game but Panthers’ netminder Tomas Vokoun was up to the task time and time again. That is, until Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky put in a great pass from Ryan Callahan and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead close to eight minutes into the third period.

The team also got strong performances from the line of Brandon Prust-Brian Boyle-Ruslan Fedotenko as that line peppered Vokoun all night long, forechecked hard, generated scoring chances and play well on both sides of the puck. Marian Gaborik also had another strong night as he had four shots on goal, showed a lot of speed and looked more and more like the Gaborik of last season.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, buffalo+sabres+and+montreal+canadiens, carolina+hurricanes, dan+boyle, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, tomas+vokoun

Avoiding The Trap Game

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to do tonight at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Florida Panthers.

The Blueshirts are currently on a four-game winning streak and have a four point lead on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The last thing this team needs is to lose to the Florida Panthers, a team that is out of the playoff race and looking to slow down any team that is trying to advance to the Stanley Cup tournament.

In the team’s last four games, they have shown that they can put the puck in the net, score on the power play, kill big penalties and get solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist on a somewhat consistent basis. Every one on the team is stepping up at the right time and one can only hope that it does not stop this week with their game against the Panthers tonight as well as against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, sean+avery, wojtek+wolski

Lundqvist Shines in Rangers 5-2 Victory Over the Penguins

Questionable coming into this afternoon’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist put on a show in Pittsburgh in a 5-2 Rangers’ victory.

Lundqvist was brilliant in making 38 saves and picking up his 31st victory of the season. He was able to control his rebounds, make second and third stops when he needed to and provided the kind of goaltending that any team needs to win a hockey game.

For someone who had a stiff neck, Lundqvist was a warrior for the Blueshirts and showed his club just how much he means to them and in turn, how much he needs them to help him in order to succeed. The team was able to do just that this afternoon and now, have a four-game winning streak.

With the win, the Rangers now have 82 points and are up four on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres (who also play today) in the Eastern Conference. The win also puts the Rangers just three points behind the sixth place Montreal Canadiens so the Rangers are making noise at the right time.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

Things Getting Tighter and Tighter for the Blueshirts

Last night’s 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres was a game that the New York Rangers had to have. Unfortunately, the team’s inability to finish hurt their chances of doing just that and as result, making things tighter and tighter for them as the team heads down the stretch.

Mats Zuccarello had a chance to tie hockey game with just under two minutes to go when Wojtek Wolski deflected a puck to the slot to Zuccarello. Zuccarello took it in all alone on Sabres’ netminder Ryan Miller only to be stopped by Miller’s glove. Had Zuccarello been able to lift it a bit higher, the game surely would have gone into overtime where anything could have happened.

The Blueshirts had the puck in the slot numerous amount of times in the third period but Miller was either able to make the save or be lucky enough to have one of his defenseman block it or have the Rangers miss the net. All in all, Miller made 29 saves in helping his team get to within three points of the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ryan+miller, wojtek+wolski

All is Quiet on the Rangers Front

It’s been a quiet trade deadline for the New York Rangers’ thus far as no siginificant moves have been made today as of right now.

With that said, it was nice to see that while I was in Massachusetts this weekend, the Blueshirts went out and gave up next to nothing to the Florida Panthers to acquire defenseman Bryan McCabe. McCabe is someone who can hit, contribute on the power play, produce points here and there and provide a steady veteran presence on a very young Rangers’ blue line.

If anything happens regarding the Blueshirts, either myself or the terrific blogging staff here at Kukla’s Korner will keep you posted.

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  Tags: bryan+mccabe, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, nhl+trade+deadline

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blueshirts Get the Job Done Against the Capitals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Lundqvist Back on Track?

After being out of town for the last two days, it was nice to see the New York Rangers get the job done on the road and get back-to-back wins against the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators.

It was even nicer to see that Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist started both games and played well in them. Unfortunately, I did not get to watch either game but just looking at his statistics, it looks like he faced a lot of rubber and was able to pick-up his second shutout of the season against the Panthers and get the shootout victory against the Predators last night by stopping all three Predator shooters.

It may just be two games but for Lundqvist, they should be considered confidence boosters. He had been struggling up until late last week and needed to show his hockey club that he is still the backbone of the team and show them why he is considered one of the top netminders in the National Hockey League.

The Blueshirts have another big week on tap beginning tomorrow night when Sidney Crosby and the Penguins visit Madison Square Garden for a tilt. Later in the week, the Blueshirts will take on the New York Islanders in the beginning of a home-and-home series at the Coliseum on Thursday night followed by a game at MSG on Friday night before closing out the week with a game against the Ottawa Senators at the Garden on Sunday evening.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Start Biron Tonight Against the Panthers

Good morning folks. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and that your Black Friday’s are off to a great start.

As you recall, I am heading to Newport, RI with my wife in a few hours so I figured I would post something before leaving.

I will say this again before getting into the subject of this blog: there is NO goaltending controversy when it comes to the New York Rangers.

It is apparent that starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist is struggling. He is not coming up with the big saves when he needs to, he is allowing soft goals and more importantly, he is not winning hockey games for his team.

With that said, however, it appears that the team is playing much better defense in front of their back-up goaltender, Martin Biron while leaving Henrik Lundqvist out to dry. While this may make some sense because Biron is the back-up, it should never be the case because the team should play the same way regardless of who is between the pipes.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers

I’m Hitting the Road for a Few Days

Good morning folks. I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be posting for the next few days as I have an extremely busy Thanksgiving planned and then I’m going to Newport, RI for a few days with my wife.

Unfortunately, I’ll miss two of the three New York Ranger games so feel free to post your comments on the games in the comment section of this blog as I’m sure there will be things to talk about.

Much like myself, the Rangers will be on the road the rest of this week with games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight at 7:30 p.m.), Florida Panthers (Friday night) and the Nashville Predators (Saturday night) before heading home to take on the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the team could win all three games but considering how tough the Lightning can be, picking up four points with wins over the Panthers and Predators seems a lot more realistic right now.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, tampa+bay+lightning

Doing the Little Things

That’s what the New York Rangers have been doing during this little unbeaten streak and it showed last night in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Prior to last night’s win, the Blueshirts never won a game when trailing after two periods. That all changed last night when Marc Staal, Brandon Prust, Chris Drury and Marian Gaborik all scored in the third period to lead the Rangers’ to a crucial win, one that gave them two points to put them in a “tie” with the Philadelphia Flyers for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference (the Flyers really have the eighth spot because they have the tie breaker).

A few weeks ago, many Blueshirt fans thought that the season was over and that they should start thinking about the draft. Well, not so fast folks. Yes, I was one of those that thought the Blueshirts would be better off missing the playoffs but you know what - I’m a true blue Ranger fan and even if this team is going to get knocked around in the first round, I would love to see them clinch a spot.

Everyone on the team is doing their part to make this a reality as they are scoring clutch goals, coming from behind, playing solid defense and picking up two points on a somewhat consistent basis. Who knows what position the team would be in if they did this throughout the season.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, new+york+rangers

It’s Hard to Believe But…

The New York Rangers are still alive in the playoff hunt as they continue to have good luck when it comes to scoreboard watching.

Last night, the Blueshirts saw the Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins lose their games. This gives the Blueshirts a HUGE opportunity to go into Florida and pick up four points from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, respectively.

We all thought, myself included, that this team was done a few weeks ago. In fact, I think many of us were hoping that the Blueshirts would put us out of our misery and just miss the playoffs so that may be some wholesale changes would occur throughout the organization.

Now, however, it seems many of us still want this team to clinch a spot. So, folks, what do we want to happen?

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  Tags: florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Agent Takes on Panthers’ Fans as Clients

From Greg Wyshynski:

Drew Rosenhaus, the NFL agent whose Miami-based Rosenhaus Sports reps over a hundred names including Chad Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens, had a curious message on his Twitter feed this morning about the NHL:

“I have been hired by the fans of the NHL’s Florida Panthers to negotiate lower season ticket prices. I will keep you posted on the outcome.”

Curious because the Florida Panthers do in fact have tickets of above-average price, according to the 2008-09 Fan Cost Index (.pdf). Curious because Rosenhaus taking on what amounts to a class-action movement on behalf of hockey fans is about as random as it gets.

Click here for more. Interesting, right? Think the Rangers should hire someone?

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  Tags: florida+panthers

It Means A Lot

As I pointed out in yesterday’s blog, tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens is absolutely critical for the New York Rangers. The Rangers are currently tied with the Florida Panthers (take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 89 points.

A win tonight over the Habs and a loss for the Panthers would help the blueshirts because one, it gives them two points and two, it gives them another victory in case the remaining seed comes down to a tie-breaker. Basically put, the team needs to win tonight to help clinch a playoff spot within the next five days.

For more Rangers news and notes, please check out the following links:

- Rangers Report
- Blue Notes
- Ranger Rants
- SNY Rangers Blog
- Blueshirt Banter

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  Tags: blue+notes, blueshirt+banter, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ranger+rants, rangers+report, sny+rangers+blog

Puck Daddy: Rangers Have a 50/50 Chance of Clinching Playoff Spot

In his terrific Puck Daddy Blog, Greg Wyshynski puts a death watch on the New York Rangers’ playoff chances.

However, PDaddy does give blueshirt fans some hope with this little tidbit:

“Of course, the Rangers have one significant advantage in this duel to the finish: Both teams have 89 points in 79 games, but the Rangers have 40 wins to the Panthers’ 39. The road isn’t easy at all for New York -  a game against the Montreal Canadiens, and then two games against the Philadelphia Flyers to end the season—but technically the Rangers control their own fate.”

What do you folks think of the Rangers’ playoff chances this season?

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  Tags: florida+panthers, greg+wyshynski, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, puck+daddy+blog

Biggest Game of The Year

Tomorrow night will mark the New York Rangers’ biggest game of the season to date. After the Florida Panthers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, the blueshirts find themselves tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 89 points.

With three games to go in the regular season, their uphill battle will continue tomorrow night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens, a team that is seventh in the conference with 92 points and is catching fire at the right time (5-3-2 in their last 10 games). The Rangers can beat the Canadiens but again, with the tension mounting and the games becoming more and more important by the day, it is not going to be an easy task.

The team has games with the Habs and Philadelphia Flyers (two) to determine whether or not this year’s Rangers will clinch a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season. The Panthers, on the other hand, have games against the Flyers,  Atlanta Thrashers, and Washington Capitals. Both teams have competitive schedules but now, it will come down to just three games to determine who gets the last playoff spot in the conference. 

The team has no one to blame but themselves for being in this situation. Problems with consistency, the power play, line juggling, personnel changes, etc. have all contributed to the team’s issues this season. Now, however, is the time to put those off to the side and go out there and get the job done because the last thing the team wants to do is miss the playoffs and disappoint the thousands of Ranger fans that will be at the Garden both tomorrow night against the Habs and Thursday night against the Flyers.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Some Gloomy Rangers Reading

With a tough game against the Boston Bruins slated for tomorrow afternoon, the New York Rangers are in an extremely difficult position.

If the Florida Panthers beat the Atlanta Thrashers tonight, they will be tied for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference and should the Rangers lose tomorrow afternoon and the Panthers win again on Sunday evening against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they’ll be in ninth place heading into the final week of the regular season.

For more on last night’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, check out the following links:

- Scotty Hockey
- Ranger Rants
- SNY Rangers Blog
- New York Post

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, new+york+post, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ranger+rants, scotty+hockey, sny+rangers+blog

Rangers Reading

Tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes is a huge one for the New York Rangers as they look to increase the space between them, the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers while also shooting for a higher seed in the Eastern Conference.

Check out the links below for more on tonight’s match up:

- Rangers Report
- Scotty Hockey
- SNY Rangers Blog
- NewYorkRangers.com

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, newyorkrangers.com, rangers+reading, rangers+report, scotty+hockey, sny+rangers+blog

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

While the New York Rangers looked like a playoff team on Monday night against the New Jersey Devils, it certainly does not mean that they will make the playoffs as both the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers continue to make things interesting by winning crucial games down the stretch.

These next two games for the Blueshirts are critical so if they could pick up four points, that would obviously be the optimum but right now, getting three out of possible four points wouldn’t be so bad either.

For some Rangers reading, please check out the following links:

- Newsday
- Ranger Rants
- Rangers Report
- SNY Rangers Blog


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  Tags: florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rangers+reading

Where Are They Going?

The New York Rangers dropped their second straight game yesterday afternoon in a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The loss keeps the Blueshirts in seventh place with 87 points. However, the Montreal Canadiens are in the eighth spot just one point (86 points) behind them and the Florida Panthers are in the ninth spot just two points behind (85 points).

The Rangers showed some character by battling back from a two-goal and one-goal defecit while also killing off nine Penguins’ power plays. However, Sid “the Kid” Crosby’s great effort put the Penguins ahead midway through the third period, giving the Penguins a 12-1-2 record in their last 15 games.

As we’ve said on this blog before, the club’s remaining schedule will not make things any easier for the Blueshirts. Tomorrow night, they take on the Atlantic Division leading New Jersey Devils followed by games against the red hot Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, and a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers to close out the regular season. 

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, ilya+kovalchuk, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

A Waste of Two Points

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, yesterday’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers should have been an easy two points. It was a game against a team that was in 14th-place in the Eastern Conference and well on their way to thinking about next season.

So what happened? The New York Rangers blew a three-goal lead and lost 5-4 in a shootout thanks to undisciplined defensive play and some poor goaltending by netminder Stephen Valiquette.

Through the first two periods, the team seemed to be doing everything right. They were getting contributions from their big guns, scoring on the power play, killing penalties and playing a sound defensive game.

Unfortunately, this worked for the first 40 minutes of the game and then things fell apart as the team missed defensive assignments, failed to score on a two-man advantage, and Valiquette allowed two soft goals to allow the Thrashers to get right back in the game.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, stephen+valiquette

Big Two Points

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

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

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

Continue Reading »

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

Crucial Tilt Against The Predators

As of this morning, the New York Rangers were ninth in the Eastern Conference with 76 points, just one point out of the 8th spot (currently held by the Florida Panthers) and two points out of the 7th (currently held by the Carolina Hurricanes) and 6th (currently held by the Pittsburgh Penguins). This makes tonight’s game against the streaky Nashville Predators extremely important and much like the Blueshirts, the Predators are doing everything they can to stay in the thick of the playoff race (currently 8th in the Western Conference with 71 points).

Another reason why tonight’s tilt in Nashville is important is because of what a win would mean for Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. The “King” is one win away from establishing a new NHL record by becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to win 30 or more games in each of his first four seasons. That should show you just how valuable Henrik is to this team and that he is one of the major reasons why the team has qualified for the postseason in each of their last three seasons.

While Monday’s night 3-0 loss to the Hurricanes wasn’t pretty, the team still looks like they are close to where they need to be in order to make the playoffs. They’re scoring more goals (except for Monday), going harder to the net, getting goals from guys that should be scoring, still playing sound defense and getting great goaltending from Henrik.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sean+avery

Same Team, Different Day

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

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

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

Continue Reading »

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

Give It Some Time

I hope New York Rangers fans weren’t expecting the team to come out and fire in four or five goals last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs because if they were, they had to be disappointed.

In last night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Leafs, the Rangers dominated the first 40 minutes of the game as they got to loose pucks, put pucks on goal, crashed the net for rebounds and played tight defense. However, due to John Tortorella’s attacking style, the team got tired and simply ran out of gas in the third period and the OT. This is obviously something that the team will need to adjust to if they want ot have any kind of success going forward.

As Tortorella mentioned in his post-game press conference, this team obviously has trouble finishing and it’s definitely hurting their confidence right now. When they get the chance to shoot it, it either gets blocked or they pass it off. They have pucks bouncing over sticks in front of the net, they’re hitting posts and they’re making every goalie look like the second coming of Patrick Roy.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: eastern+conference, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

Why the Panthers Deserve to be Where they Are Now

The last time the Florida Panthers made the playoffs, they had some guy named Pavel Bure and had Mike Vernon as their goaltender. This happened during the 1999-2000 season when they were swept by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.

Nine years later, the Panthers find themselves in unfamiliar territory as March approaches: a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Since the new year, the team is 13-4-2 and is sixth in the Eastern Conference with 66 points, just three points behind the fourth-place Philadelphia Flyers. So, you might ask, how are they doing this?

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: bryan+mccabe, cory+stillman, craig+anderson, david+booth, florida+panthers, gregory+campbell, jay+bouwmeester, karlis+skrastins, keith+ballard, michael+frolik, mike+vernon, nathan+horton, new+jersey+devils, nick+boynton, pavel+bure, pete+deboer, richard+zednik, stephen+weiss, tomas+vokoun

Rock Bottom

With the way the New York Rangers are playing, it’s hard to believe that they still hold a playoff spot. Currently, the team is tied for the fifth place with the Montreal Canadiens in the tight Eastern Conference.

The truth is that they really don’t deserve to be where they are right now. The team had the benefit of an easy schedule in the regular season, which allowed them to pick up a ton of points and build a solid cushion. Most fans and pundits alike figured that this cushion would be enough to help the team to solidify a playoff spot.

Unfortunately, they were wrong as the Blueshirts are currently up just five points over the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, a lead that is quickly evaporating as the team continues to drop games left and right, much like they did this weekend with losses to the Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues.

Uh, Houston, we have a problem.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, sean+avery, st.+louis+blues, tom+renney

Carpiniello Gets It Right

In assessing last night’s loss to the Florida Panthers, Journal News New York Rangers’ beat writer Rick Carpiniello does a great job in pointing out this team’s flaws.

Here’s a sneak peek:

“This team lacks skill. You can argue all you want about the system being stifling, or the coach making bad personnel decisions, or whatever. And I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you.

But who is transporting the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone? Who? Gomez is capable of doing it, and in fact that’s one of his strengths when he’s playing well. Zherdev can do it. Callahan once in a while. That’s really all, and the transportation of the puck from defense to offense is a crucial element in any attack, whether the attack is passive or aggressive. It is a terribly under-appreciated facet of a good power play, and thus one of many reasons the Rangers’ power play stinks. And it truly does stink.”

To read more on the Rangers’ troubles, click here

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  Tags: florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, rick+carpiniello, ryan+callahan, the+journal+news

Records can be Deceiving

With a record of 17-8-2 and sitting first in the Eastern Conference, one would have to think that the team and its fans would be happy.

In the case of the New York Rangers, not so much. Looks can be deceiving folks and yesterday afternoon’s 4-0 clunker at the hands of the Florida Panthers proves that point.

Over at Sam Weinman’s (The Journal News) Rangers Report Blog, MSG’s John Giannone points out that of the club’s 17 wins, six have come in the shootout. If there were no shootouts, the team would have a substantially lower record and would be 11-7-8.

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