Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: mike richter

Lundqvist Belongs with the Rangers’ Greats

When looking at the New York Rangers since the 1997-98 season, it is easy to see that for close to decade, there were some rough seasons.

The team went seven straight years without making the postseason, had a lot of failed free-agent signings and ended up losing the likes of Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, Mike Richter, and Adam Graves to retirement or trade. For Blueshirt fans, it was a dark period.

The names mentioned above, however, all had terrific careers despite the bad times. As a result, each went down in Rangers' lore and ended up having their number retired and hung to rafters at Madison Square Garden.

This got to me thinking on the next Ranger that will have his number hanging from the rafters at the World's Most Famous Arena. As it turned out, it did not take me too long to come up with a player.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, henrik+lundqvist, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Admiring Jonathan Quick

While there is no doubt that New York Rangers’ fans love their netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, these fans should know that there is another goaltender out there who they should admire.

Right now, that is Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. Quick has his hockey club one win away from the team’s first Cup in franchise history and has done so in unbelievable fashion.

Quick’s statistics this postseason speak for themselves. In 18 games, Quick is 15-3 with a 1.39 goals against average, a .948 save percentage and three shutouts.

In Games 1 through 3 in the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils, he was splendid in allowing just 2 goals and picking up a shutout. In those games, he stopped 70 of 72 shots and made the big saves when he had to.

While it is one thing to like Quick from a statistical perspective, there is another reason to like him. It turns out, Quick’s idol growing up was none other than former Rangers’ great goaltender Mike Richter.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Rangers Take Game 1

If you are or have been a fan of either the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils for the past 20 years or so, than Game 1 between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference Finals was a very familiar story.

The Blueshirts were able to come away with a 3-0 victory thanks to third period goals from defenseman Dan Girardi, fresh out of college winger Chris Kreider and Artem Anisimov and solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. For the Rangers, it was the fifth time that the team has shutout the Devils in the postseason as Rangers’ great Mike Richter shut out their Hudson River rivals once in 1992 (Game 4), once in 1994 (Game 2) and twice in 1997 (Games 2 and 4).

This was a typical Rangers’/Devils’ game. There was lots of tight checking, lots of blocked shots, and with the exception of the third period, not a lot of goals were scored. It was like a regular season game except for the fact that this is now the Conference Finals.

For the second time in as many games, the Blueshirts outplayed their opponent in the third period. The team forechecked hard, threw plenty of pucks on Devils’ Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur (25 saves) and were able to not only get the first goal of the game, but they followed it up with an insurance marker just a few minutes later.

Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider was involved on both goals. On Girardi’s goal, it was Kreider who carried the puck into the Devils’ zone and was able to feed Girardi, who was coming off the bench on a line change, with the puck who buried one past Brodeur’s right pad.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

The Elusive Vezina Trophy

Since joining the league in the 2005-06 season, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been nominated the Vezina Trophy three times (2006, 2007, and 2008).

Unfortunately, he has yet to win it despite deserving to win it each of those three seasons. This season, however, might be his best chance.

Dave Lozo of NHL.com says that Lundqvist is the front-runner to win the award this season so far:

The Rangers’ rise to the top of the NHL standings has been jump-started by the 29-year-old, who has been nominated for the Vezina three times but has yet to win it. His numbers for the season are excellent—18-7-4, 1.89, .939—and he’s been even better recently. Since Dec. 1, Lundqvist is 8-3-1 with a 1.57 GAA and .947 save percentage.

The last Rangers’ masked man to win the Vezina was John Vabiesbrouck, and that was after the 1985-86 season. Prior to the “King”, the last Blueshirts’ goaltender to be nominated for the Vezina was Mike Richter after the 1990-91 season.

 

 

Should Lundqvist continue his fine play, the trophy should be his to win.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, john+vanbiesbrouck, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Is Richter Hall of Fame Worthy?

With the most recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductions having taken place, I figured now would be a good time to bring up a player that I think deserves a call into hockey’s hallowed hall one of these days.

While many would think that I would go with obvious ones such as may be a Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, or even Eric Lindros, I decided to take the road less travelled by and go with someone who is more than likely going to stay on the cusp. You can call me crazy but I think this particular player deserves some serious recognition.

One player that I think deserves to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame is former New York Rangers’ netminder Mike Richter. Sure, he may not have the amount of wins that a Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, or Terry Sawchuk or even the pedigree of a Grant Fuhr, but Richter was one of the game’s elite netminders for several seasons and paved the way for how U.S. netminders play in today’s NHL.

For starters, Richter is one of the Rangers’ franchise’s greatest players of all time. Richter spent his entire career with the Blueshirts, 14 seasons in all, and did so in fine fashion. He is the leader for wins by a Rangers’ netminder (301) and one of few Rangers’ goaltenders to lead the franchise to a Stanley Cup, which he did back in 1994.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richter, new+york+rangers

What I Miss in Today’s NHL

Ever since I was born (March 31, 1983), I have been a huge hockey fan. I follow all the teams, players, statistics, writers, broadcasters, have all the highlight tapes, have all the books, have interned for Stan Fischler and have done much, more more in the game of hockey.

Now, I do not claim to be an expert in our great game but I do consider myself an extremely knowledgeable hockey fan who has a lot to offer in terms of hockey opinions.

With that in mind, and I may only be 28 years old, I’d like to mention some things that I miss in today’s NHL:

Old Division Names

When I first got into hockey, it was the Wales Conference (now known as the Eastern Conference) and the Clarence Campbell Conference (now known as the Western Conference. It was the Patrick Division, Adams Division, Smythe Division, and Norris Division. Yes, there are obviously more teams now than when I first started following but I miss those particular division makeups. These helped to create rivalries that still stand today and while also creating some of the greatest Stanley Cup Playoff games and series.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adams+division, andy+moog, chris+terreri, clarence+campbell+conference, curtis+joseph, mike+richter, mike+vernon, nhl, norris+division, old-time+hockey, patrick+division, ron+tugnutt, smythe+division, wales+conference

Mike Richter on Herb Brooks’ Passion for Hockey During the Olympics

From Mike Morreale at NHL.com:

“He lived and breathed hockey and was just so competitive,” Richter said. “We were playing against the Russians and I remember (Chris) Chelios coming over to me and saying, ‘Wow, he’s really fired up.’ It was a motivating thing to see how much he wanted to win after all he’d been through over the years and his desire to field the best team he could, so the guy knows so much and you always felt like you were in good hands. If there’s anyone we felt deserved a gold medal for all the right reasons, my god, it would have been sweet to win it for Herb.”

Click here to read more of Richter’s thoughts on the late and great Herb Brooks.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: herb+brooks, mike+richter, new+york+rangers, team+usa

Lundqvist or Richter?

Good morning folks. I volunteered to do a guest blog this morning over at Rangers Report:

Since the offseason began, it seems that New York Rangers pundits and fans alike have focused on the following topics and questions: line combinations; prospects; who is going to be the club’s No.1 center?; how will Marian Gaborik play in his first season on Broadway?; what will head coach John Tortorella be like for a full season?

While these topics are great fodder around the water cooler and for countless numbers of Ranger blogs, I would like to go in a different direction and may be spark a debate with the following question: Is Henrik Lundqvist the new Mike Richter?

It’s a question that has probably been going through Blueshirt fans’ minds ever since the “King” burst onto the scene in 2005-06 and had one heck of a rookie season in posting 30 wins, 2 shutouts, a 2.24 goals against average and a .922 save percentage, good enough to place him among the finalists for the Vezina Trophy Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, something he would also do in 2007 and 2008.

Click here for more of my thoughts on Henrik Lundqvist and Mike Richter.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Mike Richter Goes Green

From the Sierra Club:

What lifestyle changes have you made because of global warming?

I have done a series of practical (and fairly boring) things that have actually improved the quality of my life, rather than diminish it, while shrinking my carbon footprint:  When my 1993 car finally gave in, I went to the highest gas milage car I could find—a Prius.  I’m still looking to get an entirely electric vehicle, but no luck yet.  I drive less and take public transportation (metronorth RR) everyday on my commute.  When the light gets a bit better I will try to ride my bike to the train.  I have opted to receive all my electricity from renewable sources at my house and have made it a priority to buy locally grown produce.  To that end, my family has been getting into gardening (really local).

Click here for on Mike Richter’s outlook on our environment. Glad to see his being a “stand-up” guy in another area besides hockey.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richter

A King and an Ace

When Mike Richter suffered a concussion early in the 2002-03 season, the New York Rangers knew they were in trouble. Sure, they had youngster Dan Blackburn as a capable backup but nothing close to an elite netminder who could handle everyday life in the National Hockey League.

It would be that way for the rest of the season as the Blueshirts became a revolving door for goaltenders such as Blackburn, Mike Dunham and Jussi Markannen. However, when the lockout ended and play resumed in 2005-06, there was a new masked man in town that would change the culture of the Rangers to this day forward.

His name is Henrik Lundqvist, a Swedish goaltender that was drafted 205th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Lundqvist enjoyed much success in Sweden with Frolunda, especially in the season prior to coming to the NHL when he was 33-8-3 with six shutouts and a stellar 1.79 goals against average.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chris+drury, dan+blackburn, henrik+lundqvist, jaromir+jagr, jussi+markkanen, mike+dunham, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, pittsburgh+penguins, scott+gomez

Where’s the Spark?

Things certainly started right last night at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers raised Adam Graves’s No.9 to the rafters. It was a night filled with Ranger stars such as Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Gartner, as well as guys like Glenn Healy, Sergei Nemchinov, Tie Domi, Darren Langdon and Jeff Beukeboom, all there to give praise to one of their greatest mates, Adam Graves.

It was unfortunate that the current Ranger squad had to play afterwards because they put on a dismal performance against the lowly Atlanta Thrashers and lost 2-1 in a shootout. Yes, the team peppered Thrashers’ netminder Kari Lehtonen. Yes, Nikolai Zherdev played a tremendous game by generating many scoring chances. The team also got a good look at Artem Anisimov, who played well but needs more playing time to be effective. And yes, the team got a solid performance, with the exception of the shootout, from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

However, it still wasn’t enough to be the second worst team in the NHL while also being a game in which they could have gained some ground on the New Jersey Devils as they lost to the Washington Capitals 5-2 last night.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+graves, artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+leetch, chris+drury, darren+langdon, eddie+giacomin, glenn+healy, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, jeff+beukeboom, mark+messier, markus+naslund, mike+gartner, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, patrick+roy, rod+gilbert, scott+gomez, sergei+nemchinov, tie+domi, tom+renney, washington+capitals

Honoring a Man More than a Player

As I am sure most of you are aware of by now, the New York Rangers will honor Adam Graves by retiring his No. 9 to the Garden rafters. Compared to the other Blueshirt retirees (Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch), Graves did not produce as much statistically (280 goals, 227 assists, and 507 points in 772 games) but he certainly bled red, white and blue like no other Blueshirt for 10 seasons.

On the ice, Graves was a hard-nosed player who drove to the net to put in rebounds, deflect shots, create havoc for opposing netminders and generate many scoring opportunities. In 1993-94, Graves became one the league’s premier left wingers when he notched 52 goals, braking previous record-holder Vic Hadfield’s 50 goals. Five seasons later, he actually fired in 38 goals, proving that even though he was getting older, he could still play hard, do all the little things right and produce. He may not have been a Gilbert, Messier or Leetch but nevertheless, he did what he had to do to be an impact player.

“Gravey” was also a tough player. He stood up for his teammates, protected his linemates and when something needed to get done, he led by example. In a piece on the team’s web site, Messier called Graves the ultimate lieutenant. He also persevered through many obstacles and was able to capture the league’s King Clancy Trophy (1994) and Bill Masterton Trophy (2001).

With all that said, this still doesn’t show who Graves really is.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, eddie+giacomin, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers, rod+gilbert

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts