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Rob Simpson’s Hockey Thoughts for the Week

From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MSG.com:

2) With some healthy bodies and the addition of a scoring line center and/or a power play quarterback with a big shot, plus great goaltending from Hank, the Rangers could turn out to be one of those “wouldn’t want to play them in the first round” (or second) kind of teams.  But I still have Philly, Boston, or Pitt coming out of the East and Detroit, Vancouver, or Anaheim coming out of the West.  My preseason Final pick was Detroit/Boston.

3) Among the top-30 forwards who lead the League in hits, Ranger Brian Boyle is seventh with 154 and Brandon Prust is 26th with 109.  Most impressive is Ryan Callahan, whom the Rangers expect to welcome back Tuesday night. He’s still listed at 14th with 128 hits despite missing 20 games with a broken hand. He led NHL forwards at the time of his injury.

4) What Callahan Means to the Blueshirts, Part II: He’s also still 15th in the League in blocked shots among forwards with 40. Prorated, he’d be second in the NHL had he not missed games. Hitting, blocked shots, and hard work are Callahan’s “actions speak louder than words” staples, which his teammates have picked up on all season. Boyle is fourth in the League among forwards with 52, while Ruslan Fedetenko is tied for 27th with 36. I’d be remiss not to mention defenseman Dan Girardi, who leads the League in blocked shots with a whopping 143. Girardi (108), Marc Staal (108), and Steve Eminger (105) are all top-20 among D-men in hits.

Click here for more great hockey thoughts from Mr. Simpson.

 

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  Tags: msg.com, new+york+rangers, rob+simpson

Even More Thoughts on the Blueshirts and the NHL…This Time from Rob Simpson

From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MSG.com:

11) The Rangers lead the NHL in back-to-backers (games on consecutive nights) thus far. Tuesday night concludes their 14th set this season. They’ll eventually play a total of 18 times on consecutive nights.After starting a remarkable 9-0 in the 2nd game of back-to-backers, the New Yorkers have lost 3 of their last 4 (they’ll win Tuesday night at home against Florida).

12) Marian Gaborik has never struck anyone as a guy who pads his stats against the weaker competition, but this year, that has been the case.

After his fluke goal in the third period Monday, the Slovakian Streak has 16 goals in 37 games in his 10th NHL season, and hasn’t really lit the lamp in clutch moments, the fluke goal not withstanding. Other than two game winners, his tallies have come in bunches against the also-rans. He has four goals in a single game against Toronto (12th in the East), three in a match against the Islanders (last in the East), and another hat trick against Edmonton (last in the West). His single goal games (6) have come against Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington twice, Tampa, and the Islanders. He has four power play goals.

Click here for notes on the Blueshirts and the NHL in general.

 

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  Tags: msg.com, new+york+rangers, nhl+all-star+game, rob+simpson

Who the Rangers Are

Today on MSG.com, New York Rangers’ blogger/writer Rob Simpson penned a piece on how Blueshirts head coach John Tortorella has his hockey club playing hockey “the Ranger Way”.

Isn’t it great? For the longest time, Rangers’ fans have been wanting to see a team that works hard every night and is rewarded for it. It appears that Tortorella has the team doing that this season.

“The most important part of this year is that we’re a team,” Torts said after practice Monday. “We’re finding ways to win hockey games with everyone contributing.”

The perfect example of this was last night. It featured great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, a timely goal from Blueshirt newcomer Wojtek Wolski, excellent penalty killing, a lot of shot blocking and in the end, it allowed the Rangers to shutout the best team in hockey in the Vancouver Canucks.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, msg.com, new+york+rangers, rob+simpson, wojtek+wolski

An E-mail Interview with Hockey Personality Rob Simpson

As someone who watches, reads and listens to a lot of hockey, I can tell you that one of the best in the business is Rob Simpson.

Rob has been around the game for many years and has worked for many different outlets. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, what outlets he has worked for and he provides us with his thoughts on what the New York Rangers have done this season since he covers them for MSG.com.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
RS: In general, I fell in love with it when I was five-years-old, when I started skating on our neighborhood pond with my older brothers and friends in 1969. The pond was shaped like a rink, only smaller, and was frozen for four straight months. I still remember my brother’s best friend taking a slapshot off the back of his head, (no concussion controversy ensued).  By the way, not sure I understand the global warming skeptics. I thought climatic shifts historically took epochs, like 10,000 or 20,000 years, not 30! That pond is probably frozen now for a total of four or five days a winter.

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  Tags: msg.com, nhl, rob+simpson

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