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Entries with the tag: new york islanders

Seeding On the Line for the Blueshirts

While the New Jersey Devils might not look at this afternoon's game as a meaningful one, it will be the opposite for the New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts might have clinched a playoff spot in their 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night but what is still to be decided is what spot the team will finish in. It is said that come playoff hockey time, the regular season does not matter but for the Rangers, they should do everything they can to get a higher seed.

As of this writing, the Rangers find themselves in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. That would mean that they would play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, which should be something the team should try and avoid given the Penguins' dangerous offensive arsenal and the way they have played the Blueshirts this season.

Should the Rangers beat the Devils, however, it will make things very interesting in terms of seeding. With a win, the Rangers would have 56 points,  which would give them one more point than the New York Islanders and possibly two more points than the Ottawa Senators, who take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and the Boston Bruins tomorrow.

If the Rangers manage to take the sixth spot, they will end up facing the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have met the Capitals in each and every postseason they have been in since 2009, with the Rangers winning one of their three series against the Caps.

Should the Rangers finish in seventh, it could mean a series with an Original Six franchise in the Bruins or Montreal Canadiens. Coming into tonight's slate of games, the Bruins and Habs are tied with 61 points but the Bruins have a game in hand.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

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

Four Teams That You Should Not Want to Play in the Postseason

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, every hockey fan is dreaming about the potential of their favorite hockey team.

Puckheads across North America are starting to think about 16 wins, big-time performances, clutch goals, big saves and some great hockey in general. As of this moment, the potential is limitless.

With that said, here are four somewhat surprising teams that you do not want to end up playing in the first round should your team clinch a spot in the postseason this year:

- New York Islanders

As a whole, the New York Islanders may not have a lot of playoff experience but boy, are they hungry to make some noise when it matters the most.

They are playing some of their best hockey at the crucial point of the season and are getting great performances from their young players. The Islanders are fast, they go to the net and they can score.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+elliott, columbus+blue+jackets, evgeni+nabokov, ken+hitchcock, new+york+islanders, sergei+bobrovsky, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals

Big Week on Tap for the Blueshirts

With spring now in the air, it is certainly starting to look like playoff hockey around the NHL.

This is especially the case for the New York Rangers. This past week, the Blueshirts were extremely impressive in picking up seven out of a possible eight points in wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins (had a shootout loss to them as well) and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Watching the Rangers' this week, some familiarity was definitely present. In fact, in watching how the Rangers' played this week and looking at the performances they got out of certain players, one could even say that it felt like last season.

This past week helped catapult the Blueshirts into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The team is just two points behind the sixth-seeded Ottawa Senators and is also four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There are several reasons why the Rangers have had success of late. For starters, Blueshirts' netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely fantastic. The "King" is 6-2-2 in his last 10 games, has not allowed more than two goals in those 10 games and has posted great numbers with a 1.57 GAA and a .947 save percentage in those games.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, derick+brassard, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+lunqdqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Every Point Matters for the Blueshirts

When it comes to this part of the season, every single point matters to NHL teams that are either in a playoff spot or on the outside looking in.

This is exactly the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. With six total points up for grabs between Monday and Friday, the Blueshirts probably surprised many by picking up five.

The Blueshirts picked-up their fifth point tonight in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game was nasty and chippy at times but the team found a way to get a point out of it and got three out of a possible four points against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

This is something that the team needs to build on and run with. With newcomers Ryan Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore, the Rangers have some new blood in their lineup and with this new lineup, the team has picked up three important points in the standings and did so by playing hard, scoring timely goals and not doing anything stupid to take themselves out of the game.

With tonight's tie, the Rangers move into 7th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Islanders. The team is now just four points behind the fifth and sixth place teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, john+moore, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Placing Some Blame on Tortorella

With the New York Rangers on a three game losing streak, many Blueshirts' fans are clamoring to have team head coach John Tortorella fired.

While it is typical for fans to overreact and make impulse decisions, it is a somewhat understandable feeling. After making it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and getting Rick Nash during the off-season, many fans thought that the team had the makings of getting to the next level and once again being a Stanley Cup contender.

Unfortunately, these same fans have been let down. As of this writing, the team is tenth in the conference and three points out of the eighth spot. What is even worse for Rangers' fans is that the New York Islanders currently have one more point than their favorite hocckey team.

This is not the way it was supposed to be this season. The Blueshirts were supposed to be one of the best teams in both the East and the NHL and instead, are flirting with the possibility that they might not make the postseason at all.

While it is on the players to perform and produce, it is understandable that some of the blame must be placed on Tortorella. There is no doubt that while playing a defense-first system is smart, the team that Tortorella has includes several high-end forwards who might be being held back.

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  Tags: brad+richards, derek+stepan, glen+sather, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

Keep it Rolling

That is what the New York Rangers hope to do tonight on Long Island when they take on the New York Islanders.

The Blueshirts have won three straight games and have done so with timely goal scoring, solid defense and great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Tonight against the Islanders, the Rangers will need those same three things to pick-up their fourth straight win.

The team will look to continue its winning streak without one of their best players, Marc Staal. In the team's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, Staal took a puck just above his right eye in what was one of the most scariest puck-to-the-eye occurances in the sport. The Daily News reported that Staal will make a full recovery but is now out indefinitely.

Due to Staal's injury, the Rangers went out and claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers. Hamrlik, 38, can hopefully add some offense to the team's blue line while also providing smart and solid defense in the team's own zone

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, roman+hamrlik

Getting Back on Track

This seems to be a consistent theme for the New York Rangers this season, eh?

Tonight, the Blueshirts will take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals come into MSG on a three-game winning streak while the Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night at MSG.

Defensively, the Blueshirts will need to be at their absolute best tonight. This means no turnovers, blocking lots of shots, clearing the front of the net out for Henrik Lundqvist and being smart with the puck.

Speaking of Lundqvist, the team will also need him to be at his best. With a lineup that has Alex Ovechkin (five goals), Nicklas Backstrom (four goals), Troy Brouwer (seven goals), Mike Ribeiro (five goals) and Joel Ward (five goals), Lundqvist will have to stop lots of offensive weapons tonight.

As a team, the Rangers need to be clicking on all areas. When they get a lead, they need to hold onto it. The team needs to make better line changes and not take too many men on the ice penalties and lastly, the team's power play needs to start producing.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, henrik+lundqvist, joel+ward, mike+ribeiro, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, troy+brouwer, washington+capitals

Seven Minutes of Poor Play leads to 4-3 Shootout loss for Blueshirts

Had it not been for a terrible span of seven minutes in the second period, the New York Rangers may have never lost 4-3 to the New York Islanders in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

After going up 2-0 in the first period, the Rangers stopped skating and allowed the Islanders to skate all over them for the first seven minutes. The result was three quick goals and the loss of a lead that the team should have built on.

The Rangers were able to tie the game at three when Carl Hagelin knocked a loose puck in the crease past Islanders' netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, the team was unable to get another one and the Islanders' first two shooters in the shootout did all the rest to spoil the Rangers' three game winning streak.

As always, the Rangers' power play struggled tonight. Yes, the team did manage to get one goal with the man advantage but other than that, they struggled to get pucks on the net, move the puck cleanly and even find good lanes to get a shot on Nabokov.

As I mentioned in my blog a little while ago, Brad Richards was just one of the reasons why the team could not do much on the man advantage tonight. His poor play on the power play actually caused team head coach John Tortorella to bench him for much of the third period. 

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  Tags: brad+boyes, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Brad Richards A Side Story in tonight’s Rangers vs. Islanders’ Game

While the game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders has yet to be settled, one interesting development has been the benching of Rangers' forward Brad Richards.

It was easy to see that Richards has had trouble tonight, both on even strength and on the power play. For Rangers' head coach John Tortorella, however, the main concern has to be Richards' poor performance on the power play.

Richards has not looked confident with the puck, was slow skating the puck out of his own zone and in general, has just had a tough time moving the puck. One could probably credit the Islanders' aggresive play on the penalty kill but it has been like this for Richards and the rest of the club's power play all season long.

There is no doubt that when Richards is at his best, he is one that creates offense by not being afraid to shoot the puck and being able to find the open lanes with his pin-point passing. This season, and even parts of last season, Richards has had trouble doing both when the team has the man advantage.

Obviously, the blame should not be placed solely on Richards's shoulders but as the team's supposed power play quarterback, he needs to get it going in order for this team to have success moving forward with the man advantage.

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  Tags: brad+richards, john+tortorella, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Building on a Win Streak

That is officially what the New York Rangers have and what they will look to do tonight against a struggling New York Islanders' hockey club at Madison Square Garden.

After beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout at the TD Garden on Tuesday night, the Rangers have now won three straight games and are starting to find ways to gain traction in an extremely competitive Eastern Conference. The Rangers currently find themselves in the eighth spot in the Conference with 14 points, which puts them five behind the leading New Jersey Devils.

At the other end of the spectrum, the club is also just one point of the ninth spot. With such a shortened schedule, each Conference is a lot more competitive than it usually is, which is pretty amazing considering how tight each Conference is every season.

This is why it is important for the New York Rangers to continue building on this winning streak. Every point matters and in the end, the eight teams with the most points in the East make the playoffs and with the roster the Blueshirts have, they should be one of those eight teams that gets to play for the Cup in May and June.

While I did not get to see the game on Tuesday night (I had a hockey game of my own to play in), it was nice to see Rangers' forward Carl Hagelin score again. After struggling out of the gate to start the season, Hagelin now has six points (four goals and two assists) and is starting to play with a lot of confidence.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Trying to Build Consistency

That is something the New York Rangers will look to do tonight when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On Thursday night against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts skated away with a 4-1 victory. The team got terrific performances out of J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist and did everything else they needed to do to win a hockey game.

For the Rangers to get all parts of their game going, the team's power play must start clicking. More often than not, the Rangers have been given ample opportunitites to build on their momentum by scoring a goal with the man advantage and more often than not, the Rangers come out of it goal-less.

When one thinks about it, it does not make any sense that the Rangers are not producing on the power play. The team has the talent, the shooters, the guys to go to the front of the net and the point men to get the puck to the net.

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  Tags: chris+kreider, henrik+lundqvist, j.t.+miller, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning

Rangers’ Young Trio Come Through in Win Over the Islanders

For the New York Rangers ot have success the rest of the way, they are going to need contributions up and down the lineup.

In a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden tonight, Blueshirts' youngsters J.T. Miller (two goals), Ryan McDonagh (one goal and one assist) and Chris Kreider (one assist) all had big games for their team. The trio produced, played well on both sides of the ice and showed head coach John Tortorella that they are here to stay (mainly Miller and Kreider).

In just his second career NHL game, Miller notched his first two NHL goals. His first one came in the first period as Miller used his hustle, great footwork and patience with the puck to beat Islanders' goaltender Evegni Nabokov.

The second one was a beauty that came on the power play (Yes, you read that right). McDonagh made a great pass from just over his own blue and hit Miller cutting towards the offensive zone blue line and Miller beat Nabokov on a partial breakaway.

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  Tags: chris+kreider, evgeni+nabokov, j.t.+miller, john+tortorella, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning

Power Play Must Start Working for the Blueshirts

When it comes to winning in the National Hockey League, a team's performance on special teams plays an integral role in winning and losing hockey games.

For the New York Rangers, the power play has been a detriment to the hockey club. The team cannot seem to put the puck in the net, is too often looking for the perfect play and is failing at key times in a hockey game.

Tonight against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will try and do everything they can to change that. At 3 for 35 with the man advantage and with a 4-5 record through nine games this season, the team simplay cannot afford not to have a power play that works.

When looking at the power play, it is easy to see why it is not working. For starters, the Blueshirts are not getting enough quality scoring chances. Too often, the team is looking for the perfect play with the perfect pass and more often than not, that will not lead to a power play goal.

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  Tags: new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Clarkson, Brodeur Beat Blueshirts 3-1

For the New York Rangers, tonight must have seemed familiar as the team was beaten by the strong performances of New Jersey Devils' forward David Clarkson and netminder Martin Brodeur in a 3-1 loss.

Clarkson continues to show that last year was not a fluke as he picked up his sixth and seventh goal of the year by doing something the Rangers have not done often enough this season and that's being in the right position in the slot. On both goals, Clarkson was left open in front of Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist and he made them pay for it.

The Blueshirts also ran into the hot goaltending of Brodeur. Brodeur, who stopped 24 or 25 shots on the night, made several great saves in the first period to keep the Rangers off the board and then made a terrific glove save on Blueshirts' forward Carl Hagelin in the third period to help preserve the victory.

The loss puts the Rangers at 4-5 this season and also shows just how inconsistent the club really is. The team continued to struggle on the power play, played careless defense in front of Lundqvist and did not get the offense they need to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, david+clarkson, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

A Fresh Start for Rick DiPietro?

From Patrick Hoffman at Canada.com:

While these kinds of injuries would be considered a disappointment for any team/player, DiPietro’s injuries are looked at as being worse due to the fact that the Islanders signed DiPietro to a then record-setting contract for 15-years at $67.5 million in September 2006. For a team that is paying that much money, they are certainly not seeing a return on their investment in DiPietro.

Fast forward to now, the Islanders’ 31-year-old netminder is officially off injured reserve. For the Islanders, this means that DiPietro’s cap hit and salary will recur until the 2020-21 season, unless the team ends up buying him out or there is amnesty, something he talked about with Newsday sports writer Arthur Staple.

Click here for more on the Islanders' fragile netminder.

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  Tags: new+york+islanders, rick+dipietro

A Look at the Islanders’ Future with Evan Roberts of WFAN

The great Evan Roberts of WFAN was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule of talking baseball, basketball and football to talk about the future of his favorite hockey team, the New York Islanders.

PH: For starters, do you see any way in which the New York Islanders stay on Long Island? How?
ER: I do. I think there is a chance they get a new arena in Nassau County. I know things look bleak now but with the possibility of Brooklyn looming it could pressure on the local government to make a move. Also, speaking of Brooklyn, things didn’t get done until a billionaire Proko got involved. Maybe someone we aren’t familiar with steps in to seal the deal. 

PH: Given that the Nassau Coliseum is the only building that the Islanders have ever played in, what would it be like to see them play in a new arena?
ER: It would be bizarre…but much like seeing the Yankees in a new stadium and the Mets in a new park, after a while you get used to it.

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  Tags: evan+roberts, new+york+islanders, wfan

Just Win Hockey Games

With the Minnesota Wild out of the Western Conference playoff hunt, the New York Rangers will look to go “wild” in Minnesota tonight and pick-up the two points that they need to keep pace in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

With no signs of slowing down, the Pittsburgh Penguins look like the team to beat in the NHL right now. They are just one point behind the Blueshirts for first in the division and conference and their next two games are against the New York Islanders.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The win helped the Rangers get over the 100-point mark for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

According to Andrew Gross of The Record, Rangers’ starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will make his sixth straight start. Lundqvist has not looked like himself between the pipes over the last few weeks so it is important that team head coach John Tortorella gives him a chance to get his game in order before the postseason begins.

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  Tags: andrew+gross, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, minnesota+wild, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, the+record, toronto+maple+leafs

Looking to Close Out the Homestand with a Win Against the Sabres

Prior to the 7-game homestand, the New York Rangers knew that it would be a great opportunity to really establish home ice before the postseason and pick-up some points to help build on their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings lead.

In six games so far, the Blueshirts have gone 4-2. The team has beat the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings while losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight’s game between the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden is an important one for both clubs. For the Rangers, it is an opportunity to go back to being three points ahead of the Penguins as the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators last night by a score of 5-1.

For the Sabres, it is an opportunity to get two huge points to put them in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have been playing playoff hockey for the last month or so and have really turned their season around after a rough few months and after last night’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Penguins, the Sabres can move into the eighth spot over the Washington Capitals with a win.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, marian+gaborik, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

UPDATE: Biron to start tonight/Focus on the Now

UPDATE: According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, New York Rangers’ back-up goaltender Martin Biron will start tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes while starter Henrik Lundqvist is out with the flu.

From Earlier

This is what the New York Rangers need to do when it comes to tonight’s game with the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

It would be very easy for the Blueshirts to simply forget about tonight and turn their attention to Thursday night’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins. With Sidney Crosby announcing that he will definitely be in the lineup for that game, it would be even easier to do so.

With that said, the team must continue to take things one game at a time. The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Sunday night and hopefully, will use it as a start of another winning streak.

In order to get back on the winning track, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist needs to find the consistency that has made the league’s top goaltender this year. Lundqvist has allowed 13 goals in his last four games, something that I am sure lundqvist will try and remedy quickly.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

A Win is a Win

That is exactly what can be said of last night’s 4-3 overtime win by the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

While the Rangers were/are on top of both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, last night’s game was one that the Rangers needed to get two points in order to distance themselves from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who visit the Rangers and MSG on Thursday. The team was able to do so by getting big performances from their two big offensive players in Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Richards had three points last night on two goals (his 20th and 21st of the season) and an assist. His goals are the perfect example of what happens when you put the puck on net and what he can do with the puck.

Gaborik’s 33rd goal of the season came when the Rangers needed it the most and that was in overtime. It was his seventh game winning goal of the season and one that helped the Blueshirts get back on the winning track.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

No Callahan and Del Zotto Tonight for Blueshirts

From Joe Yerdon at Pro Hockey Talk:

Captain Ryan Callahan and starting defenseman Michael Del Zotto will both miss tonight’s game against the Islanders with separate ailments. For Del Zotto, he’s still dealing with the hip injury that kept him out of action last week and kept him out of New York’s loss to Chicago on Friday. Callahan is still being bothered by the foot injury he suffered when blocking a shot two weeks ago. Callahan is one of the team’s top offensive weapons and when going without him has made life harder on the team.

On the upside, Brandon Dubinsky will play tonight. Dubinsky was having issues after getting hurt in a fight recently. Meanwhile, the Rangers called up offensive wizard Mats Zuccarello from the AHL. Zuccarello has 36 points in 37 games for the Connecticut Whale this season. Should the Rangers need help in the shootout, Zuccarello has the moves to help give them an edge.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, mats+zuccarello, michael+del+zotto, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

A Must Win for the Rangers

This is exactly what tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden between the New York York Rangers and New York Islanders is for the Blueshirts.

For the first time this season, the Rangers are in the midst of a three game losing streak in regulation. This past week, the Blueshirts lost to the New Jersey Devils (4-1), Ottawa Senators (4-1) and Chicago Blackhawks.

Because of the losing streak, the Rangers are just four points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team they will meet on Thursday at MSG. If the Rangers continue to play they are playing right now, Thursday night’s tilt with the Penguins could end up meaning even more than it already does.

However, it is time for the team to focus on tonight’s meeting with the Islanders. It will be the last meeting between the two clubs with the Rangers holding the edge in the season series at 3-1-1.

They may not be in a playoff spot but the Islanders are definitely competing every night. They work hard, they forecheck and they make life extremely tough for opponents, something the Blueshirts will have to deal with tonight.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

Time to Step Up

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to do as they prepare for three games in four night’s starting tonight with the Ottawa Senators.

There is no doubt that the Blueshirts have been inconsistent of late. They have allowed at least three goals or more in their last three games and clearly did not play well against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

The Ottawa Senators have given the Rangers’ some trouble this season and are currently one point behind the 6th place Devils. They have a powerful offense that is dangerous and knows how to put the puck in the net.

With that in mind, the Rangers will need to get their defense back in order in a hurry. Again, 13 goals allowed in the last four games will not win you any games in this league.

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  Tags: brad+richards, chicago+blackhawks, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

The Need to Wake-Up

If the New York Rangers want to have any kind of success this upcoming spring, they will need to do just that.

In last night’s 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils, the team looked like they were sleep walking. They put 23 shots on Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur while giving far too many scoring chances to the Devils as guys like Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, and David Clarkson (empty net) were able to strut their stuff in front of Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Things are not going to get any easier for the Blueshirts. Tomorrow night, the club will take on the Ottawa Senators and then the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday night before coming home to take on the New York Islanders at Madison square Garden on Sunday night to kick off a 7-game homestand.

This is not the time for the Blueshirts to take their foots off the gas. While they may have somewhat of a comfortable lead in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, now is not the time to be inconsistent and for the most part, the team has been inconsistent over the last few weeks.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, ilya+kovalchuk, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, patrik+elias

Going Over the Hudson

This is exactly what the New York Rangers will be doing tonight as the travel across the Hudson River to take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

These two clubs last met last Monday at Madison Square Garden, where the Blueshirts took care of business and shutout the Devils by a 2-0 score. It was not the most exciting game as there was only 28 combined shots.

The Blueshirts are coming off a big 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at MSG. The team continues to get goal scoring from Marian Gaborik (32 goals on the season) and excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, both of which have contributed greatly to the Rangers’ success this season.

Going forward, those two will have to continue to play better but others must step up and contribute a bit more. There is no doubt that Brad Richards can create scoring chances and setup teammates (27 assists).

With that said, it would be nice to see him do that on a more consistent basis as well as putting the puck in the net a bit more. Yes, Richards has 18 goals and yes, 7 of them have been game winners but this team needs to see a bit more goals from him if they want to have success in the postseason.

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  Tags: anders+nilsson, boston+bruins, brad+ricahrds, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, madison+square+garden, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, prudential+center

Rangers Win Wild One Against Bruins

Going into the afternoon tilt, one probably thought it was going to be a defensive battle for 60 minutes.

Instead, 7 goals were scored with the New York Rangers coming out on top over the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-3. It was not easy but the Rangers did what they had to do to win.

For starters, the team was able to get two big ones in the first period on goals by Ruslan Fedotenko and Carl Hagelin. The goals came 1:10 apart as the team took advantage of a somewhat tired Bruins hockey club coming off a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders yesterday afternoon at the TD Garden.

However, Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien called a timeout after the second Blueshirts’ goal and did not say a word. Sometimes, silence really is golden.

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  Tags: benoit+pouliot, boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, claude+julien, dennis+seidenberg, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, jordan+caron, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, tim+thomas

Big Game on Tap for Blueshirts Against The Bruins

That is the case this afternoon for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night in Tampa. The Rangers were able to come away with a point because Brandon Dubinsky scored the game-tying goal with 3:27 to play in the third period.

Up until that goal, it had been an up and down performance for the Blueshirts. They were able to generate several good scoring opportunities, get goals from the likes of Artem Anisimov, Marian Gaborik and Dubinsky while also getting a solid game from Henrik Lundqvist (27 saves) on his birthday.

With that said, the team was a bit inconsistent defensively and allowed the Lightning to get into the slot way too often and force the puck in on Lundqvist. In fact, the Rangers were outshot by a 13-3 margin in the opening period.

This afternoon against the Bruins, the Rangers will go up against a much bigger team with grittier forwards. The Bruins like to throw pucks on the net from anywhere and crash for rebounds, something that the Blueshirts need to try and prevent this afternoon.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Rangers Look to Regain Focus Tonight against the Sabres

After last night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers need to get back on track with a win tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.

For both teams, it will be a back-to-back situation as the Sabres are coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the Boston Bruins. The Sabres have a lot to play for as they find themselves just five points out of the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference after winning three straight and going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

While the Rangers may be first in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, this game should be important to them as well. Over the last week or so, the team has gotten away from the things that made them successful in the first place and that has really come through in their last four games against the Chicago Blackhawks (4-2 loss), Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2 overtime win), Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0 loss) and Islanders (4-3 shootout loss).

On the other side, the Sabres have been playing some terrific hockey. They are getting great goaltending from Ryan Miller, who now looks like his old self, while also getting a lot of offense from the likes of Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, and Drew Stafford.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, derek+roy, drew+stafford, jason+pominville, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+miller, thomas+vanek

Disappointing Shootout Loss to the Islanders

While it may not have been in regulation and while the team got a point, it was essentially another loss for the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout to the New York Islanders.

This was simply a game that the Rangers should always have. Yes, the Islanders always bring their best effort against the Rangers but in the grand scheme of things, the Blueshirts need to win these games against the lower seeded New York Islanders.

While Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron was not terrible, he certainly was not great. This is the third straight start in which Biron has allowed three goals or more and is the second straight start in which Biron failed to help get the team two points.

Obviously, there is no real reason to panic given that the team is currently atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Looking at the positives, it was nice to see the Rangers’ power play go 2/5 for tonight. The team got power play goals from Marc Staal and Derek Stepan while Marian Gaboirk got the goal in between.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, derek+stepan, evgeni+nabokov, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Was This Coming?

This is what many New York Rangers’ fans are probably wondering about after watching the Blueshirts get shutout by the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight by a score of 2-0.

The club’s offense took 27 shots, all of which were turned away with relative ease by Penguins’ netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. The Rangers made it easy for Fleury by shooting directly into him and not getting to the real scoring areas in order to put the puck in the net.

The score could have been much worse if not for the play of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist turned in another strong performance for his hockey club in turning away 29 of 31 Penguins’ shots. Lundqvist was especially good in the first period in stopping all 11 Penguins’ shots as the Rangers came out flat.

The truth of the matter is that this was more than likely coming for the Rangers. They were terrible against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday night, barely beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night and were shutout tonight in Pittsburgh.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, henrik+lundqvist, marc-andre+fleury, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Tops in the East

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are after shutting out the New York Islanders last night by a score of 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 22-8-4, which is good enough for first in the Atlantic Division and now, first in the Eastern Conference. The team is one point ahead of the Boston Bruins and two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The team used a solid 60-minute effort to beat the Islanders last night. After coming back from the holiday’s, many wondered how this Rangers’ club would respond due to the time off. The Blueshirts came back, skated hard and showed why they are one of the tops teams in the National Hockey League this year.

For starters, the team got another solid performance out of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 28 saves for his third shutout of the season and how has statistics that make him one of the best netminders in the NHL with 15 wins (6th in the league), a 1.95 goals against average (4th in the league), a .936 save percentage (third in the league) and 3 shutouts (4th in the league.

The club also got another goal from their sniper Marian Gaborik. Gaborik now leads the NHL in goals with 21 and has a 5-game goal streak.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, 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

Getting the Job Done

That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.

The team got strong performances from the likes of Marian Gaborik (1 goal), Brandon Dubinsky (1 goal and 1 assist), Anton Stralman (2 assists), and netminder Martin Biron (24 saves on 26 shots). With the win, the team improved to 20-8-4 on the season to move within two points of the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers, who the team will take on tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden.

Believe it or not, it was important for the Blueshirts to win tonight’s tilt. This game could have easily been a “trap game” for the Rangers and one that they would somehow find a way to lose. Instead, the team played hard, battled to the end, showed that they have depth and picked up two important points in the standings.

The club also showed just how lucky they are to have a goaltender like Biron. Biron is one of the league’s best back-ups and because he has played so well this season (7-1, 1.84 goals against average, .933 save percentage and 1 shutout), it gives team head coach John Tortorella to rest starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist more, which will be extremely important come April.

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  Tags: anton+stralman, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, stu+bickel, winter+classic

Another Rivalry Game for the Blueshirts

It seems to be rivalry week for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the New York Islanders tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. In that game, the team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves), Marian Gaborik (2 goals and 1 assist), Derek Stepan (3 assists), and Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist).

At the other end, the Islanders are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets and are looking to extend their winning streak to two games with a win over the Blueshirts tonight. According the Islanders’ web site, there is a good chance that netminder Evgeni Nabakov will get the start tonight.

For the Rangers, their goal should be to stay the course. The team is currently 19-8-4 and have done a lot of damage to the Islanders at the Garden. In their last four tilts at MSG, the Blueshirts have outscored the Islanders by a 20-5 margin and have also gone 8 for 20 on the power play.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, winnipeg+jets

The Marian Gaborik Show

That is exactly what it was for the New York Rangers’ last night in their 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Marian Gaborik picked-up the game winning goal, an empty net goal and added an assist for a three point night. The game before, he picked-up another two goals and now has 19 on the season.

Gaborik looks like the player he was for the Rangers two seasons ago. The puck seems to be following him and he obviously knows how to make things happen.

Not only is he scoring goals and putting up points, he is also playing consistently well on the other side of the puck. He has made some solid defensive plays this season and backchecks a lot more than he used to.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, boston+bruins, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Pretty Amazing, Eh?

This simply describes the play of Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby.

In his first game since January 5, 2011, Crosby picked up two goals and two assists for four points in just over 15 minutes played in a 5-0 whitewash of the lowly New York Islanders. Yes folks, you read that right - four points in 15-minutes. Imagine if he got his usual ice time.

I know that I am a New York Rangers’ fan and should not like the enemy. However, I am a hockey fan first and have really come to appreciate what Crosby does for the game of hockey.

Last night, Sid “the Kid” showed his amazing offensive talent, an ability to put the puck wherever he wants and the power and accuracy to shoot the puck from anywhere (8 shots on goal), whether it is on the forehand or backhand. Simply put, he was a hockey specimen last night.

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  Tags: new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Seventh Heaven for the Blueshirts

That is what the New York Rangers are in after defeating the New York Islanders last night by a score of 4-2.

With excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, great penalty killing and timely goal scoring, the Blueshirts were able to pick up their seventh straight victory to improve to 10-3-3 on the season. It certainly was not an easy victory by any means for the Rangers.

The Rangers were undisciplined last night and gave the Islanders power play chance after chance to get the lead but thanks to the stellar play of Lundqvist, the Islanders were not able to cash in. Lundqvist (31 saves) and his never say die athleticism helped the Rangers steal two points last night on Long Island.

It was also great to see Rangers’ 9-year man Brad Richards come through in the clutch with the go ahead goal with just less than five minutes to go in the hockey game. This is why the team got him and right now, at least, he is delivering.

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  Tags: brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Trap Game

That is exactly what tonight is for the New York Rangers as they take on the New York Islanders in Long Island.

The Blueshirts are riding a 6-game winning streak while the New York Islanders are one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. With that said, however, it is more than likely that the Islanders will be up for tonight’s tilt in front of their fans.

While the Islanders’ will be more than pumped to play tonight’s match, the New York Rangers are an extremely hot club right now. They are scoring goals, playing smart defense, playing responsibly and having success on special teams.

This is a much different Rangers’ club that the Islanders will be playing compared to the team they faced back in October. Back then, the Rangers will still trying to figure out how to mesh well and what kind of team they were going to be.

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  Tags: new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Rangers Show Determination in 5-1 Win Over The Hurricanes

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

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

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

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

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

Are the Rangers In Trouble?

Obviously folks, the answer to this question is a resounding NO.

It is only three games into the season and while the the team is 0-1-2, thanks to a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders last night, it is certainly nothing to panic about. With that said, there are obviously things that the team needs to work on.

For starters, taking too many penalties. Throughout the team’s first three games of the season, it seems like the Blueshirts have constantly been making trips to the penalty box. Last night, the Rangers gave the Islanders eight power plays, some of them absolutely needless such as Marian Gaborik’s penalty in the third period.

Not only does going to the box put the team at a disadvantage man-wise, but it also kills the flow of the team. Last night, it was clear that the top line of Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik was clicking and creating scoring opportunities. However, when the team takes too many penalties, there is only so much time that line can get out on the ice.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks

Introducing the Rivalry to the Newest Rangers

That is a key storyline for tonight’s tilt between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

This has been one of the league’s most storied rivalries and one that has a lot of history. Just think about all the games, playoff matches, great/memorable goals, big thundering hits, unbelievable saves and of course, the many, many fights that have taken place when these two clubs battle it out.

With that in mind, it is time for the newest Rangers to step up and show what they can bring to the rivalry. Brad Richards need to bring a certain amount of offense, artistry, and production to give the Islanders’ netminders and defense fits every time the two teams play each other.

Michael Rupp needs to be someone who can stick up for his teammates, fight when he needs to or even put in a goal here and there. This is something he did to the Blueshirts when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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  Tags: brad+richards, michael+rupp, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, tim+erixon

No Better Time Than Tomorrow

The title can definitely be applied to the New York Rangers when it comes to their third game of the regular season tomorrow night against the young and talented New York Islanders.

While abroad, the Rangers were not great but they managed to come away with two out of a possible four points. In doing so, the team has yet to lose in regulation and also got solid performances from the likes of Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Henrik Lundqvist.

Tomorrow night on Long Island, the Blueshirts will need to be prepared to take on a very young but hard-working Islanders hockey club. The Islanders are coming off a 5-1 whomping over the Tampa Bay Lightning in which their franchise player, John Tavares, notched two goals and two assists for a four point night.

The Rangers will also have to watch out for players like Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau (former Ranger), Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen. These guys are all young and are hungry to prove that they can help make the Islanders a winning hockey team now and into the future.

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  Tags: new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

Islanders Would Make Wrong Move By Signing Yashin

Over at RLD Hockey today, I wrote about how the New York Islanders’ would be going against their original plan set out by general manager Garth Snow if they were to go out and actually sign Alexei Yashin.

You can click here to read it or continue below:

Signing Yashin Would Go Against Isles’ Plan
By Patrick Hoffman

The Islanders have a plan in place. GM Garth Snow would be straying away from that plan if he opts to bring back Alexei Yashin.

It was reported last week by Yashin’s agent and the Islanders’ organization that Yashin and the Islanders were seriously considering an offer, an offer that has many going “huh?” This is especially true if you have been following Snow and the Islanders over the last few seasons.

While the Islanders have not been a terrific team over the last few seasons, they have been one that has been getting younger and more talented. Just look at these names: John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, Matt Moulson, Nino Niederreiter, Blake Comeau, Al Montoya, Michael Grabner, PA Parenteau, and now, Ryan Strome.

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  Tags: alexei+yashin, new+york+islanders

Dangerous in the NHL: Goaltenders and Long Term Contracts?

After seeing what the the Philadelphia Flyers did last week, I would have to say yes.

Have NHL general managers not learned anything when it comes to signing goaltenders to ridiculous contracts? Do they not know that often, it is a very bad idea to do so due to things that could happen that are out of their control?

It would appear not since Flyers’ Gm Paul Holmgren went out and signed UFA goaltender Illya Bryzgalov to a 9-year deal. While the Flyers’ may like that they have a potential franchise netminder on their hands, there are a few examples where signing a goaltender to a long-term contract has not worked out as planned.

The first and most obvious example is New York Islanders’ goaltender Rick DiPietro. Back in September of 2006, Islanders’ general manager signed DiPietro to a then oustounding 15-year deal worth $67.5 million.

In return, the Islanders really have not received anything back from DiPietro accept injuries. DiPietro has yet to play a full season since signing the long-term deal and has also yet to return to the form that got him into the NHL in the first place. Overall, it has been a no-win situation for either DiPietro or the Islanders as a whole.

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  Tags: illya+bryzgalov, new+york+islanders, philadelphia+flyers, rick+dipietro, roberto+luongo, vancouver+canucks

A Wake Up Call

That is exactly what you can call the game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders tonight.

I had men’s league hockey tonight so I did not get to watch much of the game, so it was extremely disappointing to come home and see that the Blueshirts lost 6-2 to a team that is not contending for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. With that said, I am NOT taking anything away from the Islanders because they have come a long way in the last few months and have played some excellent hockey.

Based on reading the game reports, it appears that an Islanders’ 4-goal second period did the team in and put them behind the eight ball for the rest of the hockey game. What is even more concerning is the team’s recent struggles on offense as they only scored two goals tonight, none yesterday in a 1-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Sabres and one in a 1-0 shutout win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

This is not the time to be struggling to put the puck in the net. The team still has four games left to play and their not exactly easy opponents as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon, the Bruins next Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Atlanta Thrashers next Thursday night at the Garden (the Rangers SHOULD win that one) and the New Jersey Devils next Saturday afternoon at the Garden.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Not Quite The Effort That was Needed

These are the perfect words to describe the play of the New York Rangers in their 1-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Sabres last night.

The Blueshirts had trouble generating any consistent offense, did not throw enough pucks on Sabres, netminder Jhonas Enroth, who was making the start in place of Ryan Miller, who had an upper buddy injury. Enroth made 23 saves in picking up his first career NHL shutout, and an important one at that.

With the loss, the Rangers dropped down to the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference while the Buffalo Sabres moved up to the seventh spot. The Hurricanes, currently ninth in the Conference, are just three points behind the Blueshirts, who are back in action tonight on Long Island for a tilt against the New York Islanders.

One player who did show up for the Blueshirts was Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 34 saves and gave everyone a scare late in the second period when he took a puck off the right knee. He would not comment on it too much after the game only to say that he wants to be ready for tomorrow night.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, jhonas+enroth, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers

Another Big Game on Tap for the Rangers

Coming off a big 1-0 shutout win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternnon, the New York Rangers will be back in action tonight when they take on the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo in what is an important game for both clubs.

The Blueshirts are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference but are just two points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers are also now two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for sixth place.

The key for the Rangers will be to stay the course. They will need to continue to get balanced scoring, play disciplined hockey, play smart defense and get goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist if they want to have any kind of success against a very good Sabres hockey club.

Luckily for the Rangers, this is a road game and the Blueshirts have been one of the league’s best away from home ice. The team currently has 23 wins on the road and seem to play with a lot more confidence when not in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers

What to do with Sean Avery

When New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery was scratched on Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks, many pundits and fans alike figured that he would come out and play a heckuva game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, both were wrong as Avery struggled in last night’s 6-3 victory over the team’s hated rival. He took three penalties, one of which led to a John tavares power play goal in the third period, and only got just over seven minutes of ice time.

One has to wonder what team head coach John Tortorella thought of his play last night. If I am Tortorella, I would hesitate to put him in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night as the last thing you want to do is give the Canadiens a bunch of power plays.

With that said, however, Avery is someone who works hard, can generate scoring opportunities and keeps the opponent on edge. Avery is one of the best when it comes to throwing an opposing team off its game.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

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

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