Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: rick nash

Easy As 1-2-3 for the Blueshirts in Win Over the Devils

That is the perfect description for the New York Rangers' 4-0 shutout this afternoon at Madison Square Garden over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils did not seem to be interested in playing a meaningless game and that showed in their loss this afternoon. The Blueshirts were able to catch the Devils out of position on all four of their goals as the team simply took advantage of a poor Devils' performance today.

For Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist, it was a relatively easy 20-save shutout. The shutout was his second of the season while the victory was his 24th of the season.

It may not be a 30-win season for the Blueshirts' 31-year-old netminder but given the way he played in the regular season, it could garner another Vezina Trophy nomination or even win. In 43 games, Lundqvist went 24-16-3 with a 2.05 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts.

The team also got strong performances out of the likes of Derek Stepan (one goal and one assist), Ryan Callahan (one goal and one assist), Rick Nash (two goals), and Brad Richards (two assists). These four players are going to have to continue their offensive production come next week in the postseason in order for this Rangers' hockey club to have success.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

A Glass Half Full Look at the Blueshirts

When it comes to New York Rangers' fans and the way they view their favorite hockey club, it is always an extreme point of view.

Either fans are in love and ecstatic about their hockey club or they absolutely despise and are fed up with their so called favorite NHL team. There is never a middle ground.

With two games remaining and just one win needed to clinch a postseason spot in the ever tight bottom portion of the Eastern Conference standings, it is time for a glass half full look. Believe it or not, there are things to like about this Blueshirts' hockey club.

For starters, the team has perhaps the best goaltender in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist. For the last month or so, Lundqvist has been the team's best player and his statistics reflect that. 

In 41 games this season, Lundqvist is 22-16-3 with a 2.08 GAA (seventh in the league), a .926 save percentage (fifth in the league) and one shutout. He is always the main reason why when the Rangers' win and night in and night out, he gives his team a chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

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

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

Lundqvist Steals One in Carolina For the Blueshirts

It is always said in the NHL that to win hockey games, you need good goaltending.

Tonight, New York Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist went above and beyond for his club in making 48 saves to help his team to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. For the Blueshirts, the two points keeps them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and two points behind the Ottawa Senators and four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the Rangers did get goals from Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, and Brian Boyle, this game was won by Lundqvist. Time and time again, Lundqvist was in the right position to bail out his hockey club's defensive miscue's while also being the team's best player on their penalty kill.

Lundqvist stopped 14 shots in both the first and second periods and was simply spectacular in stopping 20 of 21 shots in the third period. The Hurricanes buzzed around in the Rangers' zone all night long but because of Lundqvist's great play between the pipes, did not have too much to show for it.

After losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a shootout last night, there was some concern regarding Lundqvist's hamstring. Lundqvist showed tonight that he is as tough as they came and went out and played not only one of the best games of this season, but perhaps in his entire career.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, jaromir+jagr, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Should Lean on and Follow Callahan and Stepan

After attending last night's New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets' NHL game at Madison Square Garden, it is easy to see who the real catalysts are for this Rangers' hockey club in terms of playing the game the right way.

Believe it or not, I am not talking about players such as Rick Nash (he has been great this season), Brad Richards or Marian Gaborik. While Nash is the only player that has really stepped up unlike Richards and Gaborik, even he is not doing what the players I am about to talk about are doing.

These Blueshirts are team captain Ryan Callahan and his linemate Derek Stepan. At 28 and 22 years old, respectively, these two players represent all that is right with the club as well as being a big part of the core of the franchise moving forward.

Callahan has always been an exemplary Ranger. He hustles, he blocks shots, he plays the body, he goes hard to the net and this season, has shown that he has soft hands.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, 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

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

Another Disappointing Effort for the Blueshirts

For a team that is fighting to stay in the top eight in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers sure did not play with any kind of fight tonight in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.

It what has been a consistent theme this season for Blueshirts, the Rangers did not generate too many quality scoring chances, allowed too many quality scoring chances to the Jets and looked like they lacked the energy that is needed to win a hockey game.

Furthermore, Rangers' forward Marian Gaborik was denied on a penalty shot by Jets' netminder Ondrej Pavelec in the first period. Gaborik got in too close to Pavelec and ended up losing control of the puck, which was then smothered by Pavelec.

Smothered would be the perfect word to describe what the Rangers' play has been in these last two games. The club cannot find the open holes to generate quality scoring chances, cannot find good shots to get on the power play and then when they do get a scoring chance, they make the opposing netminder look like the next Patrick Roy.

This word would also describe what is happening to some of the team's top players. Guys like Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards have been quiet in these last two games and if one of those guys is not scoring, that means trouble for the rest of the Rangers' team. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Back to the Drawing Board

After playing a perfect road game in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon, the New York Rangers went out a dropped a 3-1 tilt to the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Buffalo.

The Blueshirts took a lot of penalties, could not cash in on the power play when given a gold opportunity to do so and could not find a way consistently to put the puck past Sabres' netminder Jhonas Enroth. Put these three things together and more often than not, the Rangers will be on the losing end of a the hockey game.

Staying out of the penalty box seemed to be a tough thing for the Rangers to do tonight. The team took four penalties in the second period alone and when a team is shorthaned that much, it usually does not need to productive or winning hockey.

Despite making 32 saves, the Rangers made Enroth look like Patrick Roy. For Enroth, this was his first win since 2011 and the Blueshirts made sure to put plenty of pucks at his chest or in other areas that were easy for Enroth to control the puck.

Lastly, the Sabres were able to shut down Rangers' forward Rick Nash and his 10-game point streak. Not only did Nash not score a point in this game, but he was also a -2.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, jhonas+enroth, new+york+rangers, patrick+roy, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

The Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played this afternoon in their 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts got timely goal scoring, played solid on defense, got a great game from back-up netminder Martin Biron, and did a good job at killing penalties when they needed it the most. With the exception of the first ten minutes of the game in which they looked like they were asleep, this was by far and away the best Rangers' road game of the season.

It was nice to see Rangers' forward Brian Boyle come through with his first goal of the season in the second period on a delayed penalty. On the goal, he showed patience with the puck, got into good position and showed why guys should not be afraid to put the puck on net. Hopefully, this goal will get him going.

The club also got another excellent game from Rick Nash. Nash used his size, helped create two goals and was responsible in his own end.

Another big factor in this tilt was the play of Biron. Biron was sharp in making 28 saves and did his job by keeping his team in the game, giving his club a chance to win, and stopping the pucks that he should stop.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Nash Needs to Lead Rangers’ Offense

On Thursday night in their 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers fired 42 shots on goal and created offense by not being afraid to go to the net, by not being afraid to put pucks on net and lastly, by following the lead of one of their own players.

That player was power forward Rick Nash. Besides getting on the scoresheet with two points on one goal and one assist, Nash had a game-high 12 shots on goal and was a force all over the ice.

Nash created offense by driving through the Lightning defense, by going to the dirty areas where goals are scored, by using his quick and smooth stickhandling skills and by using his size. The rest of the team followed suit and it resulted in a victory.

While the team also has the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, and Ryan Callahan, it is Nash's offense that the team needs to follow. Nash creates scoring opportunities by not getting too fancy and by keeping the game simple, something the Rangers have struggled with this season.  

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  Tags: biffalo+sabres, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning

Making a Difference

Returing from a unpsecified injury after missing the last four games, New York Rangers' forward Rick Nash showed how much of a difference he can  make when he is in the lineup. 

In the last four games, all losses for the Blueshirts, the team's offense was quite stagnant. There were not enough pucks thrown on net, there was no creativity, there was no movement and there was not enough being done to generate quality scoring chances.

Insert Nash back into the lineup and the Blueshirts become a different hockey club as Nash creates offense in a variety of ways. Tonight in the team's 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nash got open for breakaways, made terrific moves with the puck to generate quality scoring chances, helped set up a goal, scored a highlight goal in the third period and was not afraid to put pucks on net whether it was from the outside, down by the crease or in the slot.

With Nash going hard and doing everything he can to generate offense, the rest of the team seemed to follow suit. In the first period, the Rangers tied a season high with 20 shots while allowing just three. 

Then in the second period, the Blueshirts continued to pile on the shots and wound up outshooting the Lightning 15-8. If you are keeping track, the team outshot the Lightning 35-11 through two periods.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning

Pretenders

After winning the Atlantic Division, finishing first in the Eastern Conference and coming to within two wins of making it to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994, the New York Rangers came into this season as Stanley Cup contenders.

Throw in the fact that they had a Vezina Trophy winning goaltender between the pipes, traded for power forward Rick Nash and had the same defensive corps. the Blueshirts were in more than good position to win a Cup this year.

Unfortunately, nothing good has come from any of the above mentioned things for the Blueshirts this year. After losing 4-3 at Madison Square Garden tonight to the Winnipeg Jets, the team finds themselves in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Sure, the Rangers are just one point out of the eighth spot but based on the way the team has played over the last week and a half, it certainly does not seem that way, right?

Tonight's game was a perfectly winnable situation for the Rangers, despite being depleted with injuries. With that said, the team's offense was not there until it mattered and when the team cut the lead to 3-2 in the third period, Rangers' masked man Henrik Lundqvist allowed an untimely bad goal to Jets' forward Evander Kane.

Another momentum killer for the Rangers came in the second period. The team, in particular Ryan Callahan, did a terrific job of killing off a Brian Boyle penalty and then a few minutes later, former Ranger Olli Jokinen scored to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.

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  Tags: evander+kane, henrik+lundqvist, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, winnipeg+jets

More Offense

If the New York Rangers want to have any kind of chance to both get into the postseason and go far in them, they will need a lot more offense.

In Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Blueshirts probably had one of their worst offensive performances. There was no sustained pressure, not enough pucks thrown at Canadiens' netminder Carey Price and not enough flow to their game.

Things will not get any easier tonight as the team takes on the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa without one of their key offensive cogs, Rick Nash. Nash is out with an undisclosed injury and for Rangers' head coach John Tortorella, that means some serious creativity is going to be needed to come up with balanced offensive lines.

For whatever reason, scoring goals on a consistent basis has been a problem for the Rangers over the last few seasons. You can play great defense and get solid goaltending but without scoring goals, it will mean nothing and all go to waste.

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  Tags: carey+price, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash

Big on Even Strength

This is the perfect way to describe tonight's New York Rangers' win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

All goals were even strength as the Blueshirts got even two goals from Carl Hagelin (two goals and one assist) a goal from team captain Ryan Callahan, a goal by fourth liner Arron Asham (his first as a Ranger) and power forward Rick Nash (one goal and one assist) to lead the Rangers to a 5-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. With the win, the Blueshirts moved over the .500, albeit one game, mark for the first time this season.

The Rangers essentially won this game in the first period. Hagelin scored 31 seconds into the game and Callahan scored with just over five minutes to go in the period to put the Rangers up by a score of 2-0 going into the second.

In that first period, the Rangers were all over the Lightning in the offensive zone. The team got to loose pucks and were not afraid to put it on net as the team fired 15 shots on Lightning netminder Mathieu Garon, who ended up being pulled after Hagelin notched his second of the night about ten minutes into the second period.

That second period was quite interesting as a Rangers' error at their own bench allowed Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier to score his team's only goal. On the play, the Blueshirts had trouble making a line change and ended up getting caught shorhanded in their own zone. Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist (19 saves) made two great saves prior to the goal but Lecavalier was able to sneak one in just under Lundqvist's outstretched left arm.

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  Tags: arron+asham, boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, mathieu+garon, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning, vincent+lecavalier

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

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

Stability and Consistency Lead Rangers to Victory

When it comes to winning a hockey game in the NHL, teams must be consistent in their play and have some stability whether it is with their offense, defense or goaltending.

Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers got the stability in goal they needed from back-up Martin Biron (30 saves) and consistently put pucks on net in a 3-2 victory in Tampa Bay for their first road victory of the season.. Considering that the Lightning were the best team in the Eastern Conference coming into this game and were putting pucks in the net left and right, it was an impressive victory for the Blueshirts.

In his first start of the season, Biron was exactly what he needed to be for the Rangers. He made the big saves when he needed to, slowed down the play when his team needed a breather and have the Rangers the kind of goaltending they needed against a very good Lightning hockey club.

On offense, Rangers' forward Derek Stepan scored his first goal of the season to knot the game up at 1-1 in the second period. For Stepan, it was a much needed goal as he had not scored since Game 6 against the Ottawa Senators in last year's first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The team also got an absolutely great goal from Rick Nash. On the play, Nash used his size and terrific puck-handling abilities to blow by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and beat Lightning netminder Mathieu Garon to give the team a 2-1 lead.

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  Tags: adam+henrique, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning, taylor+pyatt

Not Going to be Easy

Update: According to Rangers' beat writer Steve Zipay, it appears that Rangers' back-up goaltender Martin Biron will make his first start of the season tonight

That will certainly be the case tonight for the New York Rangers when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa.

The Blueshirts are coming off one of their worst performances of this young season. On Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers were kept quiet offensively, took another careless too many men on the ice penalty and lacked the energy that is needed to be competitive in a hockey game.

At the other end of the ice, the Lightning are just the opposite. The team is scoring goals like crazy (beat the Winnipeg Jets 8-3 last night), cashing in on the power play and at the time of this writing, is the top team in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 record, having won five straight games.

For the Rangers to start winning hockey games, their offense is going to need to step up in a big way. Besides the line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Rick Nash, the team's forwards have been very quiet.

The team needs the likes of Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to start putting the puck in the net. These two players have not played badly but they are not finding themselves on the scoresheet, which could become a problem as this season goes further.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning, winnipeg+jets

60-Minute Hockey

For the first time this season, that is exactly what the New York Rangers played in their 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden last night.

The team dominated in all facets of the game and did all the little things to win a hockey game. This style of hockey is what made the Blueshirts so successful last season and last night against the Leafs, it was the perfect blueprint for a win.

The Rangers once again got another great performance from Marian Gaborik. With two goals and two assists for four points, Gaborik is now fifth in the league in scoring with nine points (5 goals and 4 assists) and has eight points in his last three games.

The team also got some offense from its blue line last night. Marc Staal scored the game-tying goal in the third period for his first goal of the season and took the shot from the point that was deflected by Gaborik for the game winning goal while defenseman Michael Del Zotto added two assists. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, james+reimer, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs

Getting Used to Back-to-Back

With a shortened season and condensed schedule, this is something that the New York Rangers need to get used to quickly to avoid performances like tonight in Philadelphia.

After beating the Boston Bruins last night by a score of 4-3 in overtime, the Rangers were flat in the first two periods and it cost them in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Not enough offense, too much time in their own zone and untimely penalty caused the Blueshirts problems and ultimately, the hockey game.

Going into this game, everyone knew that the Flyers were a desparate hockey club. The club was off to an 0-3 start, they have a bunch of guys that are hurt and were having trouble putting the puck in the net.

While the Flyers did not exactly light up the scoreboard, they did generate a ton of scoring chances, did a good job controlling the puck and limited the Blueshirts' scoring opportunities. The Flyers also did a good job of slowing day what was already a tired hockey club in the Rangers.

What the Flyers also did was kill a big 5-on-3 Rangers' power play in the third period. The Rangers were not able to get many pucks on net, spent too much time setting up at the perimeter of the zone and towards the end of the power play, they let the Flyers control the puck for way too long.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, taylor+pyatt, toronto+maple+leafs

Gaborik’s Hat Trick Lifts Blueshirts to OT Victory

Sometimes, someone just needs to step up and put the puck in the net to help his club win a hockey game.

Tonight against the Boston Bruins, it was New York Rangers' forward Marian Gaborik who scored an overtime goal to give himself a hat trick (14th of his career) and more importantly, his team, a 4-3 victory. These were two points that Rangers' badly needed and Gaborik made it happen.

In overtime, Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference struggled with a bouncing puck at that point and once Gaborik saw that, he got the puck and took off for the races. He went in on Bruins' netminder Tuukka Rask and was stopped on the first shot but was able to bat the rebound down and into the net to give his team their first win of the season.

Coming into tonight's tilt, Gaborik had been quiet offensively. He had not generated that many scoring chances, did not have too many shots on goal and just did not look like the Gaborik from last season.

Gaborik changed that persona tonight and fueled the team offensively from the get go. One main reason for that could be because he was placed on a line with Rick Nash and Brad Richards.

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  Tags: andrew+ference, boston+bruins, brad+richards, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, taylor+pyatt, toronto+maple+leafs, tuukka+rask

Time To Turn Things Around

After an 0-2 start to the 48-game season, this is something that the New York Rangers need to do beginning tonight with their tilt against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off two games in which they did not play well defensively, took some bad penalties and did not get the offense they need from guys other than Brad Richards and Rick Nash. Put these three things together and it spells disaster for the New York Rangers.

Tonight, they take on a 2-0 Bruins hockey club, with one of those wins coming against the Blueshirts this past Saturday night in Boston at the TD Garden. In the team's, the Rangers were badly outplayed and left their netminder, Henrik Lundqvist (31 saves on 34 shots), out to dry.

With the roster that the Rangers have, there is no reason to believe that this will be a long losing streak. The team does have guys that can put the puck in the net, does have one of the best defensive corps in the league and also has one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.

With that said, however, there is still some work to be done. For starters, the Rangers need to do a much better job in front of their goaltender. Too often on Saturday and Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, both Lundqvist and back-up netminder Martin Biron were hung out to dry as the opposition looked for rebounds or got into great position on top of the crease or in the slot. 

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash

Not Putting It Together

Through the first two games of the season, this seems to be the problem for the New York Rangers.

After losing to the Boston Bruins last night at the TD Garden by a score of 3-1, the Blueshirts were once again a step behind, this time tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts lost their second straight game to go 0-2 after losing by a score of 6-3.

Once Rangers' captain Ryan Callahan tied the score up at 1-1 with a power play goal in the first period, things seemed to fall apart for the Blueshirts. They allowed two more goals in the first period to go down 3-1 and then at one point in the third period, the team was down 5-1 before Taylor Pyatt put one in for the Rangers to make it 5-2.

Meanwhile, for the second straight game, the Penguins got the offense they needed to win a hockey game. The team got goals from James Neal (2), Tyler Kennedy, Matt Niskanen, Pascal Dupuis and Kris Letang while getting good enough goaltending from Tomas Vokoun (30 saves on 33 shots). 

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  Tags: boston+bruins, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, kris+letang, martin+biron, matt+niskanen, new+york+rangers, pascal+dupuis, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, taylor+pyatt, tomas+vokoun, tyler+kennedy

Quiet On the Offensive Front

With a somewhat revamped offense and Rick Nash in the lineup, the New York Rangers' offense was quiet in their season opening 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Obviously, it was the first game and players still have to get used to each other, but nevertheless, the Blueshirts did not generate enough offensive pressure. While the Bruins' defensemen are big and do a good job of blocking shots, the Rangers did not do nearly enough to get the puck on Bruins' goaltender Tuukka Rask (just 20 shots on goal) nor did they create enough traffic in front of Rask to bother the Bruins' netminder..

What is somewhat worrisome, even though it was just the first game, the offense also looked lost. The club lacked finish, did not know when and where to put the puck on net from and did not generate the quality scoring chances that are needed to score in the NHL.

For the Rangers, believe it or not, this is nothing different. Many nights last season, the team relied on the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist to keep them in the game long enough for their offense to may be score one or two goals.

Tonight, that simply did not work. The team took three penalties within a span of nine minutes in the first period and while they killed them off thanks to Lundqvist and his defense, the Bruins would manage to find the back of the net with just over six minutes to go in the period thanks to Milan Lucic.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, milan+lucic, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, tuukka+rask

And So It Begins

Here we are folks. About two and a half months after the season was suppossed to begin, the New York Rangers will open up their regular season tomorrow night in Boston with a tilt against the Boston Bruins.

For the Blueshirts, this game has been a long time coming. It marks the debut of Rick Nash and what will hopefully be a more dynamic offense both in even strength situations, and on the power play.

The game also represents the start of what some predict will be a great 48-game season for the Blueshirts. While it is too early to start talking about hockey's Holy Grail, it is definitely something that the Rangers should be able to contend for this year.

The Rangers were 3-1 last season against the Bruins. The Blueshirts outscored the B's by a 11-7 margin and in those games, got great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who had a memorable 40-save shutout in Boston back on February 14.  

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+marchand, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, david+krejci, derek+stepan, dougie+hamilton, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, johnny+boychuk, milan+lucic, nathan+horton, new+york+rangers, patrice+bergeron, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, tuukka+rask, tyler+seguin, zdeno+chara

Cautious Optimism

This is exactly how New York Rangers' fans should approach the upcoming 48-game shortened NHL season.

Last season, the Blueshirts shocked many and were one of the best teams in the entire league last season. They did it with great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, great defense, and a committment by the whole team to play well on both sides of the puck.

Considering that the team's coach, John Tortorella, is still in place, the team will more than likely use the same philosphy this season. With that said, there is reason for the team and its fans to believe that this season could end up being a very special season on Broadway.

For starters, the team now has a balanced offense. With newcomer Rick Nash now in the fold, the Blueshirts now have two snipers in their arsenal with the likes of Nash and Marian Gaborik to go along with the likes of Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, and others.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

Why the Rangers Can Win the Cup This Season

The New York Rangers surprised many people throughout the league last season when they not only won the Atlantic Division, but when they finished atop the Eastern Conference and were second in the entire NHL.

This season, should the Rangers do something similar, it should not come as a surprise. In fact, this season, there is a good chance that the Blueshirts can win their second Stanley Cup since 1994.

For starters, they have the best netminder in the league. With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, anything is possible.

Last season, Lundqvist became the first Ranger since John Vanbiesbrouck to win the Vezina Trophy as the league's best netminder. He did so by putting up great numbers and by being the team's best player on the ice night in and night out.

With a shortened season and many games in many nights, Lundqvist will be called upon a lot this season. For Lundqvist, that is just the way he likes it.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, john+vanbiesbrouck, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

Happy to be Back

Well folks, it is finally over.

With a new CBA agreement in place, we can now look forward to what should be a very interesting New York Rangers' season. With a shortened season and the Rangers known for being a streaky team, a good start out of the gate could end up leading to something special for the Blueshirts.

What's interesting is that after the 1993-94 season when the Rangers won the Cup, the New Jersey Devils ended up winning the their first Cup in franchise history by sweeping the Detroit Red Wings. With the Devils getting to the Stanley Cup Final last season, may be the Blueshirts will return the favor and get back to the Final for the first time since 1994.

Anyways, now is not the time to look far ahead. For the Rangers, they will more than likely use head coach John Tortorella's approach of one game at a time and will make sure they play well in all areas of the game and are consistent game in and game out.

With a grueling schedule on tap, it might be hard for the Rangers to do all those things but if one thing is certain, it is that they have a roster capable of getting the team to the next level. The addition of Rick Nash up front should also help the team put more pucks in the net both on even strength and in an area they struggled the most with last season, the power play.

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  Tags: 2012+nhl+cba+agreement, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Phew!

After worrying about newly acquired New York Rangers' forward Rick Nash being seriously injured, Larry Brooks of the New York Post tells us that the injury is not serious and that it is just a day-to-day thing.

Larry Brooks ‏@NYP_Brooksie
From NYR, MRI reveals no damage to Nash shoulder, is apparently day to day for Davos...

The last thing the Blueshirts need was to have the NHL return from lockout and have Nash be on the sidelines due to an injury he suffered overseas. 

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  Tags: larry+brooks, new+york+post, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Youth Will Be Served on Broadway

No matter when the next NHL season starts, it will be about youth when it comes to the New York Rangers.

Since the NHL lockout in 2004-05, the Blueshirts have been on a much different path than they were prior to the lockout. Instead of being a team that went out and signed or traded for old veterans or free agents, they have become an organization focused on developing their prospects/younger players while also being a team looking for the right pieces to fill the Rangers' organizational puzzle.

Much like last season, the upcoming season will be about developing the club's younger players while hoping guys like Rich Nash, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik (when he comes back from injury), and others can continue to help the team continue on the path to their ultimate goal: the Stanley Cup.

One such youngster who will have a lot of eyes on him is forward Chris Kreider. After winning a national college championship with the Boston College Eagles, Kreider burst onto the Stanley Cup Playoffs scene on Broadway when he made his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators in Game 3. 

While Kreider did not produce in his first game, he showed that he had tremendous speed, a nose for the net and that he was definitely an offensively gifted player that the Rangers would be lucky to have. Little did the Rangers know that Kreider offensive gifts would come to fruition in Game 6 when he scored the game winning goal for the Blueshirts to force a Game 7.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Rangers In on Doan?

After landing the player they have wanted for a long time in Rick Nash, the New York Rangers might be at it again, this time with UFA Shane Doan.

In last weekend’s New York Post, Larry Brooks wrote the following:

Depth has been compromised. Dependency on young Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin to accelerate the learning curve is not insignificant. If the season starts on or close to schedule, Marian Gaborik likely would miss at least the first quarter of the year.

That’s why the Rangers remain keenly interested in signing free agent winger Shane Doan, who will turn 36 in early October and is seeking a four-year deal as he confronts the separation issues that will accompany his departure from Phoenix, his home for the last 16 years.

Doan, who understandably wants this to be the last move he makes, is believed to have narrowed his sights on Manhattan, Pittsburgh and Vancouver. It’s unclear if Rangers general manager Glen Sather is willing to go four years, but if he does, Doan is more likely than not to become a Blueshirt.

While it is probably true that the Blueshirts really do not need Doan, it is a nice option to think about. Doan could provide veteran leadership to the younger players, is someone who works hard every shift and is still someone who can produce on a somewhat consistent basis.

What do you folks think?

 

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, rick+nash, shane+doan

A 1-2 Punch That is Not Guaranteed

In the hockey world, there have been several instances where two players display great chemistry together.

Last season, the New York Rangers had hoped for that with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Unfortunately, while they did play well together at times, they certainly did not do so on a consistent basis. While each player had solid seasons last year, they did so on different lines because when it came down to it, their talents did not work as well together as people hoped.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, this was also a problem in the postseason. With Gaborik scoring over 40 goals last season, many hoped and expected that Richards and Gaborik would find their groove together when it mattered most and it never ended up working out. Gaborik played hurt for much of the postseason and again, the two players found themselves on different lines.

With Rick Nash now in the fold, many will expect Richards and the former Columbus Blue Jacket to work together like clockwork. Nash can undoubtedly put the puck in the net and Richards is someone who knows how to set-up his teammates (41 assists last season).

For the Rangers, Nash and Richards will need to be the 1-2 punch for the start of next season. With Gaborik out of the lineup until November/December, the team needs to have guys that can put the puck the net and Nash needs to come in and be that guy with the help of Richards.

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  Tags: brad+richards, columbus+blue+jacket, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

More NHL Thoughts from Lee Snowden

A lot has happened in the NHL in the last week whether it has been free agent signings or trades.

As such, I figured we would once again check in Lee Snowden (@SnowdenNHL) to get his latest views and opinions on all things NHL.

PH: So, a lot has happened in the last week or so in the NHL. What are your thoughts on what went down with the whole Shea Weber situation? Do you really think he wants to be with the Predators? Why or why not?
LS: I think he does want to be with the Preds and always has. With the uncertainty of the new CBA, and what type of contracts will be allowed, Weber just wanted to be paid. Philadelphia definitely wasn’t a bad option should Nashville not have matched the offer sheet. Weber has been in Nashville his entire career so I’m sure he’s happy staying put. If he truly didn’t want to be in Nashville, he would have forced a trade or signed a one-year deal and gone to unrestricted free agency next summer.

PH: What does Weber signing with the Predators mean for the Flyers? Do you think the Flyers will try and upgrade their back end since they lost Carle (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Pronger (concussion symptoms)?
LS: I think Holmgren will be looking to add someone back there for sure. Gervais and Lilja are decent number 7 guys, but there are better free agents still out there (Roszival, Hannan, Colaiacovo). He could also go the trade route, as I think he will be searching for a forward as well.

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  Tags: @snowdennhl, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, calgary+flames, jarome+iginla, lee+snowden, los+angeles+kings, mike+cammalleri, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, rick+nash, scott+howson+columbus+blue+jackets, shane+doan, shea+weber, tim+erixon

A Steal by Sather?

UPDATE: Dreger said this as well:

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Nash, cond.3rd (goes back to CBJ if NYR make Cup final), mnr leaguer Steve Delisle to NYR for Anisimov, Dubinsky, Erixon and 1st rnd pick.

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Howson managed this trade his way, but the components of this deal were availabe at the deadline and again at the Draft.

It appears that New York Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather is more than capable of making solid hockey deals for the Blueshirts.

According to Darren Dreger at TSN, the Blueshirts will be acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets’ sniper Rick Nash for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, young defenseman Tim Erixon and a 1st round pick. The trade is still pending the official call but should it go through, the Rangers should be considered the winners in this deal.

While Dubinsky has scored more than 20 goals before, he did not look the same last season. He did not look as confident, had trouble putting the puck in the net and was quiet offensively.

Anisimov, although a decent offensive player, was someone who was easily knocked off the puck and was not noticeable in every single game. Again, he was not a bad player but is someone who still has things to work on.

When it comes to Erixon, there is no doubt that he is a good, young defenseman but the Rangers already have a good stock of those. As such, Erixon became expendable.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, columbus+blue+jackets, glen+sather, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, tim+erixon

Nash Coming to the Rangers?

It certainly sounds like there is some potential that Rick Nash could be coming to the New York Rangers in some kind of trade, at least according to Darren Dreger of TSN:

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Will be multiple players involved in Nash trade to NYR. Contracts are being reviewed, etc. All to be done before trade call.

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
Rick Nash trade to New York Rangers in process now. Details to follow.

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  Tags: darren+dreger, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, tsn

An E-mail Interview with Popular NHL Tweeter @NHLGossip

As you are all well aware of, Twitter is an extremely valuable resource when it comes to following the latest in the hockey world.

One such Tweeter who really seems to get that is @NHLGossip, also known as Chris Hueber. Hueber re-Tweets a lot of valuable hockey information and more importantly, is accurate when he does so. This guy is not a rumor monger and is someone who only re-Tweets what valuable and well known NHL insiders are saying.

Chris was kind enough to take time out of his busy Tweeting schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he came up with his Twitter account as well as his thoughts on the Buffalo Sabres and NHL free agency.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
CH: I grew up just outside of Buffalo and have always loved the Buffalo Sabres. I became a fan of the Sabres when I was old enough to have the patience to watch the games. I mean, the trap made the game so bad when I was really young that after the first period, I lost interest. I think I was about 8 when I got really into it. I loved watching guys like Brad May, Rob Ray and Matt Barnaby run around fighting every night. I also always liked watching Alexander Mogilny and Pat LaFontaine.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, nhl+gossip, rick+nash, twitter

Definitely Tougher

It appears that I did not miss much while I was on vacation when it comes to the New York Rangers.

The team did not trade for Rick Nash, did not get Zach Parise or Ryan Suter and really made no significant moves to help upgrade their rosters. Instead, the team lost perhaps one of their better players in the postseason in Ruslan Fedotenko to the Philadelphia Flyers while also losing Brandon Prust to the Montreal Canadiens.

With that said, the team definitely got a bit tougher by signing Arron Asham (has now played for all five Atlantic Division teams) and Taylor Pyatt. While I do not exactly agree with the Asham signing, Pyatt might be a good one for the Blueshirts.

Pyatt can produce every once in awhile (scored four in the postseason), can hit, can fight and can play a physical brand of hockey. At just 30 years of age, Pyatt has played in well over 700 NHL games and has fulfilled his role on the teams he has played for.

It was also nice to see the team re-up with defenseman/forward Stu Bickel. Bickel proved last season that he can get the job done in either role and was certainly a nice surprise on John Tortorella’s club this past season.

Other than that, there is nothing much doing in Rangerland. No offense has really been added and for a team that really needs it, that could end up hurting in the upcoming season.

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  Tags: arron+asham, brandon+prust, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+suter, stu+bickel, taylor+pyatt, zach+parise

Scoring, Scoring, and Scoring

Looking at the team that just won the Stanley Cup, the Los Angeles Kings, it was easy to see why they won hockey’s Holy Grail.

They got great goaltending with Jonathan Quick, got timely goal scoring up and down the lineup and played terrific defense. This is what teams in hockey need to do to win and the Kings did it to a “T”.

Looking at the New York Rangers, the team has two of the above mentioned three characteristics it takes to win a Cup. In goal, the Blueshirts have perhaps the best netminder in all of hockey with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes. The “King” was brilliant this year and whenever he was in net, the Rangers always had a chance to win a hockey game.

The Rangers’ defense was also outstanding. They block a lot of shots, they break up a lot of plays, they know when to join the rush and they do a good job of protecting Lundqvist.

However, when it comes down to it, the team just did not and does not have the scoring that was needed to win in the postseason. Marian Gaborik scored 41 goals in the regular season but in the postseason, was quiet on the offensive side. For now, we will just say it was that way because was hurt.

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  Tags: brad+richards, chris+kreider, derel+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, zach+parise

It Finally Happened

That’s right folks. New York Rangers’ forward Marian Gaborik has “finally” gotten significantly injured as a member of the Blueshirts as we all found out today that he will need to have surgery on his rotator cuff and could miss up to six months.

This might explain why Gaborik struggled during the postseason this year. Gaborik admitted that he got hurt in Game 3 of the first round of the Ottawa Senators but he just tried to take care of it and play through it.

“I think it was Game 3 [vs. Ottawa],” he said when asked if he knew when the injury occurred. “I went into the boards behind the net shoulder-first. I think it was Game 3 or Game 4. I just tried to take care of it as much as I could.

“I don’t try to think about it. I try to play according to the situation. I don’t want to make excuses.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, this means that they will be without their 41-goal-scorer until at least sometime in December. For a team that struggled to score goals during the regular season this past year, this could end up hurting the the team a bit, even though Gaborik said he is going to try and return as soon as he can.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, rick+nash, zach+parise

Torn on Rick Nash

If you are a New York Rangers’ fan, than you have obviously been hearing all the talk regarding Columbus Blue Jackets’ sniper Rick Nash becoming a Blueshirt via trade come on or before deadline day.

While there is little doubt that Nash is an offensive threat and can put the puck in the net, I am torn on whether or not the Rangers should make a move for him.

For starters, I am not sure I want to give up the likes of Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto, or Chris Kreider. These are all young, terrific players that have grown up on the Rangers’ system and have succeeded in it (Kreider soon will). Are they really worth giving up on for the likes of a Nash?

Secondly, what has Nash accomplished with the Blue Jackets? Yes, the team around him is dreadful but he has only managed to get the team into the playoffs once. Again, I understand that he never had much talent around him but players have had less than him and have still led their team to more than one postseason.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, chris+kreider, columbus+blue+jackets, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Adding Nash a Must for the Blueshirts

From Brian Monzo at WFAN.com:

The NHL playoffs are low-scoring battles.  There is a very good shot that if the Rangers stick with that they have they may be able to go deep in the playoffs.  But, if the price is right, and they can add someone like Rick Nash (27-years-old), they have to make the move.

I am not so sure people around here are familiar with Nash and his work.  As much hockey as I watch, I don’t find myself locked in on many Blue Jackets games.  But I know one thing, there are very few power forwards like Nash out there.

He was drafted first overall in 2002 and immediately was thrown into the fire.  Nash has scored 40 or more goals twice and 30-plus goals four times.  Oh yeah — he is 6’4 and 215 lbs.

Nash could be the missing piece, and the physical goal scoring punch going into the playoffs.  The one downfall? He is signed through 2018 with a salary cap hit of $7.8 million per season.

Click here for more from Monzo.

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  Tags: brian+monzo, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, wfan.com

A 60-Minute Effort

That is exactly what the New York Rangers put in last night in their 3-2 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden.

The game may have gone to overtime but this is a game that the Blueshirts controlled from start to finish. The team put pucks to the net, controlled the puck along the boards and looked confident in making plays with the puck in both the offense and defensive zones.

The perfect example of this was the overtime goal scored by Derek Stepan. Michael Del Zotto started it all by rushing the puck up the ice, giving it to Marian Gaborik, getting it back from Gaborik, going to the net, getting a lucky pass back to Gaborik who then fired a pass across to Del Zotto to the left of goaltender Steve Mason and then Del Zotto zipped a pass to the right of Mason to Stepan who fired it home to give the Rangers the victory.

One thing that hurt the Rangers in this hockey game was face-offs. Both Blue Jackets’ goals came off of face-off wins, including the game-tying goal by Rick Nash.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, steve+mason

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