Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: sidney crosby

Update/Rangers Set to take on the Penguins

UPDATE: According to Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Martin Biron will be in goal tonight for the Blueshirts:

Same #NYR lineup, Martin Biron in net vs #Pens. So Mike Rupp stays in.

FROM EARLIER

While the New York Rangers have already clinched the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, the team still has two games left against two solid hockey clubs.

Tonight, the Blueshirts will be in Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the game has little significance for both clubs, it should still end up being a good hockey game between two clubs that are looking to get their game in order before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week.

It will be interesting to see who the Rangers go with in goal as starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist has a bruised right arm after hurting it against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. After the game, he said he had trouble gripping the stick so if I am the Blueshirts, I would not hesitate to start back-up goaltender Martin Biron tonight.

Against the Penguins tonight, the Rangers should focus on shutting down both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Going into the playoffs, the Penguins will more than likely be the top offensive hockey club and if the Blueshirts can find a way to shut them down tonight, it will certainly be a confidence boost heading into the postseason.

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  Tags: evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Blueshirts Overpowered by the Penguins in 5-2 loss

Going into the game without starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman Michael Del Zotto and team captain Ryan Callahan, one knew tonight’s game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden was going to be tough for the New York Rangers.

It was certainly tough for the Blueshirts as the team lost by a score of 5-2. The club did not have the depth to match what the Penguins were throwing out on the ice and unfortunately, it hurt them in the end.

Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain and arguably the best hockey player in the world, Sidney Crosby, had himself a solid first game back. Crosby picked-up an assist, was a +3 and had 16:00 minutes of ice time. He was also smart enough not to put himself into dangerous areas as to avoid getting hit too hard or being too vulnerable.

The Rangers were not terrible tonight but they certainly were not great. Defensive lapses early on in the second period really hurt the club as the Penguins were able to score two goals with the first 2:30 of the frame to go up by a score of 3-1.

The Blueshirts were able to cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by Marian Gaborik but that would be the last time the team would find the back of the net tonight.

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  Tags: and+buffalo+sabres., brad+richards, carl+hagelin, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby

One to Remember?/UPDATE: Biron to Start Tonight for Blueshirts

UPDATE: According to Dave Lozo at NHL.com, Rangers’ back-up netminder Martin Biron will be starting tonight against Crosby and the Penguins as Henrik Lundqvist is still recovering from the flu.

“I was hoping to play tonight, but being off the ice for three days, I had a feeling it might be tough to be game-ready right away,” said Lundqvist, who took part in the team’s morning practice but won’t dress for the game. “There’s no health issue. It’s just sitting at home doing nothing. Just laying in bed for two days doesn’t really help.”

FROM EARLIER


This is what many hockey folks are wondering when it comes to tonight’s tilt between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

For starters, it is both a divisional- and conference- battle. The Blueshirts currently hold a six point lead over the Penguins as the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

On the other side, the Penguins have won nine straight games. Their team is getting contributions up and down the lineup and have done so without their team captain and arguably the best player in the world today, Sidney Crosby.

That brings us to our next point. Tonight’s tilt marks the return of No.87 to the Penguins’ lineup. Rangers’ fans have made it well known how they feel about Crosby and as such, will more than likely be all over him throughout tonight’s game.

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

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

Big Game at The Mad House on Madison

With the New York Rangers struggling to find the consistency that made them so successful for much of the season, tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks will be a big test for the Blueshirts.

In last night’s 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the team looked out-of-sync in all areas of the game. This also happened to be the case in the team’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

For the Rangers, this is coming at a bad time as both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference playoff race is heating up. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who will have Sidney Crosby returning in the very near future, are now just 6 points behind the Blueshirts while the Philadelphia Flyers are 8 points behind thanks to the fine play of their netminder Ilya Bryzgalov (finally, eh?).

The team needs to get back to forechecking better, something that Rangers’ forward Marian Gaborik mentioned to team beat writer Andrew Gross of The Record and Ranger Rants.

“I think so,” he said. “The support needs to be there. We have to create more forechecking in the zone. Also, we have to try to chip pucks in and create more odd-man situations.”

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, original+six, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, united+center

Do Not Take Lightly

This is the attitude that the New York Rangers should have going into tonight’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins may be without Sidney Crosby and some of their other better players but they have definitely picked-up their play in the last few games. Guys like Evgeni Malkin, who should be considered the Penguins’ most valuable player right now, and James Neal are doing everything they possibly can to keep their club afloat while Crosby is still recovering.

Furthermore, defenseman Kris Letang will be making his return to the Penguins’ line-up tonight. This will give the Penguins some added firepower and as well as a lethal threat on the power play.

Like team head coach John Tortorella said two nights ago, the club should not be thinking about the Stanley Cup right now. This Blueshirts’ hockey club has a long way to go and needs to take things on a game-by-game basis, something that has worked well for them so far this season.

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  Tags: evegni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, john+tortorella, kris+letang, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby

Holding Onto the Top Spot

That is what the New York Rangers continue to do as the team picked-up a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators last night at Madison Square Garden.

Due to playing in a hockey game of my own, I was not able to catch any of the game. With that said, it was nice to see Henrik Lundqvist get another shutout and the team come out with a much better defensive performance than they did against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night in Montreal.

It was also nice to see that John Mitchell scored another goal for the Blueshirts. No one really knew whether or not Mitchell would fit in with this Rangers’ team but he has come in and gotten the job done by working hard every night, forechecking hard, going to the net and cashing in on opportunities when they present themselves.

This is a team that continues to show that it can respond well after a loss. Too many times in the past few seasons would the Rangers follow up a loss with another bad game but this season, team head coach John Tortorella has seemed to keep that to a minimum.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 29-11-4 for 62 points. The team has a one point edge over the Detroit Red Wings for first in the league and a three point edge over the Boston Bruins for first in the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, john+mitchell, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Big Test for Blueshirts

That will most certainly be the case tonight when the New York Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins ride into town with the best record in both the Eastern Conference and entire NHL (14-6-4). Of course, we cannot forget that Sidney Crosby is back and once again looks like the best player in the entire National Hockey League.

The Blueshirts are also playing some pretty solid hockey themselves. They have won two straight over the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers and also sport one of the league’s best records on home ice at 6-1-1.

The key for the Rangers tonight will be to key in on guys like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. These guys know how to put the puck in the net and if given ample room to do so, especially on the power play, will make the Blueshirts pay for their mistakes.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby

Blueshirts Come Through in Weekend Sweep

When New York Rangers’ fans first looked at the schedule and saw back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, they were probably extremely worried.

Well, it turns out the Blueshirts surprised everyone by winning both by scores of 6-3 and 2-0, respectively. With the two wins, the Rangers improved to 12-5-3 on the season and are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference.

In their game against the Capitals, the team got a strong performance from their team captain, Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up three assists and was involved in all areas of the ice.

In that game, the club got goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (2), Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Brad Richards. The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 18 saves on 21 shots.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

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

Goals A Plenty in Rangers’ 6-3 Win over the Canadiens

This may be hard to believe but the New York Rangers’ have won three straight home games by outscoring their opponents by a 19-6 margin.

The Rangers’ latest victim was the Montreal Canadiens in a 6-3 victory. The team scored five goals in the first period with five different goal scorers in Artem Anisimov, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brian Boyle. Vinny Prospal scored the team’s sixth and final goal in the third period.

With the win, the Rangers hit the 80-point mark and remain four points up on the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, who had a huge OT win over the New York Islanders last night.

For a team that struggles with offense, they certainly know how to beat up on team’s when given the opportunity to do so. Last night, the team took advantage of a Montreal Canadiens’ team that played the night before against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a somewhat tired Carey Price, who was yanked after allowing the fifth Rangers’ goal. It certainly was not Price’s fault as he had no help out there.

The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who picked up his sixth consecutive 30-win season. With the 30th win, Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to 30 or more games in his first six seasons in the league.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, benoit+pouliot, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carey+price, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, evgeni+malkin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, sidney+crosby, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Is Lundqvist Back on Track?

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

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

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

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

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

Destined to Meet Again?

Good evening ladies and gents. Sorry I’ve been MIA but I recently moved into my new apartment so things have been quite hectic. Things will be that way for a bit but I will do my best to drop a post in every once in awhile.

It certainly looks like the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins are destined to meet again in the Stanley Cup Finals. I’m sure that many of you die hard hockey fans out there were hoping for something different but with the way these two teams are playing right now, it only seems right that one of them take the Cup home when all is said and done.

It is obvious that the Detroit Red Wings are a well-oiled machine. They can score at will, they have tremendous puck possession, they put up a wall defensively and when needed, they get timely saves out of their goaltender Chris Osgood. What’s even more amazing is that when their best defenseman and captain Nicklas Lidstrom is out of the lineup, the team still finds a way to dominate.

The Penguins may not dominate games the way the Wings do but they still find ways to control hockey games and score when they need to. They’re getting scoring from their stars in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, playing solidy defensively and getting the big saves from their goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Will they meet again come June? Will it be the same result?

What are your thoughts?

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  Tags: chris+osgood, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, marc-andre+fleury, nicklas+lidstrom, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, stanley+cup+playoffs

Who is Better?

As you are all well aware of, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are moving onto the Eastern Conference Finals after beating Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight by a score of 6-2.

Now that the series is over, I wanted to ask the readers of Kukla’s Korner a question and we can keep this thread going as long as you want it to go. I don’t want just the answer. I want your full reasons and thoughts. Here we go:

Who is the better hockey player - Crosby or Ovechkin?

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

What’s the Big Deal With Varly?

Over on Greg Wyshynski’s Twitter account, posters are giving him grief because Washington Capitals’ 21-year-old netminder Simeon Varlamov is not on the Conn Smythe list as a potential Stanley Cup playoff MVP thus far.

What I want to know is why are the fans and media over-hyping this young netminder so quickly? Yes, Varlamov had excellent statistics in the first round (4-2, 1.17 goals against average, .952 save percentage, and two shutouts) and yes, he helped his club advance to the next round. However, this was against a New York Rangers team that only took 145 shots against him, many of the low quality variety and against a team that virtually has no offense.

I’m not saying that he’s a bad goaltender nor am I saying that he doesn’t deserve the accolades that he is getting right now. What I am saying is let’s not over-hype this kid until he gets truly tested in the next round against a much tougher Pittsburgh Penguins hockey club. I doubt he’ll be seeing lo quality scoring chances against the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Sergei Gonchar, Bill Guerin, Jordan Staal, etc.

What’s your take on Varlamov?

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  Tags: bill+guerin, chris+kunitz, evgeni+malkin, greg+wyshynski, jordan+staal, new+york+rangers, sergei+gonchar, sidney+crosby, simeon+varlamov, washington+capitals

Where Are They Going?

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

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

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

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

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