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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: stephen valiquette

What Does It All Mean?

As I mentioned to you folks in a blog yesterday, the New York Rangers placed backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette on waivers and at the same time, claimed Erik Christensen off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

To be honest with you, I am not sure what to make all of this. On one hand, the Valiquette move makes a lot of sense. He was clearly struggling (2-3, 3.74 GAA, .852 SV%), allowing soft goals and not keeping his team in games, all priorities for an NHL goaltender.

If Valley clears waivers and gets sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack, he will surely some significant playing time and be given a chance to get his game back in order in hopes of being sent back up to the big leagues. He’s had success in the AHL before so there is reason to believe that he will show the same professionalism and success at that level again.

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  Tags: chad+johnson, erik+christensen, new+york+rangers, stephen+valiquette

A Waste of Two Points

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, yesterday’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers should have been an easy two points. It was a game against a team that was in 14th-place in the Eastern Conference and well on their way to thinking about next season.

So what happened? The New York Rangers blew a three-goal lead and lost 5-4 in a shootout thanks to undisciplined defensive play and some poor goaltending by netminder Stephen Valiquette.

Through the first two periods, the team seemed to be doing everything right. They were getting contributions from their big guns, scoring on the power play, killing penalties and playing a sound defensive game.

Unfortunately, this worked for the first 40 minutes of the game and then things fell apart as the team missed defensive assignments, failed to score on a two-man advantage, and Valiquette allowed two soft goals to allow the Thrashers to get right back in the game.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, stephen+valiquette

A New Season

When the New York Rangers beat the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist said it was a good start to the new season.

It’s a good thing that the Blueshirts are looking at this as a new season since more than halfway through this 2008-09 campaign, a season that has been mired with a lack of scoring, a lack of finish, a terrible power play and overall, inconsistency.

This weekend, the team looks to continue its perfect new season with games against the Buffalo Sabres (tomorrow night in Buffalo) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Sunday night at the Garden). To pick up four points, the team will need to do the following:

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, scott+gomez, stephen+valiquette, toronto+maple+leafs, wade+redden

Let the Games Begin

Tomorrow night, the New York Rangers will begin the second half of their season with a tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

For the Rangers, the second half of the season will determine whether or not they are good enough to win the Atlantic Division title. For the team to do so, they will need to do the following:

- Score goals. It’s that simple folks. Being able to put the puck in the net wins games whether’s it an even strength, power play, or shorthanded goal. For this to happen, guys like Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky will need to step up and get the job done. And yes, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Lauri Korpikoski or Petr Prucha were put in the lineup more often and as of this writing at least, it looks like they will be in tomorrow night.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, lauri+korpikoski, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, petr+prucha, ryan+callahan, scott+gomez, stephen+valiquette, tom+renney

Will He Actually Play and other Ranger Musings

As Sam Weinman reported in his blog, the New York Rangers have called up defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti in the event that defenseman Michal Rozsival cannot play tonight after suffering a facial injury in last night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

The question that both Weinman and I are wondering is what does this say about Corey Potter? Potter played with the Blueshirts a few weeks ago and did just fine and yet, when the team is in a bind like they could be tonight, they potentially look to Sanguinetti. Yes, Sanguinetti is an all star in the AHL and leading the Hartford Wolf Pack with 20 points in 39 games, but is he ready to step in against a potentially potent offense in the Ottawa Senators?

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  Tags: bobby+sanguinetti, buffalo+sabres, corey+potter, hartford+wolf+pack, henrik+lundqvist, jim+cerny, michal+rozsival, new+york+rangers, nigel+dawes, ottawa+senators, rangers+report, ryan+miller, sam+weinman, stephen+valiquette, tom+renney

Time to Step Up

As I’m sure all of you New York Ranger fans are aware of, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was named to the Eastern Conference All Star team. He’s been a Vezina Trophy finalist in each of his three seasons in the National Hockey League so it’s nice that he finally got recognized by the league as one of the game’s elite netminders.

With that being said, if NHL management based their selections on the last two months, Lundqvist would not be on the team. Much like he did in 2006-07 and last season, Lundqvist is having trouble finding consistency. Just take a look at this week, for example. On Monday night, he stymies the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-0 shutout and last night, he allows five goals in a 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The team’s beat reporters went about as far to say that Lundqvist was one of the main reasons why the team lost last night. I’m sure most of you would agree.

This weekend, the team takes on the Buffalo Sabres (Friday night, 7:30 p.m., at the HSBC Arena) and the Ottawa Senators (Saturday night, 7 p.m., at Scotiabank Place). These are four points that the Rangers should be able to get so hopefully, Henrik will be on top of his game in the tilt he starts (assuming that backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette will start one of the two) because as Henrik goes, so do the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, eastern+conference+all+star+team, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, stephen+valiquette

Let Valiquette Play

While New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist might be one of the world’s top goaltenders, he certainly hasn’t played like it lately.

In the last nine games, he’s allowed 36 goals, which means he is allowing four goals a game, well above his career average of 2.33.

Furthermore, his goals against average for the season continues to rise (now 2.67) and his save percentage continues to drop (.908).

So what gives?

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, stephen+valiquette, washington+capitals

Skills Competition Bails out Rangers

For the second straight game, the New York Rangers needed a shootout to pick up two points, this time against the Florida Panthers.

It was also the second straight game that both Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev scored in the “skills competition” to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory.

Unlike there many other games that went to the shootout, it was the opposing team that tied up the game with just over a minute to go in the tilt as David Booth ripped in an in-tight shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (38 saves) with 1:33 left to go in the hockey game.

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  Tags: craig+anderson, david+booth, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, petr+prucha, stephen+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

Rangers on the Prowl in Miami

The New York Rangers continue their two-game road trip in the South with a matchup against the Florida Panthers tonight at the BankAtlantic Center. A win would give them 36 points on the season and a chance to keep their lead in the Eastern Conference.

One would have to expect that Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney will implement the same lineup he used on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which includes keeping the line of Markus Naslund, Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev together.

Last season, the Blueshirts were 2-1-1 against the Panthers. This season, the Panthers have struggled under new coach Peter Deboer, going 8-11-2 with a minus- 12 goal differential, scoring just 48 times in 21 games and allowing 60 goals.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, david+booth, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, peter+deboer, stephen+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

Officially a Losing Streak

While they may have only dropped their last two games, the New York Rangers played like they were in the midst of a two-week slump in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators this afternoon.

They had no jump in their legs, didn’t get pucks to the net, had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone and looked generally disorganized for 60 minutes.

So my question is: What’s going on?

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, colton+orr, jarkko+ruutu, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, paul+mara, phoenix+coyotes, stephen+valiquette

Valiquette to Start

According to Sam Weinman of The Journal News, the New York Rangers have elected to start Stephen Valiquette this afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Valiquette played half the game on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks and stopped all 15 shots he faced after Henrik Lundqvist was pulled by Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney (five goals allowed).

However, according to Weinman, Valiquette had been penciled in for this game for a long time and it’s not just a coincidence that he is starting after Lundqvist’s struggles on Wednesday night.

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  Tags: eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sam+weinman, stephen+valiquette, the+journal+news, tom+renney, vancouver+canucks

Embarassing

Last night’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks can be described in one word: embarrassing.

Through the first 30 minutes of the tilt, the New York Rangers were nowhere to be found, especially in the defensive zone as Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry.

That brings me to my next point: Lundqvist did not pull himself from the game last night.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sam+weinman, scott+gomez, stephen+valiquette, tom+renney, vancouver+canucks

What the Rangers need to Work on

In his Rangers Report Blog this afternoon, Sam Weinman gave a few reasons why the Rangers are 9-2-1.

He cited the play of netminders Henrik Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette, reporting to training camp early and in shape, a favorable schedule and unexpected contributions from guys like Aaron Voros and Fredrik Sjostrom.

These are all obvious reasons but just because they’re 9-2-1 doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.

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  Tags: aaron+voros, chris+drury, fredrik+sjostrom, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, nikolai+zherdev, scott+gomez, stephen+valiquette, wade+redden

Close but No Cigar for the Flyers

The New York Rangers squeeked by the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 for their fourth win of the season thanks to a dominant first period.

The rest of the game? Eh, not so much.

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  Tags: blair+betts, fredrik+sjostrom, henrik+lundqvist, michal+roszival, mike+richards, nikolai+zherdev, stephen+valiquette

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