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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: steve valiquette

Biron the right man for the job

Over the past few seasons, goaltenders who filled in for New York Rangers’ starting netminder Henrik Lundvqist did not work out so well.

There was Steve Valiquette, who seemed to never be the same after allowing a 2-0 lead to slip away in Toronto to the Maple Leafs back in early November of 2008 and then faltered early in the 2009-10 season as well. Then, there was youngster Chad Johnson. Johnson was not terrible but was not ready to handle a full-time backup NHL goaltender role.

Today, the Blueshirts no longer have that problem as Martin Biron seems to be the right answer. In 17 games (15 games started) this season, Biron is a remarkable 8-6 with a 2.13 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. With statistics like those, it is no wonder that head coach John Tortorella is not afraid to give Biron back-to-back starts.

On Saturday and Monday, despite losing both games, Biron showed that he is more than capable of playing extremely well and giving his team every opportunity to win a hockey game. In Montreal on Saturday afternoon, Biron was solid in making 27 saves on 28 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Canadiens.  On Monday night against the powerful Detroit Red Wings, he made 32 saves on 35 shots in being the team’s best player on the ice.

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  Tags: chad+johnson, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Lundqvist and Biron: The Perfect Combination?

In the National Hockey League, good goaltending is everything.

Just look at what the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia utilized to get to the Stanley Cup finals this past season. When looking at the New York Rangers, however, Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron could be considered as great and above average.

Since joining the NHL and the Rangers in the 2005-06 season, Lundqvist has been everything and more to the Blueshirts. He consistently ranks in the top five and ten in goaltending statistical categories and has helped the team make the playoffs four out of the past five seasons. Ranger pundits and fans alike will expect more of the same from the “King” in the upcoming season.

Martin Biron was primarily the backup to Dwayne Roloson last season on the New York Islanders and struggled on a pretty terrible hockey club. However, prior to last season, he provided above average goaltending for the Philadelphia Flyers in leading the team to the playoffs in back-to-back years. In one of those seasons, he led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Penguins.

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  Tags: chad+johnson, henrik+lunqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Valiquette Headed to the KHL

Great friend of the blog Nicholas Montemagno of The Rangers Tribune found out today through Laurie at Beyond the Blueshirts that former New York Rangers backup goaltender Steve Valiquette is headed over to the KHL to play for CSKA Moscow. For whatever reason, the Beyond the Blueshirts link is not working right now so I will defer to Mr. Montemagno:

According to our good friend Laurie over at Beyond the Blueshirts, reports are coming out of Russia that Rangers goaltender Steve Valiquette, Henrik Lundqvist’s former back-up, has signed with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. The KHL has fully confirmed the signing, pretty much making this a done deal. I do not think the Rangers are sorry to see him go.

Due to inconsistent play, Valiquette only appeared in six games total this past season with New York, recording a .852 save percentage and 3.74 goals against average in that time. After numerous debacles with Valiquette in goal, he was soon sent down to the Hartford Wolf Pack, where he would spend the remainder of the season. His play was no better with the Pack than it was with the Rangers, and he had no chance to prove otherwise as he suffered a season-ending injury only a few weeks into his stink in the Americnan Hockey League.

Click here for more.



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  Tags: new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Rangers’ backup Goalie Situation a “Mess”

From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

On the backup goalie situation: “It’s a mess. Let’s call it what it is, it’s a mess. Honestly, I talked to Valley (Steve Valiquette) at the beginning of the year, we were looking to get him 15-17 games. That’s what I like to do, especially that Hank’s going to be there in the Olympics and all that. Would I still like to do that? I don’t know if I can. Johnson’s going to get a game here along the way, I think that’s going to determine how we go about this. Has it changed? It had to change. We sent a veteran backup down and he’s still struggling down there and we don’t even know what we have with Johnson as far as a backup. I’m not trying to paint a lousy picture but that’s the picture it is. It’s an ongoing thought in my head what we’re going to do. That’s the best I can do.”

Torts is certainly right. With the way the team’s defense looks like right now, Lundqvist is going to continue to get peppered and at some point, Johnson will need to be thrown into the fray so show the organization what he can do.

Gross thinks that the team should put him in against the Islanders next Thursday night at the Coliseum. What do you folks think?

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  Tags: chad+johnson, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Valiquette Struggling in Hartford

If the New York Rangers hoped that Steve Valiquette would get his game back in Hartford, they may be mistaken.

In two games with Wolf Pack, Valley has allowed 10 goals. In his first start last Friday night against, Valley started and was pulled in the first period. He was put back in in the second period and once again faltered. Then, on Sunday night, Valley was pulled early in the second period after allowing five goals on 16 shots.

What’s going on here? Do you folks think Valley is done in the NHL? Is someone like Chad Johnson ready to take the reigns of a full-time backup goaltending position on the Blueshirts?

Let’s hear your thoughts!

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Valley on Waivers; Team claims Christensen

From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

To recap: coach John Tortorella has confirmed that the Rangers have claimed center Erik Christensen on waivers from the Ducks, in part because Donald Brashear is injured again with an unspecified injury after missing time earlier this season because of his right hand/wrist.

Also, backup goalie Steve Valiquette has been put on waivers with the hope he can be sent to Hartford (AHL) without anybody claiming him. Chad Johnson, a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker and the CCHA player of the year at Alaska-Fairbanks, has been recalled, though there are no plans for him to make his NHL debut. More than likely, the Rangers will try to bring in another veteran (the Islanders Martin Biron would be perfect with Rick DiPietro due back in mid-December but it’s unlikely the Islanders would trade Biron to the Rangers).

“We’d like to send (Valiquette) down on conditioning but I don’t think we can because of our cap problems,” Tortorella said. “We want to get him down there playing and get his game back. Johnson gets to practice with us. I’m not sure where it all sits with him playing. It’s a tough situation for Valley. He hasn’t played a whole bunch. Sometimes your skills may diminish. It’s just been a little bit of a struggle for him. He works his butt off on the ice but he hasn’t played much and I think that’s hurt him. If he goes through, he gets an opportunity to play some minutes and get his game back.”

Click here for more. I guess this was going to happen sooner or later, right?

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

Some Thoughts on Valiquette

From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

And as great a guy as Steve Valiquette is and as much as you want to see him do well, it may be getting to the point where the Rangers have to consider alternatives to backup Henrik Lundqvist. As discussed, Valiquette goes through long stretches where he plays very well - and Tortorella cited him as the reason the Rangers were still in this game heading into the third period despite a weak defensive effort in the first period - but then seems to have too many of these stretches where one goal leads to several goals. Tonight’s third period is a fine example. So was that 10-2 loss at Dallas last season. Or the 5-2 loss at Toronto last season.

Valley certainly had a rough third period last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and let the game slip away from his team. Through the first two periods, however, he did everything he could to keep his team in the game.

With that in mind, do you agree with Gross’s assessment that the team should look elsewhere for a more viable backup netminder?

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, steve+valiquette

Should Henrik Play Less?

From Stan Fischler at MSGNetwork.com:

Given his druthers and his competitive nature, Henrik Lundqvist likely would want to play all 82 games of the Rangers season.

In a theoretical world, why shouldn’t he?

In a real world, Glenn Hall of the Chicago Blackhawks once had a streak of 503 consecutive games—and he did it without wearing a protective mask.

But that was then and this is now with John Tortorella coaching the Blueshirts and not Rudy Pilous coaching the 1960s Blackhawks when Hall didn’t even have a back-up goalie.

If there’s one item that remains stuck in my mind after conversing with Torts this offseason, it was his insistence that Lundqvist play fewer games than he did last year. The coach based his proposal on the Rangers sudden collapse in the first playoff round against Washington after having built a three-games-to-one lead. He remained convinced that Henny had become worn down.

Click here for more from the Maven.


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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, steve+valiquette

All About Two Points

The New York Rangers hope to extend their win streak to three tonight when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 3-1 win last night over the Anaheim Ducks, getting goals from Chris Drury, Nigel Dawes and Nikolai Zherdev. The team also got another strong performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 19 of 20 shots.

It doesn’t appear that the whole Mats Sundin situation is a distraction to the team as all they are focused on is winning.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, atlanta+thrashers, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, mats+sundin, new+york+rangers, nigel+dawes, nikolai+zherdev, san+jose+sharks, steve+valiquette, steve+zipay, tom+renney

Drury Breaks Out

This may be his second season as a New York Ranger but in last night’s 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chris Drury finally broke out.

He helped the team’s power play break out of its funk with two goals with the man advantage. Drury also scored the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season.

All in all, not too shabby for the Trumbull, CT native.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chris+drury, edmonton+oilers, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, steve+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

Bound To Happen

There the New York Rangers were, half way through the third period with a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs. What happened next was something that most realistic Blueshirt fans were for all along: a melt down.

The Maple Leafs exploded for five goals in the final frame to give the Rangers their third loss of the season, giving them a record of 10-3-1.

For any Ranger fan, it’s pretty easy to see what did them in: the team’s offense and sloppy coverage in their own zone.

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  Tags: brendan+shanahan, jaromir+jagr, steve+valiquette


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