Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: toronto maple leafs

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

Every Point Matters for the Blueshirts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Consistency

This is what the New York Rangers will try to do tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

At 1-3 through four games, it is easy to see that the Blueshirts have not found the things that made them so successful last season on a consistent basis. In fact, there have only been glimpses of the team's tight defense, great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and the ability to score big goals at important times.

This is obviously a much different kind of year for the Rangers than last seaason. Every game is important, there is not as much time to practice/work on things, there are many games in a given week and the team has only been together for a few weeks now.

With that said, and this is something that I mentioned in my previous blog, the team cannot afford to make these kinds of excuses this season. The way the game is played has not changed, the team pretty much has the same roster as it did last season and the goal is always the same, which is to get to the postseason and win the Stanley Cup.

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, 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

Puck Talk with the Great Steve Dangle

When it comes to hockey and social media, there is no doubt that Steve Dangle is well known in both circles.

Steve was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on his favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, what is going on with the NHL lockout, and why all these fake insiders are coming about.

PH: Once the puck drops, whenever that is, to being the season, how do you see the Toronto Maple Leafs doing this year? Why?
SD: Well, I think Ben Scrivens put it best in a recent interview that I had with him in saying, the Leafs couldn't possibly go on a skid like they did from February onward to the end of the season. Up until their plummet to the bottom of the standings, they were 6th in the East. That's where New Jersey was before losing to the 8th seeded LA Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. Leafs' fans are understandably uncomfortable with Burke's lack of action this summer, as am I. But I think it just might be the right thing to do. They'll challenge for a playoff spot, but it'll be a struggle.

PH: Are you comfortable with a goaltending tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens? Why or why not?
SD: Yes. First of all, the other option, acquiring a starting goaltender is unrealistic. There are so few of those available and any of the ones that are available are an extreme risk. As for taking a flyer on a guy like Jonathan Bernier - why? He doesn't project to be much better or worse than James Reimer and on top of that, he's gonna cost you assets to acquire him. Again, the most frustrating move is to do nothing but it might be the right move. What I'm more worried about is if Reimer or Scrivens get hurt.

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  Tags: nhl+lockout, steve+dangle, toronto+maple+leafs

An E-mail Interview with Toronto Hockey Blogger Extraordinaire Jeff Veillete

When it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, there are a lot of great bloggers that cover the team and present valuable opinions.

One such blogger who does that and more is Jeff Veillette of Leafs' HQ as well as Marlies HQ. Jeff is also now one of the bloggers for CBS's terrific Eye on Hockey blog.

Jeff was kind enough to take the time to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he became a hockey blogger, which hockey outlets he has blogged/is blogging for and what he is looking to provide his readers at the outlets he covers the sport for.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JV: I honestly can't remember a time where I wasn't. Both sides of my family have background in the sport, and as such, I was raised to be into it. My first memories are almost all hockey related, from watching old playoff games to wanting to play street hockey with my uncles. It's an essential part of who I am, and I doubt that will ever change.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
JV: Being from Toronto, it was pretty easy to jump into the perpetual disappointment sink that is the Maple Leafs. Granted, my early childhood consists of the time they were at least competing in the playoffs, so I'm not completely out of line for it. I had two favourite players growing up - Doug Gilmour represented the Leafs in that regard, as he would always be making the extra effort while on the ice and usually had a point on a big goal.

The other one was Pavel Bure - I loved watching him take off knowing that nobody was going to catch him, and the pure excitement he both created and showed in every game he played. He was actually the reason that the Canucks have been my "secondary" team almost as long as the Leafs have been my first and foremost.

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  Tags: cbs+eye+on+hockey, jeff+veillete, leafs+hq, marlies+hq, toronto+maple+leafs, toronto+marlies

Where does Luongo Fit in?

That is one question that is on the mind of every member of the hockey media these days when it comes to Vancouver Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo.

Bob McKenzie of TSN said yesterday that Luongo’s preference is to play on the Florida Panthers. However, McKenzie also said that the doors are not closed on the Toronto Maple Leafs even though there are reports that say the asking price for the 33-year-old netminder is too high.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
End of day, Luongo has to make sure he doesn’t end up in CHI…with AHL Wolves. Right now, tho, FLA and TOR think VAN asking price too high.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
...if FLA doesn’t pan out, doors to TOR or elsewhere are not by any means closed. Step by step process that hasn’t be formalized in any way.

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
Lot of Luongo talk about waiving/not waiving NTC. Here’s my take: Process has yet to be that formal. His obvious preference is FLA, but…

In my opinion, the best fit for Luongo is in Florida with the Panthers. For starters, he has had success there before.

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  Tags: bob+mckenzie, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jose+theodore, mike+gillis, roberto+luongo, scott+clemmensen, toronto+maple+leafs, tsn, vancouver+canucks

Just Win Hockey Games

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Ways to Win

That has been the story for the New York Rangers all season long and has led them to the top spot not only in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, but also in the entire National Hockey League.

The Blueshirts proved once again last night that they can find ways to win without having their best stuff in a 4-3 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. It certainly was not their prettiest game but it was one in which they picked-up two more points to stay ahead of the charging Pittsburgh Penguins in the division and Conference.

Last night, the Blueshirts got a great performance from their leading scorer Marian Gaborik. Gaborik scored two goals (36 and 37) and was dominant offensively for his hockey club.

The team also got another solid performance out of Brad Richards. Richards picked-up two assists and also set up Gaborik’s terrific second goal of the game.

Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist made enough saves to give his team a chance to win a hockey game. He was not at his best and once again allowed three goals but made some great saves late in the third period and in the shootout to pick-up his 35th victory of the season.

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  Tags: brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Not Making It Easy on Themselves

The New York Rangers are certainly doing that when it comes to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead as the team dropped a 4-1 game to the Buffalo Sabres last night at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts ran into outstanding goaltending in Ryan Miller as Miller turned away 26 of 27 shots. With the win, the Sabres are now tied in points with the Washington Capitals, who currently hold down the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

With the loss, the Rangers now hold just a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and a five point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. And with all three teams playing tonight, picking up two points against the Toronto Maple Leafs is a must if the Rangers want to hold onto the top spot.

The Rangers did not play terribly last night. They generated plenty of scoring opportunities but just could not put one behind Miller when it counted.

The team’s best player last night was defenseman Ryan McDonagh. There is no doubt that McDonagh has plenty of offensive ability and soon enough, fans are going to be able to see that on a regular basis.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, ryan+miller, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

A Common Theme This Season: Goaltending Controversies

This is something that seems to come up every season in the National Hockey League.

This season, however, it is something that is running rampant among NHL clubs, particularly the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.

Philadelphia Flyers

When is there ever not a goaltending controversy with the Philadelphia Flyers?

This has been the norm for the past decade or so and as such, is running its natural course this season. This year, it is between Ilya Brzygalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Flyers signed Bryzgalov to a 9-year pact over the off-season and thus far, the team has yet to see any real reward. In 33 games, the 31-year-old goaltender is 18-10-4 with a 2.99 goals against average (GAA), a .895 save percentage and 1 shutout, which are numbers that are far below what Bryzgalov posted with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The team’s back-up, Bobrovsky, has performed slightly better and has been more consistent thus far. “Bob” is 11-4-1 with a 2.42 GAA and a .919 save percentage in 18 games.

It seems like Bobrovsky should be the main man instead of Brzygalov, right?

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, corey+crawford, ilya+bryzgalov, james+reimer, jonas+gustavsson, philadelphia+flyers, ray+emery, sergei+bobrovsky, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Impressive in Shutout win over the Leafs

It may not have been the most exciting game but the New York Rangers got the job done tonight with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For the Rangers, it was important for the club to get their offense going and for the most part, the team did just that tonight with goals from guys who do not score many of them (except for one guy). The Blueshirts got goals from Mike Rupp (4th goal of the season), Brian Boyle (his first goal in 22 games and 3rd goal of the season) and Derek Stepan (10th goal of the season and an assist).

Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron also had a solid game for his hockey club tonight. Biron picked-up his second shutout and 9th win of the season. While he was not bombarded with shots, Biron was good when he needed to be in making 19 saves and also adding his third assist of the season on Stepan’s goal.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 28-10-4 with 60 points. That has them first in the Eastern Conference (three points ahead of the Boston Bruins) and as of this writing, first in the NHL, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks.

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  Tags: bell+centre, boston+bruins, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, joffrey+lupul, martin+biron, mike+rupp, mikhail+grabovski, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Rangers In Toronto to Battle the Leafs

Coming off a 3-0 shutout loss to the Ottawa Senators, the New York Rangers will look to turn things around tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

For the Rangers, their focus has to be on getting pucks to the net and making most of their chances. In their last two games, the team has scored just one goal in regulation while not being able to convert on many scoring opportunities.

The Blueshirts will be without forward Brandon Dubinsky once again tonight as he is nursing a sore shoulder. The team head coach, John Tortorella, wants to be careful with “Dubi” because he knows that they cannot afford to have him out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

“It’s still the same,” coach John Tortorella said of Dubinsky’s shoulder, which was initially hurt on a check by the Coyotes’ Taylor Pyatt in the first period of Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout victory, though Dubinsky finished that game. “We just don’t want it to turn into a bigger problem…We’re just trying to be careful.”

According to Andrew Gross of The Record, back-up netminder Martin Biron will get the start tonight for the Blueshirts. Biron will be looking for his ninth win of the season and more importantly, getting the Rangers back on the winning track.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+dubinsky, eastern+conference, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, taylor+pyatt, toronto+maple+leafs

Time to Start Again

That is the kind of attitude the New York Rangers should take after losing to the Ottawa Senators tonight by a score of 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

After winning five straight game, the Senators brought the Blueshirts back down to earth and gave them only their fourth loss on home ice this season. For the Rangers, it was their second loss the Senators at the Garden this season and like the last time, was probably a game that they could have won.

However, with the way Senators’ netminder Craig Anderson played, it would have been tough for anyone to beat the Senators tonight. Anderson made 34 saves en route to his first shutout of the season and his 22nd win of the season as well.

The Rangers definitely had their chances to put the puck in the net but just could not finish. This was especially the case in the third period as the team was all around Anderson but could not find the back of the net.

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  Tags: craig+anderson, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, toronto+maple+leafs

How About Six?

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do tonight against the hot Ottawa Senators.

The Blueshirts have won five in a row and are currently playing a great brand of hockey. The club is getting timely goal scoring, great defense and excellent goaltending from both Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron.

The team is also showing that they can win hockey games in many different ways. The Blueshirts can take a team down in regulation, overtime, or a shootout while also being able to come from behind or hold a lead going into the third period.

On the other side, the Ottawa Senators are also playing some great hockey. In their last 10 games, the team is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and has won two straight. Through 44 games, the Senators are 23-15-6, which is good for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, martin+biron, montreal+canadies, new+york+rangers, nhl, northeast+division, ottawa+senators, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Continue to Roll

No matter what the game is or who the team is playing, the New York Rangers always seem to find a way to win.

The team did just that last night in a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts probably could have won the game in regulation time if not for the outstanding goaltending from Coyotes’ netminder Mike Smith (31 saves) but since that did not happen, they won in the “skills competition”.

With the win, the Blueshirts improved to 27-9-4 along with picking up their fifth straight win and their 10th victory in their last 11 games. Not bad for a club that no one really knew how good they were going to be prior to the season starting, eh?

The Rangers really are playing to their identity. They work hard every night, they battle, they stick up for each other and because the team is doing all of this, they are finding ways to win hockey games.

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  Tags: derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+smith, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, radim+vrbata, toronto+maple+leafs

War On Ice: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

When it comes to the greatest rivalries in the National Hockey League, many fans will point out the obvious ones whether is the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, and so on and so forth.

One rivalry that deserves attention is one that will get just that on Monday afternoon at the 2012 Winter Classic, the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

When the NHL decided that the 2012 Winter Classic would be between the New York Rangers and the host Philadelphia Flyers, I do not think they thought that at this point in this season, it would end being such a big tilt.

The New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers have one of the greatest rivalries in the league. However, over their 44-year history of playing against each other, it has turned into more than a rivalry.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+prust, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, wayne+simmonds, zac+rinaldo

What Happened to Raycroft?

As every hockey fan knows, being a goaltender in the National Hockey League is not an easy job.

You can be great for one game, one season etc. and then the next game or season, completely lose it. Just look at what happened to the likes of Jim Carey or Blaine Lacher.

Another goaltender who has had both good times and bad is recently waived member of the Dallas Stars Andrew Raycroft. After winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in the 2003-04 season, Raycroft has never been the same netminder.
When Raycroft got started in the NHL in the 2003-04 season, he was absolutely terrific. He played big, was confident, did not allow many soft goals and put up great numbers with 29 wins, a 2.05 goals against average, a .926 save percentage and 3 shutouts.

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  Tags: andrew+raycroft, boston+bruins, colorado+avalanche, dallas+stars, kari+lehtonen, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Showdown in Miami

The New York Rangers are set to take on the Florida Panthers, a much improved hockey club this season, tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The Blueshirts are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. It was a game that with a better effort and more of a finishing touch, the team probably could have won.

On the other side, the Panthers are coming off a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The Cats are third in the Eastern Conference with 45 points and are having one of their best seasons in franchise history.

For the Rangers, this will be a tuneup game for them as they get set to focus on the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, January 2. With that said, this is a tuneup game that the team cannot afford to take lightly.

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  Tags: eastern+conference, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Getting Back on Track

That is something that the New York Rangers (15-6-4) will look to do tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (14-11-2) in Buffalo.

Buffalo is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the streaking Florida Panthers last night. It was a hard fought battle so there is no doubt that the Sabres may be a bit tired.

On the other side, the Blueshirts are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. According to team beat writers, the team had a good practice yesterday before heading off to Buffalo for tonight’s tilt.

The Rangers come into this game having not won since last Saturday night when they defeated the Lightning by a score of 4-2. Since that game, the Blueshirts have lost to the Leafs (4-2 on Monday Night night) and the Lightning and picked-up one point in those two games combined.

Even with their recent “winless streak”, the team still sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 34 points and is two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (fourth in the Eastern Conference) and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers (first in the Eastern Conference). If the team is able to pick up two points tonight, they will have a chance to move up a bit in the standings, which always feels good to any NHL hockey club.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, florida+panthers, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Look to Start Another Winning Streak Against the Lightning

Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maplle Leafs, the New York Rangers will look to get back on track tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden.

Unfortunately, the team will be without Rangers’ defenseman Michael Sauer as he suffered a concussion when Leafs’ defenseman Dion Phaneuf flattened him on Monday night. With the team already missing Marc Staal, this is certainly a blow to the team’s lineup.

With that said, this is a lineup that thrives when they need to step up and one would have to expect the team to do the same tonight. The team’s defensemen will have to step up tonight against the likes of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, and others.

With Sauer out, defenseman Anton Stralman will step in for the first time as a Blueshirt. Team head coach John Tortorella said the following to Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross yesterday:

“That comes with just not playing, it’s going to take some time as far as the tempo of the game. It’s very difficult when all you do is practice. We’re trying to play with pace and speed and it’ll take some time here. But that’s a concentration. We want him to defend. We know he has some offensive instincts. He’ll probably see some power play time along the way. But the key is just playing fast and trying to get within the tempo of the game as quickly as possible.”

 

 

This past Saturday, the Blueshirts won a hard fought game over these very same Lightning. With the Lightning coming off a 5-1 loss at the hands of the New York Islanders, you know they will come out and put forth a much better effort against a better Rangers' hockey club. Hopefully, the Blueshirts will get back to "normal" and pick-up two more points on home ice.

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  Tags: anton+stralman, john+tortorella, martin+st.+louis, michael+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+malone, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier

Rangers’ Winning Streak Snapped by Visiting Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to do that to the New York Rangers tonight when they picked up their second regulation win at Madison Square Garden by a score of 4-2.

The Rangers certainly did not play poorly in this game. They were able to generate several good scoring chances (32 shots on goal), found a way to make the game interesting by trying to come back from 3-0 to make it 3-2 on goals by Artem Anisinov and Marian Gaborik, and was a game that they probably could have won had some bounces gone their way.

With that said, it certainly was not pretty for the Blueshirts either. The team hung its goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves on 29 shots), out to dry on two of the goals and screened him on the other, and also took some needless penalties.

It is also apparent that Sean Avery’s ice time continues to decrease as each game goes by. Tonight, Avery had 7:32 of ice time and despite not getting a lot of ice, was still able to put three shots on goal. Not sure what team head coach John Tortorella wants him to do so it will be interesting to see how this continues to play out as each game comes and goes.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, sean+avery, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs

Shooting for 6

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do tonight as they aim for their sixth straight win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts come into tonight’s tilt on a 5-game winning streak after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2 on Saturday night. On the other side, the Lightning have not been the same team they were last season due to inconsistent goaltending and inconsistent hockey in general.

The Rangers are clicking on all cylinders right now. The Rangers are currently 16-5-3, second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. There are several reasons why the Rangers have been successful this season so far. For starters, they have shown some offensive depth this season.

While Marian Gaborik (12-9-21) and Richards (10-12-22) are leading the club in scoring, other players have stepped up for the team to provide offense this season. Team captain Ryan Callahan (10-8-18), Artem Anisimov (3-12-15), and Derek Stepan (5-10-15) have done their share of the offensive work to give the Blueshirts some balanced scoring.

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Continue to Roll

It seemed to be a solid night for the New York Rangers last night as the team beat the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2 for their fifth straight win.

Unfortunately, I was not able to catch any of the game last night as I was out with my wife and her friends. With that said, it was nice to come home and see the Blueshirts pick up yet another win and also see key guys contributing.

It was nice to see guys like Derek Stepan (1 goal and 1 assist), Brad Richards (1 goal and 1 assist), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Ryan McDonagh (2 assists) all have a multiple pint night in Tampa. It was also great to see Lundqvist have another solid performance in stopping 24 of 26 shots for his 11th win of the season.

I wish I could say more about the game but like I said earlier, I did not watch it so I do not want to make assumptions based on the score sheet. With that said, a win is a win and the Blueshirts continue to surprise people in the National Hockey League.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers Look to Strike Lightining

The New York Rangers will be looking for their fifth straight win when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.

It is easy to say that the Blueshirts are clicking on all cylinders right now. They are getting scoring not only from their top players, but depth players as well. The club is also playing solid defensively and getting the goaltending they need to win hockey games.

It has pretty much been this way for the Blueshirts ever since the end of October. After losing two straight to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers turned everything around and started looking like the club that many pundits and those in the hockey world thought they could be this season.

With all of that said, however, the Rangers cannot afford to take night’s off, no matter how good the club is playing. Tonight is a perfect example as the Lightning are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 11-11-2 record while struggling to play consistent hockey.

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  Tags: marc-andre+bergeron, martin+st.+louis, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier

A 60-minute Effort

That is exactly what the New York Rangers gave last night in their 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden.

For the first time on home ice this season, there was no third period let down, something the team struggled with in their losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. Instead, the team’s hard-work and effort lasted the whole game as the the team picked up its first win on the Garden ice in this somewhat young season.

Team captain Ryan Callahan is starting to show his scoring touch as he picked up another two goals last night, giving him five on the season. He is also showing a knack for going hard to the net and being in the right place at the right time, something the team will need from him throughout the rest of the season.

The team also got strong games from Brandon Dubinsky (2 assists), Erik Christensen (2 assists), Dan Girardi (2 assists), and back-up netminder Martin Biron (24 saves), who improved his record to 2-0. It was easily the team’s most complete game of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brandon+dubinsky, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs

Are the Rangers in Trouble?

The answer to that question is a resounding no.

At 3-3-3, the New York Rangers certainly have not played their best in this young season and at the same time, have yet to click on all levels. That is the good thing.

The bad thing is that the way has played in their last two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, both losses at Madison Square Garden. Their play in the third period in both games is also alarming.

In their loss to the Senators on Saturday afternoon at MSG, the team blew a 4-1 lead in the third period and lost 5-4 in the shootout. In a game that the team scores four goals, gets solid performances from both Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik and is at home, it should have been a Rangers’ victory.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brad+richards, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, san+jose+sharks, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Rangers Forget Mower In Loss to the the Leafs

In what was suppossed to be an exciting home opener in the newly renovated Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers were flat in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing in the Garden for the first time since April, the Blueshirts struggled to sustain any kind of offense in the Leafs’ zone while also allowing Leafs’ forwards to get open in front of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Put those two together and it is a losing combination for the Rangers.

While the new look Madison Square Garden was a sight to see with new seats, luxury boxes, concourse, etc., on the ice, the Rangers did not show much after Dan Girardi’s first period tally that gave the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. From that point on, they proceeded to play on their heels, not generate enough offense, and make life difficult for Lundqvist.

Lundqvist, who made 32 saves in the game, was terrific throughout the first two periods but appeared to have lost a step in the third period. He allowed questionable goals to Clarke MacArthur and Mike Brown but other than those two blemishes, he gave the Blueshirts an opportunity to win.

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  Tags: clarke+macarthur, dan+girardi, jonas+gustavsson, mike+brown, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

Time to Establish Home Ice

For any hockey fan, there is nothing like attending your favorite team’s home opener.

You have the opportunity to see your favorite club play for the first time in several months. You get to see your favorite players back in action, your season ticket friends and of course, you go into it with nothing but the highest expectations for a good season on home ice.

That will be the case tonight for the New York Rangers as they get set to play their long awaited home opener tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not only is this the first game for the Blueshirts, but it is also their first game in the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.

If the Rangers want to have any sort of chance of finishing in the top half of the Eastern Conference, they need to establish themselves on home ice this season and make Madison Square Garden a very difficult place to play. It was this way back in the early 1990’s and has never really come as close to being like that in a long time.

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

Time to Go Home

That is probably what every New York Ranger player was saying last night after beating the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 2-1 and ending their seven game roadtrip.

For the Blueshirts, last night certainly was not pretty but because they got great goaltending from Martin Biron and some lucky bounces, the team was able to come away with the all important two points. With the win, the Rangers improved their record to 3-2-2 on the year.

Again, this was not a great game for the Blueshirts. There was not a whole lot of offense generated by the team and in the third period, they were running around in their own zone, causing a lot of scary moments for head coach John Tortorella.

With that said, it was still a win and a win that enabled them to go 3-1 on their Western Canada road trip. This trip has always hurt the Rangers’ in seasons past so that is definitely a positive.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Timing is Everything

That was certainly the case last night for the New York Rangers as they scored with just over a second left in overtime to defeat the Calgary Flames by a score of 3-2.

Brandon Dubinsky did all the work to get the puck into the offensive zone and feed the puck to defenseman Dan Girardi, who then fired the puck wide off the boards for defenseman Ryan McDonagh to come in and put the puck into the open side of the net. Some might say it was a set play but it was really all about the timing.

In the team’s second straight win, the Blueshirts got solid performances from the likes of Marian Gaborik (1 goal and 8 shots), Brandon Prust (shorthanded goal), and of course, Henrik Lundqvist, who made 33 saves. The club also got a terrific game out of their penalty killing unit as the team was once again somewhat undisciplined.

The Blueshirts find themselves with two straight wins on this four game Western Canada road trip and should be feeling pretty good about themselves. With that said, there are still a few things that the team needs to work on such as staying out of the box, not allowing high quality scoring chances and getting scoring from their second line.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, calgary+flames, dan+girardi, edmonton+oilers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

The Pressure is on For Reimer and Crawford

Over at TheGoodPoint.com, I wrote a piece on how there will be a lot of pressure on goaltenders James Reimer (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks) to have solid follow-up seasons this year for their respective hockey clubs:

Ever since Toronto Maple Leafs’ former netminder Ed Belfour left Toronto, the franchise has struggled to find themselves a true No. 1 goaltender and get into the postseason.

One problem was solved when goaltender James Reimer, 23, burst onto the scene and had an above average rookie season for the Leafs. In 37 games, Reimer went 20-10-5 with a 2.60 goals against average, a .921 save percentage, and three shutouts, bringing back days of Felix Potvin to the Leafs’ faithful.

Click here for more.

 

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, corey+crawford, james+reimer, toronto+maple+leafs

Blueshirts Shut out the Bruins in Important Road Win

Believe it or not folks, the New York Rangers are now tied with the sixth place Montreal Canadiens after shutting out the Boston Bruins in Boston by a score of 1-0.

Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist was solid once again in picking up his 11th shutout of the season. Lundqvist finished the game with 26 saves and was especially good in the third period when his team was outshot by a 12-1 margin.

The team also did a terrific job of blocking shots. At one point on the broadcast in the third period, Rangers’ announcer Sam Rosen said the team had blocked 25 shots. They probably finished with close to 30 in the game and showed just how important blocking shots can be, especially since the Bruins have guys who can fire the puck frome the point.

Offensively, the Rangers were quiet once again. Yes, they got a goal from Derek Stepan in the first period (his 20th goal of the season) but other than that, they were shut down by the Bruins’ defense and Bruins’ netminder Tuukka Rask, who had 22 saves on the afternoon and was the victim of a helpless offense.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs, tuukka+rask

Rangers Pick Up the All-Important Two Points in San Jose

It does not matter how you get them just as long you get them.

That is what the New York Rangers were able to do last night in their 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks. It wasn’t pretty but the Blueshirts did not allow two deflection goals against to derail them en route to a victory.

At this point in the season, one point is not good enough for the Blueshirts and they showed that last night in San Jose. The team got goals from from Erik Christensen, Michael Sauer and in the shootout, got the winner from Brandon Dubinsky after Wojtek Wolski extended the shootout by scoring on Sharks’ netminder Antti Niemi in the third round of the skills competition.

The Blueshirts also got a terrific performance from their netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 31 saves in 65 minutes and then went and stopped five of six shots in the shootout to pick up his 28th victory of the season.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, columbus+blue+jackets, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

Old Time Hockey, Eh?

The game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night is the perfect example of why hockey can be so great.

It had big hits, plenty of fights, highlight-reel goals and it was one of the best rivalry games of the season between two Original Six franchises. It was old time hockey at its absolute best.

With that in mind, the National Hockey League needs to find a way to take advantage of the Original Six Franchises and give them more games to play against each other. Just look at the rivalries that are available to showcase:

- Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
- Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, original+six, toronto+maple+leafs

Gaborik shines in Rangers’ Victory

When we first heard that New York Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky was going to be out with an injury for the next three to four weeks, Blueshirt fans probably wondered who was going to step up and provide the offense.

As it turns out, the player that should have been supplying offense all season long stepped up in a big way last night with four goals and an assist for five points in a 7-0 white-washing of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The player I am talking about is Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik was simply an offensive force last night. He hustled, had a nose for the net, put pucks to the net and the puck always seemed to find him at the right time. These were all the things that he did last season that allowed him to score over 40 goals.

This is the Gaborik that team needs to have on a consistent basis. With someone like Dubinsky out, goals are going to be a bit harder to come by but if Gaborik can play like he did last night going forward, the team will be a lot better off.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs

An E-mail Interview with Hockey Blogger Brian Huddle

With the 2011 NHL Draft about five months away, I figured now was a good time to check in with a hockey blogger who covers junior hockey and prospects as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His name is Brian Huddle. On the night of the CHL Prospects game at the Air Canada Centre, Mr. Huddle was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got into blogging, which outlets he blogs for as well as his thoughts on junior hockey and the Leafs.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
BH: The story is the same as any other Canadian boy from Ontario. My dad loved hockey and had me put into skating fairly young. I was put into an actual league by the age of 6. Played most of my life at various levels of the sport, and just fell in love with the freedom of being on the ice.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BH: Before people boo me, yes, I did grow up a Leafs fan. I’m from Toronto and it’s just how you get raised—especially when Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clarke, Mats Sundin were all here around that time. Toronto was buzzing with Leafs Pride, and so it felt right for my parents to raise me that way.

However, I fell in love with defensemen pretty early on; specifically Scott Stevens. I liked tough hockey, and guys like him portrayed that well.

To this day, I consider Stevens and Doug Gilmour my favorite players to play the game.

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  Tags: brian+huddle, chl, toronto+maple+leafs

Time to Start Going Goals

With the New York Rangers having dropped three of their last four games all by one goal, the time has come for the team to start putting the puck in the net at the right time.

The team will get the chance to do that tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in an original six matchup at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts need to come out and be offensive and aggressive for a full 60 minutes rather than just the last period of the hockey game, which was the case in back-to-back losses this weekend to the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. Had the team played the way they did in the third period on both nights, we could easily be talking about a three game winning streak.

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  Tags: andrew+gross, artem+anismov, atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ranger+rants, ruslan+fedotenko, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, wojtek+wolski

Third Goal Hard to Come By for the Blueshirts

For the second straight game, the New York Rangers had trouble getting the tying third goal in a 3-2 loss, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Down 3-0 going into the third period, the team got goals from Wojtek Wolski and Derek Stepan before Flyers’ goaltender Brian Boucher and the rest of his hockey club shut the door and skated off the Madison Square Garden ice with two big points, handing the Blueshirts their second consecutive loss of the weekend.

The Blueshirts lack of offense is becoming a growing concern in 2011 as the team has yet to score more than two goals. One player that is really having trouble is Marian Gaborik.

Gaborik is not finishing his chances, is having trouble getting the puck to the net and is being made an example of by head coach John Tortorella, as the coach benched him for part of last night’s tilt with the Flyers.

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  Tags: brian+boucher, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, wojtek+wolski

An E-mail Interview with Steve Dangle of YouTube and Leafs TV Fame

As we all know, YouTube is extremely popular with all the kinds of videos you can imagine.

Steve Dangle is a hockey personality that used YouTube to his advantage to talk about all things Toronto Maple Leafs/hockey while also helping him to get a job with Leafs TV.

Steve was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he started video blogging, what he does for Leafs TV and his take on this year’s Leafs team.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
SD: Ever since I can remember I’ve known hockey! I don’t remember anybody going “Steve, this is what hockey is” so it feels like it’s always been there. It’s engrained in Canadian culture. I was really little for the Leafs’ in the early 90’s, but I still remember some games, especially the Leafs-Kings series… but I won’t get into that.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite Toronto Maple Leaf? Why?
SD: Felix “the Cat” Potvin. I wanted to be him so badly as a kid. Every road hockey game I wanted to be goalie because of him. He was always coming up with the big saves and he was always exciting. Goal-scorers are exciting, but if you score once every two games you’re considered an elite scorer. Goalies stop like 30 shots a night. That’s why I idolized Potvin.

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  Tags: steve+dangle, toronto+maple+leafs

Rangers’ Shut Out Leafs

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the New York Rangers needed to go out and play a perfect road game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mission accomplished as the Blueshirts shutout the Leafs 2-0 thanks to terrific performances from the likes of Henrik Lundqvist (36 saves), Ryan Callahan (penalty shot goal), and Brian Boyle (1 goal). and Bradon Prust.

What else is left to say about Lundqvist? He played great last night in a losing effort and tonight, he absolutely shut the door on the Leafs, especially in the second and third periods when the Leafs had sustained pressure in the Blueshirts’ zone. Yes, he allowed four goals last night but ever since making the start in Boston a week ago, Henrik has been on top of his game.

Ryan Callahan has also been terrific for the Blueshirts. With his penalty shot goal tonight, Cally now has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 10 games. Not only is he contributing offensively, but he also throws a lot of hits, blocks a lot of shots and creates plenty of scoring opportunities.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boyle, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Tough Loss Despite Great Effort From Team’s Top Line

The New York Rangers played a solid enough home game last night to win.

Unfortunately, they came up short in losing the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-3, despite taking 43 shots and Hurricanes’ netminder Cam Ward.

The team got a terrific performance out of the Brandon Dubinsky (1 G, 1A), Ryan Callahan (1G, 1A), and Artem Anisimov (1A) line. Both Dubinsky and Callahan scored goals while Anisimov showed great support by going after the puck, taking hits, getting the pukc to his linemates and putting himself in good scoring position to create opportunities.

This continues to be the top line for the Blueshirts and it shows by how much head coach John Tortorella is putting them out there. The head coach said the following to team web site beat writer Jim Cerny after the game:

“They continue to be our best and most consistent line night after night,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. “I liked a lot of what I saw from our team (Friday) night. There are things we have to fix, but there are a lot of good things there.”

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs

Uh Oh

Not only did the New York Rangers lose their home opener in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-3, but they also lost Chris Drury (6 weeks due to a broken finger) and Marian Gaborik (2-3 weeks with a separated shoulder) to injuries.

The Blueshirts lost Gaborik after Leafs’ winger Colby Armstrong hit Gaborik hard into the boards. Not too long after that happened, the team lost Drury when he broke his finger again. Not exactly the way to start the season at home, eh?

What’s concerning here is the loss of Gaborik for a few weeks. Coming into the season, Gaborik was expected to pile up the points like he did last season and be a scoring threat on a line with Alex Frolov, who has yet to score a goal in the team’s first three games.

Where is the offense going to come from? There are not going to be too many games where your club’s goal scorers are Michal Rozsival and team fourth-liner Brian Boyle.

For the next few weeks at least, others are going to have to step up, especially in the month of October since November looks like it is going to be one of the toughest months for the team.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: chris+drury, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

Playing with Pride at Home

Last week over at RLD Hockey, I blogged about how the New York Rangers need to take pride in the fact that this season mark’s the club’s 85th Anniversary and that to honor it, they need to play with pride all season long.

I figured that since tomorrow night is the team’s home opener at Madison Square Garden, I would share with you some of what I blogged over at RLD Hockey that is relevant for tomorrow night and going forward in 2010-11:

- The New York Rangers are one of the Original Six franchises in the National Hockey League, which is something that the team should take pride in. This season marks the 85th Anniversary for the Blueshirts; and in order to make it a good one, the team needs to make things happen and get off to a good start.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: madison+square+garden, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

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