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Entries with the tag: vancouver canucks

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

Has it Been that Long?

From Bob Birge at Sportsideo.com:

That Tuesday morning 18 years ago, dawned to oppressive heat and humidity, befitting our moods.

After the 4-1 loss in game six and seeing those damn white towels waiving at Pacific Coliseum amid the beautiful Western Canadian sunset, I was convinced that it wasn’t going to happen.

I was convinced that our beloved—and cursed - hockey team was going to find a new, even more exotic way to break our hearts. We might have thought they had exhausted every possible method of doing that, but squandering a 3-1 lead in the Final would top all the previous heartbreaks.

The Rangers were just never going to win the Stanley Cup again. They would go into the 21st Century as hockey’s version of the Chicago Cubs, the one difference being that these weren’t the “lovable losers”.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: 1994, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks

Rangers Play Their Game to Extend Series to 7

When the New York Rangers play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they are an extremely tough team to beat.

The Blueshirts proved that tonight by beating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2 in Game 6 to tie the series up at three apiece. The two teams will have two days off before meeting on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden for a Game 7.

The Rangers played the game the right way tonight and the way that they played all season long. They were able to capitalize on their power play opportunities, got good performances from the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider and were able to hold onto a two-goal third period lead. These are the things that made the Rangers successful in the regular season and proved tonight by playing this style of hockey, they can win games when they need to and when it counts.

There is a lot to be said about the play of Kreider. Kreider came to the Blueshirts after winning a National Championship with Boston College and has done nothing but stay in the lineup and show that he can play in the NHL.

Tonight, Kreider picked-up his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, a game-winning goal, in an extremely meaningful game. For the Blueshirts, tonight’s tilt was a do or die situation and Kreider came through looking like a veteran rather thank a rookie playing in just his fourth NHL/playoff game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks

Playing for their Playoff Lives

That is the position the New York Rangers have put themselves in after losing Games 4 and 5 to the Ottawa Senators, giving the opposition a 3-2 series lead.

Based on the way the 2012 postseason has gone so far, nothing should come as a surprise. Heck, the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, three of the league’s best teams, have already been eliminated.

Another top team in the NHL has a chance to be eliminated tonight. If the Rangers lose tonight at Scotiabank Place, their terrific regular season will have meant nothing.

Throughout the regular season, the Blueshirts were a team that never gave up. They were able to protect leads, make comebacks late in third periods and played with a never say die attitude.

The Rangers will be playing for their playoff lives tonight and will need to have that same mentality that made them so successful in the postseason. If they don’t, it’s off to the golf course for a way too early offseason for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, carl+hagelin, craig+anderson, daniel+alfredsson, detroit+red+wings, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, vancouver+canucks

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

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

Always Consistent

Those two words describe New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s play as a Blueshirt since joining the National Hockey League in the 2005-06 season.

He showed that once again last night with a 40-save shutout performance of the Vancouver Canucks, helping lead the Rangers to their first victory of the season. It only made sense that he was the story of the game because since joining the league, he has been the franchises’s best player.

In last night’s 4-0 win, Lundqvist was calm, cool, and collected under pressure. He did a solid job of controlling rebounds, challenging shooters and making himself look big to some of the league’s best shooters in Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Sami Salo and many others on the Canucks.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, calgary+flames, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+rupp, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, vancouver+canucks

Rangers Need to Get ‘Er Done Tonight Against the Canucks

That has to be the New York Rangers’ motto this week as they begin their four-game Wester Canada road trip tonight with a tilt against the Vancouver Canucks.

Just their fourth game of the season, tonight’s match will be a test for the Blueshirts. The Vancouver Canucks are obviously an extremely talented team that knows how to put the puck in the net.

The Rangers are going to have to be able to show some offense tonight and for them, that could be tough considering what kind of start they off to. Offensively, the team has scored just 5 goals in three games and with the depth that the team has, that needs to improve going forward.

With that said, in order to increase their offense, the team will also need to do everything they can to stay out of the penalty box. Time and time again on Saturday night against the Islanders, the team would take a careless or needless penalty, squashing any kind of offensive momentum.

Speaking of momentum, that is all the Rangers’ No.1 line of Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik created on Saturday night. They generated several good scoring chances and looked like they had a lot of chemistry. If Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella is smart, he will give this line another chance to succeed tonight in Vancouver.

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  Tags: alex+burrows, brad+richards, cory+schneider, daniel+girardi, daniel+sedin, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+sedin, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, roberto+luongo, ryan+kesler, vancouver+canucks

Are the Rangers In Trouble?

Obviously folks, the answer to this question is a resounding NO.

It is only three games into the season and while the the team is 0-1-2, thanks to a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders last night, it is certainly nothing to panic about. With that said, there are obviously things that the team needs to work on.

For starters, taking too many penalties. Throughout the team’s first three games of the season, it seems like the Blueshirts have constantly been making trips to the penalty box. Last night, the Rangers gave the Islanders eight power plays, some of them absolutely needless such as Marian Gaborik’s penalty in the third period.

Not only does going to the box put the team at a disadvantage man-wise, but it also kills the flow of the team. Last night, it was clear that the top line of Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik was clicking and creating scoring opportunities. However, when the team takes too many penalties, there is only so much time that line can get out on the ice.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks

An E-mail Interview with Harrison Mooney of PassittoBulis and Puck Daddy

If you are on Twitter and follow Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, you know by now that the new associate editor for the blog is Harrison Mooney of PassittoBulis.

Harrison was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he became blogger and what he will be doing at Puck Daddy.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
HM: Okay. May 6, 1991. I was five. I turned on the television one day and landed on game three of the Campbell Conference Final between the Minnesota North Stars and the Edmonton Oilers. My family wasn’t a sports family, so this was really the first time I’d been exposed to hockey at all. I found it to be excellent. Minnesota walloped Edmonton 7-3, and I instantly decided that I liked hockey, and I really liked the North Stars, because they were clearly the best. My shallow opinion was briefly validated, too, when Minnesota won the next two games of the series to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. As far as I was concerned, they were unbeatable.

Then, of course, they went up against the Penguins and got their asses handed to them. I watched every game of that series, trying desperately to hold on to my belief that Minnesota was the awesomest, but when Pittsburgh scored their eighth goal in game six, I gave up and gave in. I decided I had been cheering for the Penguins all along. Next year, when my beloved Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions, I knew I’d made the right choice. Then, in 1993, the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Islanders in overtime. Somehow, this time, I couldn’t shrug it off by changing teams. I remember weeping like a friend had died when David Volek scored. It hurt for real. I knew then and there that hockey had me by the balls.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
HM: Until 1994, definitely the Penguins. I liked Jaromir Jagr, mainly because it was impossible to miss him when he was on the ice, what with the eye-catching skill and mullet. In 1994, however, I discovered that living in British Columbia meant I was actually supposed to cheer for the Vancouver Canucks, so I did. I’m sure it helped that they went to the Cup Final that year. Damn, I was fickle. I liked Sergio Momesso for some reason.

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  Tags: harrison+mooney, passittobulis.com, puck+daddy, vancouver+canucks, vancouver+sun

Dangerous in the NHL: Goaltenders and Long Term Contracts?

After seeing what the the Philadelphia Flyers did last week, I would have to say yes.

Have NHL general managers not learned anything when it comes to signing goaltenders to ridiculous contracts? Do they not know that often, it is a very bad idea to do so due to things that could happen that are out of their control?

It would appear not since Flyers’ Gm Paul Holmgren went out and signed UFA goaltender Illya Bryzgalov to a 9-year deal. While the Flyers’ may like that they have a potential franchise netminder on their hands, there are a few examples where signing a goaltender to a long-term contract has not worked out as planned.

The first and most obvious example is New York Islanders’ goaltender Rick DiPietro. Back in September of 2006, Islanders’ general manager signed DiPietro to a then oustounding 15-year deal worth $67.5 million.

In return, the Islanders really have not received anything back from DiPietro accept injuries. DiPietro has yet to play a full season since signing the long-term deal and has also yet to return to the form that got him into the NHL in the first place. Overall, it has been a no-win situation for either DiPietro or the Islanders as a whole.

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  Tags: illya+bryzgalov, new+york+islanders, philadelphia+flyers, rick+dipietro, roberto+luongo, vancouver+canucks

Canucks Under Pressure To Get it Done Tomorrow Night

When it comes to an elimination game in any series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, many hockey fans figure that the pressure is on the team that is one loss away from being knocked out.

While that is certainly an understandable point, that will not be the case in tomorrow night’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. Tomorrow night, the pressure belongs to Roberto Luongo and the rest of his Canucks’ teammates.

For starters, the Canucks have clearly struggled at the TD Garden in this series. In Games 3 and 4 in Boston, the Canucks were outscored 12-1 despite putting a combined 79 shots on goal. While in Boston, Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome was suspended for the rest of the series for his hit on Bruins’ forward Nathan Horton while Roberto Luongo had plenty of trouble keeping the puck out of the net.

Secondly, Luongo still has to shake off the choke label both the media and fans have placed on him. Yes, Luongo has two shutouts in this series and yes, Luongo was terrific in Game 5. With that said, he still needs to show that he can get it done when it matters the most and tomorrow night, that will certainly be one of those situations for Luongo and the rest of his mates.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

Keys to Game 4

When looking at tonight’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, there are a few things that each team needs to do or needs to have happen in order to come out of it with a victory.

Boston Bruins

1) Stay The Course: The Bruins need to play the exact same way they did on Monday night in their 8-1 victory. That means they need to be physical, need to forecheck, need to get the puck deep and need to throw lots and lots of pucks on Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo.

2) Do Not Retaliate: Yes, Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome knocked out Bruins’ sniper Nathan Horton for the rest of the series but that is no reason to play without discipline. The Bruins need to get the Canucks where they got them on Monday night and that is the scoreboard.

3) Get a Strong Game from Thomas: Something that was overlooked in the game 4 blowout was the play of Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas. Thomas made 40 saves, several of them of the spectacular variety, and played until the final buzzer sounded. Another performance like that tonight and this series might be tied heading back to Vancouver for Game 5.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, stanley+cup+final, vancouver+canucks

What Happens Next?

That is what everyone from fans and media members in the hockey world are wondering as the Stanley Cup Final goes to Game 4 tomorrow night in Beantown.

Last night was obviously a whomping by the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks. With that said, one has to wonder if this was simply a case of the Bruins winning just one game in the series and then the Canucks winning the series in five.

On the other hand, one has to wonder if the Bruins have finally woken up and are playing the way they are used to playing and that is by forechecking, going hard to the net and being physical. The Bruins have been successful with that kind of hockey all postseason long.

The Bruins are now also playing for one of their own, Nathan Horton. Horton suffered a severe concussion after getting hit in the head by Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome and the organization found out today that Horton will be gone for the rest of the series. The Bruins will certainly use that as motivation going forward in the series.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

Where is the Bruins’ Power Play?

Over at NHL Fan Chat, a site created by Patt Leggs I blogged about the Boston Bruins’ struggles on the power play.

You can click here to read it or continue below:

When a team is given a five-minute power play, one figures that the team with the power play would be able to put the puck in the net a few times or at least come close to doing so.

This does not appear to be the case with the Boston Bruins. When the Bruins were rewarded with a five-minute power play in the first period when Vancouver Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome laid out Bruins’ forward Nathan Horton, they showed exactly why they were struggling with the man advantage.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

In The Bruins’ Hands

That would be one way to describe last night’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.

The end result was a 1-0 win for the home team Canucks but in reality, this game could and should have been different for the Bruins if they had not squandered their opportunities on the power play.

In the first period, the Bruins were rewarded with a four minute power thanks to a Canuck high sticking penalty. While the Bruins were able to put some good rubber on Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo, none of them found the net and many were from the outside in inopportune scoring areas.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

Who Do Ya Got?

Here we are folks, the Stanley Cup Finals.

This is something all of us hockey fans hope our respective teams make it to at the end of the season but unfortunately, all of our wishes regarding our favorite teams cannot be answered.

This year, we have the Vancouver Canucks, a team that has been terrific over the past decade or so but has finally found themselves where their fans think they belong, and the Boston Bruins, an Original Six franchise that was robbed by the Philadelphia Flyers last season in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.

Each team has stories worth rooting for. For the Canucks, it is looking at a guy like Manny Malholtra who may return to play this series after severely injuring his eye. A leader on the ice and in the locker room, he would certainly be welcomed back into the fold this series.

On the Bruins, it is Tim Thomas. Thomas, who took the long and hard road to get to the NHL, has proved all his doubters wrong by winning a Vezina Trophy a few seasons ago, being a finalist for the same trophy this season and taking his team to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, vancouver+canucks

Bruins Headed to Finals For the First Time Since 1990

Many Boston Bruins fans’ probably feel like this was a long time coming but for the first time since the 1989-90 season, the Bruins are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of -0 in Game 7 at the TD Garden.

This Game 7 had it all. For starters, the game had terrific saves from both Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas and Lightning netminder Dwayne Roloson. Roloson did everything he possibly could to give his team a chance to win a hockey game but unfortunately for him, the Lightning were not able to help out on the scoreboard.

Thomas was also solid in picking up the huge victory. He kept things simple, made the big save when his team needed to and of course, ended up with the W.

This game also had lots of guts displayed by both teams. Bruins’ forward Nathan Horton took a nasty shoulder hit in the first period but returned in the second period and scored the game winning goal in the third period.

On the Lightning side, Lightning forward Steven Stamkos took a puck to the nose in the second period. With a huge gash on his nose and with the nose most likely displaced on his face, Stamkos returned and showed what heart and guts he has as a hockey player.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, dwayne+roloson, nathan+horton, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas, vancouver+canucks

A Quick Observation

Looking at the four starting goaltenders for the remaining teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it is easy to see that a few of them have had trouble handling the puck in the Conference Finals’ series.

In Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo put a pass right on Joe Thornton’s stick and Thornton than put it past a diving Luongo to give his team a 1-0 lead.

In Game 4 against the Lightning, there was a miscommunication between Bruins’ netminder Tim Thomas and Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara that led to Lightning forward Teddy Purcell’s first goal of the game. Had Thomas just moved it away from Chara, the play would have been over and done with and the Bruins would have more than likely gotten out of their own end.

In that same game, there was miscommunication between Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson and his defenseman, leading Bruins’ forward Patrice Bergeron to to wrap the puck around the net and put it through Roloson’s legs to give his team a then 1-0 lead.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, dwayne+roloson, joe+thornton, roberto+luongo, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas, vancouver+canucks, zdeno+chara

Luongo Destined for Greatness?

Over the years, a lot has been said by both the hockey media and fans alike when it comes to Vancouver Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo not being a big-game goaltender.

Sure, Luongo came up huge for Team Canada last year in the Olympics when his team beat Team USA in overtime to win the Gold Medal. but as always, the fans and media questioned where it was during the most important time of the season, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Fast forward a year later and Luongo has himself and the Canucks waiting to play in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1994 when the Canucks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs to advance to the Finals against the New York Rangers (you all know what happened there). This time, however, it is the Canucks who are the No.1 seed and the Canucks who are favored to win the Cup this season.

Luongo has been a big part of the Canucks’ progress this postseason. Sure, he’s allowed some soft goals but even Hall of Famer Patrick Roy did in his best day in the playoffs.

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  Tags: roberto+luongo, vancouver+canucks

Is the Canucks’ Year?

In 1994, the Vancouver Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals as a seventh seed in the Western Conference, only to lose in seven games to the New York Rangers.

Fast forward 17 years later and it looks like the Canucks have what it takes to get the big dance once again, this time as not only one of the best teams in the West, but one of the best teams in the entire National Hockey League.

The team currently finds themself atop the NHL standings with 79 points and this should come as no surprise to those knowledgeable about the game of hockey and the Canucks. With that said, there are three reasons why this team is succeeding: high-octane offense, depth at all positions, and goaltending.

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  Tags: vancouver+canucks

Your thoughts on the Rangers’ game last night

It was nice to come home from playing hockey last night and see that the New York Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 1-0.

Unfortunately for me, I did not get to watch any of the game so I cannot tell you who was great besides Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves), the team’s defense and newcome Wojtek Wolski, who picked up the team’s only goal.

Luckily for me, my sports editor at Patch.com and long-time Rangers’ fan Bob Birge was kind enough to include me on an e-mail list that featured a bunch of team notes from his point-of-view:

Wolski becomes the 17th Rangers player credited with at least one game-winning goal, most in the NHL this season.

—- The Rangers lead the league in one-goal games with a record of 13-3-3.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, patch.com, philadelphia+flyers, vancouver+canucks

Rangers Set to Take on the Best Team in the NHL

Games against playoff-caliber hockey teams are always challenges for any hockey club.

Tonight will be no different as the New York Rangers get set to take on not only a playoff-caliber hockey club, but a team that is first in the entire National Hockey League in the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden.

The Canucks are coming off a shootout victory over the New York Islanders while the Blueshirts will try and bounce back from a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

The Rangers battled hard in their last game but were just not able to finish when it mattered most. This is something the team cannot afford to do tonight as the Canucks boast an extremely offensively-talented team that has the ability to score in bunches.

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  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+sedin, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks, wojtek+wolski

The One That Got Away

Tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens is one that I am sure the New York Rangers would love to have back.

The team let a 1-0 lead slip away at Madison Square Garden in the second period and then allowed the Habs to break the tie in the third period, both coming on goals from Benoit Pouliot. The second one was questionable considering the angle Pouliot shot it from and beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist but nevertheless, it was the goal that sunk the Blueshirts.

This was somewhat of a “blah” effort from the Blueshirts. They were not as tight defensively as they were in their last two games against the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues and their offense could not get the timely or clutch goal to give the team a victory.

Wojtek Wolski, making his Rangers’ debut, had a glorious chance late in the third period but it hit the post and was then cleared from the crease. Other than that, Wolski’s debut was solid as he showed his solid stick handling skills while also creating some offensive opportunities.

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  Tags: benoit+pouliot, dallas+stars, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+candiens, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues, vancouver+canucks, wojtek+wolski

Big Week Ahead for the Blueshirts

Sitting at 25-15-3, the New York Rangers find themselves sixth in the Eastern Conference with 53 points, just one point behind the fifth place Washington Capitals, three points behind the fourth place Pittsburgh Penguins and believe it or not, four points behind the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers.

With that in mind, the Rangers have a tough eight points on the line this week with games against the Montreal Canadiens (2) Vancouver Canucks and Phildelphia Flyers. These teams are currently all playoff hockey clubs and will present a tough challenge for the injury-plagued Blueshirts.

In order to be successful this week and pick up some valuable points, the Rangers will need to do the following things in no particular order:

- Stay Healthy: With injuries to Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal and now Alex Frolov (out the remainder of the season), the team cannot afford any more injuries. Sure, the team has responded well to injur-adversity this season but right now, the focus should be getting everyone healthy prior to making a playoff run.

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  Tags: alex+frolov, erick+christensen, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vancouver+canucks, vinny+prospal.+henrik+lundqvist.+martin+biron

Rangers Get the Job Done on the Road Again/Lose Frolov for the Season

The New York Rangers continue to find ways to win on the road.

In their 15th road victory (league leader) of the season. the Blueshirts defeated the St. Louis Blues by a score of 2-1 by playing a perfect road game. The team got timely goals from Derek Stepan and Sean Avery, solid defense and excellent goaltending from back-up netminder Martin Biron (25 saves).

With that said however, it was reported today that the Rangers will be without forward Alex Frolov for the rest of the season with the following:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that Alex Frolov has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a second degree sprain of his medial collateral ligament and a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, and will undergo season-ending surgery.

I am not sure exactly what any of that is but it is obviously bad enough to keep Frolov out the rest of the season.

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  Tags: alex+frolov, chris+drury, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadies, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, st.+louis+blues, vancouver+canucks, vinny+prospal.+ryan+callahan

An E-mail Interview with Richard Loat of Canucks Hockey Blog and Five Hole For Food

This past week, I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with Richard Loat, a hockey blogger for the Canucks Hockey Blog as well as the creator of Five Hole for Food.

Richard was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, blogging, Five Hole for Food as well as his experience covering the World Hockey Summit.

PH: How did you get into the game of hockey?
RL: I grew up in the UAE so I hadn’t heard of hockey until I moved to Canada in 1999. I fell in love with the game after watching the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics Gold Medal game and the rest is history!

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  Tags: canucks+hockey+blog, five+hole+for+food, richard+loat, vancouver+canucks, world+hockey+summit

Luongo Earning Every Penny

From Chris Botta at AOL’s NHL FanHouse:

If Roberto Luongo’s new contract was for 24 years and $128 million, he would still be worth every penny. The Vancouver Canucks did wonderfully for themselves and their fan base by getting him at half. Priceless is the professional athlete who just shuts up and plays his position as well as anyone on the planet.

The 30-year-old Luongo had three wishes: to get paid, to not bankrupt the Canucks from fielding a contender and to go very long-term. So what if the contract doesn’t end until the Jamie Moyer stage of his career?

Wednesday, everyone had a lot to say about what Luongo will be at 43 and what he is now at age 30. But a little history reveals why the All-Star goalie may have been so resolute in his demands.

Despite being the most-hyped goaltender of the last 15 years, he has delivered on his immense potential. Of course, there is the rather large matter of carrying a team to a Stanley Cup, but even his critics are forgiving. They acknowledge Luongo has been an NHL goalie for nine seasons, a member of a functional NHL franchise for only the last three.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: roberto+luongo, vancouver+canucks

Gillis Optimistic About Signing Sedins

From Ian Mendes at Sportsnet.ca:

The window is closing on Mike Gillis to land the Sedin twins before they hit the unrestricted free agent market in less than a week.

And on Thursday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks general manager said he remains optimistic that he can strike a deal with the dynamic pair.

“I think there is common ground. We want them and they’ve made it clear they want to stay in Vancouver,” said Gillis. “Normally, when you have two parties that have that amount of common ground, you can figure out how to do it.”

Click here for more.

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  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin, vancouver+canucks

Best Performance of This Year’s playoffs?

As all you hockey nuts are well aware of, there were two Game 6’s tonight in the Stanley Cup playoffs - one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals and the other between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Capitals were able to once again extend a series to a seventh game (third straight series the team has done that) with a 5-4 in overtime on a goal by David Steckel while the Blackhawks put the Canucks in their place with a high-scoring 7-5 win, thanks to three goals and an assist from youngster Patrick Kane.

With that in mind, was Kane’s hat trick the best individual performance in this year’s playoffs? What do you folks think?

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  Tags: david+steckel, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, stanley+cup+playoffs, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals

Thoughts on Canucks’ Game Three Victory

In another short blog I penned for MaxHockey.com, I mentioned how a Versus analyst called the Vancouver Canucks’ play methodic and how the term suited them for tonight’s 3-1 victory, giving the boys from British Columbia a 2-1 series lead heading into Game Four.

Also, click here to check out Stan Fischler’s thoughts on the same game.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, maxhockey.com, stan+fischler, stanley+cup+playoffs, vancouver+canucks

Thoughts on the Second Round

You can find my thoughts on the second round over at MaxHockey.com. Click below to find out my opinions on each series:

Eastern Conference

- Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

- Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

- Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks

- Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Also feel free to check out Zach Weinstock’s excellent NHL Playoff page.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, chicago+blackhawks, pittsburgh+penguins, stanley+cup+playoffs, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals

Canucks Getting Restless

From Brad Ziemer at The Vancouver Sun:

With no opponent on which to channel their aggression, a couple of the Canucks spent part of Monday’s practice going after each other.

Defenceman Kevin Bieksa and forward Ryan Kesler are best of friends off the ice. You never would have known it Monday, when Kesler delivered a hard shoulder check to Bieksa and Bieksa later responded with a spirited cross-check. The two teammates subsequently spent much of the practice yapping at one another.

“Before practice the coach said we had to be more game-like, so I don’t think he liked the cold shoulder I gave him,” Kesler said with a smile, before adding, “I think everybody in this room is sick of practising.”

Click here for more.

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  Tags: vancouver+canucks

Time to Battle

Note: I apologize for not posting this weekend as I was out of town with my fiance this weekend. Looks like I picked a good time to go, huh?

Well, folks, here we go. The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are headed to a Game 7 on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center, thanks to huge back-to-back wins for the Caps by scores of 4-0 and 5-3, respectively.

It’s easy to see why the Caps won these last two games by a combined score of 9-3: they know how to put the puck in the net. Alex Ovechkin is heating up, the Caps power play is converting and getting more dangerous by the game and more importantly, they are making Rangers’ superstar netminder Henrik Lundqvist look human.

Through the first four games, Lundqvist had stopped an amazing 141 of 148 shots and was the main reason why the Blueshirts were up 3-1. However, in Game 4 and 5, Lundqvist was shaky, allowing four goals on 14 shots in Game 5 on Friday night and five goals on 20 shots this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, bnote:/bnew+york+rangers, henrik+lundvqist, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals

They’ll Be Fine

Well, it’s official folks. Mats Sundin has found a new home and it’s not on Broadway.

As reported by TSN, Sundin has signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks. This is someone that the New York Rangers could have used but if you think about it, with a 22-11-2 record, the team must be doing something right.

Yes, the team relies on their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to bail them out a lot and yes, they are primarily a defense-first team. However, these are two elements that have allowed the Blueshirts to be successful the past three seasons.

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  Tags: dmitri+kalinin, mats+sundin, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks, wade+redden

Christmas Could Come Early

According to Vancouver Canucks’ General Manager Mike Gillis, Mats Sundin will have his decision by Thursday.

All I can say is, and I think the rest of the hockey world will agree with me, it’s about time. Since last season ended, all anyone could talk about was “What is Mats Sundin going to do?” “Is he going to retire?” “Is he going to stay with the Toronto Maple Leafs?” “Is he going to be a Montreal Canadien, Vancouver Canuck, Philadelphia Flyer, New York Ranger, etc.?” “Will he really just be a rent-a-player?”

That question will finally be answered on Thursday and right now, it’s tough to say what he is going to decide.

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  Tags: daniel+sedin, fredrik+sjostrom, henrik, henrik+sedin, markus+naslund, mats+sundin, mike+gillis, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks

Intrigued

I know that many of you New York Ranger fans out there were certainly intrigued by reports that Mats Sundin had selected the Blueshirts as the team he wanted to play for this season.

However, Sam Weinman, Rangers’ beat writer for The Journal News, reported that Sundin’s agent, J.P. Barry, said in an e-mail that the big Swede has yet to make a decision but at the same time, noted that the Blueshirts have expressed their interest.

The plot thickens folks. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of days because it’s a rematch of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals for Mats: the New York Rangers vs. the Vancouver Canucks, who already offered him a two-year deal worth $20 million.

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  Tags: glen+sather, j.p.+barry, mats+sundin, michal+rozsival, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, petr+prucha, sam+weinman, the+journal+news, vancouver+canucks, wade+redden

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

Deserving the Boos

It looks like New York Ranger fans have found themselves a new Marek Malik to boo in defenseman Michal Rozsival, a guy the team signed a $20-million contract extension over the summer.

This is something that the Rangers cannot afford to have and Rozsival needs to change things fast or else he is going to make Rangers’ management look extremely stupid for resigning him over the summer.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, marek+malik, michal+rozsival, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, 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

Underappreciated

In the Rangers’ 2-1 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators last night, players such as Chris Drury, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev (with the exception of the lone shootout goal), Brandon Dubinsky or even Dan Girardi were not the team’s best players. Far from it, in fact.

In my eyes, it was Blair Betts, Fredrik Sjostrom and Lauri Korpikoski that shined as they got the team back in the game by scoring a goal in the third period. Not only that, but they kept the game simple, something that the other lines have not learned how to do yet.

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  Tags: alex+auld, blair+betts, brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, dan+girardi, fredrik+sjostrom, lauri+korpikoski, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, vancouver+canucks

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