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Entries with the tag: vinny prospal

No More Prospal

As our fearless leader just said in a recent post, former New York Rangers’ forward Vinny Prospal has inked a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets for one year at $1.75 million.

Prospal will certainly be missed by the Blueshirts. In two season with the club, Prospal amassed 81 points in 104 games. He consistently produced, he was a leader on and off the ice, and he was someone that worked hard every shift for team head coach John Tortorella.

With that said, it was obvious that he was going to be the man out on the upcoming season’s Blueshirts hockey team. With the new signings, the money being doled out by general manager Glen Sather and the makeup of this team, Prospal unfortunately lost a spot.

Here is to a few good seasons and continued success with the new and improved Blue Jackets hockey team.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

And So It Begins

That’s right folks. The New York Rangers are in the playoffs and tonight is Game 1 between the Blueshirts and the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts are back in the postseason for the first time in two seasons, when, you guessed it, they were knocked out of the first round in seven games by the Washington Capitals. Is this series about revenge?

The answer to that question is no. For the Rangers, this series is about playing to what their identity says there are, which is a hard working hockey club that never gives up.

To get off to a good start in this series, they will need their hard work and resilient style in what will be an extremely loud Verizon Center. For the past couple of seasons, the Washington Capitals have been one of the best teams on home ice (25 victories this season) and their fans can really help in big games.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Well Deserved Playoff Berth and What They Need to do to Win

This can definitely be said when it comes to this year’s New York Rangers.

It was a roller coaster season for the Blueshirts that featured lots of injuries, some untimely losses as well as some inconsisten play. With that said, however, there was a lot more good than bad from the Rangers this season, which is why there is a possibility that they can make a long run in this year’s postseason.

To beat the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals, you have to first look at Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. It is more than likely that Lundqvist will face a barrage of shot in the first round from the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Arnott, Mike Knuble, Mike Green, John Carlson and others. Luckily for the Rangers’, Henrik was quite good against the Capitals this season in shutting them out twice and winning another.

The team will also need to get timely goal scoring. Guys like Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and even Brandon Prust will have to do everything they can to put the puck in the net.

This is especially true because the team will be without their heart and soul player, Ryan Callahan. Callahan was instrumental on the team’s power play, penalty kill and knew how to score when the team needed it the most. Certainly a big piece of the puzzle to replace at such an important time.

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  Tags: alex+semin, alexander+ovechkin, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, jason+arnott, john+carlson, marian+gaborik, mike+green, mike+knuble, new+york+rangers, nicklas+bakcstrom, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

All About Hope Now

The New York Rangers did what they had to do this afternoon in defeating the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-2 at Madison Square Garden.

With the victory, the Blueshirts finished the regular season with 93 points, putting them up two points over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight and should they lose in regulation time or overtime, the Rangers will clinch the final playoff spot and prepare for a first round matchup with the first place Washington Capitals.

It was great to see hard-working guys like Chris Drury, Brandon Prust, Ryan McDonagh and Vinny Prospal all beat future hall-of-fame netminder Martin Brodeur. For Drury, it was his first goal of the season and a big one at that. He also did well on face-offs and overall, was a positive factor for the Blueshirts this afternoon.

For McDonagh, it was his first career NHL goal. It could not have come at a better time for the Blueshirts as it gave them a 3-2 lead in the second period as well as a game-winning goal for #27.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+prust, carolina+hurricanes, chris+drury, dan+bylsma, john+tortorella, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, tampa+bay+lightning, vinny+prospal

Prospal Becoming a Strong Leader for the Blueshirts

With the way that the New York Rangers dealt with injuries this season, I am not quite sure anyone thought about how much Vinny Prospal meant to the Blueshirts.

Well, they certainly do now as Prospal has been one of the most consistent Blueshirts since returning to the lineup. In 27 games this season, Prospal has 8 goals and 13 assists for 21 points, which is almost good for a point a game.

Prospal was especially good in last night’s 5-3 emotional win over the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. When the team was down 3-0 in the second period, Prospal scored the team’s first two goals en route to closing out the period down by one goal.

He (Prospal) got the team going and enabled them to carry the momentum he generated in the second period into the third period. The team then went on to have one of their best periods of the season in one of the most important game of the year.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rangers Continue to Get it Done on the Road

While the New York Rangers’ have struggled at home this season, there is no doubting that things have been quite the opposite for the team on the road this year.

Last night, the Rangers went into Ottawa and defeated the Senators by a score of 4-1 for their 20th road victory of the season. For the Blueshirts, they were obviously able to put the puck in the net, cash in on their chances, play smart defense and get great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who made 28 saves on 29 shots to earn the No. 1 star of the game.

The team got goals from Vinny Prospal, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, and Derek Stepan. These are players that the team needs to have score more and they were all able to come through last night, especially Prospal as he now has points in his last three games and has six points in his last six games as he looks to provide his team with improtant offense down the stretch.

This game showed that the Rangers can indeed get the important goals when they need to do. For example, after Zuccarello made it 2-0 in the second period, Anisimov went in and scored to make it 3-0 just 12 seconds later. The team never allowed the Senators to get back in the hockey game.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, vinny+prospal

Rangers Set for Minnesota Wild

Once again, the New York Rangers head into tonight’s game with the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden needing to come away with two points in order to separate themselves from the eighth and ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, both of those teams, the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, play each other tonight so no matter what, someone is going to come away with two points and inch close to the Rangers. With that said, if the Blueshirts can come away with two points themselves, they will certainly be in better position and have a bit of insurance.

The Rangers need to come out and set the tone early. They need to throw the puck on net, finish their chances, protect the lead if they get one and do everything they possibly can to win a hockey game because if they cannot, they could be in trouble when they take on the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night in Ottawa and the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Sunday afternoon.

For the Rangers, it will be important that players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Vinny Prospal step up offensively. With Marian Gaborik still expected to be out of the lineup, these seem to be the guys that can put the puck in the net. Now, they need to do it on a consistent basis.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Time to Get The Rangers’ Offense Going

It seems like this has been a key theme for the New York Rangers during the second half of the NHL season.

Unfortunately, the Blueshirts have had trouble doing so on a consistent basis, which will need to change fast especially if the team finds out Marian Gaborik will be out of the lineup for a bit (should know more today). Tonight, the team will need to start up its offense against the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes in Carolina tonight.

The Hurricanes are just two points behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings and are 15-10-3 on home ice this season. With that said, the Rangers will have a hill to climb tonight if they want to get two points before taking on the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

As I mentioned up top, this team needs to start scoring goals. The Blueshirts need guys like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wojtek Wolski, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, and Vinny Prospal to all start putting the puck in the net with regularity.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, jim+cerny, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal, wojtek+wolski

Why Today’s Win Was Important for the Blueshirts

Obviously, any time you win a game in the National Hockey League, it’s a good thing. A team comes away with two points, its players get the job done and it makes their fans happy.

One can say the same thing after the New York Rangers snapped their six game winless streak by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden by a score of 5-3. However, for the Rangers, winning this afternoon’s game may end up meaning much more.

For starters, it gets the players feeling good about themselves. Sure, they were not feeling terribly before even though they were losing but a win puts the players back in the right frame of mind and gets them believing that they can make a positive impact in the NHL.

Secondly, the players can stop blaming theirselves for the losing streak. This is exactly what Rangers’ forward Vinny Prospal was doing because once he was reinserted back into the lineup, the team started losing games. With a win under his belt, he can now focus on playing his game.

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, vinny+prospal

Rangers Power Play Clicks In Victory Over the Penguins

As our fearless leader Paul Kukla mentioned in my previous blog, I need to start writing about the New York Rangers needing to win now in order to get the team going.

This afternoon at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts did just that in a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping their six game winless strerak. The team was also able to get its power play as the team went three for five with the man advantage.

The game certainly did not start great for the Rangers as they found themselves 2-0 after the Penguins scored two goals on their first four shots. After Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella called a timeout, the team responded in a positive manner and exploded offensively.

The Blueshirts got goals from Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan (2), Vinny Prospal and Artem Anisimov with Callahan, Prospal and Anisimov all connecting on the power play. It just goes to show you what a good power play can do to a hockey team as this afternoon, it certainly raised the level of the Rangers.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, los+angeles+kings, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Is Tonight the Biggest Game of the Year for the Blueshirts?

Everyone involved in the New York Rangers’ organization from the brass, to its players and to its fans should answer that with a resounding YES.

The team is winless in their last five games and tonight, take on an Atlanta Thrashers hockey team that is just four points behind them in the Eastern Conference standings. To make things a bit more interesting, the Carolina Hurricanes are only three points behind their Blueshirts with one game in hand.

The Rangers need to stop the bleeding before they have nothing left and find themselves out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season. To get back on the right track tonight, the team is going to need some offense, smart play in the neutral zone and strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who should be between the pipes tonight.

When it comes to the team’s offense, Marian Gaborik needs to step up and contribute. This is a guy who can skate and shoot with the best of them and yet, he has not been able to do so this season. If Gaborik can get a goal or two tonight, it should boost his confidence and may be get him going.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, erik+christensen, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, vinny+prospal

Power Play Hurts the Rangers in 3-2 loss to the Wings

New York Rangers’ fans probably figured that tonight’s game would come down to the team’s power play and they were certainly right.

Unfortunately for Blueshirt fans, the game did not end well as the team lost 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena while wasting a 5-on-3 turning into a 5-on-4 for the last few minutes of the hockey game. It was a game in which the Rangers’ fired 47 shots on Wings’ goaltender Jimmy Howard but could not get the one behind Howard that would tie the game.

You cannot blame this game on Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron. Biron was stellar between the pipes for the Blueshirts in making 32 saves and once again giving his team every opportunity to win a hockey game.

And yes, the team did get goals from Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky but where was Marian Gaborik? Where was Wojtek Wolski? Where was Vinny Prospal? And again, where the heck was the power play?

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, brandon+dubinsky, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, jimmy+howard, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal, wojtek+wolski

Blueshirts Lose Two Valuable Points/You Tell Me…

Good evening folks. I am sorry to say that because I was playing hockey tonight, I was not able to catch much of the New York Rangers vs, New Jersey Devils game tonight.

With that said, I was disappointed to come home and find out that the Blueshirts lost two valuable points in a 3-2 loss to the team’s Hudson River rivals. Yes, the team is still not fully healthy and yes, the team almost came back from a 3-0 defecit but in the end, it is two points that are out the window.

Every game means something and the Blueshirts do not exactly have a firm hold on a playoff spot in the tight Eastern Conference. With a big game coming up on Saturday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, it would have been better for the team to go into the game on a winning note. Instead, the team goes into it having not won in three games and also having lost to the 14th place team in the Eastern Conference.

Now, that is nothing against the New Jersey Devils. I may have not seen the game but I know that the Devils came into it having played some of their best hockey over an eight or nine game stretch. As such, they probably earned the victory tonight against the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Rangers Set to Take on New Jersey Devils Tonight

No matter where the teams are in the standings, it is always a good hockey game when it is the New York Rangers vs. the New Jersey Devils.

Tonight’s tilt at Madison Square Garden features two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Blueshirts are fighting in the middle of the pack for a playoff spot while the Devils are out of the playoff picture, despite playing extremely well recently.

The game tonight also marks the return of Rangers’ forward Vinny Prospal. It will be Prospal’s first game of the season and it could not come at a better time as someone needs to help get Marian Gaborik’s game clicking on all cylinders. No one is sure if it is going to be Prospal but given the success the duo had last season, it is not hard to imagine that being the case.

The Blueshirts are coming off a tough 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at the Garden. Given that the Penguins were without the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as well as Jordan Staal for 25 minutes of the game, the Rangers’ should have been able to pick up for two points but had to settle for one.

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  Tags: marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, vinny+prospal, washington+capitals

Getting Healthy at the Right Time

That is what everyone in the New York Rangers’ organization is hoping as the team prepares for its first game after the break against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden.

According to various team beat writers, Rangers’ forward Ryan Callahan will return to the lineup tonight. For the Blueshirts’ that is tremendous news as Callahan brings offensive, defense, penalty killing and leadership the lineup, things that a hockey team, especially the Rangers, can always use.

There are also reports that forward Vinny Prospal could return to the lineup as early as Thursday night when the team takes on the New Jersey Devils. Prospal will also be a welcome return to the team as he can provide some offense as well as be a player that might be able to help out struggling forward Marian Gaborik.

When it comes to tonight, however, all the team should be focused on is picking up two points. The Penguins will be without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, which means that the Rangers will not have to worry focusing their efforts on stoping the offensive dynamic duo.

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, marian+gabroik, new+jerseu+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Another Injury for the Blueshirts

According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, New York Rangers’ forward Ruslan Fedotenko is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an injury:

Ruslan Fedotenko will miss 2-4 weeks with a second-degree AC sprain in his left shoulder so in addition to calling up Chad Kolarik from Connecticut (AHL), the Rangers have also recalled Brodie Dupont.

So, let’s recap which Blueshirts have been injured this season: Chris Drury, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky and now Ruslan Fedotenko.

One would figure that with all these injuries, the team should be out of playoff contention. However, the Blueshirts have responded in a big way to the various injuries and find themselves right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff pack playing solid hockey.

Hopefully, they will be able to keep it up long enough to stay in playoff contention come April.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, vinny+prospal

Where Has the Offense Gone in 2011?/Fedotenko Update

UPDATE: According to Jesse Spector, New York Rangers’ beat writer for the Daily News, Ruslan Fedotenko’s hand is not broken:

Fedotenko’s hand is not broken. He’s day-to-day.

FROM EARLIER: I know, I know, the New York Rangers are just two games into the new year but nevertheless, they are 0-1-1 with only one goal scored against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.

Last night against the Panthers, the team was lucky to get a point as Marian Gaborik tied the game up at 1-1 with less than a minute go before the Lightning won 2-1 in overtime. Up until that point, it looked like Lightning netminder Cedrick Desjardins was going to shutout the Rangers and the Blueshirts were going to come away with nothing.

Against the Panthers tonight, the team delivered another lackluster effort and this time, came up with nothing as Panthers’ goaltender picked up his fifth shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over the Rangers. If not for the solid goaltending of Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron (33 saves), this game could have actually been a lot worse.

With that said, however, the team did lose Ruslan Fedotenko hurt his hand after blocking a Bryan McCabe slap shot. Hopefully for the Rangers, he will not have to miss a lot of time as the Rangers are already hurting with injuries to both Ryan Callahan, Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen.

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  Tags: bryan+mccabe, cedrick+desjardins, erik+christensen, florida+panthers, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning, tomas+vokoun, vinny+prospal

Rangers Getting It Done on the Road

For the longest time, the New York Rangers used to be a solid team at home in Madison Square Garden.

This year, the story has been quite different as the team extended its record to 5-2 after shutting out the New Jersey Devils by a score of 3-0 at the Prudential Center.

For the Blueshirts, it was quite simple. Throw pucks to the net, finish your checks, block shots, let Henrik Lundqvist see the puck and play disciplined. When the Rangers are able to do that consistently, they are usually able to pick up two points.

Brandon Dubinsky had another great game for his hockey club as he picked up two goals, giving him 10 goals in 14 games. Believe it or not folks, that’s good enough to be tied for first in the NHL with Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues, vinny+prospal

Prospal Injury more Long-Term?

This might not be the way to start out the season as Larry Brooks, the New York Rangers beat writer for the New York Post, reported the following:

Meanwhile, a well-placed source has told The Post that there’s little reason for optimism that the condition of Vinny Prospal’s right knee will improve following his enforced two-week rest period. Indeed, we’re told it would be no surprise at all should the 35-year-old require surgery that would likely end his season, if not his career.

Let’s hope that this isn’t the case because although older, Prospal proved last season that he can still contribute on both sides of the puck.

However, if he is indeed going to be out for awhile, I think it’s time for the team to finally embrace the young prospects they have in their system and give them a chance to show the organization that they can play in the National Hockey League. 

 

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Rangers Take on Sens Tonight at The Garden

The New York Rangers will finish up it’s last games of the pre-season over the next couple of days. They’ll take on the Senators tonight at Madison Square Garden and then again tomorrow night in Ottawa before preparing for next season’s regular season opening game in Buffalo next Friday night.

It appears that Henrik Lundqvist will get the full game between the pipes tonight for the Blueshirts while according to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, back-up netminder Martin Biron will more than likely get the full game in Ottawa tomorrow night.

Tonight’s pre-season tilt marks the return of Blushirts’ forward Vinny Prospal, who was the club’s second leading scorer last season with 58 points. Steve Eminger, who is in NY on a try-out contract with the Blueshirts, has only played one pre-season game due to a sore grain but will be in the lineup tonight.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, steve+eminger, vinny+prospal

Too Much Waiting and Not Enough Doing By Sather

In the dog days of summer, many NHL general managers and their teams are waiting and looking.

Waiting and looking to sign a free agent, make a trade or do anything they can to make their team better. While that’s what most GM’s are doing this off-season, one has to wonder what New York Rangers’ GM Glen Sather is trying to do with his hockey team.

Yes, he went out and signed/re-signed players such as Marty Biron, Derek Boogaard, Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal and Daniel Girardi. While that’s great, with the exception of the somewhat questionable Boogaard signing, one has to wonder what’s next for Sather.

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  Tags: daniel+girardi, derek+boogaard, erik+christensen, glen+sather, marc+staal, marty+biron, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal, wade+redden

What’s Next?

Many Ranger fans are wondering the same thing that I am: what will GM Glen Sather do next to help make this a better hockey team?

At this point, and may be every other point for that matter, it’s tough to read Sather. Sather will say all the right things to the press and the things he says make sense as he mentions giving the prospects a chance to play and trying to grow the team from within.

With that being said, he does things to the contrary and goes out and signs deals that don’t make too much sense, a.k.a Derek Boogaard. Yes, I know that Boogaard was not signed to put pucks in the net but the amount of money and years for a third/fourth line player do not make sense to me.

One thing all Ranger fans that Sather must do is find a way to get rid of defenseman Wade Redden. Sather needs to admit that he made a mistake and move on whethere that’s finding a way to trade him or even demote him to the Hartford Wolf Pack. If Sather can do that, in their heart, Ranger fans may find a way to forgive him for that.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, erik+christensen, glen+sather, illya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, vinny+prospal

An Interesting Day for the Blueshirts/Forgot to Mention Christensen and Biron

As always, it was an interesting first day of free agency for the New York Rangers.

Olli Jokinen is gone. Jody Shelley is gone. Vinny Prospal resigned for one year and in the team’s most interesting move of the day, they signed Derek Boogaard to a four-year deal at $1.625 million per year.

The team also signed UFA goaltender Martin Biron to be their back-up goaltender and also resigned Erik Christensen for two years.

The Vinny Prospal deal is definitely a good one. He racked up 58 points this year and was the club’s second most consistent point producer next to Marian Gaborik. He worked hard, was not afraid to speak out and say what the team needed to do and provided veteran leadership in the locker room. He’ll bring all these intangibles to the team for at least one more season.

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  Tags: derek+boogaard, erik+christensen, jody+shelley, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, olli+jokinen, vinny+prospal

Looking at Ranger Free Agents

Over on his terrifice Rangers’ blog, The Rangers Tribune, Nicholas Montemagno is doing profiles on the club’s free agents.

This morning, he had this to say about Vinny Prospal:

Stating that forward Vinny Prospal was a pleasant surprise for the New York Rangers this season would be an understatement. He was brought here last season just to be given a chance after being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. General manager Glen Sather signed the veteran Czech for one year at $1.1 million, which we all thought was reasonable originally. At the time, little did Sather/we know that New York had just signed their second best offensive player for the year.

He also did one on Olli Jokinen yesterday. Continue to check out his site!

 

 

 

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, olli+jokinen, vinny+prospal

Is Torts blaming Gaborik for Team’s Offensive Woes?

One blogger certainly seems to think so. Good friend of the blog Nicholas Montemagno at Rangers Tribune wrote the following:

I think it has become quite clear that Rangers leading scorer Marian Gaborik has not been playing at 100 percent since returning to the lineup in Washington on Saturday. There is no question that he is not himself when playing with an injury. Especially when that injury is involving his leg, handicapping him in a way, being that his main strength is his speed. So when taking all of that into consideration, how on earth can head coach John Tortorella blame Marian Gaborik for the 2-0 loss to the Capitals on Sunday, and then once again make another relating comment after the overtime loss to Buffalo? Is Gaborik seriously the only scapegoat Torts can come up with?

Nicholas is right in his assessment that Gaborik is not 100 percent. He’s lost a step in his game, is not creating as many scoring chances and ultimately, it is leading his line and may be even the rest of the club’s offense to struggle.

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  Tags: erik+christensen, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

The Top Line Needs to Produce

From good friend of the blog Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:

Stop us if you’ve heard this one but plenty of discussion today about the Rangers need to generate offense while, critically, maintaining a good defensive effort as they head into the season’s final 16 games battling for a playoff spot. The top line of Vinny Prospal-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik, off the scoresheet in the two games since Gaborik’s return, will be given “another whack” at trying to create some scoring chances tomorrow but it doesn’t sound like coach John Tortorella will have much patience if the line isn’t producing.

Quite frankly, he doesn’t have the time. Tortorella acknowledged that, at this point in the season, he can’t stick with a player in a game if he’s not producing as long as he might have earlier in the season.

“We can’t die on the vine,” said Tortorella, adding this stretch of season is also critical for off-season evaluation purposes.

Click here for more on the Blueshirts including a practice update, a look at the playoff race and more.

 

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  Tags: erik+christensen, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Blueshirts Back to the Grind

From our good pal Jim Cerny at NewYorkRangers.com:

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the Olympic-break vacation ended for the Rangers players outside Vancouver, and the push for securing a playoff spot in the tight Eastern Conference began in earnest as the team returned to practice at the Madison Square Garden Training Center.

Minus Olympians Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Olli Jokinen, the Rangers spent much of the fast-paced 45-minute practice working on conditioning drills. With head coach John Tortorella in Vancouver, as well, serving as an assistant coach for Team USA, the practice was run by Rangers assistants Mike Sullivan, Jim Schoenfeld, and Benoit Allaire.

“It was pretty tiring out there,” said alternate captain Vinny Prospal. “You feel it if you don’t skate for even two days, but not practicing for nine in the middle of the season really is a big deal.”

Click here for more including what players did over the break, thoughts on the Olympics, and Michael Del Zotto’s injury.

 

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  Tags: michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Uh Oh

From Larry Brooks via Twitter:

News: This is one Rangers don’t need. Prospal knee to be ‘scoped, will miss anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks.

This is not exactly the news the Blueshirts need right now. It will be interesting to see how head coach John Tortorella structures his lines.

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  Tags: new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Some brief observations on Gaborik and Prospal

Many New York Ranger fans, including myself, questioned the off-season free-agent signings of Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal. With Gaborik, the issue clearly had to do with injuries while with Prospal, it was more an issue of consistency.

Through the team’s first 12 games, Gaborik has 18 points (10g, 8a) and Prospal has16 (4g, 12a). They’re scoring on the power play, they’re making their linemates better and they’ve shown a tremendous amount of chemistry.

In my eyes, it’s been Prospal that’s been the surprise. We all knew that he could put up points but we also knew that he had trouble with consistency. So far at least, he has shown the team that he has bought into their system and that he can produce at a point-per-game pace.

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  Tags: marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, vinny+prospal

Satisfying Start

Good morning folks. I apologize for not having blogged anything Rangers yesterday but I was busy last night at the New York Islanders’ game as part of their media staff. I know, I know…I’m a Rangers fan but if I want to make it in the game as a writer, I have to go with whoever is going to take a chance on me. Plus, it was great to see phenom John Tavares pick up his first two points in the NHL (1g, 1a).

With that said, however, it was nice to see the New York Rangers post a 5-spot on the board last night in defeating the Ottawa Senators. In catching the Rangers in 60 when I got home into the wee hours of the morning, it was nice to see Marian Gaborik pick up a couple of points in his home debut and see players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto, Vinny Prospal and of course, Henrik Lundqvist, all play a key role in the team’s first win of the season.

In his first two games of the season, Dubinsky already has four points (2g, 2a). I know that he got off to an extremely hot start last season but may be this season, he’ll be more consistent given the players he is playing with.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, john+tavares, marian+gaborik, matt+gilroy, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, vinny+prospal

Nice to Have Ranger News

Well, finally some rumblings in Rangerland, huh? First, Mark Messier is coming back to the Blueshirts as a special assistant to Glen Sather where he will learn the business and see what it takes to run a hockey team. Hmmm, should Mark go somewhere else for that?

Secondly, the team signed Vinny Prospal. He played for Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella two seasons ago with the Tampa Bay Lightning and posted 80 points. He’s a guy that will pick up a bunch of assists and be good for the team’s non-existent power play.

What I am wondering is what is going on with Brandon Dubinsky. For awhile, it seemed the team was intent on having Dubinsky as the No.1 center but with the signing of Prospal, who’s both a winger and centerman, one has to wonder what the team’s plan for Dubinsky is.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, new+york+rangers, rangers+reading, vinny+prospal

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