Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: washington capitals

Easy As 1-2-3 for the Blueshirts in Win Over the Devils

That is the perfect description for the New York Rangers' 4-0 shutout this afternoon at Madison Square Garden over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils did not seem to be interested in playing a meaningless game and that showed in their loss this afternoon. The Blueshirts were able to catch the Devils out of position on all four of their goals as the team simply took advantage of a poor Devils' performance today.

For Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist, it was a relatively easy 20-save shutout. The shutout was his second of the season while the victory was his 24th of the season.

It may not be a 30-win season for the Blueshirts' 31-year-old netminder but given the way he played in the regular season, it could garner another Vezina Trophy nomination or even win. In 43 games, Lundqvist went 24-16-3 with a 2.05 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts.

The team also got strong performances out of the likes of Derek Stepan (one goal and one assist), Ryan Callahan (one goal and one assist), Rick Nash (two goals), and Brad Richards (two assists). These four players are going to have to continue their offensive production come next week in the postseason in order for this Rangers' hockey club to have success.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Seeding On the Line for the Blueshirts

While the New Jersey Devils might not look at this afternoon's game as a meaningful one, it will be the opposite for the New York Rangers.

The Blueshirts might have clinched a playoff spot in their 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night but what is still to be decided is what spot the team will finish in. It is said that come playoff hockey time, the regular season does not matter but for the Rangers, they should do everything they can to get a higher seed.

As of this writing, the Rangers find themselves in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. That would mean that they would play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, which should be something the team should try and avoid given the Penguins' dangerous offensive arsenal and the way they have played the Blueshirts this season.

Should the Rangers beat the Devils, however, it will make things very interesting in terms of seeding. With a win, the Rangers would have 56 points,  which would give them one more point than the New York Islanders and possibly two more points than the Ottawa Senators, who take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and the Boston Bruins tomorrow.

If the Rangers manage to take the sixth spot, they will end up facing the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have met the Capitals in each and every postseason they have been in since 2009, with the Rangers winning one of their three series against the Caps.

Should the Rangers finish in seventh, it could mean a series with an Original Six franchise in the Bruins or Montreal Canadiens. Coming into tonight's slate of games, the Bruins and Habs are tied with 61 points but the Bruins have a game in hand.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Where is the Rangers’ Playoff Team?

That is what New York Rangers' fans must be wondering after watching their favorite team lost to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2.

After scoring 18 goals in three games, the Rangers' offense came up one short tonight in Florida. Panthers' goaltender Jacob Markstrom was solid in making 36 saves and him and the rest of his team was able to survive a late Rangers' power play and a late Rangers' goal by Derick Brassard.

Even though the team had 36 shots on goal, many of them were not of the quality variety. To beat a goaltender like Markstrom, a player needs to be patient and look for the holes because when it comes to Markstrom, there is plenty of room to score goals as he came into tonight's game sporting a 3.26 GAA.

One Blueshirts' forward who seemed to struggle tonight was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin seemed lost and took just two shots on goal.

The Rangers' power play was also a let down. With little time remaining in the third period, the Rangers' had the man advantage and just could not generate a quality scoring chance. Come playoff time, assuming the Rangers get in, this kind of play will be unacceptable. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, jacob+markstrom, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Four Teams That You Should Not Want to Play in the Postseason

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, every hockey fan is dreaming about the potential of their favorite hockey team.

Puckheads across North America are starting to think about 16 wins, big-time performances, clutch goals, big saves and some great hockey in general. As of this moment, the potential is limitless.

With that said, here are four somewhat surprising teams that you do not want to end up playing in the first round should your team clinch a spot in the postseason this year:

- New York Islanders

As a whole, the New York Islanders may not have a lot of playoff experience but boy, are they hungry to make some noise when it matters the most.

They are playing some of their best hockey at the crucial point of the season and are getting great performances from their young players. The Islanders are fast, they go to the net and they can score.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+elliott, columbus+blue+jackets, evgeni+nabokov, ken+hitchcock, new+york+islanders, sergei+bobrovsky, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, john+moore, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  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

Tough Test on Tap Tonight for the Blueshirts

Past the quarter mark of the season, every game from here on out is going to get tougher and tougher as the league inches towards the Stanley Cup Playoiffs.

Tonight at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers will have a tough test of their own when they take on the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are currently 10-4-1 and find themselves atop the Northeast Division and one point behind the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Canadiens also come into tonight's game having won four straight. In those four games, the Canadiens have outscored their opponents 12-4 and have picked-up two shutouts in the process.

At the other end of the ice, the Blueshirts are not doing too shabby either. The club is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and while they currently sit in the eighth spot in the East, they are not that far behind the fifth place Boston Bruins.

The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 win over the visiting Washington Capitals on Sunday night. The Blueshirts got terrific goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, great play out of Carl Hagelin and a clutch power play goal in the third period by Derek Stepan.

The game might have been one of the Rangers' best efforts of the season. They threw plenty of pucks on net, did not take many stupid penalties, were perfect on the penalty kill and did all the little things a hockey team needs to do in order to win games.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Lundqvist Keeps Capitals at Bay in 2-1 Win

After getting off to a somewhat slow start, it appears that New York Rangers' starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is back to being himself between the pipes for his hockey club.

This was extremely evident tonight in the Rangers' 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist stopped 27 of 28 shots and picked-up his fourth straight win as he improves his record to 7-5 on the season.

Lundqvist was especially terrific in the third period as the Capitals beared down in the third period. The Capitals fired 11 shots at Lundqvist but the 30-year-old netminder stopped them all.

Before Lundqvist got on a roll in this game, it looked like the Rangers were going to blow the Capitals out of the water. The team outshot the Capitals 20-8 in the first period and yet, the club went into the second period down 1-0 thanks to the outstanding play of Capitals' netminder Braden Holtby.

That all changed when streaking Rangers' forward Carl Hagelin scored on a deflection to tie the game at one apiece. For Hagelin, it was his fifth goal in his last four games.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards, braden+holtby, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Getting Back on Track

This seems to be a consistent theme for the New York Rangers this season, eh?

Tonight, the Blueshirts will take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals come into MSG on a three-game winning streak while the Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night at MSG.

Defensively, the Blueshirts will need to be at their absolute best tonight. This means no turnovers, blocking lots of shots, clearing the front of the net out for Henrik Lundqvist and being smart with the puck.

Speaking of Lundqvist, the team will also need him to be at his best. With a lineup that has Alex Ovechkin (five goals), Nicklas Backstrom (four goals), Troy Brouwer (seven goals), Mike Ribeiro (five goals) and Joel Ward (five goals), Lundqvist will have to stop lots of offensive weapons tonight.

As a team, the Rangers need to be clicking on all areas. When they get a lead, they need to hold onto it. The team needs to make better line changes and not take too many men on the ice penalties and lastly, the team's power play needs to start producing.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, henrik+lundqvist, joel+ward, mike+ribeiro, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, troy+brouwer, washington+capitals

Seven Minutes of Poor Play leads to 4-3 Shootout loss for Blueshirts

Had it not been for a terrible span of seven minutes in the second period, the New York Rangers may have never lost 4-3 to the New York Islanders in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

After going up 2-0 in the first period, the Rangers stopped skating and allowed the Islanders to skate all over them for the first seven minutes. The result was three quick goals and the loss of a lead that the team should have built on.

The Rangers were able to tie the game at three when Carl Hagelin knocked a loose puck in the crease past Islanders' netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, the team was unable to get another one and the Islanders' first two shooters in the shootout did all the rest to spoil the Rangers' three game winning streak.

As always, the Rangers' power play struggled tonight. Yes, the team did manage to get one goal with the man advantage but other than that, they struggled to get pucks on the net, move the puck cleanly and even find good lanes to get a shot on Nabokov.

As I mentioned in my blog a little while ago, Brad Richards was just one of the reasons why the team could not do much on the man advantage tonight. His poor play on the power play actually caused team head coach John Tortorella to bench him for much of the third period. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+boyes, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

The Script Remains The Same

This appears to be the case for the New York Rangers as the team dropped Game 4 at the Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1.

For the third straight series, the Blueshirts will go into Game 5 tied with their opponent. While this probably should not have happened against both the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, the Rangers certainly deserve this fate after the way they played tonight.

The Blueshirts came out extremely flat in the first period and paid for it. The Devils picked-up two goals (Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac) and were outshot 12-9 in the process. Had it not been for the strong play of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves), the period could have been much worse for the Blueshirts.

The team also racked up 41 minutes in penalties. While it was good to see the Rangers play a physical brand of hockey, spending that much time in the penalty box does not help anyone and only takes your best players off the ice for an extended period of time, something the Rangers cannot afford to do on any given night.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, bryce+salvador, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Time to Go Off Script

For the New York Rangers, this postseason has been a story of deja vu.

There have been many similarities in each round from the number of games played, to the goal scorers in each game as well as the general outcome of each tilt. While this is certainly interesting, it is time for the Blueshirts to go off script.

In each series, the Rangers have taken a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 only to lose both times to the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, respectively. In fact, only once in this whole postseason have the Rangers been able to win two straight games and that was back in Games 6 and 7 of their first round series against the Senators.

The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they were badly outplayed by the New Jersey Devils, except for a portion of the third period when they got two quick goals from Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider. Luckily, the team got a terrific 36-save performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he made extremely timely saves against the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and others.

The Rangers were also very lucky that the goal posts were on their side on Saturday afternoon. The Devils hit four of them and had at least one gone in, it could have been a much different hockey game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, brad+richards, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Time To Take Control

This is what the New York Rangers need to do tonight in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

With the Blueshirts coming off a 3-0 victory in Game 1 and the 1-0 series lead, the Rangers should try and do everything they can to take control of this series. Through the first two rounds, it never felt like the Rangers had the series well within their grasp and while this series is in no way easy for the team, they should be able to grab control of this series in a hurry if things go their way.

For starters, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist is more than just on top of his game. While he did not face as many shots (21) as Devils’ Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (27) did, Lundqvist made the big saves when he had to and was especially good in the second period when he made 10 saves, many of them of the difficult variety.

Secondly, the team has its forechecking game going again. This was evident on the team’s first goal by Dan Girardi when Chris Kreider got to the puck first and fed Girardi for the one timer and it was also apparent as the team won many puck battles along the boards.

It should also be mentioned just how good the Rangers’ defense has been in their last two games. The team held the Devils to just 21 shots in the game and 4 in the last period on Monday night in Game 1 and in Game 7 on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals in the third period, they held up the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, and Mike Green and gave them very little room to maneuver or shoot the puck.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marcus+johansson, martin+brodeur, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Battle of the Hudson Part 6

For hockey fans in New York and New Jersey, the Eastern Conference Finals could not be a more perfect scenario.

Tonight, the Eastern Conference Finals get underway between the No. 1 seed New York Rangers and No. 6 seed New Jersey Devils. This will be the sixth time the two Hudson River rivals go at it in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Rangers winning four of the five series’s.

The Blueshirts are coming off their second Game 7 victory of the 2012 postseason as they were able to finally knock out the Washington Capitals in the postseason after failing to do so in 2009 and 2011. The Rangers came through when they needed to and showed that when they are under a ton of pressure to win a hockey game, they can come through with flying colors.

Across the river, the New Jersey Devils just shocked the No. 5 seed Philadelphia Flyers by beating the Broadstreet Bullies in just five games. The Devils’ defense was tremendous in shutting down one of the top offenses in the league and are now in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 2003 season when they won the Cup.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

That Old Feeling: Rangers Advance to Conference Finals to Take on The Devils

I am sure that this is something many of you New York Ranger fans are getting after the team defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 7 last night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will take on the New Jersey Devils.

Obviously, this is similar to 1994. While it did not take 7 games in 1994 to knock out the Capitals in the second round, the Rangers still came through with the win to advance to take on Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

18 years later, Brodeur is still the man between the pipes in New Jersey and has three Stanley Cups on his Hall of Fame resume. With that said, the Rangers team he will be facing this season is much different than the one he faced as a rookie in 1994.

Back to the Blueshirts. The Blueshirts have shown time and time again this season that when they need to win, they get it done.

Last night, the Rangers played “Ranger hockey” and got timely goal scoring, great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, played great defense, got in on the forecheck, blocked a lot of shots and won the game. This is what made the team so successful in the regular season and when they have played this way in the postseason, they have been able to come through with a victory.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Why the Rangers Will Win Tonight

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is nothing like the excitement, nervousness and other emotions that come to life in a Game 7.

Tonight, the New York Rangers and their passionate fans will be experiencing all kinds of feelings when they take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

For both the Rangers and Capitals, this game marks the second seventh game of the postseason that they will be participating in. The first time around, the Rangers were able to beat the No. 8 seed Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 while the Capitals, the No. 7 seed, were able to beat the No. 2 seed Boston Bruins in overtime by the same score of 2-1.

While the Capitals’ have had success against the Rangers in Game 7’s before, this year will be different and for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the Blueshirts will be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. Here are the reasons why:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

One Game at a Time

As I mentioned in my previous blog, this is the attitude that the New York Rangers need to have going into tonight’s Game 6 against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

After winning a thrilling Game 5 in overtime on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1994. With that said, if this series has shown anything, winning tonight at the Verizon Center is not going to be easy.

While the Capitals did lose Game 5, they were extremely close to winning that hockey game. Had Capitals’ forward Joel Ward not taken that four minute high-sticking penalty very late in the third period, it could have easily been a 2-1 Capitals’ victory and have the Rangers playing for their playoff lives.

Much like they did on Monday night, the Rangers will need to once again throw puck after puck at Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby. While it may have been on the power play, this is exactly how the team scored both the tying and game winning goals in Game 5.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, joel+ward, john+carlson, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Rangers’ Power Play Comes Through When It Matters Most

The New York Rangers power play for what seems like the first time all year long was a huge factor in their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal scored a power play goal just 1:35 into overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. For the Rangers, the play was simple as they won the face-off back to the point and Staal just put the puck on net, which is what a team is supposed to do when they have the man advantage. 

However, this game looked like it was going to end up a 2-1 Capitals win. However, Capitals’ forward Joel Ward took an ill-timed high-sticking double minor with 22 seconds to go on Rangers’ forward Carl Hagelin.

The Blueshirts were able to capitalize on the first part of the power play with 6.6 seconds to go when Brad Richards scored off of Callahan’s third shot past Braden Holtby to tie the game up. For now at least, this goal will go down as Richards’ biggest goal as a Blueshirt.

When overtime started, the team still had over a minute to go on the power play and again, the team was able to come through. If there was ever a time for the team’s power play to start clicking, it was this game. On both goals, the team threw plenty of pucks on Holtby, which again, is something that a team is supposed to do on the power play.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, carl+hagelin, joel+ward, john+carlson, marc+staal, mike+green, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Feeling The Pressure

This is something that the New York Rangers have to be undergoing as the team gets set for its Game 5 tilt tonight with the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

While the Blueshirts were the top team in the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division and one of the best teams in the entire league, it has not been an easy postseason for this hockey club. Rather, it has been one where the Rangers, just like they had to in the regular season, have had to prove that they can handle tough situations, play comeback hockey and win games when it matters.

The team will be in that same kind of situation tonight for Game 5. Based on the way this series has been played so far, it has the makings of another seven game series for the Blueshirts and one that could end up proving to be difficult to win because the way the Capitals are playing.

The Capitals are essentially playing “Ranger hockey”. They are blocking a lot of shots, playing physical, breaking up a lot of passes in their own zone and capitalizing on mistakes made by the opposition.

In turn, the Blueshirts will need to figure out a better way to beat that system. This means finding ways around shot blockers, putting more pucks to the net on Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, crashing for rebounds, creating traffic in front of the net and being patient with the puck.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, braden+holtby, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Late Penalty Hurts Blueshirts Again in Game 4 Loss to Capitals

Much like it did in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden, a late penalty taken by the New York Rangers turned into the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in a 3-2 win in Game 4 at the Verizon Center.

This time, the culprit for the Blueshirts was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin took a two minute slashing penalty and Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green took advantage and ripped a slap shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

For the Rangers, this game was a tale of two different teams. On one side, the Rangers’ played like a team that would rely on its goaltender Lundqvist to make timely save after timely save as well as a team that had no offense to supply.

On the other side, the Rangers played like a club that was willing to go to the net, get goals from the dirty areas and play disciplined hockey. Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither of these teams prevailed as the series will now head back to the Garden for Game 5 tied at two games apiece.

On the bright side, the team got a great performance from Artem Anisimov. Anisimov, who had been quiet for much of these playoffs, picked-up a goal and an assist and was more than present in this hockey game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+green, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Keep Pushing Through

This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to continue to do as they prepare for this afternoon’s Game 4 against the Washington Capitals.

Just three days ago, the Blueshirts pulled off a triple overtime win on a goal by Marian Gaborik. It was a goal that Gaborik needed to score, which will hopefully get him going, and it was a win the Rangers needed to prove to themselves that they could win at the Verizon Center in the playoffs after struggling to do so since Game 2 in April of 2009.

While the Rangers were able to come away with a big win in Game 3, that does not mean that they can take this afternoon off. It may not seem like it to some of you but believe it or not, this series is similar to the team’s opening round series against the Ottawa Senators. Like the first round, the Rangers split their first two games with the Capitals in this round and like in Game 3 against the Senators, the Rangers were able to come away with a victory against the Capitals in Game 3.

With that in mind, the Rangers need to take advantage of the 2-1 series lead they have now and use it to get a 3-1 series lead after this afternoon’s game. Of course, one can point out that the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead in 2009 but this is a much different Rangers’ hockey club than the one that was on the ice three years ago.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Gaborik Comes Through in Triple OT

There was no doubt that going into last night’s Game 3 between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, Blueshirts’ 41-goal scorer Marian Gaborik was having trouble putting the puck in the net.

Well, that changed last night and did so in very dramatic fashion. Gaborik scored a goal in the third overtime off a nice feed from Brad Richards to give his hockey club the 2-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

For the Blueshirts, it was their first triple overtime win since 1971 when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on a goal by Pete Stemkowski. The win also marked the Rangers’ first victory at the Verizon Center in the playoffs since Game 2 of 2009.

This was a game that could have gone either way. Both teams certainly played well enough to win but because Gaborik was able to come through and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was able to make one more save than Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, the result turned out to be in favor of the Rangers.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, chicago+blackhawks, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pete+stemkowski, washington+capitals

In for the Long Haul

Based on the way the first two games have gone between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, it appears that this series has the potential to be a long one.

Heading into tonight’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center, both teams find themselves tied at one game apiece. The Blueshirts took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 while the Capitals fought back and won Game 2 by a score of 3-2 to even up the series.

Neither team won their games in convincing fashion in this series. In Game 1, there were 32 shots combined between the two clubs and in Game 2, it could have gone either way.

For the Rangers, this should not come as a surprise. In their first round series with the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts and Sens found themselves tied in the series after Games 2, 4, and 6 before the Rangers came through with a victory in Game 7.

Tonight, the Rangers need to make sure that they do everything they can to not let the Capitals take over the series. While they have not exactly been firing on all cylinders, the Capitals do have an offense that is capable of exploding and controlling hockey games, something the Blueshirts need to try and prevent both tonight and in Game 4.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Rangers Come Up Short

That is what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 3-2 Game 2 loss of the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

After battling back from a 2-1 deficit on a goal by Ryan Callahan, Capitals’ team captain Alex Ovechkin scored the game winner on a power play with less than 8 minutes to go. The power play was a result of a holding penalty taken by Rangers’ forward Brad Richards.

With the win, the Capitals were able to even up the series at one game apiece as both teams will now prepare for Wednesday night’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center. The Rangers do not exactly have to go back to the drawing board but they must find more ways to make life difficult for Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby.

To beat Holtby, the Rangers need to do a better job of driving to the net and creating traffic in front of the net. On the first goal of the game, Richards drove to the net and was able to put a Marian Gaborik feed into an empty net. On the second goal, Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s shot from the point was redirected by Ryan Callahan a few feet outside the crease before getting by Holtby.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, jason+chimera, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Well-Shaped Roster Getting It Done

With the New York Rangers up 1-0 in their second round series over the Washington Capitals, it is easy to see that the Blueshirts are finally doing the right thing when it comes to shaping their roster.

This postseason is the example of that. The team and its head coach, John Tortorella, really want their youngsters to thrive and right now, several of them are doing just that.

However, the one that everyone is focused on heading into tonight’s Game 2 is Chris Kreider. Kreider, coming off a first star of the game performance in which he picked-up a goal and an assist, is showing the team and the rest of the NHL why he belongs in the league.

In the team’s 3-1 win in Game 1, Kreider scored his second game winning goal of the playoffs and showed how he can make a positive impact for this hockey club. At just 21 years of age, it is an impressive start and one that needs to continue if the Blueshirts want to keep on having success in the postseason.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, chris+higgins, chris+kreider, john+tortorella, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, scott+gomez, washington+capitals

Focusing on Round 2

The New York Rangers will be doing just that tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden as the team begins its second round series against the Washington Capitals.

For the Blueshirts, this playoff match-up has no surprises. The two teams met in both the 2009 and 2011 postseason and both times, the Capitals came away with the series victory.

The main difference is the seeding of these two clubs. The Rangers finished in the top spot in the Eastern Conference while the Capitals took the seventh seed.

For the Rangers to be successful in this series, the team will need to once again play “Ranger hockey”. The club will need to be all over the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich. As such, the Blueshirts should be prepared to block a ton of shots this series.

On the other side, the Rangers’ big offensive players need to step up and produce. Marian Gaborik really needs to start scoring some goals while others like Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider must continue to find ways to generate offense.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Blueshirts Off to the Second Round

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they need to play tonight in order to win this tilt and luckily, the Rangers were able to implement it perfectly.

For starters, a lot of credit has to be given to the Rangers’ defense. Not only did they block a ton of shots and break up many passes, but they also helped score the only two goals of the game as both Marc Staal and Dan Giradi were able to put the puck in the net in the second period.

The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan also had themselves a terrific game. While he has only played in five NHL games, Kreider is showing that he belongs in the NHL. He has speed, he has size, he has strength and soft hands, all skills that will make him a very, very, good NHLer.

Stepan, after not scoring a point in the first five games of the series, finished up the first round with 5 points (1G 4A). He is playing with a lot more confidence and is getting a lot of scoring chances playing with Callahan and Kreider.

Callahan played like a captain should always play. He played hard, physical and was able to help this team get into the second round of the postseason.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Not the way to Go Into the Postseason

While it is great that the New York Rangers finished first in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, last night’s performance against the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 loss at Madison Square Garden is not acceptable.

In the first period, the team was irresponsible on defense and got some questionable goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, which led to a 3-0 deficit after the first period. Lundqvist did not look like himself between the pipes as the first goal he allowed to Capitals’ team captain Alex Ovechkin should have been stopped and on the Capitals’ third goal, he looked completely lost.

The team’s first period ultimately took the team out of the hockey game. This was a game that the Rangers could have used to go into the postseason on a high note and as Presidents’ Trophy winners but simply put, it was not meant to be for the Blueshirts last night.

On a positive note, the team was able to create several good scoring opportunities on Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby but Holtby was more than up to the task in making 35 saves. The Capitals’ will need more goaltending like that from Holtby if they want to beat the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, braden+holtby, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Move On and Focus

There really is not too much to say regarding the New York Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

Yes, we can easily rehash Penguins’ defenseman Brooks Orpik’s hit on Derek Stepan and also what Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella had to say about it. With that said, it does not make sense to go over it again as we all know what was done and what was said and we all have an opinion on it.

Instead, it is time to shift our focus to the last regular season game tomorrow night against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals managed to clinch a playoff spot last night with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and are just two points behind the Panthers for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

The Capitals will play hard tomorrow night to try and clinch the division and home ice in the first round of the playoffs. This is a team that knows how to put the puck in the net, even though they have not done enough of that this season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brooks+orpik, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, john+tortorella, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Top Spot in the Division and Conference

That is what the 2011-12 New York Rangers are in terms of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference this season.

With their 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers last night, the Blueshirts clinched the top spot in both their division and conference for the first time since 1994. Yes, we all know what happened that year but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Blueshirts jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period last night and never really looked back. Sure, they allowed the Flyers to score 3 goals and yes, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist certainly had to come up big but for the most part, this game was won in the first period.

The team got solid performances from Marian Gaborik (1 goal and 1 assist), Ryan McDonagh (1 goal and 1 assist), Brad Richards (2 assists) and Lundqvist (37 saves on 40 shots). The other usual suspects such as Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Brian Boyle also put forth solid efforts in the clinching victory.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, washington+capitals

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, ryan+miller, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Looking to Close Out the Homestand with a Win Against the Sabres

Prior to the 7-game homestand, the New York Rangers knew that it would be a great opportunity to really establish home ice before the postseason and pick-up some points to help build on their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings lead.

In six games so far, the Blueshirts have gone 4-2. The team has beat the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings while losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight’s game between the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden is an important one for both clubs. For the Rangers, it is an opportunity to go back to being three points ahead of the Penguins as the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators last night by a score of 5-1.

For the Sabres, it is an opportunity to get two huge points to put them in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have been playing playoff hockey for the last month or so and have really turned their season around after a rough few months and after last night’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Penguins, the Sabres can move into the eighth spot over the Washington Capitals with a win.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, marian+gaborik, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Big Tilt in Beantown

The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, two of the NHL’s Original Six franchises, happen to be two of the top teams in both the Eastern Conference and NHL this season.

With that said, it is the Blueshirts that come into this game with the better record and position in the standings. The Rangers are seven points up on the second place Bruins going into tonight’s game.

The Blueshirts are coming off a weekend sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. Combined, the Rangers outscored their opponents 8-4 this past weekend and hope to carry that offense tonight against a very good defensive hockey team.

The Rangers are being led by their captain, Ryan Callahan, right now. Callahan is coming off a 4-goal weekend and is now second on the team in scoring with 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Finding Another Gear

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are doing and for right now at least, it seems to be working.

Coming off a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday afternoon, the team knew that it would be in tough this afternoon against the Washington Capitals. Like the team has much of this season, the Blueshirts stood tough and came away with a 3-2 victory over Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.

The team got another terrific performance from their goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 24 saves on 26 shots for his 26th win of the season. If he continues to play this way, the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top netminder should be his come near the end of June.

The club also got a big goal from defenseman Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead 13:21 into the second period and it turned out to be the game winner.

The goal did not come so easily for McDonagh as on the follow through, he twisted awkwardly and got his skate caught in the ice and fell. He was helped to the dressing room but luckily, returned to finish the game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, boston+bruins, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, washington+capitals

Rangers’ Best Players Come Through in Win Over the Flyers

When it comes to any professional sport, you always want the best players on your team to play like the best and come up big when they need to.

This happened for the New York Rangers this afternoon in their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. For the Rangers, it was their fifth straight victory over the Flyers this season.

The reason why the Rangers came away with the victory this afternoon is because their big-time players came through. For starters, the team captain, Ryan Callahan, scored a hat trick. Callahan now has 21 goals on the season.

Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards also had big games for the Blueshirts. Marian Gaborik picked-up a goal and three assists for four points while Richards also had three assists in the game.

Other forwards that came up big for the Rangers were Derek Stepan (2 assists) and Artem Anisimov (1 goal). Anisimov has really picked-up his game since being reunited with Stepan and Gaborik and now has 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in his last four games.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, derek+stepan, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

The NHL Needs the Ovechkin of Old to Return to Form

With Pittsburgh Penguins’ superstar Sidney Crosby struggling to get healthy, the National Hockey League needs a player like Washington Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin to be better now more than ever.

In Ovechkin’s first few seasons in the NHL, he was absolutely amazing to watch. “Ovy” could score goals at will, fire pucks and more pucks on net, dipsy doodle around five skaters, and hit with the best of them.

Last season, however, the league saw a much different Ovechkin. Ovechkin scored just 32 goals after averaging close to 54 goals a season in his first five years in the NHL.

The league and its fans also saw Ovechkin get lazy on shifts, fail to back check, turn over the puck, and even have his lowest shot total of his career with 367. Prior to last season, Ovechkin averaged close to 432 shots a season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, washington+capitals

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: eastern+conference, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Average

That is exactly what the New York Rangers were last night in their 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The team was not terrible but they certainly were not great either. This was a game that with better defensive coverage and less turnovers could have easily been a much better game for the Blueshirts.

What was interesting to see was how the Capitals played. Their team certainly played with a lot of energy and may have even looked like the Capitals of old.

With that said, the chances were there for the Rangers’ taking. There were plenty of juicy rebounds left by Capital’s netminder Tomas Vokoun but the Blueshirts failed to cash in on them.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, tomas+vokoun, washington+capitals

Shooting for Six

That is what the New York Rangers will be doing tonight in Washington when they look for their sixth straight win against the Washington Capitals.

It is easy to say that the Blueshirts are on fire right now. They have won five straight games and are currently first not only in the Atlantic Division, but the entire Eastern Conference as well with a 22-8-4 record.

On the other side, the Capitals are one struggling hockey club right now. They are inconsistent in all areas of their game and are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. The coaching change has yet to have its full effect on the team and something needs to change sooner rather than later for Dale Hunter and his club.

These two teams met back on Thanksgiving weekend. It was a game in which the Blueshirts came out on top with a 6-3 win and got some timely saves from netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: dale+hunter, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Tops in the East

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are after shutting out the New York Islanders last night by a score of 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 22-8-4, which is good enough for first in the Atlantic Division and now, first in the Eastern Conference. The team is one point ahead of the Boston Bruins and two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The team used a solid 60-minute effort to beat the Islanders last night. After coming back from the holiday’s, many wondered how this Rangers’ club would respond due to the time off. The Blueshirts came back, skated hard and showed why they are one of the tops teams in the National Hockey League this year.

For starters, the team got another solid performance out of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 28 saves for his third shutout of the season and how has statistics that make him one of the best netminders in the NHL with 15 wins (6th in the league), a 1.95 goals against average (4th in the league), a .936 save percentage (third in the league) and 3 shutouts (4th in the league.

The club also got another goal from their sniper Marian Gaborik. Gaborik now leads the NHL in goals with 21 and has a 5-game goal streak.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

It’s Deja Vu all Over Again

It appears to be that way as just like the New York Rangers did last week, they will be taking on the New York Islanders again tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off a week in which they picked up six points with three victories over teams in their division. The team beat the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers last week to help move the team to first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.

With games on Wednesday (at the Washington Capitals) and Friday (at the Florida Panthers), it will be interesting to see how team head coach John Tortorella uses his goaltenders. It is not out of the question that Tortorella uses netminder Martin Biron tonight against the Islanders and then uses Henrik Lundqvist for the next three games against the Capitals, Panthers and of course, the Flyers at the 2012 Winter Classic.

Other than that, there is not too much else going on in Rangerland these days. The team is winning plenty of hockey games, battling through injuries and getting solid play from everyone on the team.

Hopefully, things will stay that way as the team begins an interesting seven days in which they could potentially pick-up eight points.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+winter+classic, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

View from the Top

That is exactly what the New York Rangers have after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-2 last night at Madison Square Garden.

The team came out and played an almost perfect home game by cashing in on their opportunities, never quitting on plays, forechecking, playing solid defense, and getting terrific goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Put these all together and you have another solid win on home ice.

With the win, the Rangers are now tied with the Flyers for the Atlantic Division lead and are second in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Boston Bruins. Not bad for a team that no one knew just how good they were going to be or what they were capable of.

For starters, the team was certainly good at deflecting pucks past Flyers’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. Derek Stepan did just that on the team’s first goal in the second period when he deflected defenseman Stu Bickel’s shot from the point and surprised Bryzgalov to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. The goal was put under a review but because Stepan’s stick was below the crossbar, the goal counted.

Ruslan Fedotenko did the same thing and his goal was also under review because it was first thought that the team hit the crossbar. However, after reviewing the play, the puck hit the back bar inside the net and the Rangers went up 2-0.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: atlantic+division, boston+bruins, derek+stepan, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, stu+bickel, washington+capitals, winter+classic

Blueshirts Come Through in Weekend Sweep

When New York Rangers’ fans first looked at the schedule and saw back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, they were probably extremely worried.

Well, it turns out the Blueshirts surprised everyone by winning both by scores of 6-3 and 2-0, respectively. With the two wins, the Rangers improved to 12-5-3 on the season and are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference.

In their game against the Capitals, the team got a strong performance from their team captain, Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up three assists and was involved in all areas of the ice.

In that game, the club got goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (2), Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Brad Richards. The team also got a strong performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 18 saves on 21 shots.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

Rangers in Need of Some New Blood and a Quick Turnaround?

It appears that is what team management and the head coach feel as the New York Rangers have recalled both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin up from the Connecticut Whale.

With two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts will look to get back on track late this afternoon against the Washington Capitals. While the Capitals have been a streaky this team season, they certainly know how to bring the offense and with the Blueshirts’ springing leaks in the defensive zone the last two games, one would expect the Capitals to do the same tonight.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts decided to call up Mitchell and Hagelin not only for some potential new blood, but to replace forward Andre Deveaux, who will more than likely receive a fine from the NHL for his hit on Panthers’ forward Tomas Fleischmann.

As posted yesterday, both John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin have been recalled from Connecticut (AHL) in anticipation of Deveaux’s absence. I suspect Mitchell, for sure, will be in the lineup today and it wouldn’t shock me if Hagelin was as well. The other fourth-liners from Wednesday’s game, Brian Boyle and Sean Avery, would probably be the first options for a healthy scratch if coach John Tortorella decides to play both call-ups.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: andre+deveaux, carl+hagelin, florida+panthers, john+mitchell, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Not to be Taken Lightly

That is exactly the attitude the New York Rangers should take tonight when they take on the Florida Panthers tonight in Florida at the BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers are currently leading the Southeast Division and are showing that they are a tough team to play against. They are a club that never gives up, knows how to battle back and can put the puck in the net.

Much like the Blueshirts, the Panthers have also played terrific hockey in their last seven games, having won five of them. They are also off to one of their best starts in franchise history at 11-6-3 with 25 points.

With all of that in mind, the Blueshirts will need to do everything in their power to play a smart road game. For the Rangers, that means staying out of the box, getting an early lead, playing smart in their own end and getting good goaltending.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Bound To Happen

This describes the game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The club did not have their legs, failed to put any real offensive pressure on Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price and certainly did not help netminder Martin Biron. All in all, it was a sloppy hockey game that with a 7-game winning streak, was going to happen sooner or later.

With that said, the team is going to need to put this one out of their minds fast as they have a tough schedule coming up. The team will be in Florida on Wednesday night to take on the high-flying Florida Panthers followed by a game against the Washington Capitals on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and then the next day, the team will be home for a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is exactly why the Blueshirts need to forget about Saturday night’s game and focus on their upcoming games against three really good hockey clubs. To win these games, the team’s offense will obviously need to step up and the defense will need to play more responsibly in their own end.

There is no reason to hit the panic button as this game needed to happen for the Rangers. They needed something to bring them back to reality and show them that they are nowhere near to being a perfect hockey team.

It is what it is so it is back to focusing on the hear and now for the Blueshirts.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

New Capitals Book On the Way from Beat Writer Ted Starkey

Ted Starkey, one of the Washington Capitals’ beat writers for the Washington Times, was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us about a new book he is authoring on the Capitals: Transition Game: The Story of the 2010-11 Washington Capitals.

PH: So, you’re writing a book on last year’s version of the Washington Capitals. What are you looking to tell the readers about last year’s team?
TS: The book is a slice of life book, chronicling one of 30 stories in the National Hockey League. The book starts in Hershey as three key prospects - defensemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson, along with goaltender Michal Neuvirth - help the Bears rally from a 2-0 deficit against the Texas Stars to capture the Cup. The story then progresses through an NHL off-season and an up-and-down campaign that spanned from the highs of winning the Winter Classic and the top seed in the Eastern Conference to the lows of an eight-game losing streak that had Bruce Boudreau apparently wondering about his future.

It’s intended to show the long journey from camp to season’s conclusion, and all the sweat and effort that goes into an NHL season.

PH: What gave you the idea to write a book on the 2010-11 Capitals? What makes that team so intriguing to write about?
TS: From the end of the 2009-10 season, it was clearly going to be a different year in Washington with the Capitals being selected to play in the Winter Classic, which was made even more pronounced with the HBO series “24/7.” The mid-season regular-season game really began to overshadow the team well before the puck was dropped in Pittsburgh, and the change in playing style in the middle of filming.

I actually thought of the idea before the playoffs even began back in March. There were a lot of unique storylines to the team, and one that fans got to know a little of during the reality series. Thanks to some other good local writers and bloggers, I took my year’s worth of material and blended it with theirs, and also added some of the light shed on the team in the series to create a good picture of the club through the highs - and lows - of the season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: ted+starkey, transition+game:+the+story+of+the+2010-11+washington+capitals, washington+capitals

Who Will Win Washington’s Crease?

This is a question that many Washington Capitals’ fans have probably been wondering about since the team went out and signed UFA Tomas Vokoun.

There is no doubt that Vokoun has been one of the league’s best goaltenders over the last few seasons. Year in and year out, his goals against average, save percentage, shutouts, and shots stopped rank among the league’s best. Unfortunately for Vokoun, his success in the regular season has all been for naught as he was not able to get the Florida Panthers into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in any of the four seasons he was there.

With that said, he may get the chance to play in the playoffs should he play well enough in the Capitals’ crease this season. He has a terrific team in front of him that knows how to play good defense and of course, score goals with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Semin, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble and a slew of others.

However, it is not necessarily a guarantee that Vokoun will be the Capitals’ No. 1 netminder. He will have to compete with Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, two very good young goaltenders, for that coveted spot.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: braden+holtby, michal+neuvirth, tomas+vokoun, washington+capitals

Should Boudreau Get Canned?

This is something I pondered over at RLD Hockey today.

You can either click here for more or continue below:

Is it Time for Boudreau to Go?
By Patrick Hoffman

Another year, another postseason in which the Washington Capitals do not advance past the second round. This has been the common theme for the Capitals under Head Coach Bruce Boudreau, and a theme that needs to stop if they want to have any chance of playing deep into May and early June.

For that to happen, Capitals GM George McPhee must make the difficult decision of letting Boudreau go.

Yes, Boudreau helped put the Capitals back on the map in the 2007-08 season. Yes, Boudreau helped this team to a Presidents’ Trophy one season ago. Yes, the Capitals made the playoffs every year under Boudreau’s tenure.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau, washington+capitals

 1 2 3 >       Next »

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts