Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

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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. 

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, jacob+markstrom, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Taking Care Of Business

That is exactly what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

Coming into tonight's tilt, the Panthers were the worst team in the league. Tonight, the Rangers took advantage of that and pounded the Panthers with six goals and got strong offensive efforts from several of their players.

For starters, Mats Zuccarello is continuing to show how he has improved his game. He goes hard to the net, knows how to use his speed, gets his nose dirty and tonight, he was able to score two goals.

The club also got a strong offensive performance from Derick Brassard. Brassard had two goals and gave the team an early lead when he scored the games first goal just over three minutes into the tilt.

Rick Nash did his part in this game by picking up three points with a goal and two assists. It will be important for Nash to continue to produce as the team needs him to score in this last stretch of the season. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, derick+brassard, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ron+rolston, winnipeg+jets

Big Week on Tap for the Blueshirts

With spring now in the air, it is certainly starting to look like playoff hockey around the NHL.

This is especially the case for the New York Rangers. This past week, the Blueshirts were extremely impressive in picking up seven out of a possible eight points in wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins (had a shootout loss to them as well) and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Watching the Rangers' this week, some familiarity was definitely present. In fact, in watching how the Rangers' played this week and looking at the performances they got out of certain players, one could even say that it felt like last season.

This past week helped catapult the Blueshirts into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The team is just two points behind the sixth-seeded Ottawa Senators and is also four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There are several reasons why the Rangers have had success of late. For starters, Blueshirts' netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely fantastic. The "King" is 6-2-2 in his last 10 games, has not allowed more than two goals in those 10 games and has posted great numbers with a 1.57 GAA and a .947 save percentage in those games.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, derick+brassard, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+lunqdqvist, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, ryan+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Rangers Should Lean on and Follow Callahan and Stepan

After attending last night's New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets' NHL game at Madison Square Garden, it is easy to see who the real catalysts are for this Rangers' hockey club in terms of playing the game the right way.

Believe it or not, I am not talking about players such as Rick Nash (he has been great this season), Brad Richards or Marian Gaborik. While Nash is the only player that has really stepped up unlike Richards and Gaborik, even he is not doing what the players I am about to talk about are doing.

These Blueshirts are team captain Ryan Callahan and his linemate Derek Stepan. At 28 and 22 years old, respectively, these two players represent all that is right with the club as well as being a big part of the core of the franchise moving forward.

Callahan has always been an exemplary Ranger. He hustles, he blocks shots, he plays the body, he goes hard to the net and this season, has shown that he has soft hands.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Another Disappointing Effort for the Blueshirts

For a team that is fighting to stay in the top eight in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers sure did not play with any kind of fight tonight in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.

It what has been a consistent theme this season for Blueshirts, the Rangers did not generate too many quality scoring chances, allowed too many quality scoring chances to the Jets and looked like they lacked the energy that is needed to win a hockey game.

Furthermore, Rangers' forward Marian Gaborik was denied on a penalty shot by Jets' netminder Ondrej Pavelec in the first period. Gaborik got in too close to Pavelec and ended up losing control of the puck, which was then smothered by Pavelec.

Smothered would be the perfect word to describe what the Rangers' play has been in these last two games. The club cannot find the open holes to generate quality scoring chances, cannot find good shots to get on the power play and then when they do get a scoring chance, they make the opposing netminder look like the next Patrick Roy.

This word would also describe what is happening to some of the team's top players. Guys like Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards have been quiet in these last two games and if one of those guys is not scoring, that means trouble for the rest of the Rangers' team. 

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  Tags: brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ondrej+pavelec, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Back to the Drawing Board

After playing a perfect road game in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon, the New York Rangers went out a dropped a 3-1 tilt to the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Buffalo.

The Blueshirts took a lot of penalties, could not cash in on the power play when given a gold opportunity to do so and could not find a way consistently to put the puck past Sabres' netminder Jhonas Enroth. Put these three things together and more often than not, the Rangers will be on the losing end of a the hockey game.

Staying out of the penalty box seemed to be a tough thing for the Rangers to do tonight. The team took four penalties in the second period alone and when a team is shorthaned that much, it usually does not need to productive or winning hockey.

Despite making 32 saves, the Rangers made Enroth look like Patrick Roy. For Enroth, this was his first win since 2011 and the Blueshirts made sure to put plenty of pucks at his chest or in other areas that were easy for Enroth to control the puck.

Lastly, the Sabres were able to shut down Rangers' forward Rick Nash and his 10-game point streak. Not only did Nash not score a point in this game, but he was also a -2.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, jhonas+enroth, new+york+rangers, patrick+roy, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

The Perfect Road Game

That is exactly what the New York Rangers played this afternoon in their 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

The Blueshirts got timely goal scoring, played solid on defense, got a great game from back-up netminder Martin Biron, and did a good job at killing penalties when they needed it the most. With the exception of the first ten minutes of the game in which they looked like they were asleep, this was by far and away the best Rangers' road game of the season.

It was nice to see Rangers' forward Brian Boyle come through with his first goal of the season in the second period on a delayed penalty. On the goal, he showed patience with the puck, got into good position and showed why guys should not be afraid to put the puck on net. Hopefully, this goal will get him going.

The club also got another excellent game from Rick Nash. Nash used his size, helped create two goals and was responsible in his own end.

Another big factor in this tilt was the play of Biron. Biron was sharp in making 28 saves and did his job by keeping his team in the game, giving his club a chance to win, and stopping the pucks that he should stop.

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  Tags: brad+richards, brian+boyle, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets


After winning the Atlantic Division, finishing first in the Eastern Conference and coming to within two wins of making it to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994, the New York Rangers came into this season as Stanley Cup contenders.

Throw in the fact that they had a Vezina Trophy winning goaltender between the pipes, traded for power forward Rick Nash and had the same defensive corps. the Blueshirts were in more than good position to win a Cup this year.

Unfortunately, nothing good has come from any of the above mentioned things for the Blueshirts this year. After losing 4-3 at Madison Square Garden tonight to the Winnipeg Jets, the team finds themselves in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Sure, the Rangers are just one point out of the eighth spot but based on the way the team has played over the last week and a half, it certainly does not seem that way, right?

Tonight's game was a perfectly winnable situation for the Rangers, despite being depleted with injuries. With that said, the team's offense was not there until it mattered and when the team cut the lead to 3-2 in the third period, Rangers' masked man Henrik Lundqvist allowed an untimely bad goal to Jets' forward Evander Kane.

Another momentum killer for the Rangers came in the second period. The team, in particular Ryan Callahan, did a terrific job of killing off a Brian Boyle penalty and then a few minutes later, former Ranger Olli Jokinen scored to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.

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  Tags: evander+kane, henrik+lundqvist, michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, winnipeg+jets

Not Going to be Easy

Update: According to Rangers' beat writer Steve Zipay, it appears that Rangers' back-up goaltender Martin Biron will make his first start of the season tonight

That will certainly be the case tonight for the New York Rangers when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa.

The Blueshirts are coming off one of their worst performances of this young season. On Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers were kept quiet offensively, took another careless too many men on the ice penalty and lacked the energy that is needed to be competitive in a hockey game.

At the other end of the ice, the Lightning are just the opposite. The team is scoring goals like crazy (beat the Winnipeg Jets 8-3 last night), cashing in on the power play and at the time of this writing, is the top team in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 record, having won five straight games.

For the Rangers to start winning hockey games, their offense is going to need to step up in a big way. Besides the line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Rick Nash, the team's forwards have been very quiet.

The team needs the likes of Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to start putting the puck in the net. These two players have not played badly but they are not finding themselves on the scoresheet, which could become a problem as this season goes further.

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  Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, rick+nash, tampa+bay+lightning, winnipeg+jets

Rangers Set to Take on The Canadiens

Things are certainly in flux when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens these days.

Their GM was fired yesterday, their head coach will more than likely be gone after the season and the team is currently in last place in the entire Eastern Conference. Not so rosy, right?

This should be good news to the New York Rangers as they look to build up on their five point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference when they take on the Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are on a three game winning streak heading into tonight’s tilt.

The Rangers are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, a game in which they showed their never say die style. The team came back from a 2-0 deficit and scored four unanswered goals to win the hockey game.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, winnipeg+jets

King of The Hill

That is exactly what the New York Rangers are tonight after their 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg.

This was a gutsy performance by a team that never quits. Tonight, the Blueshirts came back from a 2-0 deficit on goals by defenseman Michael Del Zotto (1 goal and 1 assist) and team captain Ryan Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist).

After that, it was the team’s scoring depth that took over the game. Brian Boyle (1 goal) scored the game-winning goal just over three minutes into the third period followed by a power play goal from Derek Stepan (1 goal).

It is performances like tonight that the Blueshirts are going to need if they want to succeed in the postseason. There could be nights when the likes of Marian Gaborik (2 assists) Brad Richards (1 assist) and even Callahan (1 goal and 1 assist) are shut down so when that happens, the team’s scoring depth needs to step up and take care of business.

Speaking of taking care of business, Rangers’ starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did that tonight by stopping 22 of 24 shots for his 38th victory of the season. It was his 250th career win, which puts him tied for 44th on the all-time wins list by a netminder with the legendary Johnny Bower.

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  Tags: brian+boyle, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, johnny+bower, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Finding Ways to Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking For More Points

The New York Rangers will be doing just that tonight at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blueshirts are coming off a playoff-clinching 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. The team played tough, got timely scoring and played solid on defense.

Even though the team clinched a spot, this is not the time to slow things down. After crushing the Winnipeg Jets last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins are just one point behind the Rangers for first in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Luckily, this Red Wings’ hockey club is not playing their best right now. The team is struggling with injuries up and down the lineup and is 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, winnipeg+jets

Heave Ho Four in a Row

That is what the New York Rangers will be looking to do this afternoon at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

The teams have met three times already with the Blueshirts coming away with three wins, including winning the Winter Classic by a score of 3-2. The Blueshirts have also beaten the Flyers twice on home ice this season.

There is no doubt that the Flyers are going to come out as a hungry hockey club. In yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils at home, the Flyers gave the Devils a 6-0 lead before coming back to score four goals in the third period to make it an exciting hockey game.

This is a Flyers team that has a lot of offense. Guys like Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Jaromir Jagr and Matt Read can all put the puck in the net. Hartnell leads the club with 25 goals and Giroux is right behind with 20.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts are going to need to be ready to battle. The club is coming off a hard fought 1-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night in Buffalo and the team more than likely knows that if they play the way they did against Buffalo, they could be in trouble against the Broadstreet Bullies.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, claude+giroux, henrik+lundqvist, jaromir+jagr, matt+read, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, scott+hartnell, wayne+simmonds, winnipeg+jets

UPDATE/Back to the Grind

UPDATE: Per Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross’s Twitter, Martin Biron will be starting between the pipes tonight for the Blueshirts:

Biron in net tonight vs. Devils. Otherwise same lineup for Rangers.

That is what the New York Rangers will be doing tonight at the Prudential Center when they take on the New Jersey Devils.

Coming into tonight’s tilt, the Blueshirts are on a two game winning streak. Two Saturday’s ago, the Rangers beat the Bruins in overtime by a 3-2 score and then three nights later at Madison Square Garden, the club shutout the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 3-0.

The Rangers also currently find themselves in the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 66 points and are one point behind the league-leading Detroit Red Wings. For the Rangers to keep up this kind of pace, they are going to have to get things started on the right foot tonight in New Jersey.

Luckily for the Blueshirts, they have several players who have performed well over the last few games. Lundqvist was terrific in Boston and was good when he had to be against the Jets.

Marian Gaborik, the NHL All-Star MVP, scored two goals against the Bruins and picked-up a hat trick and an assist in the All-Star Game. His confidence should be at a high level right now.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nhl+all-star+game, winnipeg+jets

One more Before the Break

The New York Rangers are back in action tonight to take on the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden before taking a few days off for the NHL All-Star break.

The Blueshirts are coming off a big 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins thanks to a goal from Marian Gaborik. It was the Rangers’ 30th win of the season and as it stands right now, the team is tied for first in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Bruins with 64 points.

Tonight, the Blueshirts take on a team that they have beaten twice in the Jets. In both of those games, the team got excellent goaltending from Martin Biron. As such, one has to wonder if he will be in between the pipes tonight for the red, white, and blue Rangers.

For the Rangers, tonight’s tilt could be looked at as a “trap” game. As I mentioned earlier, the Blueshirts are tied for first in the East while the Jets are 10th in the East and three points out of the eighth and final spot.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, eastern+conference, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, winnipeg+jets

Rangers’ PP Comes Through in the Clutch In Win Over the Bruins

For much of the season, the New York Rangers’ power play has been lackluster to say the least.

It looked like that was going to be the case again this afternoon against the Boston Bruins until overtime when the Rangers’ were awarded a five minute power play when Andrew Ference hit defenseman Ryan McDonagh from behind. It was then that Rangers’ sniper Marian Gaborik came through by beating Bruins’ netminder Tuukka Rask to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory.

It was Marian Gaborik’s second goal of the afternoon, giving “Gabby” 25 goals on the season. His first of the afternoon came of a blocked shot on Carl Hagelin and he sniped one past Rask to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

This was a game that lived up to everyone’s expectations. There was lots of hitting, lots of blocked shots, great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (32 saves) and Rask (30 saves), and had the feel of a playoff game.

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  Tags: andrew+ference, boston+bruins, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, madison+square+garden, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh, tuukka+rask, winnipeg+jets

Another Rivalry Game for the Blueshirts

It seems to be rivalry week for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the New York Islanders tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. In that game, the team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves), Marian Gaborik (2 goals and 1 assist), Derek Stepan (3 assists), and Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist).

At the other end, the Islanders are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets and are looking to extend their winning streak to two games with a win over the Blueshirts tonight. According the Islanders’ web site, there is a good chance that netminder Evgeni Nabakov will get the start tonight.

For the Rangers, their goal should be to stay the course. The team is currently 19-8-4 and have done a lot of damage to the Islanders at the Garden. In their last four tilts at MSG, the Blueshirts have outscored the Islanders by a 20-5 margin and have also gone 8 for 20 on the power play.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, derek+stepan, evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, winnipeg+jets

NHL Home Ice Takes in A Special Night in Buffalo

On Tuesday night, the hosts of Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice, Mike Ross and Mick Kern, had the pleasure of being invited to see the Buffalo Sabres take on the Winnipeg Jets at the First Niagra Center.

It ended up being a special and emotional night for all as it was also Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night as the two Sabres’ legends were being inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.

“Rossy” was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us how the night went.

PH: How did you and Mick Kern get invited to be at Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night in Buffalo?
MR: Actually, we got to pick the game. A few weeks ago, I got a call from Marc Heintzman of the Sabres Public Relations department saying that team President Ted Black had heard Mick and I talking about the renovations at First Niagara Center and was inviting us to pick a game and be his guest for a night. So we looked at the schedule and decided that seeing the Jets would be cool and in the end, it was a coincidence that Hawerchuk and Jeanneret were being honoured.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dale+hawerchuk, jason+pominville, mick+kern, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice, rick+jeanneret, winnipeg+jets

Home Sweet Home

Things certainly seem that way for the New York Rangers who finished their homestand by shutting out the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 3-0.

With the win, the team extended its winning streak at the Garden and its winning streak in general to four games, to improve their record to 7-3-3 on the season. The win also enabled the Blueshirts to finish their six game homestand with a 4-1-1 record and picked up 9 out of a possible 12 points.

Last night, the Blueshirts got solid performances out of Marian Gaborik (2 goals), Derek Stepan (1 goal and 1 assist) and Martin Biron (24 saves). With the victory, Biron improved his record to 3-0 on the season while also picking up his first shutout as a member of the Blueshirts.

After getting off to a somewhat slow start this season, Stepan has really picked up his play. He now has 7 points (2 goals and 5 assists) and has shown that he can do great things with the puck. Stepan is patient, he constantly looks for the open man and he knows how to slow the play down, which he allows him to find an open teammate.

Gaborik continues to shine this season. When healthy, he is one of the best offensive players in the game and right now, he is just that for the Blueshirts. On the season, Gaborik has 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points in 13 games.

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  Tags: derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, winnipeg+jets

Rangers Extend Winning Streak To Three

The New York Rangers used a 3-goal first period to defeat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 at Madison Square Garden last night.

Knowing that the Canadiens had played on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts came out and took advantage of a tired Canadiens’ team. The team got goals from Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and a terrific goal from Michael Del Zotto to go up 3-0.

After that, the Canadiens found their legs and made it an interesting hockey game by cutting the lead to 3-2. However, instead of giving up the lead entirely, Rangers’ center Brad Richards came through and scored to make it 4-2 off a great shot from the slot, a place he has scored all his goals from this season.

While the Canadiens did end up cutting the lead to 4-3 late in the third period, Ryan Callahan sealed the game with an empty net goal. For the Rangers, it was there third straight win and more importantly, third straight win on Garden ice as the team improved its home record to 3-1-1.

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  Tags: brad+richards, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, john+tortorella, martin+biron, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

Staying Consistent

This is something the New York Rangers need to do in order to be successful and win hockey games this season.

With that in mind, Rangers’ bench boss John Tortorella will be sticking with the same lineup that won on Monday night against the San Jose Sharks tonight when his team takes on the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden. For the Blueshirts, that would be something consistent and something that they would hope to sustain.

What this does mean is that Rangers’ pest Sean Avery will not be playing tonight for the Blueshirts. This is understandable considering how the team played in its 5-2 win over the Sharks as it would not make much sense for Tortorella to change things when the team played well with a particular lineup.

The Rangers need to build on their win from Monday night and continue to lay the same kind of hockey. That means getting the puck to the net, driving to the net, playing responsibly in their own end and staying out of the penalty box. For the Rangers, those things are a recipe for success.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

Are the Rangers in Trouble?

The answer to that question is a resounding no.

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

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

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

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

Time to Go Home

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

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

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

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

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

Rangers Need Secondary Scoring

In order to get everything clicking, the New York Rangers must be able to start getting some secondary scoring.

Going into the season, many hockey pundits, bloggers and prognosticators believed that this year’s Rangers’ hockey club had the most depth it has had in a very long time. With that said, it has yet to show up this season for the Blueshirts.

Obviously, the team’s top line consisting of Derek Stepan (for now), Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik will be asked to do the primary scoring. So far, Gaborik has doen his part and Richards has set up a bunch of goals and scoring opportunities.

It is the team’s second line of Artem Anismov-Brandon Dubinsky-Ryan Callahan that needs to steup to the plate and start producing. Ryan Callahan has not done much since the team’s opening weekend in Sweden and Dubinsky has been inconsistent at best. Unfortunately, Anisimov has been almost non-existent so far this season.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, winnipeg+jets

Timing is Everything

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

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

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

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

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

Time for Biron to Play

Even though New York Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been terrific to start the season, team head coach John Tortorella should consider giving backup goaltender Martin Biron a chance to play one of the three games coming up against the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and the Winnipeg Jets.

On Twitter, there were rumors circulating that Biron might be starting tonight but considering that the morning skate has yet to take place, we probably will not know who is starting until early this afternoon.

With a healthy Biron, Tortorella needs to be willing to give him some playing time. The last thing the team needs is Lundqvist being overworked and tired heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs come April.

Biron is a solid netminder who had a very good shortened season with the Blueshirts and showed the team and its fans that he can be relied on in big games if need be. He also showed the organization what it is like to have two good netminders on the team, something the Rangers had not had in the past few years.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, winnipeg+jets

Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice Feels for the Jets

While it is great that there is hockey back in Winnipeg, there have been reports that the housing available for the players is not exactly great.

Yesterday, Mick Kern at NHL Home Ice blogged about understanding what the Jets are going through in a very funny way:

Take a moment to skate a mile in their shoes; most of these guys spent the past few years in Atlanta, where no doubt there were Southern mansions a-plenty to be had.  Who cares if a paltry sum of souls attended your home games?  If anything, that anonymity provided a shield from the prying eyes of the hockey mad, mouth drooling, Northern-based hoser.  Heck, you could probably even drive your boat and pop open a few cool ones there, and nobody down there would care.

Not in Winnipeg.  Not in Canada.

Every move here is scrutinized, analyzed, dissected, interpreted, and duly reported, like football in Texas.

Which explains why these hockey playing migrants require only the best fortress available from the unrelenting waves of unconditional love they are receiving from the populace of One Great City.

Click here for more from the great Mick Kern at NHL Home Ice.

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  Tags: mick+kern, nhl+home+ice, winnipeg+jets


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