Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK, March 17, 2015 – Following an exam and consultation with specialists, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been cleared to return to practice with the team.
Lundqvist was injured on Jan. 31. The Rangers all-time wins and shutouts leader posted a 16-4-0 record, along with a 1.82 goals against average, a .938 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 20 appearances prior to suffering the injury. For the season, Lundqvist has a record of 25-11-3, along with a 2.25 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and five shutouts.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
You know what? This is real. This sustained run of superior hockey on and off Broadway the Rangers have produced over the last 14 calendar weeks that has reached a crescendo in the absence of Henrik Lundqvist is merely affirmation of this team’s upper-echelon status in the NHL.
You can’t win the Stanley Cup in March, and no one is pretending the Rangers have won anything yet. And no one is pretending the Rangers have won anything over the last four seasons — the first two with John Tortorella behind the bench, these last two with Alain Vigneault calling the shots — other than respect.
But step-by-step, year-by-year, the Rangers and their core have established a base of expectations. No, they haven’t won the Cup since 1994, but they have won the most playoff rounds in the East the last three springs and over that span, only the acknowledged powerhouse Blackhawks have as many, and only the two-time champion Kings have won more best-of-seven series than the Blueshirts.
The Rangers did not practice today and there has been no update on the status of Martin St. Louis.
NEW YORK, March 12, 2015 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Kevin Klein will be sidelined three-to-four weeks with an upper-body injury.
Klein has skated in 65 games this season, registering nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points, along with a plus-24 rating and 25 penalty minutes. He has established career-highs in goals, points, and game-winning goals (four), and has tied his career-high in assists in 2014-15.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Anyone and everyone has to be a little bit surprised at this turn of events, even the man of the hour himself, who spent a hockey hour fending off repeated attacks and assaults led by the irrepressible Alex Ovechkin.
“To this extent, maybe a little bit,” Talbot, who has recorded a .923 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average since Lundqvist went down, told The Post. “To go on a run like this, you never really see it coming.
“With so much parity in the league, to beat the top teams the way we have over this stretch, it’s kind of unbelievable. Except that we do believe in this room and we always have.”
The Rangers completed a five-game stretch against the Predators, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Islanders and Caps by going 4-0-1, winning the final two against tough, physical teams on back-to-back nights, yielding one goal to each opponent. They are — get this — 31-7-3 since a Dec. 6 defeat in Detroit.
“I think we’ve had confidence all along in our ability to play any style necessary to win,” said Ryan McDonagh, resolute with partner Dan Girardi in their matchup against Ovechkin. “We understand what it takes and we’re willing to do it.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
You bet it was about more than just nostalgia when the New York Islanders and New York Rangers met for the last regular-season game between the two teams at Nassau Coliseum. The historic rivalry has taken on a new level of intensity this season as the two clubs jockey for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division standings, and the Blueshirts gained some gain ground on their familiar foes with Tuesday's 2-1 win at the old barn.
Sure, it was Rick Nash's 39th goal of the season that broke a 1-1 tie in the third period, but let's give some recognition to the yeoman's work Cam Talbot has done for the Rangers in goal. He has stepped up in the glaring absence of an injured Henrik Lundqvist and has been more than just impressive.
On Tuesday, Talbot stopped 29 of 30 shots, just the latest in a fine string of performances. The 27-year-old Talbot is now 3-0-1 with a .99 goals against average and a .966 save percentage in his last four games. Meanwhile, the Rangers are within one point of the Isles for first place in the Metropolitan, but they have four games in hand. Prepare for one heck of a battle down the stretch.
continue for more from the ESPN writers including Burnside on Sens/Bruins, Custance on the Blues and LeBrun on Lightning/Candiens...
Kevin Hayes with a great goal last night for the New York Rangers. New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey caught up with Hayes but then just bounced right off of him.
from Stan Fischler at the Daily Freemen,
You can bet your bottom dollar that on Tuesday night all hell will break loose in a large barn located off Hempstead Turnpike.
That barn — also known in the trade as Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — will have two games going on simultaneously.
One will be on the Coliseum ice where the New York Rangers will challenge their archer-than-arch rivals, the New York Islanders.
The other battle will be in the stands, sports bars and assorted other venues where fans challenge their opposition counterparts in an endless “Who’s Better?” argument.
For some strange reason, I believe the fans fury should be less important than the shenanigans on the ice.
Among other things, the clubs will be battling for a high playoff berth as the NHL homestretch becomes more excruciatingly thrilling than ever.
The fans, on the other hand — or throat as the case may be — will be there to out-scream each other.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Once was the time, and not so very long ago at all, the Rangers had to bribe players to come to play for, and then stay with, their Original Six team in the world’s greatest city.
But those days are history. Blue bloods are willing to take less in order to remain a part of the culture club that has been constructed in midtown Manhattan.
Mats Zuccarello became the latest to spurn his chance to become a free agent and maximize his value on the open market — just as Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal had done over the preceding 15 months — by signing the Rangers’ take-it-or-leave it (and town) offer of $18 million over four years.
There’s no doubt the Norwegian could have commanded more on the market in July, perhaps a significant amount more when factoring in the difference in taxes from one locale to the next, but the promise of additional riches did not sway No. 36.
“I told [my agents] enough is enough, I’m happy with the offer and it’s important for me to stay here for a long time,” Zuccarello told The Post following Monday’s two-assist performance in the Rangers’ convincing 4-1 victory over the first-overall Predators at the Garden.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
That sound you just heard was Glen Sather pushing all of the chips into the middle of the table.
Realistically, the New York Rangers have about a 15-month window to get the veteran general manager a sixth Stanley Cup following a whopper of a deal Sunday to land Keith Yandle.
After falling three wins short of a championship last spring, the Rangers doubled down by parting with 19-year-old prospect Anthony Duclair, 24-year-old defenceman John Moore, a 2015 second-round pick and a 2016 first-round pick in Sunday’s blockbuster.
Arizona retained half of Yandle’s salary and added defenceman Chris Summers and a 2016 fourth-round pick, but this deal was all about the now for the Rangers.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com