Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
The best thing that’s happened to the Rangers in the past week has nothing to do with the Blueshirts.
As they prepare for Game Two of their three-game Western swing on Sunday night in Denver, John Tortorella’s troops can take solace in the following:
* ISLANDERS: Once an apparent threat to pass the Rangers, Scott Gordon’s sextet keeps losing.
* MONTREAL: They win as rarely as either team named New York.
* FLORIDA: Whenever they come close to a playoff berth, they get the heebie-jeebies. Ditto for Atlanta!
he Rangers are surviving — so to speak — by the grace of their inept pursuers and those just ahead of the New Yorkers.
As a result, losing 3-2, to the rejuvenated Coyotes on Saturday night in Phoenix was less painful than it might be with a similar result in April when all the chips likely will be on the playoff line.
read on for a game review…
via Tim Bontemps of the NY Post,
The benching is just the latest in a series of struggles Redden has gone through since leaving the Senators to sign a six-year, $39 million contract with the Blueshirts after the 2007-08 season. But the former All-Star, who was taken second overall in the 1995 draft by the Islanders, has left a lot to be desired since he arrived.
Known as an offensive defenseman, Redden last season registered his lowest point total (26) since 1998-99, finishing with three goals and 23 assists. But even after those struggles, Redden’s play has sunk to a new low this season.
In 47 games, Redden has one goal and seven points, putting him on pace for what easily will be the worst season of his career. Tortorella scratched Redden twice in December in the hopes of kick-starting his season, but the moves have seemed to have little impact, as Redden has just two assists since Nov. 23.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers’ deficiencies are on display every night. They do not have a playmaking center. They do not have a physically intimidating defenseman. They do not have size on the wing. They do not have fire in the belly.
They do not, in fact, have much at all to show for their grand total of two playoff round victories in Sather’s nine seasons, beyond all-world talents Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik, plus the hope that Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky will mature into championship caliber components.
Forget four-for-one trades to rent Ilya Kovalchuk. Forget giving up anything to get Vincent Lecavalier and his out of whack contract that takes him to age 40. Forget Dion Phaneuf unless Rozsival (preferably Redden, but let’s be serious) and nothing of much added value go the other way to Calgary.
The Rangers aren’t one or two players away, unless they are Jean Beliveau and Bobby Orr in their prime. The Rangers aren’t one brilliant trade away from inserting themselves into the Stanley Cup conversation.
Instead, the Rangers are simply one of those many teams camped out with the huddled masses on the treadmill of NHL mediocrity. Sorry to say, but Lundqvist and Gaborik are lipstick on the pig.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Though it is impossible to predict general manager Glen Sather’s next move, last night’s benching of Wade Redden just 2:05 into the second period makes it likely that the Blueshirts will recall a defenseman from Hartford for the three-game western tour that begins with a game in Phoenix on Saturday….
“It was my decision,” coach John Tortorella said following the Rangers’ 5-1 loss at the Garden. “I don’t want to say more.”...
The Rangers had a meeting in the locker room following the defeat in which Sather addressed the team. The talking points memo delivered verbally focused on staying together as a team.
“We have a lot of negative stuff coming down on this team right now,” captain Chris Drury said. “During the game, after the game, before the game, I think we have to do the best we can to stay together.
“We got into this little four-game skid together, and we are going to get out of it together.”
more Rangers talk…
from Kevin Dupont at NBCSports,
As for the more motley likes of the Rangers and Islanders, well, they’ve still got some sprucing up to do if they want to escape the post-season DNQ badlands. And right now, if I had to pick one to make it, I’d go with the ever-rehabbin’ Islanders, that whacky bunch of Charles Wang misfits who have made it to the playoffs only once in the past four seasons (only to bow out to, yes, the Sabres in five games in 2007).
Not that I love the Islanders, mind you, but there is no denying that coach Scott Gordon has them playing with moxie, which sure ain’t what the Blueshirts are drinking. Blueshirts coach John Tortorella has more spunk than anyone on his roster, which isn’t the way it’s supposed to look. If they played like their coach coached, with fire and a sense of immediacy, they would be able to run away with the conference.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, T
here is no better way to explain what became yet another blowout and yet another shutout, last night in an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to the Canadiens in which the Rangers competed only sporadically for one another and for head coach John Tortorella.
There’s a correlation, you know, between not protecting your goaltender when he’s run, not avenging your captain when he’s concussed, not protecting your all-world scorer when he fights with an opposition enforcer, and lame white flag performances like this that occur regularly.
Team character defects that are so glaring do not develop in a vacuum.
“You can say it’s a lack of preparation, but that’s BS; it’s a lack of competitiveness,” Sean Avery, perhaps the Blueshirts’ best player, told The Post. “We do not play hard enough.
“I don’t have the explanation for it. I don’t know if it’s us not holding each other accountable, or what, but it’s a total lack of respect for our fans and the organization. It’s a joke.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Despite Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter’s adamant denial that Dion Phaneuf is on the trade market, another NHL GM yesterday told The Post that the Flames are “desperate” to move the defenseman and the annual $6.5 million cap hit he will carry through 2013-14.
Which leads us to the Rangers, a team in desperate need of size and toughness that just happened to be scouted by Daryl Sutter and pro scout Ron Sutter during the Blueshirts’ 2-0 surrender in Philadelphia on Thursday….
The only reasonable target would be Brandon Dubinsky—reasonable, that is, for the Flames, but entirely unreasonable for the Rangers, who are essentially bereft down the middle behind No. 17.
If Phaneuf, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, were playing up to the reputation he established his first couple of years in the league as a Barry Beck-type multi-dimensional specimen, perhaps GM Glen Sather could justify moving one young piece for another to fill one hole even while creating another. Perhaps.
But Phaneuf isn’t . . . and hasn’t for a long time. Plus, adding that contract would tie up $34.425 million for the next two years in five players—Phaneuf, Redden, Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury and Henrik Lundqvist.
It’s not the best video, turn up your speakers and scroll to the 2 minute mark.
I’ll try to replace the video if I find a better one.
added 11:27pm, Found a better copy of the post game presser.
added 11:33pm, If you missed the Carcillo/Gaborik fight, watch it here.
I guess Carcillo doesn’t care who he fights.
added 11:05pm, Chris Drury, Marc Staal and Vinny Prospal talk about the fight after the game, watch below.
added 01/22/10 at 9:47am, The Flyers talk about the game, watch the video below…
John Halligan, the longtime hockey publicist, historian and author passed away Wednesday morning. The genial Halligan received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2007 for his longstanding service to hockey in the United States.
“The thing that always stood out for me was the fun,” said NHL Group Vice President of Communications Frank Brown, who sold his first story—a piece that ran in the Rangers’ program—to Halligan nearly 40 years ago. “You get so bogged down in the work of it sometimes. I don’t think anyone who puts on a jersey is called a ‘hockey laborer.’ He’s a ‘hockey player.’ John always kept the ‘play’ in the game.”
Halligan was the New York Rangers’ publicist and historian for more than 40 years, working tirelessly to spread the gospel of hockey in New York and beyond.
He also worked in a similar capacity with the NHL.
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.
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