Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
“My instincts are that I will probably play, but it’s something that I’m going to think over,’’ he said in front of dressing room stalls full of practice gear no longer needed this season. “As far as playing and coming here this year and being part of the Rangers, there’s nowhere else I’d rather play.’‘
from The Maven,
Over – and out.
We say Bye-Bye to the Blueshirts with an unusually heavy heart.
I know precisely how they feel. Exactly.
A year ago, the Devils played Carolina in Game Two of the second round and scored the go-ahead goal with 20 seconds left in the third period.
The game not only was in the bag it was IN THE BAG.
from the NY Post,
There’s no denying what Shanahan meant to the Rangers’ resurgence after signing with the team prior to this season. But there’s also no denying he is 38 and suffered a serious concussion this season that robbed him of some of his early-season excellence.
“I had a great time here and I’d love to be part of it again,” Shanahan said. “But I think there’s been an ‘if’ on my decision each year the past few years.”
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
First, there’s the New York Rangers, guaranteed to come out scrapping down 3-2 in the series with Henrik Lundqvist having surrendered just four goals at home. But the Sabres also will have to overcome the nuances of Madison Square Garden, “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” a potential minefield for visiting teams and a contributor to the Rangers’ 4-0 record in these playoffs.
“I bet if they ever move, they’d like to take their boards and glass with them,” Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said jokingly yesterday as the Sabres held an optional workout.
from The Maven,
Then, it happened.
An unnecessarily bad icing that could have been averted.
A penalty against Dainius Zubrus for fouling Dan Girardi, which never was called.
The scramble; the puck arriving at Chris Drury’s stick; Girardi scrambling to fill the empty net before Drury’s shot sailed goalward.
And then the overtime crusher by Slapsy Maxie Afinogenov on a slapper that sailed through Henny Lundqvist’s five-hole.
Over – and out!
Well, not quite.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“We have to realize that the series is not over,” said Lundqvist, his team’s best player by leaps and bounds. “We really can’t think too much about this.
“We can’t lay down and die here.”
Understand, this game was not stolen from the Rangers, no matter how close they came to escaping with the series lead after Martin Straka scored at 16:41 of the third to break a scoreless tie. The Blueshirts were sloppy and a step or two slow against a Buffalo squad that played uptight hockey nearly all night and were there for the taking.
“We’re not going to win too many playing our ‘B’ game,” Tom Renney said, echoing the message he delivered to the team moments after it had ended. “If we give an opportunity like this the next time to our opponent, the series is over.”
VERSUS, the U.S. national cable television home of the NHL, garnered top ratings for Game 4 of the Buffalo Sabres-New York Rangers series on Tuesday, May 1 according to Nielson Media Research and VERSUS.
Among the highlights:
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Don’t be fooled by the fact that there are long stretches when nothing seems to happen and that the score of just about every game is 2-1, or when teams really go on a scoring binge, 3-2. This still really is the “new” National Hockey League.
You can tell because the Rangers and Sabres still are alive.
Those two teams, who will continue the most exciting conference semifinal series with Game 5 tonight in Buffalo, are Exhibit A and Exhibit B for the new NHL. They both ought to lead the “thank you” handshake line for the overhaul that the league made after the lockout waved off the 2004-05 season as if it were one of those playoff goals rejected by a committee of TV-watchers in Toronto.
from The Record,
“He’s a pretty unique player. Not too many players hold on to the puck as long as he does,” Brendan Shanahan said. “He’s got the combination of size and strength with his puck-handling skills. [Joe] Thornton is like that in San Jose right now. [Peter] Forsberg was like that without necessarily the size. He had the strength, but obviously it beat his body up over a career, but he played that style.
“To do it as long as Jags has, to have that puck control and strength, it’s pretty amazing.”
Buffalo has found out how difficult it is to defend Jagr, who everybody knew had the skill, but, as Shanahan said, maybe not the battle level he’s shown since the All-Star break.
from Bucky Gleason at the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are a long way from being the cream of the crop after four games against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Ottawa had a 3-1 series lead over New Jersey. Anaheim was dominat-
ing Vancouver. You could argue Buffalo isn’t even the best team in the state now that it’s tied with New York.
Fans are pulling their hair out wondering what’s wrong with the lovable and supposedly unbeatable Swords, the so-called darlings of the new NHL. Granted, Buffalo didn’t play well in Madison Square Garden, but folks around here have been slow to recognize there’s another team on the ice in 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.
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