Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
As you know, Rangers GM Glen Sather turned a heck of an offseason double play, landing top pivots Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. When any team can add two talented centers with championship pedigree, I have to think they’ll be better—maybe, a lot better….
The Rangers certainly figure to better their 94-point total of last season. The expectations will be skyscraper high, though. If they don’t fall victim to the hype, they could make it a longer spring for hockey fans in New York.
from the NY Post,
It’s way too early, but it has already started. Even Tom Renney jumped in, breaking them up briefly. In their first exhibition game together, Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr did nothing to dismiss the idea that one puck isn’t enough for the two of them….
Meshing players whose game depends first on skill is always more difficult than throwing together a line of diggers, grinders and hard-drivers, and Jagr and Gomez are still looking for an intuitive understanding even in practice. Those who play with Gomez must learn that the puck is coming when they least expect it.
from The Journal,
Wearing the practice version of the new style of jerseys they debuted last night at the Garden, each reacted as if they were looking at a different person.
“If people had heard I didn’t wear shoulder pads beforehand, now they know I don’t,” said a slightly less-imposing Brendan Shanahan, who for the record, wears slight pads on his shoulders.
“Man, I look tiny,” Sean Avery said.
Only Darius Kasparaitis, newly chiseled after shedding 20 pounds over the summer, seemed impressed.
“I look sexy,” he said.
from the Journal News,
...But if there is a reason the 6-foot-4 Strudwick finds himself on the team’s opening-night roster, it is because they do not have another player who so easily unites a dressing room.
It is an odd notion to think a player can crack a roster at the highest level of professional sports on the strength of his personality. But that may be the case with Strudwick, a tough, versatile player who others say has an inherent knack for bringing a team together.
“He knows how important it is to cross all boundaries, whether they’re geographic or ethnic or whatever,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said. “For Jason, it’s just so natural, and because of that people trust his judgment and they like him a lot. They feel regardless of what his participation might be on the ice, he serves a huge advantage everywhere else.”
from the New York Post,
If Avery can be the spark, the Rangers have the potential to light a fire that will burn bright through the NHL.
“We’re gonna win a lot of games. We’re gonna be a very difficult team to beat on a nightly basis and we’re gonna win the Stanley Cup as far as I’m concerned,” Avery said. “I think that, and I feel that right now this team is ready to make a 10-month commitment with each other and it’s gonna be something that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
The Rangers may have an impressive group of prospects within the organization, but there’s a good chance that not a single one of them will be on the roster for the Oct. 4 NHL opener at the Garden against Florida.
How different would that scenario appear, and how more powerful would the Rangers be, had management been keener with its three first-round picks in 2003 and 2004 Entry Drafts that yielded three players who so far have not played in a single NHL game among them, and who probably won’t for at least a while?
Scott Gomez of the NY Rangers took part in a NHL tele-conference today…
Q. What’s that going to be like the first time you play the New Jersey Devils?
SCOTT GOMEZ: Talking to some of the guys over there, it’s going to be ? it will be different for sure. I’m sure a lot of emotions that day. But once you step on the ice, hey, going against those guys now and do whatever it takes to win. I’m sure they feel the same way.
Q. Was it true that there was some sort of coin flip or puck flip for jersey numbers between you and Chris Drury?
SCOTT GOMEZ: We talked after I signed and Chris signed later that day. We talked about it. And I said take 23. I never picked it. Never was a number in mind. The Devils kind of gave it to me. I’ve always grown up wearing No. 11 or 19. I’m sure I wasn’t going to get 11 here.
So we flipped for it. It wasn’t a big deal and I’m pretty excited I get my old number back.
fro Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
My equation goes like this.
Pencil Lundqvist in for 66 games and allow the remaining 16 for Stevie.
Should, Valiquette fail, Glen Sather has an option or three: 1) Curtis Joseph; 2. Robert Esche; 3. Make a deal for Scott Clemmensen.
* CONCLUSION: Valiquette will do the job, and not because he’s my friend. I like Montoya, too, but more than anything, Al needs experience more than my friendship.
From the NY Rangers,
The New York Rangers announced today that individual game tickets for the 2007-08 season sold-out in less than one hour. It is believed to be the fastest season sell-out in team history. Tickets that went o-sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday completely sold out with the exception of an extremely limited number of single tickets.
Scott Gomez talks about the transition from New Jersey to New York.
Video found via Game On, the blogs at MSG Network.
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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