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Category: New-York-Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist At His Best

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

This was just before the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist took the ice for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Canadiens, which is to suggest the franchise goaltender was not watching the French-language telecast of the match.

So Lundqvist would not have been watching the broadcast focusing on his plebeian regular-season 2.74 goals against average and .910 save percentage that was accompanied by a graphic that fairly shouted: “Le King n’est plus!”

Even an English-speaking fellow could get the translation. Probably a Swedish one, as well.

“The King is no longer!”

All righty, then.

Because on this night, on this stage, operating under intense scrutiny, Lundqvist turned back the clock to the days when no one but no one doubted his ability to rise to the occasion with a 2-0 shutout victory that allowed the Blueshirts to grab the lead in this series that they entered as overwhelming underdogs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s All On Carey Price

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

There are some things that have changed and others that haven’t since the Canadiens last played a postseason game on May 12, 2015.

The Canadiens lost 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning that night at Amalie Arena, dropping the best-of-seven, second-round series in six games. Max Pacioretty scored the only goal for the Canadiens, who scored five times in the four games they lost to the Lightning.

Offence was the Canadiens’ downfall in that series and offence will be the biggest question mark again when they meet the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs this season, with Game 1 Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

Just like they did two years ago, the Canadiens head into the playoffs as Atlantic Division champions. In 2015, they beat the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round. Many of the faces on the Canadiens have changed during the last two years with only 10 players remaining from the lineup for that Game 6 loss to the Lightning: Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec, Torrey Mitchell, Alex Galchenyuk, Jeff Petry, Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov and goalie Carey Price. There’s also a new coach in Claude Julien.

But the Canadiens are still committed to defence and will once again go as far as Price can carry them.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Not So Hot Return For Henrik Lundqvist And A Brendan Smith/Corey Perry Fight

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

If Henrik Lundqvist wanted to be tested in order to prepare for the playoffs upon returning from a seven-game absence covering nearly three weeks, The King surely was that here on Sunday in a 6-3 empty-net abetted defeat to the Ducks.

“It was a challenging game,” Lundqvist said with a wry smile after surrendering five goals on 33 shots in 58:37. “You hope for maybe a little easier game, but there are no easy games in this league.”

It is impossible for there to be an easy game with the Rangers making it as difficult as possible on themselves and their goaltender. Despite being tied 3-3 entering the third, the Blueshirts were guilty of a multitude of bleeps, bloopers and blunders in their decisions, puck-movement and coverage all night long.

“Too many guys brought their ‘C’ game and that’s not good enough,” coach Alain Vigneault said following the defeat that prevented the Rangers from clinching a playoff spot. “It was not an easy game for Hank, but if I know him the way everyone does, he’s going to get better.”

continued

Below, watch Corey Perry and Brendan Smith go at it...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+smith, corey+perry, henrik+lundqvist

Rick Nash The Goal Scorer

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

People just don’t expect him to come up with the big goal anymore.

Well, people not named Richard McLaren Nash.

People who weren’t paying attention Wednesday night.

Because after getting off a nine-game schneid with a back-to-the net backhand in New Jersey on Tuesday, Nash scored the type of spectacular goal to put the Rangers up 2-1 on the Islanders early in the second period of a game he Blueshirts lost, 3-2, at the Garden in a seventh straight defeat at home while dropping to 5-6-2 in their past 13.

It was a display of talent and power as Nash drove in from the right wall and rode off a flailing Thomas Hickey before, while falling down, beating Thomas Greiss. It was Nash, who has the same array of skills as he did as an 18-year-old, first-overall in 2002, filling what he recognizes as his job description.

“I’m here to score goals. I get paid to score goals,” Nash told The Post before the game. “I’m supposed to provide offense. That’s what the team expects of me. That’s what I expect of myself.”

Indeed, Nash regularly grimaces when complimented for his work on the defensive side of the puck or for having imposed his will against opposing defensemen for shifts at a time when the plaudits follow games in which he has been held off the sheet.

“Because that’s not good enough,” said this unfailingly pleasant man and selfless teammate. “I take pride in my defensive game and in being a complete player, but I know why I’m here and that’s not it.”

more

Watch the Nash goal from last night below...

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  Tags: rick+nash

The Stumbling New York Rangers

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

If the past three weeks represent what we’re going to get from the Rangers the rest of the season, then it will be crossover-and-out in the first round of the playoffs.

Because neither the effort nor execution has been anywhere near good enough over this stretch of nine games, through which the Blueshirts have been limited to two goals or fewer eight times in going 4-4-1 while being outscored 25-17....

Coach Alain Vigneault was fuming following the club’s fourth straight loss at home (0-3-1), the last three of which came in regulation to Columbus, Washington and Montreal by an aggregate 15-6. Henrik Lundqvist, very good early, but later victimized on a pair of softies, talked about will. Derek Stepan, who turned in another unacceptable performance in going through his 20th straight game without a goal, talked about getting back to work.

If there is more will, maybe the Rangers will find the way to create an attack and spend some time in the offensive end of the ice, but this horses-for-courses team has been forced onto a muddy track, their signature time-and-space game eliminated by opponents who seem to have it all figured out.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Eddie Shack’s Return To The Rangers

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

A group of Rangers alumni will meet for Thursday’s game as they have across the continent in different cities on selected nights throughout the season in a program that is Adam Graves’ brainchild.

And among the half-dozen former Blueshirts to convene for this contest will be one of the unlikeliest alumnus imaginable, a man who, but for one exception, has been disconnected from the franchise for 56 years since he was traded at age 23.

I will introduce him to you as he introduced himself to me when I answered his return call on Tuesday: “Clear the track, here comes Shack.”

Yes, more than five decades after being run out of town, Eddie “The Entertainer” Shack will renew his ties to the Rangers, where he is expected to join Graves, Mike Gartner, Danny Lewicki, Wayne Dillon and Walter Tkaczuk in the season’s sixth such event.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eddie+shack

Is Alex Burrows A Fit With The New York Rangers?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The Blueshirts are talented and resolute enough to win regularly when they get the goaltending they expect from Henrik Lundqvist. There is no doubt about it. This is a nice team.

But nice hockey gets you only so far in the playoffs, and so does tic-tac-toe hockey that is dependent on time and space. If Gorton is going to rent a top-six, better the GM find an abrasive personality than a pure-skill winger.

Which brings us to the semi-notorious Alexandre Burrows, the soon-to-be 35-year-old who spent much of his career in Vancouver playing with and riding shotgun for the Sedins (Henrik and Daniel) while Vigneault was behind the bench. This season, he most often has played with talented young studs Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

Islanders & Rangers Square Off in Cheapest Barclays Center Meeting Yet

By Tim Dolan,

Being a part of the playoff push in Brooklyn won’t be taxing on the wallet this Thursday. The Islanders set to take on the crosstown Rangers in the second and final meeting in Brooklyn this season, and it will be the cheapest matchup at the Barclays Center yet.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Henrik Lundqvist Sits One Win Away From #400

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

...as Henrik Lundqvist prepared to go for career win No. 400 on Saturday night at the Garden against the last-overall Avalanche, he took a moment to reflect on what has been an inconsistent year for him personally in the midst of a career that has been anything but.

“Obviously every time you reach a milestone, you think back a little bit,” Lundqvist said after Friday’s practice, having passed his boyhood idol, Dominik Hasek, with win No. 390 in Denver on New Year’s Eve, making him the winningest European-born goaltender in NHL history.

“Recently, I tied Hasek, that was definitely a moment when you start to think about the people that helped you, and the players you played with,” he said. “There have been a lot of players that have come and gone here throughout the years, a lot of great memories. And reaching 400 is special.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist

The New York Rangers As The Trade Deadline Approaches

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

If ever a game illustrated the Rangers’ crying need for a defenseman who can control the puck and lead the way out of the zone, it was this one at the Garden on Tuesday against Anaheim in which the shots and shot attempts at even-strength, 36-18 and 62-33 against, respectively, looked like scores of a Knicks game.

But even with 22 shopping days until the March 1 trade deadline and even though the Rangers own a projected $10.1 million of space, there is really no one on whom general manager Jeff Gorton can spend it.

No one on whom he can responsibly spend it without overpaying in terms of assets that would have to go the other way and with no one on the market worthy of such short-sighted sacrifice, that is.

Look, the Rangers are pretty good and pretty resilient.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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