Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
Vigneault said Staal, 26, has been in contact with Michigan-based neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher, the same specialist who has treated Rangers forwards Rick Nash and Taylor Pyatt. Kutcher, though, "doesn't feel the need to see (Staal in person) at this point," the coach said.
"Marc has been diagnosed with a concussion here," Vigneault said before Staal missed a second straight game, Tuesday night's match with the visiting Nashville Predators. "We've been advised by our doctors that they don't feel it's as serious as what he might have had in the past, so he's feeling better, and we'll take it day-by-day … He got in contact with the gentleman from Detroit that we've used in the past, but he doesn't feel the need to see him at this point."
Staal took a shoulder to the chin from Devils forward Reid Boucher 6:41 into the third period of Saturday night's 4-3 overtime loss at the Garden. On Sunday, Vigneault had said Staal was having "neck issues" and experiencing "symptoms," but doctors still weren't sure at that point whether he'd been concussed.
Here is the video of the hit...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Intellectually and economically, there wasn’t any doubt then and there isn’t any doubt now the Rangers took the prudent course of action on July 1, 2012, when they did not try to match the Canadiens’ four-year, $10 million offer to free agent Brandon Prust....
The Rangers are deficient in top-end talent and the players at the top of the food chain have been largely deficient through much of this unsatisfying 15-15-1 season that slogs on Tuesday night when no-name Nashville (OK, the one-name Predators: Seth Jones) comes to the Garden, that much is true.
But the absence of A-listers on the Broadway marquee is not an excuse for an absence of work ethic or energy. Quite the contrary. The problem is, the Rangers have no one to supply energy the way Prust did; no one to jump-start the team and infuse his teammates with hockey courage the way No. 8 did during his tour on Broadway that ran for less than 2 ¹/₂ seasons.
Never has a fourth-line Ranger had the impact Prust did. Never has a grunt been missed so much by a team that thrived on grunt work in 2011-12 and hasn’t been more than a pale facsimile of that since losing the conference finals to the Devils (if not sometime in the previous series against the Capitals).
from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
In wake of yet another demoralizing loss, the Rangers invoked one of hockey's old standbys for a wayward team -- holding a closed-door player meeting after the final buzzer ended on a 4-1 dud to the Capitals.
Understandably, the Rangers had some things to discuss.
Both the desperation and urgency that has been lacking was on the agenda. The vital points squandered at home, too. Passive play and poor compete level. The list goes on and on.
But in the end?
"We can talk all we want," coach Alain Vigneault said, seemingly bewildered by the monotonous mediocrity that has befallen his team....
"With the personnel we have right now, we need to play a smart, high-percentage, good puck-movement game. If we can do that, we can be very effective, That's the type of personnel we have at this time."
Note that he said "at this time," because it is hard to imagine that nothing will change if this skid continues.
No call, two minutes or a penalty shot?
If you missed the play of Staal being hurt, you can watch it here...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
It took less than five months for Tuukka Rask’s eight-year, $56 million contract to look like a bargain.
On Wednesday, the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist agreed to a seven-year, $59.5 million extension. Lundqvist’s annual average value will be $8.5 million, fifth-highest in the NHL after Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Corey Perry. Lundqvist will carry an annual cap hit $1.5 million richer than Rask and Pekka Rinne, now the second-highest-paid goalies in the league.
Rask will be 34 when his deal expires. There’s a good chance his current contract will not be his last. Lundqvist will be 39 in 2021, the final season of his new deal.
This will almost certainly be Lundqvist’s last contract. Given his age, Lundqvist might not even fulfill its term. Even so, the Rangers had no choice but to fatten Lundqvist’s bank account.
continued plus more hockey topics...
via Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
After the game, one in which his team rallied from behind on Chris Kreider's game-tying goal with less than 22 seconds in regulation, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was unable to shed much light on what happened to one of the team's top defenseman.
But what he did say is, at the very least, cause for concern.
Vigneault revealed that Staal "didn't feel quite right" after sustaining a hit from New Jersey's Reid Boucher during the third period.
"He took a shoulder to the chin there and didn't feel quite right," Viugneault said. "They're evaluating him now. We'll have an update [Sunday]."
When pressed further about whether there was concern Staal had sustained a concussion, Vigneault did not confirm.
During the recent Rangers/Canucks game, both Tortorella and Vigneault were mic'd up.
Boy, when AV gets loud, his voice gets higher...
added 11:20am, Larry Brooks on the contract extension.
added 12:41pm, Official release of the signing is below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
All right, Alain Vigneault has had his little romance with Cam Talbot, and it is difficult to blame the coach for sticking with the hot hand for Monday’s game against the Jets even if it meant sticking Henrik Lundqvist on the bench again.
But the dalliance with the backup and the genetic engineering being applied the Rangers’ goaltending situation has to end, and end now.
This isn’t a reflex response to Winnipeg 5, Blueshirts 2 at the Garden. This is simply stipulation that the Rangers have no chance to reach their ceiling — whatever that may be — without Lundqvist at his best, and in order to be his best, Lundqvist needs to play … and play … and play in order to get into the rhythm to which he and we have become accustomed over the last eight seasons.
For it is not about one game, not about giving the team its best chance to win one game, not in December it’s not, and not if winning the battle might ultimately undermine efforts to win the war. It is about giving the team its best chance to win over 82 games, even if that means taking one step back to take two steps forward.
The Rangers are stuck in the middle. They don’t have enough top-end talent to play a skill-oriented game. They don’t have anywhere near enough size or muscle to impose their will on anyone. Their identity is anybody’s guess.
added 2:20pm, from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org