Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
It’s a childhood friendship reunited, and the Rangers look to be the beneficiary.
Eric Staal had this in the back of his mind when he forfeited his no-move clause and accepted the trade to the Rangers two weeks ago. Rick Nash was hurt, but the thought of playing alongside his old running mate from their teenage years with Team Canada was one of the first things that came to Staal when the trade went down.
Now, with Nash likely to return to the lineup for the game at Detroit on Saturday afternoon after a 20-game absence, all signs point to the two big bodies lining up together again.
“It’s been a long time; it’s crazy how fast time goes,” Staal said after Friday’s practice, when he centered a line with Nash on the left. “We were fortunate to kind of grow up together through junior hockey and some of Team Canada teams. Nasher has always been a great player, a power-type forward who gets to the net hard and can score goals. Funny how we’re here now, within our careers, it’s a great opportunity for both of us and for the team to have a good run down the stretch.”
That is the hope from coach Alain Vigneault, who seemingly had this duo pegged from the moment Staal packed his bags for Broadway. With the speedy and aggressive Viktor Stalberg on the right, Vigneault has created a line that is worthy of matchup consideration from the opposition.
from Dan Epstein of Rolling Stone,
But as what may be his final NHL season draws to a close, Boyle says he's also proud of one particular off-the-ice resume item: Serving as a roadie for Faith No More.
It happened last summer, during the East Coast swing of the tour for Sol Invictus, the legendary alt-metal act's first new album in 18 years. Boyle, an ardent Faith No More fan, hopped on the band's bus in Philadelphia, and stayed on it for five nights and four shows, culminating in an August 5 performance at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. While it's not unusual to see pro athletes hanging out backstage at big concerts, Boyle was actually onstage throughout the set, dressed in the same white outfit as the rest of the FNM road crew, performing such duties as dousing drummer Mike "Puffy" Bordin with water while he played, or assisting Mike Patton with his microphone cable whenever the singer dove into the pit.
"It was an amazing experience," Boyle says. "I didn't do too much the first night; I was pretty much just watching. But by the fourth show, I was helping out every which way I could – dispensing VIP tickets, decorating the stage, bringing guitars and basses out.
"One night, something was wrong with Puffy's drum kit, and they needed some help with that," he continues. "I'd never even touched a drum kit before, but somehow I helped correct the situation – don't ask me how!"
via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,
Watch as the Washington Capitals are awarded a goal after the referees take a look at the replay and after a challenge by the New York Rangers.
By Joe Sudberg,
The New York Rangers (37-20-6, 80 points) currently rank a distant second in the Metropolitan Division, but a strong showing in March will solidify their playoff status. March’s slate of games, however, will prove to be very difficult for the Blue Shirts. New York’s slate includes a showdown against its crosstown rivals, the New York Islanders, three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and a tough West coast trip that will pit New York against three of the NHL’s best teams. All five of New York’s home game will feature opponents vying for playoff spots, so expect a very competitive month of action at Madison Square Garden. Fans traveling to these games can find great deals and locations for Madison Square Garden parking.
Ticket information for each of New York’s March home games is presented below.
added 2:16pm, Carolina release is below...
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
There’s at least three other players that the front office is believed to have on the radar.
Bruins forward Loui Eriksson is one. If a suitable swap can’t be worked out for Staal, Eriksson has tools than can help as a top six player. But Boston, where Gorton spent time as an assistant general manager and interim general manager, is only a few points behind the Rangers and its management is trying to negotiate a multi-year extension for the 30-year-old Swede, who has 23 goals and 48 points in 62 games this season.
Then there’s Kris Versteeg. The former Blackhawks right wing is 29, and currently with the Hurricanes. He has good career numbers and is 11-22-33 in 62 games.
And what about PA Parenteau? The Leafs are stockpiling picks. He’s now 32, but in good physical shape. Parenteau is 16-16-32 in 59 games. He’s an affordable right-handed shot, and knows New York, having played for the Islanders and briefly for the Rangers.
I RT'd a gif of this earlier, but here is a video which you can enlarge.
The no goal call was upheld.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
As a rule, losing is never its own reward. But there might be an exception to that rule, even when it does not involve tanking, and that exception just might apply to the Rangers. Because just the proper amount of losing between now and the finish line likely would benefit the Blueshirts if that lands them the first wild-card spot in the playoffs and thus moves them into the Atlantic Division bracket and away from the Capitals for the first two rounds.
This is nothing that can be planned or even finessed. The difference between the conference’s seventh- and eighth-ranked teams is a point or two. Sliding to eighth, and therefore the second wild-card spot, would mean facing Washington in the first round.
Several teams are bunched just below the Rangers, who not only have to play well enough to lock down a spot, but who play nine of their next 12 games on the road. Four of those games are against teams they trail in the overall standings, starting with the Blues on Thursday and the Stars on Saturday, with four more against teams well within range of New York.
So the Rangers will have to play well in order to win enough to qualify. If that lands them in second or third place in the Metropolitan Division, with (most likely) the Islanders or Penguins up first and the Capitals next, so be it. But if they play well enough to qualify, but slide to fourth in the division while landing in that sweet spot and thus face the task of getting through a combination of Florida/Tampa Bay/Detroit/Boston before facing Washington in round three, well, that wouldn’t be so bad, either.
more topic on the Rangers...
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The New York Rangers know they shouldn't be in the high-rent(al) district at this trade deadline, but I'll be curious to see if they can resist the temptation.
Especially where it might concern Eric Staal.
The Rangers haven't had a first-round pick since 2012 and they don't have one this year either. Anthony Duclair, a third-round pick who developed like a first-rounder, was sacrificed last year to get Keith Yandle, who is now an expiring contract who can't/won't be re-signed in New York.
Tuesday night's poor effort against New Jersey notwithstanding, the Rangers have played well enough over the last couple of months to not want to shop Yandle in the rental market in an effort to recoup some future considerations. They surely must think they still have a shot; that contending in the East is something they can still see if they squint a bit and don't look too closely in Washington's direction.
But the Rangers also haven’t played so well as to think they're just one notable player away to continue throwing caution to the wind and loading up the mortgage even more. Their current deadline philosophy calls for more cautious spending of lower-level future assets than first-rounders or blue-chip prospects. Or maybe they would consider moving a younger roster player. That is, if they're to add a piece at the deadline - the operative word being if.
But you know how it is when you're in debt. The temptation is always there to go a little deeper. You know, in for a dime, in for a dollar.
And Eric Staal may represent a unique opportunity.
more on Staal and 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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org