Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,
Before the puck dropped on the 2012-13 season, it wasn't hard to find prognosticators willing to say the New York Rangers were going to win the Stanley Cup. On this web site alone, six experts picked the Rangers to reach their first Cup Final since 1994 with three of them choosing the Rangers to win it all.
It wasn't tough to see why the Rangers were among the favorites to win the Cup. They were coming off a season in which they finished first in the Eastern Conference with 109 points and reached the conference finals. The Rangers did it all with a young, developing core and appeared to improve in the offseason, adding Rick Nash in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets without losing a top-six forward or key defenseman in free agency in the process.
An unexpected bonus to the offseason was the delayed start to the season, which allowed Marian Gaborik to recover from shoulder surgery that would have sidelined him for at least the first month of the season.
Yet through 27 games, the Rangers are 13-12-2 and sitting in 10th place in the East, three points out of a playoff spot. They have lost three in a row in regulation for the first time this season, and despite the addition of Nash, are scoring fewer goals per game this season (2.33) than they did last season (2.71).
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It doesn’t compute that Marian Gaborik can’t thrive playing under Tortorella’s defense-oriented, hard-on-the-puck philosophy; not when the winger scored 40 or more goals in two of his first three seasons playing for this coach.
But it also does not compute that Tortorella would have shifted Gaborik, who had spent his entire career at right wing, to left wing ... and moreover, would have stranded him there for more than two dozen games even after it had become painfully obvious the move was detrimental to the winger’s performance.
By doing this, Tortorella put Gaborik in a position to fail, which he has, stunningly, now with three goals in 22 games since Jan. 26, with all of them coming against the Islanders’ Evgeni Nabokov. Indeed, Gaborik has scored in only five of the Rangers’ 27 matches.
And now, the Blueshirts are seeking to move Gaborik again ... this time out of town by the April 3 trade deadline. It’s going to be a tough sale at $7.5 million on the cap through next season, even tougher because the Rangers need value in return for No. 10, who has provided management with a list of 10 teams to which he cannot be dealt under terms of his no-trade clause.
As seen on TSN...
Perhaps the best save I have seen all year.
Lundqvist, even though out of position, finds the puck and is able to get his leg out to make a great save. The overhead camera at the end of the video is the best angle to see exactly what Lundqvist did.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
STRANG: How much of a change has it been travel-wise coming from Columbus?
NASH: You spend a lot more nights in your own bed, that's for sure. The biggest thing is the time change, too. Everywhere we traveled, except Detroit, was a time change. So you're always getting back an hour later, obviously getting there an hour earlier and, besides Detroit and maybe Nashville, everything is pretty much over two-hour flights. So, here we're taking a train or 30-minute flights. It's just a lot better. A lot better travel. You're not on a plane for two hours, getting home really late. It is definitely a perk, playing in the East.
STRANG: Have you taken much time to reflect back on the circumstances that brought you here? The trade deadline and everything that followed?
NASH: I have a short-term memory in that situation. That six months is definitely behind me. Everything worked out the way I wanted it to.
STRANG: How has that transition been, coming to New York? Are you pretty adept at hailing a taxi now, navigating the city?
via Blueshirts United,
"Following an injury suffered in last night's game vs. Philadelphia, Marc Staal was examined today in New York by Dr. Mark Fromer, ophthalmologist, and Dr. Mendel Markowitz, maxillofacial surgeon. The injury has improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic that Marc will make a full recovery. Staal will be sidelined indefinitely."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
In The department of player safety, the NHL Players’ Association has much to answer for, as does the NHL.
For last night at the Garden, when a Kimmo Timonen drive rocketed off Jakub Voracek’s blade up into the right eye of Marc Staal at 5:45 of the third period, it served as yet another reminder and another example of the insanity of not making visors a mandatory piece of equipment in the NHL.
This “personal choice” position on the issue staked out by the PA that is no more and no less a consensus of its rank and file is from another era.
Can there be anything more precious than one’s eyes; anything more critical to protect than one’s vision?
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
New York Rangers center Brad Richards returned to the ice Tuesday after skipping practice Monday due to soreness, but he did not skate for long and his status for the game Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden can unofficially be labeled as questionable.
Richards did not address the media following the Rangers' morning skate and coach John Tortorella isn't expected to meet the media until 6:15 p.m. ET. The Rangers also recalled physical forward Michael Haley from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League.
Richards spent Monday recovering from the illegal boarding hit he took from Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta during Sunday's shootout win. Kaleta, who checked Richards headfirst into the left-wing boards, was suspended for five games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
Although he didn't miss a shift in Sunday's game, Richards said following the game that he was sore all over.
Unfortunately Nash would have scored against his own goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
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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