Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rangers 6, Avalanche 1


The New York Rangers (32-24-8) defeated the Colorado Avalanche (28-34-1) by the score of 6-1, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...by far the most enjoyable game of the season. Goals, fights, coaches yelling at each other. This game had everything. I hope this is a sign of things to come.

...with the complete effort tonight as well as the team really sticking up for one another (coaches included) this could end up being the game we look back on as the turning point of the season. This team seemed to forge an identity tonight. And I like it.

...did you see how excited Lundqvist was skating around after being named first star (not deserved)? He probably thought it was his birthday with all those goals.

...really starting to see Prucha get his confidence going. Despite his lack of playing time the last few years he's still got those great hands around the net.

...congrats to Drury on breaking his 17 game scoreless streak. Can you say King Kong removed from Drury's back?

...three straight solid games from Redden. Maybe he wasn't such a bad pick-up. Still not worth the money, but he's done a complete 180 since Torts came on board.

...loved the nastiness in the third from the scrum in the Avalanche's end to Schoenfeld jawing at Laperriere to Tortarella putting Orr on the ice to send a message. The Rangers coaching staff not only sent a message to the Avalanche but also to the rest of the league that the Rangers are going to be a tough team to beat down the stretch.

...by the way how bad is Colorado?

...lots of help tonight, as Florida, Buffalo and Carolina all lost.

...the Rangers have off tomorrow then three days of Tortorella boot camp until the Rangers next game against the Islanders on Thursday on Long Island.

Rangers vs. Avalanche (Game 64)

The New York Rangers (31-24-8) host the Colorado Avalanche (28-33-1) tonight at MSG starting at 7:o0 p.m. Tonight's game will be broadcast on WPIX Ch. 11. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
Dubinsky-Drury-Callahan
Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Staal-Girardi
Redden-Rozsival
Kalinin-Mara

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 26-20-7, 2.52 gaa, .913 sv%, 2 so.

Peter Budaj - 16-24-1, 2.98 gaa, .896 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Colorado has lost three straight and 11 of their last 16 games which has dropped them into last place in the Western Conference.

- This is the fifth game of Colorado's six game road trip (1-3-0).

- Milan Hejduk leads the Avalanche with 23 goals, but has only four in his last 18 road games. He’s yet to score in seven career games at MSG, though he has three assists there.

- Colorado has scored one power play goal, while allowing two short handed goals in their last 19 man advantages over the past four games.

Opponent Blog:
Mile High Hockey

Tortorella's Thoughts & Tonight's Lines

Steve Zipay at the Blue Notes reports on John Tortorella's feelings so far on the team including liking Drury and Dubinsky together, missing Sjostrom during the Florida game, team toughness and not looking at tapes of opponents among other things.

Zipay also gives us tonight's line-up against the Colorado Avalanche...

Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
Dubinsky-Drury-Callahan
Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Rozsival-Redden
Staal-Girardi
Mara-Kalinin

...with the Rangers only two points away from falling into 10th place it's safe to say every game from here on in is the biggest games of the season. Who would have thought a month and a half ago the Rangers would be in this position? Actually, I think a lot of us did.

Saturday Headlines

Newsday - Avery could be skating for Rangers soon



New York Post - AVERY'S RETURN DAYS AWAY

Friday, February 27, 2009

Avery to Be Placed on Waivers as Early as Monday

Sportsnet.ca is reporting that the Dallas Stars will place Sean Avery on re-entry waivers as early as Monday.

Avery, who has one goal and one assist in six games with Hartford, will play in both Wolf Pack games this weekend.

Sportsnet adds that the Rangers have committed to claiming Avery providing he was still available.

...Avery has behaved himself down in Hartford, which is worrisome because a team below the Rangers (possibly the Penguins) might decide he's now worth the risk and claim him ahead of the Blueshirts.

Unusual Practice

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report reports from practice that John Tortorella split the team up with the players with the most playing time in the Tortorella era working out off ice with the head coach, while the others had a brief and intense workout with Assistant Coach Jim Schoenfeld including pyramids, pushups, and shooting drill after shooting drill.

At one point Schoenfeld had players getting down on the ice to check out angles from the puck’s point of view, and he even had Valiquette and substitute goalie Chad Killam from Mahattanville lie down in front of the net as the Rangers shot over them.

For more on today's practice visit Blue Notes and Ranger Rants.

...not sure making the players arms tired from push-ups is the best way to help them score, but I like the change of pace at practice because that's exactly what this team needs.

Eklund: Numerous Gomez Trade Rumors

So far this week Eklund at HockeyBuzz has Scott Gomez being traded to Dallas, Anahiem, Phoenix, Edmonton and Florida. With his final rumor stating Gomez would be traded to Florida for Jay Bouwmeester.

Eklund also says it's a 50/50 chance Sean Avery makes it to the Rangers on re-entry waivers.

...not sure why Eklund didn't just say every team in the NHL is interested in Gomez? Jeez talk about hedging your bets.

...who do you think would be more unhappy with the trade Gomez or Bouwmeester? Right now I'd have to go with Bouwmeester.

How Will Tortorella Handle Avery?

Jim Kelley at SI.com looks at how John Tortorella will handle the likely event of the Rangers claiming Sean Avery...

"Avery may be Sather's guy, but Tortorella controls his destiny. The coach may not like him -- and his on-the-record remarks made as a TV analyst in Canada make that abundantly clear -- but that doesn't mean he isn't willing to accept the challenge of having him on the bench.

In the end, Avery will bend to Tortorella's will or he won't be a Ranger."

...if Avery controls himself, I think he can fit perfectly in Tortorella's pressure system. If he doesn't, like Kelley says Avery will be gone.

Friday Headlines

The Journal News - Garden fans vocal with another Rangers loss

Newsday - Rangers can't hold lead, fall to Panthers

Newsday - Mark Herrmann: Sleepwalk continues, and Sather created the nightmare

New York Times - After 2 Games, Tortorella Still Has Patience

New York Post - RANGERS FAIL TO SEAL DEAL VS. PANTHERS

New York Post - SATHER'S LEFT RANGERS PUNCHLESS

New York Post - FOUNDERING BLUESHIRTS LOOK FOR TRACTION IN FINAL PLAYOFF SPRINT

Daily News - Rangers remain off the mark

The Bergen Record - Goal drought continues for Rangers

The Bergen Record - Rangers notes: Mara's speedy recovery

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Panthers 2, Rangers 1


The New York Rangers (31-24-8) lost to the Florida Panthers (31-22-8) by the score of 2-1, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...i said this last night, I appreciate the effort and it looks like the Rangers are taking to Tortorella's system very quickly, but if they continue to crap down their leg on every scoring chance does it really matter?

...soft goal by Lundqvist to tie it at one, but it's hard to blame him when he has to play every game knowing if he makes one mistake it could be the difference.

...the Rangers have scored two goals or less in 12 of their last 14 games. Yikes!!!

...Redden had his second straight strong performance. I was only kidding last night when I said maybe Redden's poor play this year was Renney's fault, but who knows maybe it was.

...with the loss and a Carolina win the Rangers are now only one point from falling to ninth place and being out of the playoffs.

...the struggling Avalanche, who Martin Brodeur shut-out in his first game back tonight, come to town on Saturday night.

Out of the Office

Won't be around today, so for all the latest Rangers news visit Eklund at HockeyBuzz...just kidding. Go to The Rangers Report, Blue Notes and Ranger Rants.

Thursday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers lose in Tortorella's debut

Newsday - Rangers play aggressively, but lose in shootout

Newsday - Renney: Rangers need power play QB, big forwards

New York Times - New Philosophy Yields Same Result

New York Post - TIRED RESULT AS RANGERS FALL TO TORONTO IN TORTORELLA DEBUT

New York Post - FIRED RENNEY LEAVES WITH REGRETS

Daily News - New coach, same old Rangers

The Bergen Record - Rangers fall in Tortorella's return

The Bergen Record - Rangers notes: Renney reacts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Toronto 2, Rangers 1, SO


The New York Rangers (31-23-8) lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs (23-26-12) by the score of 2-1 in a shootout, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...while I loved the forecheck as well as the defensemen stepping up at the Maple Leafs blueline and taking more offensive chances, does it really matter if we're still only going to score one goal. We can't even score in the shootout any more.

...Tortorella mentioned after the game that he felt the players lacked confidence in goal scoring and can see them squeezing their sticks on offensive opportunities. Not sure how you cure that. Maybe he can tell Lundqvist and Valiquette to let some shots in during practice.

...having said that, i do think the goals will come if the Rangers continue to play this pressure style. One thing to worry about, which Tortorella eluded to in his post game press conference, is the team not being in good enough shape to play that type of hockey every game. It looked like a lot players were gassed in the third period.

...by far Redden's best game as a Ranger. It was nice to see him get involved so often on offense. If he keeps this up, I think it's fair to ask if Renney's conservative coaching style had anything to do with Redden's poor play.

...overall, I liked what I saw from the Rangers and from Tortorella and I do see some light at the end of the tunnel for this team.

...right back at it tomorrow night at MSG against the Panthers with a big four point swing on the line.

Rangers @ Maple Leafs (Game 62)

The New York Rangers (31-23-7) host the Toronto Maple Leafs (22-26-12) tonight at the Air Canada Centre starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
Dubinsky-Drury-Callahan
Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Staal-Girardi
Redden-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 26-19-6, 2.57 gaa, .913 sv%, 2 so.

Vesa Toskala - 20-17-10, 3.31 gaa, .886 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Maple Leafs defeated the Rangers on Sunday night 3-2 in overtime.

- The Maple Leafs are seeking their first consecutive wins since Jan. 29 and 31.

- Vesa Toskala, who made 39 saves on Sunday, is 4-0-2 with a tie and a 1.51 goals-against average in seven career matchups against the Rangers.

Opponent Blogs:
budblog

Voros, Mara Out; Rangers Claim Bell

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants gives these line combinations for tonight's game against Toronto. Notable is Aaron Voros being a healthy scratch and Paul Mara still being out with a shoulder injury...

Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
Dubinsky-Drury-Callahan
Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Staal-Girardi
Redden-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Gross has a second post on the Rangers claiming ex-Maple Leaf F Mark Bell, who plays a similar style to Sean Avery. Gross adds the Rangers may have determined that Avery just isn't ready to play in the NHL and won't be before the March 4 deadline. So they pulled the trigger on Bell.

Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report says to look for the fourth line to get a lot less ice time tonight, while the top guys will see a lot more.

...the one question I have with the line-up is putting Redden and Rozsival together. However, love the energy line with Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha.

...wonder if Tortorella's dislike of Avery had anything to do with the signing of Bell.

Rangers Interested in Morris

The Fourth Period is reporting that the Rangers have set their sights on Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris.

TFP adds that Morris has expressed his interest in staying in Phoenix where the two sides are discussing a contract extension.

Morris who has 5 goals, 7 assists and is a -12 on the season is in the final year of his contract that pays him $3.9 million this year.

Finally, TFP says that the Rangers have $950,000 of cap space, which would give them enough space to sign Morris.

...the Rangers need help on the power play and bringing in Morris who has exactly zero goals on the power play this year, probably won't help.

Zipay Live Chat Today @ 2pm

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will host a live web chat today at 2 p.m. To participate click here.

30th Anniversary of Potvin Sucks

On the 30th anniversary of when Islanders D Denis Potvin hit Rangers' first-year forward Ulf Nilsson and broke his ankle sidelining him for the rest of the season, both the New York Times and Fox Sports have features on why the "Potvin Sucks" chant has passed the test of time...

George Vecsey of the New York Times on the chant...

They used the cadence of “Let’s Go Band,” and at the end chanted the part about Potvin. After other uglier versions were included, the Garden stopped playing the tune, but volunteers still seize upon a lull in the action to whistle a signal that ignites Rangers fans, some of whom were not born in 1979.

Peter Schrager at Fox Sports adds...

"Feb. 25 marks the 30th anniversary of the event that spawned the now legendary chant, which has "graced" the Garden for just about every Rangers game since. "POTVIN SUCKS!" — as indelicate as it may be — remains one of hockey's more storied, if obscure, traditions. Granted, it's a lot less dignified than the post-playoff series handshake. And it's a lot less messy than an octopus landing splat on the ice at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.

But "POTVIN SUCKS!" is hockey. And it is New York."

...despite the fact that most Ranger fans probably couldn't tell you where the 'Potvin Sucks' chant was spawned from or who Potvin injured, the chant is clearly one of the best in all of sports.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Tortorella makes his mark immediately with Rangers

Newsday - Tortorella wants players 'to relax a little'

Newsday - Mark Herrmann: Tortorella: Substance behind fire and brimstone

Newsday - Lightning GM: Tortorella will bring culture shock

New York Times - Tortorella Puts Rangers’ New Philosophy in Action

New York Post - TORTORELLA TO RIDE RANGERS' BEST PLAYERS

Daily News - Rangers begin Tortorella era

The Bergen Record - New Rangers coach's first day on the job

The Bergen Record - Mara seeks fast rehab

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tortorella Philosophy

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has more quotes from John Tortorella on what his philosophy will be with the Rangers...

"I have always liked the pressure game. We're gonna try to pressure... We're not trapping. Everybody thinks it's a defensive system; it's a transition mechanism. But I've gotta be careful; I made a major mistake last year with our team in Tampa where I was too aggressive and our D couldn't handle it and it cost us. I made a huge mistake in not changing that a little bit. I waited too long."

Tortorella adds that he will be in charge of the power play, he's not a four line guy, Mike Pelino has been re-assigned, and players will be held accountable.

...while all this sounds great, I'm not going to get overly excited until they start winning.

Tortorella Speaks After Practice

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report has numerous quotes from John Tortorella after his first practice with the Rangers. Here's one...

“Losing knocks you down,” Tortorella said. “And listen, I am going to push them, I am going to push them, but you also as a coach have to understand when to be with them and I think this is a time to try to get them to feel decent about themselves. There’d be nothing better than a win but I think its my job to allow them to express themselves and get a little bit of confidence."

McManus also reports on a number of changes Tortorella has already made including not being able to walk on the Rangers team logo which takes up most of the carpet in the middle of the locker room and taking down the standings and statistics that former coach Tom Renney had in the locker room.

Tortorella on coaching the Rangers...

“To play in that building in Madison Square and the logo of the Rangers, are you kidding me? It’s an honor.”

...the more I'm hearing the more I'm loving Tortorella. Not letting anyone walk on the Rangers logo reminds me a lot of what Messier preached when he was traded here. Respect the Rangers logo and wear it with pride. How can you not love that attitude?

Torts First Practice

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report says John Tortorella's first practice was much more uptempo with shorter drills and sprints.

McManus also reports on Tortorella’s first lines:

Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
Dubinsky-Drury-Callahan
Dawes-Korpikoski-Prucha
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Tortorella's introduction will be later today.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants says today's practice had the feel of the first day of training camp.

...i already love this guy with Prucha back in the line-up.

Blueshirt Blog Web Chat Today at 1:30pm


Michael Obernauer at the Daily News' Blueshirt Blog will host a live web chat today, Tuesday, February 24th at 1:30 p.m. To participate click here.

Rangers 2008-09 NCAA/CIS Prospects Update

Leslie Treff at Hockey's Future reports on the six Rangers recent draft picks currently playing collegiate hockey. All of the players are forwards, with four skating for NCAA teams and two playing CIS hockey. The list includes second round pick Derek Stephan.

For more prospect news visit The Prospect Park.

...figured I'd give you guys some non-Renney firing/Tortorella hiring news.

Lightning to File Tampering Charges Against Rangers? - **Updated**

Bob McKenzie at TSN reports that despite John Tortorella being given written permission in June by the Lightning to seek employment elsewhere sources say there may have been some potentially "inappropriate" contact between the Ranger organization and members of the Lightning.

McKenzie adds that the league is investigating and that it's not out of the question that the Lightning will file formal tampering charges against the Rangers.

**Update** - TSN now reports this may have something to do with Lightning assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who reportedly has a clause in his contract that he could join Tortorella if Tortorella were to be named head coach elsewhere in the NHL. (Thanks to reader Steve for the heads-up)

...i said this yesterday, with how quick this all went down you have to wonder when Sather starting talking to Tortorella about replacing Renney.

...this will obviously have no effect on Tortorella's status with the Rangers so give Tampa a fourth round draft pick and move on.

Drury's Got to Go

Josh Geltzer at Fox Sports says that Chris Drury is the one who deserved to be fired not Tom Renney...

"Of course, Drury has been a proven winner — elsewhere. But it's not working in New York, and frankly he's not working in New York. When the Rangers' forwards have restored the team's solid defensive play for stints this season, it has been behind the leadership of Naslund and others. Drury has proven nothing short of a liability — a very high-priced liability at that."

Geltzer adds that the Rangers should look to trade Drury at the deadline.

...wow, did Drury sleep with this guy's sister or something?

...while Drury has under-performed offensively this year with the Rangers, defensively and on the penalty kill he's outstanding and is the furthest thing from a liability. Now does that justify his huge salary. Hell no. But Drury, in my opinion, is more of a roll player. He's only scored over 30 goals once in his career with most of his goals being of the garbage variety not the dipsy-do brand. And this is why the blame goes back to Sather. To think that Drury and Gomez (a distributer not a scorer) were going to make up for the goal production lost by not re-signing Jagr, Shanahan and Straka was just foolish.

Sather Should Be Next; What About Avery?

Scott Burnside at ESPN.com wonders if there is a more overrated person in the entire game of hockey than Rangers GM Glen Sather? Saying...

"Since his arrival in New York in 2000, though, Sather has made it seem as though all of that success in Edmonton was somehow a fluke, like labeling the winner of the Powerball lottery a financial genius because, well, he has lots of dough.

After his arrival in New York, Sather presided over four straight nonplayoff seasons and four straight fourth-place finishes in the Atlantic Division (although he did deliver some of the most ill-advised contracts in the history of the game)."

...it's obvious that Sather is much more responsible for this mess than Renney. And not only the mess this year the mess that awaits this team the next four years when they'll have absolutely no cap room to make any moves. Good luck Torts.

Pierre LeBrun also at ESPN.com says that John Tortorella should inject life into Rangers but wonders what happens to Sean Avery.

Tuesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers' players call Renney's firing 'a sad day'










The Bergen Record - Renney fired by Rangers

Monday, February 23, 2009

Can't Wait for Tortorella's Post Game Press Conferences

...i guess no more of Renney's "we battled" quotes anymore.

Yes to Tortorella May Mean No to Avery

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy wonders if Sean Avery's future with the Rangers may change with John Tortarella behind the bench, as he recalls Tortorella's comments on Avery after the 'sloppy seconds' incident...

"He's embarrassed himself, he's embarrassed the organization, he's embarrassed the league and he's embarrassed his teammates, who have to look out for him. Send him home. He doesn't belong in the league."

...it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

...i wanted the Rangers to bring in Avery to create a spark with this team. However, with Tortorella coming in I don't think they need Avery to do that anymore. The Rangers need goal scoring and Avery doesn't fill that void.

McGuire & Olczyk Talk Rangers on WFAN

Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk talk Tom Renney's firing and John Tortorella hiring with Mike Francesa on WFAN.

...Francesa? Hockey? What is going on?

Sather Speaks About Renney, Torts & Team

Rick Carpiniello at The Ranger Report has quotes from Glen Sather ranging on a variety of issues from firing Tom Renney to hiring John Tortorella to claiming Sean Avery. For Sather's quotes from today's conference call click here and here.

Here's Sather on why he decided to fire Renney...

“I’ve been thinking about it probably the last couple of weeks. I could see the team starting to slide and, after the start that we had at the beginning of the year and the way we were playing and moving and controlling the puck, the game just started to erode and I thought sooner or later we were going to have to do something. I wish that it hadn’t have come to this, but it did. The last two or three games it was pretty obvious that we had tohave something done.”

Carpiniello reports that Tortorella is en route to NY and will take over for practice tomorrow. Jim Schoenfeld will be the interim assistant coach.

Glen Sather said there is no compensation headed to Tampa Bay, and that Tortorella signed a multi-year contract.

Finally, Carpiniello notes that Sather said that Renney is welcome to stay in the organization if he chooses.

...i can't believe how quick this all went down today. I'm sure Sather would say otherwise, but no way today was the first conversation he had with Tortorella about taking over.

Tortorella and Rangers Reach Multi-Year Deal

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has been told by two people familiar with the situation that John Tortorella has reached a multi-year agreement to succeed Tom Renney as head coach of the Rangers.

One snag is that Tortorella has time remaining on his contract with the Lightning, who fired him last June, and they want compensation. Apparently the league is helping to broker a deal.

Tortorella coached the Rangers for four games in 1999 and coached the Tampa Bay Lighting from 2001-2008 including winning the Jack Adams Trophy as well as the Stanley Cup.

Zipay Discusses Renney Firing on WFAN

Steve Zipay of Newsday discusses the firing of Tom Renney on WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts Radio Show here.

Rangers Official Statement on Renney Firing

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that head coach Tom Renney has been relieved of his coaching duties. Assistant coach Perry Pearn was also relieved of his duties. Mike Pelino and Benoit Allaire will remain on the coaching staff.

Renney, 53, posted a record of 31-23-7 in 61 games behind the New York bench this season. In his tenure as head coach, he led the Rangers to a 164-121-42 record. Renney ranks fourth all-time among Rangers’ coaches in wins (164) and games coached (327).

For the entire statement visit newyorkrangers.com.

Players React & More on Torts

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says that two of his sources have said John Tortorella is on the way and that Glen Sather is attempting to finalize a deal.

Zipay has player reaction including this from Chris Drury...

"It's a tough day, Tom works long and hard to get us wins. Clearly we haven't played well enough this past month. On a positive note, there's time left, we're in the thick of things. Toronto (on Wednesday) is a game we have to have....It comes down to us, the system and the coaches guide you on your way and when the puck drops, it's up to us."

Jane McManus at The Rangers Report says the new coach will almost 100 percent certainly be John Tortorella, and gives an outline of how this morning's events unfolded.

...it seems like most Ranger fans wanted a hard ass in here. If they bring in Tortorella, you've definitely got one.

Renney and Pearn Fired

Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report says that Tom Renney and Perry Pearn have been fired.

No replacement has been named.

WFAN is reporting that the Rangers are in negotiations with John Tortorella for the head coaching position.

...while numerous Ranger fans are rejoicing on Ranger message boards, I think Renney gets a raw deal here. Listen something needed to be done, but Renney ended up being the scape goat for Sather's terrible signings.

...is Renney guilt free? Not by a long shot. But he helped turn this laughing stock of a franchise into a winner again and, in respect of that, should have been given the year to turn this around. What's the difference this team isn't winning the Cup this year anyway.

Maple Leafs 3, Rangers 2, OT


The New York Rangers (31-23-7) lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs (22-26-12) by the score of 3-2 in overtime. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...sorry for the late start. I got in well after midnight from the game.

...speaking of getting in late, terrible job by MSG starting the Bathgate/Howell ceremony at 6:30 pm. It's a Sunday why didn't they start it at 5:00 pm so the game started on time? If there was something scheduled before hand they should have moved the ceremony to a different night. By the time the Rangers scored to tie it MSG was half empty because most people went home to bed.

...to the game, I was real happy with effort. Very physical, finishing checks and lots of energy. Unfortunately, as usual, no scoring.

...very angry crowd last night. It was so bad Rozsival got booed after scoring the tying goal with 40 seconds left.

...Redden is done. The booing is definitely starting to affect him. Don't get me wrong, he's been bad all year, but last night he took suck to a whole other level.

...i thought the Dubinsky-Gomez-Naslund line was awesome. They had the puck in Toronto's zone all night. So expect Dubinsky to be centering a line with Zherdev and Korpikoski on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rangers vs. Maple Leafs (Game 61)

The New York Rangers (31-23-6) host the Toronto Maple Leafs (21-26-12) tonight at MSG starting at 8:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Prucha
Korpikoski-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 26-19-5, 2.56 gaa, .913 sv%, 2 so.

Vesa Toskala - 19-17-10, 3.34 gaa, .884 sv%, 1 so.

Opponent Notes:
- Toronto has lost three straight (0-1-2) and has one win in its last six games (1-2-3).

- Jason Blake has 11 goals and 11 assists in his last 15 games, however, he only has one goal in his last nine contests against the Rangers.

- Vesa Toskala made 35 saves in his first start in a week yesterday. He missed the previous two games after undergoing an MRI on his hip and groin.

- Blake leads Toronto in goals (22) and points (47), while former Ranger Dominic Moore leads the team with 28 assists.

Opponent Blog:
budblog

Renney Watch Is On

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes wonders if the Rangers flight home last night could have been the last trip for coach Tom Renney.

Zipay says if the Rangers lose to the Maple Leafs tonight, Renney could be fired sometime between the loss and the Rangers next game in Toronto on Wednesday.

Zipay adds that Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld is a possible replacement.

...not sure if I'm more tired of the team's play or 'Renney Watch' articles.

Bathgate, Howell to be Honored Tonight

Lots of great stuff on Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell in preparation of tonight's ceremony at Newyorkrangers.com here, here, here and here.

Also at NHL.com here and here.

...we could sure use these guys on the team right now.

Sunday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers lose, but deal Sabres a blow

Newsday - Rangers can't climb out of 3-0 hole in Buffalo

New York Times - Roy Leads Sabres Past the Reeling Rangers

New York Post - FLAWED RANGERS SINK TO EIGHTH WITH PASSIONLESS PLAY

New York Post - AT LAST, 'CHANTS' TO SALUTE TWO GOLDEN OLDIES

Daily News - Bathgate, Howell to be honored Sunday night

The Bergen Record - Rangers look "fragile" in loss

The Bergen Record - Rangers notes

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sabres 4, Rangers 2


The New York Rangers (31-23-6) lost to the Buffalo Sabres (31-23-6) by the score of 4-2, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...you have to wonder if this team cares anymore. This was a big game against a team they are fighting with for one of the final four playoff spots and that's the effort we get. Awful.

...i'm not ready to throw in the towel on the season yet, as there's still an entire month and a half left, but something has to change. Anything. Bench Gomez, fire Renney, claim Avery. I don't care what it is, but please Glen do something.

...not sure if you guys saw this but after being sent home for two games, Alexei Kovalev came back tonight with 1 goal and 2 assists in Montreal's 5-3 win over Ottawa. Sather and Renney better take notice of that and sit either Drury (no goals in 14 games), Gomez (-5 in the last 11 games) or Redden (no goals since Oct. 10 and a -2 tonight) tomorrow against Toronto to sent some type of message to this team that their current play is unacceptable.

...speaking of tomorrow's game (which I'll be attending), you almost have to feel bad for Bathgate and Howell. The fans are coming to MSG ready to boo. Hopefully they'll hold off till after the ceremony. But I'm fully expecting plenty of 'Fire Renney' and 'Fire Sather' chants.

Rangers @ Sabres (Game 60)

The New York Rangers (31-22-6) visit the Buffalo Sabres (30-23-6) tonight at HSBC Arena starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Prucha
Korpikoski-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 26-18-5, 2.53 gaa, .914 sv%, 2 so.

Ryan Miller - 28-16-5, 2.54 gaa, .917 sv%, 5 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Sabres have given up at least one power-play goal in seven straight games.

- Ryan Miller has been inconsistent lately, posting a 3.13 goals-against average as Buffalo has lost four of six.

- Buffalo has won both game against the Rangers this year including one in a shootout.

- D Henrik Tallinder, who had missed 12 games with a shoulder injury, is back and Teppo Numminen will sit. Thomas Vanek (jaw) remains out.

Opponent Blog:
Die By The Blade

Prucha, Korpikoski In, Voros Out

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that both Petr Prucha and Lauri Korpikoski will be in the line-up tonight. Meaning Aaron Voros will be headed to the press box.

Here's Renney on Prucha...

"You can't deny his compete level," coach Tom Renney said after the morning skate at HSBC Arena. "We want to see if he can get us some goals. He had some chances against the Islanders."

Zipay adds that Chris Drury will be on the point on the power play again.

Tonight's lines are...

Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Prucha
Korpikoski-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

...unless the Rangers make a move at the deadline this should be our line-up for the rest of the season.

Another Low Scoring Affair?

Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Report reminds us that the Rangers have scored a grand total of two goals against the Sabres this year, a 3-1 loss and a 2-1 shootout loss.

With the goaltending of Ryan Miller and Henrik Lundqvist as well as the commitment to defense of both teams, sprinkle in the injury to Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek and the Rangers inability to score and you have the makings of a 1-0 game.

Having said that, I was over at my sports betting website (hey, times are tough I've got to make money somehow) and noticed on their NHL betting page that the over/under for tonight's game is 5 1/2. 5 1/2!!!! I'd be shocked if the total went over three. With the Rangers averaging just 2.29 goals scored per game you'd probably be pretty rich if you were betting the under in every Ranger game this year. In case you care the Rangers are a 1 1/2 underdog tonight.

Avery Non-Factor in Wolf Pack Win

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes tells us that Sean Avery was a minus-1 with zero shots and two minutes in penalties in Hartford's 5-2 win over Lowell last night.

...what he does down in Hartford is of no interest to me. It's what he does for the Rangers that counts. Plus if he tears it up down in the AHL another team could take an interest and claim Avery before the Rangers.

Messier to Rangers A Difference Maker

Phil Coffey at NHL.com looks at 15 trades from 1980 to the present that made a difference for one or both of the clubs involved in the swap including the Mark Messier to the Rangers trade...

"GM Neil Smith made sure of that after acquiring 'The Captain' from the Edmonton Oilers for center Bernie Nicholls and prospects Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk. It was a huge move for the Rangers' fortunes. Messier and Manhattan were an instant fit and the Rangers became a team worth watching as Messier raised the bar for his teammates in terms of what was going to be considered acceptable from them on."

This article also has a separate list that includes trades that have helped teams go on to win the Stanley Cup that season and mentions the Rangers trading for Matteau, Noonan, Anderson and MacTavish in 1994.

...greatest Ranger trade of all-time. Unless, of course, you think the Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller for Bobby Carpenter trade worked out better for the Rangers. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday Headlines

The Journal News - Numbers of Bathgate, Howell to join Rangers' greats

New York Post - RANGERS LOOKING 'TWO' STREAK

New York Post - RANGERS' DEADLINE DEALS YIELD MIXED RESULTS

New York Post - BATHGATE CONFESSES

Daily News - Richter's lessons are net gain for Yale

The Bergen Record - Renney not deserving of attacks

The Bergen Record - Blueshirts set to honor Bathgate and Howell

Friday, February 20, 2009

Renney Gone If Things Don't Turn Around?

Jim Kelley at SI.com says without a Ranger turnaround the size of defenseman Wade Redden's salary, the firing of Tom Renney will happen.

Kelley says Renney has to take some blame, but the bulk falls on Glen Sather.

...unless things completely fall apart, Renney will get the rest of the year, however, if they don't make it to at least the second round in the playoffs he is gone this off-season.

Injuries Healing

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants notes that Lauri Korpikoski, wearing a wrap on his right shoulder for his upper-body injury, said he still feels a little sting but believes he should be ready for tomorrow night's game at Buffalo, while Paul Mara is no longer wearing a sling for his right arm and has begun to workout again.

Here are the lines from practice...

Markus Naslund-Scott Gomez-Ryan Callahan
Nigel Dawes-Chris Drury-Petr Prucha
Aaron Voros/Fredrik Sjostrom-Blair Betts-Colton Orr
Lauri Korpikoski-Brandon Dubinsky-Nikolai Zherdev

And You Thought Things Were Bad for the Rangers

The Montreal Gazette is reporting that a suspect arrested this month in a Montreal police operation targeting organized crime is closely linked with Canadiens' players Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn. Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik was also said to be acquainted with the suspect.

...their season is slipping away quicker than the Rangers and now they have players linked to organized crime? Happy 100th Anniversary Montreal Canadiens!!!

Rangers Have 84.1% Chance of Making Playoffs

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that sportsclubstats.com, which analyzes playoff probability based on numerous factors and adjusts the numbers daily, has the Rangers probability of making the post-season at 84.1 percent.

...and you guys were worried.

Rangers to Only Tweak Roster Before Trade Deadline

Steve Zipay at Newsday says that the Rangers are likely to only tweak their roster by the trade deadline which would include bringing in Sean Avery and a possibly low rent-defenseman.

To clear cap space, Zipay says the Rangers would presumably move Petr Prucha or Aaron Voros.

...unfortunately with the Rangers cap situation there's really not much they can do unless Sather is able to fleece another owner into taking the salaries of Gomez, Drury, Redden or Rozsival. Which isn't very likely.

Friday Headlines

New York Post - GAME-BY-GAME TRIAL UNFAIR TO CLASSY RANGER COACH

MSG.com - Rangers: Can the Sabres Be Buffaloed?

Newyorkrangers.com - Two Rangers games to air on PIX 11

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Avery Not Adding Spark in Harford

Mitch Beck at The Howlings notes that Sean Avery was supposed to come to Hartford and spark the Wolf Pack and then go to the Rangers and spark them.

However, since being sent to play in Hartford, Avery has inspired the team to it’s second consecutive loss and has led the team to scoring a grand total of one goal in two games.

...despite what's happening in Hartford, Avery should bring a spark to New York. But no way should he be counted on to cure the Rangers scoring woes.

Rangers Move Within Two Points of 1st in Nissan Metro Ice Challange


With the Rangers 3-1 victory over the Islanders last night, they moved within two points of the first place Devils in the Nissan Metro Ice Challenge. Here are the current standings...

Devils - 7-2-0 - 14 pts.

Rangers - 6-4-0 - 12 pts.

Islanders - 1-8-0 - 2 pts.

Bathgate/Howell Night Features


Newyorkrangers.com is celebrating the legendary careers of Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell with numerous features and video.

Bathgate and Howell's numbers will be returned during a pregame ceremony this Sunday, February 22nd.

...i've been very negligent in my coverage of the Bathgate/Howell night. I hope to have more leading up this historic event.

Korpikoski Injury Not Serious

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Lauri Korpikoski's "upper body" injury is not too serious and he is expected to play on Saturday in Buffalo.

Zipay speculates that Aaron Voros will be the odd man out if Korpikoski can play.

...with Prucha now showing he's a better fighter than Voros there's really no reason for him to play the rest of the year.

Video: Highlights & Reaction to Win Against Islanders


Rangers vs. Islanders highlights.


Rangers head coach Tom Renney discusses the Blueshirts' 3-1 victory over the Islanders.

Thursday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers get needed victory

The Journal News - Renney shouldn't shoulder all of the blame

Newsday - Rangers beat Islanders at MSG

Newsday - Mark Herrmann: Pick of litter for Rangers not always right one

New York Times - Spirited Rangers Gain a Much-Needed Win

New York Post - NIP ISLES FOR MUCH-NEEDED WIN

New York Post - FIREPOWER IS STILL LACKING ON B'WAY

New York Post - AVERY CALLS NIGHT IN HARTFORD A SUCCESS

Daily News - Gomez, Rangers both get lucky

The Bergen Record - Rangers finally rediscover winning ways

The Bergen Record - Notes: Korpikoski out

Avery Being Avery In Second Game With Wolf Pack

Sean Avery had two shots and was on the ice for the only goal in the Hartford Wolf Packs 1-0 loss to the Islanders AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight. For game recap click here.

Avery, who got in a yapping match with one Sound Tiger player and then poked another in the face along the boards without an official noticing, had this to say after the game...

“As far as battles go and getting hits, it was better on the lungs than in the first game, so I’m happy about that,” said Avery. “They were coming at me from the start of the game, and I was a little quiet, which takes a little away from my game. Then I started to give back a little of what I was getting, which makes me play better.

“I’m targeted, but I know I did it eight years ago. They’re all trying to get to the next level, so they wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t go after me. I’m not too happy about the loss, but I feel better for sure.”

Here's video of the poking incident...



...man I can't wait to get this guy back on the team to bring some much needed energy to these games.

Phoenix GM Maloney In The House

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney was at MSG tonight to speak with Glen Sather and Islanders GM Garth Snow before moving on to scout the Flyers.

Gross says Maloney is no different than any other NHL GM right now, testing the waters, trying to make a deal before the March 4 deadline.

Gross adds that if the Rangers and Coyotes make a deal, it'll probably be for lesser players with draft picks/minor leaguers involved.

...Sather has a reputation of dealing with friends so this could be more than just a 'testing the waters' visit from Maloney.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rangers 3, Islanders 1


The New York Rangers (31-22-6) defeated the New York Islanders (17-34-6) by the score of 3-1, tonight. For a recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...loved the way the Rangers played tonight. Real aggressive and with an edge to their game. While I'm not going to get too excited about a win against the lowly Islanders, it was nice to get two much needed points.

...Lundqvist didn't have to be great all night, but he stepped up when needed especially on the penalty kill in the second period right before Gomez' power play goal then again stopping Bailey on the door step on another Islander power play early in the third.

...you think Prucha was picturing Renney's face on Bergenheim's body during that fight?

...Gomez played his one solid period for the week tonight in the second period. Your paycheck's in the mail Scotty.

...was that actually a power play goal tonight? It probably shouldn't have counted because if the Islanders actually had an NHL goaltender in net he probably would have stopped Gomez' shot. But hey when your 1 for your last 35 you'll take anything you can get.

...by the way how much better would Streit look on our power play than Redden? At half the price.

...i'm going to be saying this a lot over the course of the next month, but huge game against the Sabres Saturday night in Buffalo.

Rangers vs. Islanders (Game 59)

The New York Rangers (30-22-6) host the New York Islanders (17-33-6) tonight at MSG starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Naslund-Gomez-Callahan
Dawes-Drury-Prucha
Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 25-18-5, 2.56 gaa, .913 sv%, 2 so.

Joey MacDonald - 12-23-4, 3.22 gaa, .903 sv%, 0 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Islanders ended a five-game losing streak with Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over Pittsburgh.

- Joey MacDonald has a 2.62 goals-against average in three games since returning from a groin injury.

- The Islanders are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games at MSG.

- Bill Guerin leads the Islanders with 15 goals, while Mark Streit leads the team in assists (29) and points (38).

Opponent Blog:
Lighthouse Hockey

Voros Having a Tough Year

Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy looks at Aaron Voros's tough first year on Broadway which has included no goals since November, being jumped by Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith, and most recently purposely being challenged to a fight by St. Louis' Cam Janssen because he knew he would be victorious and be able to swing the momentum of the game in front of the home fans.

For more on Janssen purposely seeking out Voros visit Scotty Hockey.

...earlier this year I really thought Voros was going to be a fan favorite. He grew up a rabid Ranger fan in Vancouver even wearing Ranger apparel to school after the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. He starts the year with five goals and four assists in his first eight games, and we all thought we had Avery's replacement.

...then in November he remembered he was Aaron Voros and it's been all downhill from there.

Korpikoski Out With Injury; Good News on Mara

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Lauri Korpikoski is out tonight against the Islanders with a mild upper-body injury sustained in St. Louis, meaning Nigel Dawes will return to the line-up.

With Korpikoski out, Chris Drury should be back at center on the second line (possibly with Dawes and Nik Zherdev), and Brandon Dubinsky will drop down to center a third line. Drury will remain on the point on the power play, because essentially, he'll shoot, Renney said.

Zipay also notes that no structural damage was found during Paul Mara's MRI of his right shoulder, so no surgery is needed. However, Mara's arm still remains in a sling.

...sweet the only guy who was scoring for the Rangers is out tonight. If they lose to the Islanders it could be all over for Renney.

Watch Out Below

If things weren't bad enough, a look at the standings this morning shows with Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres victories last night the Rangers are sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers are actually tied with the Montreal Canadiens, Panthers and Sabres with 66 points, however, the Canadiens and Panthers have a game in hand and the Sabres lead the season series against the Rangers at 2-0-0 (one of the wins was in OT).

Rangers Quick Start A Mirage?

Stu Hackel at Slap Shots adds to the notion that the Rangers are just not a good team by exposing their torrid start to the season...

"In their first 16 games, of which they won 11, they beat the “Gong Show” Lightning three times, the Maple Leafs, the Islanders, the Thrashers, the Blue Jackets, a Dallas team en route to imploding, a Blackhawks team about to fire its coach, the Flyers who would be winless in their first six games and the Penguins.

If that good start now looks like a mirage, the schedule might be a reason why."

...i actually disagree with Hackel here. I think the Rangers were playing some really good hockey in the beginning of the season. Sure they beat some bottom feeders at the time, but if you actually went back and watched those games the Rangers were playing an up-tempo, maximum effort type game.

...i think if you looked at the next 16 games of the season then you'd start to see the makings of a bad team. Lots of shootout victories and not a lot of scoring.

Rangers Up to #9 in Fox Sports Poll?


The Rangers moved up one spot to #9 in the Fox Sports Power Rankings for the week of February 16, 2009...

9. Rangers - The only positive in Week 19 for the Rangers was that they picked up their first win in February. New York comes into Week 20 having lost five of its last six games and seven of its last eight dating to Jan. 28.

...how in the world do the Rangers move up after going 1-2-1 since the last poll? I've seen other polls that have the Rangers as low as #20. I might I have to re-think using this poll because obviously Fox Sports isn't doing their homework.

Wednesday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers' Lundqvist spreads some joy




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kovalev Given Time Off

TSN is reporting that the struggling Alex Kovalev has been given some time off by the Montreal Canadiens.

General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won't be on the team's trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Gainey said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.

...both the Rangers and Canadiens are in a downward spiral. The only difference is that the Canadiens are doing something about it. First they bring in veteran defenseman Schneider, now they're sending a message that lazy hockey is unacceptable.

...how great would it be if Sather or Renney actually sent a message and sent Gomez, Drury or Redden home to think about their lackluster play? Sadly, that is something that would never happen on this team. It seems that the Rangers are back to the Country Club mentality that plagued them in the late 90's and early 2000.

Video: Renney After Optional Practice Today

All's Quite on the Western Front

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports that a few guys skated today but, officially, it was just an off-ice meeting day that broke up early.

Gross had a couple of notes from Tom Renney who said he believes having Chris Drury on the power-play point could be promising, he thought the team battled against the Blues, and he thought Ryan Callahan showed some chemistry back on the top line with Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund.

Gross assumes the same lineup will be out there for tomorrow night's game against the Islanders.

...this report from practice today is almost as listless as the Rangers play of late.

Eklund: With Each Passing Loss the Possiblity of Rangers Acquiring Lecavalier Grows Larger

Eklund at HockeyBuzz reports...

"The Rangers are a desperate hockey team right now and they have had talks with the Lightning about Lecavalier. There is NO doubt about that. I have it from 4 solid sources that Vinny to NY has been discussed.The major player in that deal would have to be Staal, but of course the

Rangers would have to move money around as well...I am told that Prucha to Pittsburgh or Edmonton, and Rozsival to Dallas are possibilities. Those deals could happen, but the determining factor would be Marc Staal to start...But Dubinsky, Girardi, and some top picks will be included I am told.

With each passing loss I am told the possibility grows larger."

...wow Eklund for once acknowledges that there's a salary cap and that the Rangers would have to move around money to make a move. Is he getting legit on us?

...to the rumor. Which we all know coming from Eklund isn't true. But still fun to look at. Man it would be tough to lose Staal, Dubinsky and Girardi, but this team needs a super star and that's what Lecavalier is. Could we absorb loosing three of our six defensemen (including Rozsival) this year? Probably not. But this team isn't going anywhere this year anyway. Bring up Potter, Fahey and Sanguinetti and get them some experience for next year. Then maybe move Drury or Gomez in the off-season and build the team around Lecavalier. Sound good?

Rangers Need Coach Shake-up

Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News places the blame on Tom Renney for the Rangers terrible play of late...

"True, Renney did not sign Wade Redden, nor Dmitri Kalinin. But he is responsible for a team that currently has only two plus players on the roster – Zherdev is plus-2, Marc Staal is plus-1. Artem Anisimov, who played 9:27 in one game, is even. Renney is also responsible for wringing whatever he can out of Drury and Scott Gomez, whose big contracts and drop in play since hitting Broadway ostensibly make them unmovable. Markus Naslund is on pace for less points than he had last season in Vancouver and ask any Canucks fan – that's kind of remarkable in a backwards way."

...i've said all along that Renney deserves the year, however, the Rangers play of late is making me think long and hard about changing that opinion.

Lundqvist May Be Left Out of Vezina Talk

Scott Burnside at ESPN.com says this year's Vezina Trophy race is wide open because of Martin Broduer and Robert Luongo's injuries and Henrik Lundqvist's up-and-down season...

"Even perennial candidate Henrik Lundqvist has endured an up-and-down season with his often-lifeless New York Rangers. Lundqvist was yanked Sunday after giving up four goals on 14 shots in a 5-2 loss to Philadelphia, and his 2.57 goals-against average is 19th in the NHL."

...while Lundqvist has thrown in his fair share of stinkers this year, he has lost about 10 games due to the Rangers failure to score. Plus the pressure on him every game to hold the opponent under two goals has to be weighing on him.

Tuesday Headlines

The Journal News - Dwindling confidence accompanies Rangers' latest loss

Newsday - Struggling Rangers fall to Blues, 2-1

Newsday - Renney will turn to Hartford to replace Mara

New York Times - Rangers’ Slump Continues With Loss to Blues

Daily News - Rangers lack scoring punch

New York Post - STILL SINGIN' THE BLUES: RANGERS LOSE 8TH OF 9

The Bergen Record - Crombeen, Mason lead Blues past Rangers 2-1

Blues 2, Rangers 1


The New York Rangers (30-22-6) lost to the St. Louis Blues (24-25-7) by the score of 2-1, yesterday.For recap and box score go to Yahoo! Sports.

...no scoring, terrible power play, boring hockey. Sound familiar?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rangers Round Table

Today, Puck Daddy held a round table with a variety of the Rangers' top bloggers and columnists to discuss the Ranger's struggles and what Sean Avery's return could mean for the team.

Here's an excerpt...

5. Finally, in three years, who is most likely to still be in the Rangers' locker room: Tom Renney, Scott Gomez, Sean Avery, Chris Drury?

DUBI SILVERSTEIN (Blueshirt Bulletin): If there was any justice in the world, Renney would still be there as GM and the others would be gone; Avery after he reaches his next expiration date, Gomez and Drury after management finally realizes how overrated and overpaid they are and find some way to get rid of them. But in the real world of the NHL, Gomez and Drury will still be there because they will be untradeable, while Avery and Renney will be long gone -- Renney possibly within three days or three weeks, let alone three years.

...this obviously isn't a very thorough round table as I wasn't invited (just kidding). Great job by Puck Daddy putting this together.

Rangers @ Blues (Game 58)

The New York Rangers (30-21-6) visit the St. Louis Blues (23-25-7) tonight at Scottrade Center starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Versus. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.

For last minute news go to The Rangers Report or Blue Notes.

Probable Lines:
Dawes-Gomez-Naslund
Korpikoski-Drury-Callahan
Prucha-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Redden-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Kalinin-Reitz

Goaltenders:
Henrik Lundqvist - 25-17-5, 2.57 gaa, .912 sv%, 2 so.

Chris Mason - 9-15-4, 2.55 gaa, .916 sv%, 4 so.

Opponent Notes:
- The Blues are tied for last in the Western Conference.

- They have gone 7-2-4 since Jan. 15.

- Chris Mason is 6-2-3 with a 1.61 GAA in his last 11 games including two shutouts in his last five home starts.

- Brad Boyes leads St. Louis in goals with 25 and points with 50. David Perron leads the team in assists with 28.

Opponent Blog:
St. Louis Game Time

Canadiens Acquire Schneider

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Thrashers.

Schneider who has struggled most of the year has one goal, six assists and is a + 7 in his last 13 games.

The Rangers and Canadiens are currently tied for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.

...must be nice to have cap room to plug holes in your line-up.

...this is a problem the Rangers are going to have competing for the final few playoff spots. The teams around them have cap space to make moves, while the Rangers do not. Thanks Glen.

Lundqvist Back In

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Henrik Lundqvist, who has lost six of his last seven appearances, will be back in net tonight against the St. Louis Blues after being pulled in yesterday's game after allowing four goals in a period and a half against the Flyers.

Petr Prucha is expected to play in his second straight game, while Dmitri Kalinin will be back in the line-up after missing the last six games with back spasms.

Zipay also notes that Paul Mara will not have an MRI on his injured shoulder until the Rangers return from St. Louis.

...Lundqvist is our guy so I have no problem with Renney coming right back with him. Lundqvist has lead the Rangers down the stretch the last two years, it's time for him to step up once again.