Friday, November 27, 2009

Tortorella’s Team Terrible in Coach’s Return to Tampa

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • This is one of those games you want to forget as quickly as possible. Burn the tapes and pretend it never happened. Good thing the Rangers play tomorrow night.
  • With Wade Redden out, rookie D Bobby Sanguinetti made his NHL debut. Trenton’s own has a good amount of work still left to do to be a mainstay in the NHL.
  • Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal were held scoreless.
  • Maybe Marty St. Louis is the answer the Rangers’ offensive woes? I’m sure John Tortorella would make the case as the star LW had a 3 assist night and looked phenomenal.
  • Speaking of phenomenal, Steven Stamkos is the real deal and a future star in the NHL.
  • Henrik Lundqvist was pulled in this game after the 4th Tampa Bay goal. No need to subject him to further humiliation and potential runs from the opposition.
  • The only positive to take from this game is that Ryan Callahan scored his 1st goal in 8 games on a pretty feed from Artem Anisimov. Hopefully, this can kick start his offensive game.
Next Game: Right back at it Saturday 7:30pm in Pittsburgh to start a home-and-home.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day

...Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy the company of your families and celebrate the best, and certainly most delicious, holiday there is!

Rangers Come Hungry, Leave Happy

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • These are the types of wins that get teams to become a little bit more united for the cause. The Rangers lost D Wade Redden for most of the game with an injury and D Matt Gilroy for 17 mins in penalties. Playing with only 4 D is a tough task and the Rangers performed brilliantly.
  • Marc Staal, taken aside by Tortorella in the last practice to discuss his inconsistent play, played 30:24 of ice-time. Think he had something to prove?
  • Speaking of Gilroy, I’m thoroughly impressed SOMEONE had the fortitude on this team to step up for their teammates in this game and fight someone who was taking runs at people. Now he just needs some fighting lessons (x-mas gift maybe?)
  • Donald Brashear may not win a fight till St. Patrick’s Day.
  • I felt the Rangers played a really sound defensive game tonight. Aside from finishing checks, they had their sticks in the passing and shooting lanes all night, thwarting any kind of offensive attack by Florida.
  • The Captain Chris Drury returned and had a decent return, showing no ill effects from the concussion he suffered. He looked good in Kotalik’s spot on the point on the 1st PP unit.
  • Does it honestly surprise you to see that Marian Gaborik had the goal that put the Rangers on the board in this game? A brilliant deflection off a Chris Drury pass I might add.
  • Does it honestly surprise you that Christopher Higgins hit 2 more posts?
  • P.A. Parenteau is quickly becoming a shootout specialist. I think his overall game is coming around as he gets more and more comfortable and the points should follow.
  • I’m sure Henrik Lundqvist wanted the shutout, yet he shut the door big time in the shootout, denying all 3 Panthers’ skaters.
Next Game: Friday 11/27 7:30pm @ Tampa Bay against John Tortorella’s former team the Lightning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jacket-less: Rangers Explode in 7-4 Drubbing of Columbus

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • Who are you and what did you do with the real Rangers? A 7 goal outburst? It may seem like impostors since Rangers’ fans are not used to so much offense in one night.
  • The same question can be asked for the Blue Jackets who, after getting a 2-0 lead, gave up 7 unanswered. Although, this is the same team last lost to Detroit 9-1 a couple weeks back.
  • Say what you want but John Tortorella called the timeout at the perfect time in this game. Had he not, the Rangers could have sunken even further. The :30 second break plus Gaborik’s goal ignited the team.
  • Nice to see Sean Avery pot 2 goals. Hopefully it’ll inspire the “Grate One’ to return to full form.
  • With Brian Leetch in attendance, both Matt Gilroy and Michael Del Zotto scored Leetch-like goals, putting a smile on the Hall of Famer’s face. The future back line of the Rangers looks very bright.
  • Lost in the shuffle; Artem Anisimov 1g 2a and P.A. Parenteau 2a (including a nifty backhand soft pass to open ice, springing Gilroy for his breakway goal). But, Parenteau’s has to bury his breakaway chance and not whiff on the shot.
  • Rangers’ defensive zone breakdowns in coverage are still a cause for concern.
  • Christopher Higgins might have found a home on the 1st line with Gaborik and Prospal.
Next Game: Beginning of a 3-game road trip Wednesday night in Florida against the Panthers 7:30pm start.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Panthers Speed Past Rangers 3-2

** Sorry again for another extended absence, between not having Versus and work I haven’t been able to watch many games.
Post-Game Thoughts:
  • This is not your father’s Panthers team. They’re young, quick, aggressive, and a well rounded team throughout the roster. They may not have the star power, but they will outwork you for 60 minutes.
  • You would think the Rangers, having 3 days off in between games, would’ve been the more energetic team. Not the team playing its 3rd game in 4 nights, that’s impossible…
  • This loss means the Blueshirts are 4-9-1 in their last 14 after starting out 7-1. Thank god it’s only November, right?
  • Also of note, the Rangers are 1-4 since losing both Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky to injury.
  • The experiment to see who can play with Prospal and Gaborik’s line continues. Ales Kotalik got the call in this game and was absolutely dreadful. So much so that Tortorella publicly said after the game that he was taking him off there. Not good.
  • Donald Brashear has no business being in the NHL anymore, let alone anywhere near the Rangers. His paychecks should go to charity.
  • A backhand flip from the point that somehow made its way through Henrik Lundqvist’s legs was the difference in this game. Really Hank? Really?
  • Marian Gaborik continues to show a “touch of clutch” if you will, scoring a 3rd period goal to make it a 3-2 game. It was his 1st shot of the game. However, his turnover at the blueline lead to Florida’s goal by Nathan Horton to make it 3-1.
Next Game: Tonight 7:00pm @ MSG against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shanny Says Goodbye

Via, 8-time All Star Brendan Shanahan has announced his retirement today from the NHL. He played 21 seasons and will finish his career 11th all-time in Goals.

  • Shanny will go down as one of the greats. I really enjoyed his brief time on the Rangers (his fight with Brashear is a classic). If not for that concussion with Mike Knuble back in 2007, we could have seen great things from Shanahan. Congratulations on a stellar career. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Videos For Your Viewing Pleasure

  • Tortorella's Post-Game News Conference (11-12-09)

  • Game Highlights: Atlanta vs New York (11-12-09)

Rangers Receive a Thrashing in MSG Return

*I wasn't able to watch the game, I only caught the game highlights online.
Post-Game Thoughts:
  • Fans got to see 2 world class offensive talents on display in this game in Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Gaborik. It was very entertaining, extremely sloppy but entertaining nonetheless.
  • Michal Rosival might need a walker to help aide him walk: Evander Kane basically blew right past him to set up Colby Armstrong's goal :19 seconds. Not the way to start a game.
  • Michael Del Zotto continues an impressive rookie campaign, collecting 2 more assists and increasing his numbers to 4 goals and 11 assists
  • I wonder if Marian Gaborik has the quickest release in the NHL. The pass he received from Del Zotto was in his skates a bit, yet, was able to fire a hard shot past G Johan Hedberg to tie the game at 2 a piece. Unbelievable.
  • Henrik Lundqvist cannot be fully blamed for this loss. Sure, his dreadful clear attempt directly led to the 4th Thrasher goal by Evander Kane. However, for most of the game, Lundqvist got no support from his teammates as the opposition were basically allowed to roam free. If not for some keys saves, the score would have been more lopsided.
  • Rich Peverley has been the best move by Thrashers GM Don Waddell by far. Picking him up off of Nashville's scrap heap last season, Peverley has nearly averaged a point per game in his time in Atlanta, collecting 8 goals and 12 assists so far this year. He also had a PP goal and 2 assists in this game.
  • Good to see the hard working Brian Boyle get himself on the stat sheet with a goal. I had my doubts about him in the pre-season but, so far, he's been a welcomed addition.
  • I think its imperative the Rangers either make a move or call up a center from Hartford. Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik cannot play nearly 28 minutes a game and expect to be useful in the long run.
Next Game: Saturday 2:00pm in Ontario against the Ottawa Senators.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brian Leetch Talks About HOF Induction

...Will probably go down as the best Rangers D & on the best American born D of all time. I really hope he comes back in some capacity with the Rangers. The young D could certainly benefit from his tutelage.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blueshirts Feel The Burn in Calgary

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • This is exactly what was expected from Calgary; a tough, physical hockey game. What wasn't expected were cheap shots missed by the referees. An ominous tone was set :49 seconds in when Curtis Glencross blindsided Chris Drury,who was nowhere near the puck, giving him a concussion.
  • Brandon Dubinsky was also injured, taking a shot off of what appaeared to be either his wrist or hand. If there's a broken bone(s), expect him to be out long-term. That would put New York down 2 top centers for an undisclosed amount of time.
  • It's a bit different when you play a team that actually pressures the puck carrier and plays aggressively and takes the body.
  • Despite the injuries, the Rangers played outstanding considering the circumstances. They matched Calgary's physicality and Mikka Kiprusoff, arguably the best goaltender in the league, was the difference in this game.
  • Nice to see Dan Girardi score a goal, his 1st in 12 games. Unfortunately, you don't want it to be the only goal scored in the game.
  • Chris Higgins looks like a brand new person, and I have to say, I like what I'm seeing. His offensive game will continue to flourish if he's at ease.
  • Steve Valliquette was pressed into action for the 2nd straight night to give Lundqvist some more rest and, unfortunately, didn't play well enough. Daymond Langkow's goal, I feel, is one Lundqvist doesn't let by.
  • Nigel Dawes seems to have found a bit of a niche in Calgary, notching 3 assists and sent a beautiful pass to Jarome Iginla on his goal. Freddy Sjostrom played a solid game as well.
Next Game: Thursday 11/12 @ MSG against Atlanta.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rangers Strike Oil in Edmonton

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • This is the team Rangers' fans can get used to and, at the outset of the season, were seeing for a period of time.
  • The only "5 in the picture" I saw in this game were the Rangers having free access to the slot. Edmonton played so passively I'm surprised I even saw them on the ice. Associate coach Tom Renney couldn't have been happy with his team's defensive effort.
  • Rangers' PP was huge in this game scoring 3 goals. Contribute most of that to Edmonton's extremely passive play, not pressuring the puck carrier or point men. Yet, Gaborik, Del Zotto, and Kotalik had exceptional games.
  • Nice to see Ryan Callahan get rewarded for his constant effort and consistent play with a beautiful re-direction for a goal.
  • Matt Gilroy's game is improving as he gets more comfortable. His give and go with Higgins was a welcomed sight.
  • The passing was very crisp in this game, great movement and a lot were tape-to-tape. I bet the Rangers wish they had this ice at MSG.
  • Chris Higgins notches another goal. He's on fire ladies and gentlemen!
  • Steve Valiquette had an adequate game in relief of Lundqvist. I'm sure he'd like to have back Vishnovski's back hander.
  • Aaron Voros must love getting reprimanded by Tortorella as he took 2 more penalties that could have been avoiced
Next Game: Saturday night in Calgary 10:00pm start. It will be Sean Avery's 1st game in Calgary since his infamous "sloppy seconds" comment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prospal Talks About Getting The "A"

- Tortorella said he was content with having Ryan Callahan be the lone alternate captain all year, however, Prospal makes an excellent 2nd alternate. No one plays with more passion than he does, knows Tortorella's system better, and his goal celebrations are a delight to watch.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Canucks Stifle Rangers' Attack

** Sorry for not blogging lately, I didn't get a chance to watch either the Minnesota or Boston games of this past week.

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • Even without their star goalie Roberto Luongo, the Canucks are still a very solid team, especially defensively. They executed a near perfect game-plan to stymie the Rangers all night. Rangers are now 3-4-1 on the road.
  • Willie Mitchell (Gaborik's former teammate in Minnesota) might have had a hand in that, shadowing the sniper all evening. It's only the 2nd game that Gaborik hasn't registered a point.
  • For the most part, the Rangers played well except for a couple of major mistakes (Sean Avery was completely lost on the Rypien goal) that lead to goals.
  • I could feel the pressure just melting off Chris Higgins last night has he scored his long awaited 1st goal as a Ranger. Congrats to him and I hope this springboards him into a torrid hot streak.
  • Vinny Prospal was named the 2nd alternate captain before the game and I couldn't agree more on the decision. He's been nothing short of spectacular early on, playing with passion, and has been a vocal leader on and off the ice.
  • Rookie of the Month winner Michael Del Zotto, despite being out there for a goal against, had a decent game. Although his rookie counterpart Matt Gilroy stole a bit of his thunder with a nifty spin-o-rama move to set up a shot.
  • Henrik Lundqvist had another great night in net that's marred with the score put up by Vancouver. It could have been over in the 2nd if not for some key saves.
  • Ryan Kesler is one heck of a hockey player. He had 3 assists last night, played a sound 2-way game, and will make Team USA proud in the 2010 Winter Olympics coming up. Maybe Brandon Dubinsky can pick his brain a bit on how to play more consistently.
  • The 3rd period melee brought back memories of 1970's hockey. It was amazing it didn't get out of hand more than it did.
Next Game: Thursday night 9:30pm @ Edmonton to face former head coach Tom Renney's new squad.