Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photo: Artem Anisimov Wearing Broadway Hat

Pat Leonard posted this picture of Artem Anisimov wearing the Broadway Hat after tonight's 3-2 win.

Rangers Ride GAS Line To Fifth Straight Win

The New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.  Marian Gaborik had two goals, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and Anisimov was credited for two assists.  While Gaborik and Stepan will draw most of the headlines it was Anisimov who was the critical piece to all three goals the line generated.  

The Senators took the lead 8:39 into the second period Milan Michalek converted on a 3-on-2 with a beautiful shot over Lundqvist shoulder.  The Rangers responded with the tying goal just 42 seconds later when Stepan found Gaborik for the practically open net.  Michael Sauer started the play with a strong play in the neutral zone and then Artem Anisimov’s hustle on the forecheck caused a turnover by Sergei Gonchar to Stepan.  

Stepan would give the Rangers the lead 2:17 later when his pressure on David Runblad led to a chance for Anisimov.  After Anderson stopped Anisimov, Stepan slid the loose puck in on the backhand.

Gaborik picked up his second of the game 8:30 into the third with a beautiful shot over Anderson’s shoulder.  Once again it was Anisimov making the smart play defensively that ultimately created the offensive chance.  The goal gave the Rangers a cushion they would need as Nick Foligno scored to cut it to 3-2 with 10:12 left.
  • Overall the Rangers were outplayed, but when you have a line going like the top line was tonight, and has been, you can steal these types of games.

Photo: Tortorella Imagining What Wolski's Rehab Might Look Like (Tub Included)

Wojtek Wolski has been unable to stay in the New York Rangers this season with recurring injuries to his groin.   On Monday it was announced Wolski is going to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia.  Given coach John Tortorella's recent jab at Wolski "We can't get him out of the tub," Elissa tried to get into the mind of coach Tortorella to see what comes to mind when he imagines Wolski rehabbing after surgery.


No word yet on whether Tortorella is requesting Wolski make room in the tub for Mike Rupp to able to rehab his surgically repaired knee.

Rangers' Rupp Out 4-6 Weeks Following Knee Surgery

Mike Rupp underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus today.  According to Andrew Gross, Rupp is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Hopefully when Rupp returns he will be able to show why the Rangers gave him the three-year, $4.5 mil contract this summer.  Andre Deveaux has done an excellent job filling in thus far and will continue to get his chance while Rupp works his way back. 

Boyle Line Looking For More Production To Continue Rangers Winning Ways

The New York Rangers have things going in the right direction with a current four game winning streak and sitting at an impressive 7-3-3 after 13 games.  There is much to be excited about as Marian Gaborik has returned to form, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh are carrying the defensive load admirably in the absence of Marc Staal and Brad Richards seems to have found comfort with Callahan and Dubinsky.  One spot that could use improvement is the Rangers third line of Brian Boyle, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Prust.
Last season this line was one of the biggest bright spots for the organization, but the production level and impact of the group has not been nearly the same early this season.  As Andrew Gross reports in The Record the trip knows they need to bring more for the Rangers to keep up the early success in the standings.
"The last game, we were better," Boyle said as the trio combined for six shots, including three by Prust. "But it's frustrating, though. We know how good we can be. It's a little mental, we need to start thinking a little more positive. We want to produce more. I want to produce more. It's not easy. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves."
"I think we still have some work to do in getting back to the things that were successful last year – getting the puck in deep, getting in on the forecheck and bringing the puck to the net for opportunities," Prust said. "We've proved we can play together, it's not that we can't play together anymore."
The Rangers do need more from the line as a group in terms of offensive production as they combined for 44 goals and 45 assists last season and only have four goals and nine assists in 13 games this year.  However, more important than production on the scoreboard is the energy and mentality this line brings to the team.  When they are working the forecheck as they are capable it brings a different mindset to the team and the whole unit gets more pressure on the opposition.  They are slowly getting back to that and when they fully get there the offense will come.  For now the Rangers are getting the production from their primary players and the longer that continues, the focus and pressure on the third line to produce with remain low.