Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rumor: Rangers Frontrunners To Acquire Bobby Ryan

Rumors surrounding Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan have been running wild over the past few days with the New York Rangers speculated to be involved. That speculation increased this evening whenJohn Boruk of CSN Philadelphia, reported that a Bobby Ryan trade is imminent and the Rangers look to be the front runners for the 24-year old winger.

From Boruk’s Twitter:
@JohnBorukCSN #Flyers not involved. #Rangers appear to be front runners. A deal “could” be completed by the end of the week. TB showing interest.

@JohnBorukCSN A source close to the situation tells me a Bobby Ryan trade is imminent. Talks have been ongoing for weeks. I’ll have a blog up soon.

There is no telling until something actually happena how legit the reporting is, but certainly something to watch. Anaheim is going to want a top six forward, top four defender and a pick/prospect. Those hoping Dubinsky and Del Zotto will be enough are dreaming.

Video: What Being A Human Hockey Puck Really Looks Like

Intermission entertainment is part of the experience of going to a live hockey game.  The Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League are giving all fans the ability to see what it is like to be a "human hockey puck" with this first person camera video of it.

Human Hockey Puck GoPro from griffinshockey on Vimeo.

H/T to Puck Daddy

Henrik Lundqvist About To Join Twitter?

Sean Avery has brought spark, a little bit of offense and more discipline than most are used to seeing him have since returning to the New York Rangers earlier this month.  Now Avery is tweeting about another present he would be giving Rangers fans telling everyone that he is in the process of bringing Henrik Lundqvist to twitter.

No idea yet what Lundqvist would tweet about, but it is still something to hear Avery is convincing the Rangers star goaltender to use social media for another level of interaction with the fans.

Rangers Place Andre Deveaux on Waivers

According to Andrew Gross the New York Rangers have placed Andre Deveaux on waivers this afternoon.  The Rangers obviously waited until Deveaux finished serving the three game suspension he received for his elbow to the head of Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann last week.  The move is not a surprise given the play of both Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell since their recall following the Deveaux suspension.

It will be interesting to see if a team in need of some toughness places a claim on Deveaux as he showed he can add toughness and physicality to a fourth line in the NHL during his time with the Rangers.  If he does clear he can help the Connecticut Whale make up for some of the lost offense with Mitchell and Hagelin up with the Rangers.  Deveaux had one assist in nine games with New York

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dominant Second Period Enough For Rangers To Extend Winning Streak To Three

The Rangers scored four straight goals during the second period held on for a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh. The win extended Rangers winning streak to three games and making another early statement in the Eastern Conference.

Callahan started the Rangers scoring and Mitchell, Richards and Gaborik followed to turn a 1-0 deficit into what seemed like a comfortable 4-1 lead.

The Penguins gained life when Evgeni Malkin scored with 6.1 seconds remaining before the second intermission. That momentum carried over to the start of the third as Pascal Dupuis cut the Rangers lead down to one, but New York held on.
  • The power play converted twice, which is a positive, but failures to convert on multiple 5-on-3 advantages cost them the ability to put the game away.
  • Del Zotto was a disaster all night.
  • Hagelin was noticeable again and his pass on Mitchell's goal was top quality.
  • Credit the Rangers offensive stars for stepping up in a big game.

Rangers' Marc Staal Back Skating

Katie Strang of ESPN New York is reporting that New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has begun skating lightly on his own.  Staal is continuing to progress in his recovery after resuming light workouts earlier this month following a full month shut down period.   The fact that Staal was able to resume light workouts with no ill effects that he can now be back on the ice is extremely positive.  That said, there still a long ways for him to go before he is anywhere near ready to play in a game for New York this season.  Staal is checking off one step at a time and with hopefully there will be no setbacks on the road ahead.

Photo: Boomer and Carton Wearing Winter Classic Jerseys

This morning the twitter for Boomer and Carton's WFAN radio show tweeted out a picture of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton wearing New York Rangers 2012 Winter Classic Jerseys.

Obviously they have connections that many others don't so they were able to get theirs now instead of waiting until Dec 5 when the jerseys go on-sale through MSG, and the NHL store.

War of Words Between Rangers' Dubinsky, Flyers' Shelley Adds Intrigue To HBO 24/7

The appeal to fans of HBO’s 24/7 that leads up to NHL Winter Classic is the behind the scenes access it gives them to the teams and players they follow.  Beyond practices and the locker room access there can be a more candid conversation by the players about what they think about other people in the league.  That side of it is out in full force in the past week as Flyer forward Jody Shelley and Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky are having a war of words.

During the preview show for the 24/7 Flyers-Rangers series last week Jody Shelley had choice words for what he thinks of Dubinsky and his game…
Brandon Dubinsky plays like a little weasel. He's a guy you like to get at.
Dubinsky, never bashful for a juicy quote, responded yesterday in talking with Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News:
"First of all, if I was him, I'd keep my mouth shut if I don't play, especially since I never see him on the ice," Dubinsky said of Shelley, who has played in only 10 of Philadelphia's 23 games this season. "He's usually just yapping from the bench, and I guess now he's yapping from behind the video camera. So that's about all I have to say."

But that was not all Dubinsky had to say.

"Jody Shelley - it won't be long before he's out of the league, because he's a terrible hockey player," he added.
This is the kind of stuff that HBO and the NHL wants to drive up interest in the show along with the sport, but this is not something that will go over well with Rangers’ coach John Tortorella.  Tortorella does not seem to be too keen on his players spouting in the media, especially when Dubinsky is struggling to find his own game this season.  It is fun for fans to read this kind of stuff and it is part of what intrigues about 24/7 as a series, but now is not the time for Dubinsky to be getting drawn into a war of words as he sits on the fourth line himself.  More focus from Dubinsky on reclaiming his spot in the top six of the Rangers forward lineup would be better served than worrying about what a fourth line goon had to say about him. The best way for Dubinsky to shut Shelley and everyone else up would be to put a hurting on the Flyers where it counts; the scoreboard.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photo: New York Rangers Reveal Winter Classic Jersey

After months of speculation the New York Rangers have revealed the jerseys that they will wear in the 2012 Bridgstone NHL Winter Classic on January 2, 2012 against the Philadelphia Flyers.  The jersey's will be available starting December 5th at MSG, the NHL store and

The Rangers official twitter also passed along a shot of Callahan, Girardi, Lundqvist and Dubinsky posing together

New York Rangers Winter Classic Jersey Reveal Stream

The New York Rangers will be officially unveiling their jerseys for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at 4 p.m. Here is a live feed of the stream.

Washington Capitals Fire Bruce Boudreau; Hire Dale Hunter

Despite a 201-88-40 regular season record in his time with the Washington Capitals Bruce Boudreau was fired this morning as their head coach.  The Capitals under the Boudreau’s direction had been known for tremendous regular season’s and playoff failures, but this season has been different.  Boudreau appeared to have completely lost his locker room, especially stars Alexander Ovechkin and Alex Semin, which coupled with the team’s recent struggles now finds Boudreau out and replaced with former Capitals captain Dale Hunter.

Speculation of this move began last night with Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet saying that Boudreau could be out within 24-48 hours and Hunter would be the man to replace him.  Now the question will be if the move to Hunter will reignite Ovechkin and Semin to the offensive forces they were before Boudreau tried to install a system more conducive to playoff success.  Will the stars of this team respect a man who has never coached in the NHL or AHL before?  Is Hunter's success as an OHL coach and captain of the Capitals enough to prepare him to deal with the pressure of expectations that Washington has because of their talent level? The answer to that questions will begin tomorrow night when the Capitals play St. Louis who has been inspired by the coaching change to Ken Hitchcock.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prust Sets Tone As Rangers Shutout Flyers 2-0

When the New York Rangers play their best hockey it is a physical, grinding game that limits and frustrates their opponents throughout the game.  New York played that beautifully today in order to down the rival Philadelphia Flyers 2-0.  This was the type of 60 minute effort that the team has not be able to consistently put together thus far, and that is necessary against the better teams.  Playing like this gives the Rangers belief they can compete with any team in the league, if they play their game.  

Brandon Prust set the tone off the opening faceoff when he dropped the gloves with Zac Rinaldo just four seconds into the game.  Prust was not done as he fought Wayne Simmonds later in the period after Simmonds had attempted to start multiple scraps earlier in the period.  The rest of the period saw beautiful hitting, lots of extra-curricular after the whistles and everything you expect from a rivalry game with bad blood.

The excitement continued at the start of the second with the Rangers scoring twice, once legally, in the opening minute of the period.  Brad Richards appeared to score the opening goal 30 seconds into the period, but after review it was determined that Ryan Callahan used his glove to sweep the puck in the net.  Richards would get his power play goal in the end however when he shot from the left circle and beat Bobrovsky far post :54 seconds into the period.  Callahan got a large measure of redemption on the goal as his screen was beautiful and completed stopped Bobrovsky from seeing Richards’ shot.

The Rangers took the 2-0 lead when Carl Hagelin scored his first NHL goal 5:06 into the third period.  The Hagelin goal was the epitome of how the Rangers are when they play at their best.  Hagelin and Mitchell worked the cycle down low against the boards with Mitchell eventually finding McDonagh at the point and Hagelin crashed the net.  Hagelin got the initial rebound on McDonagh’s shot only to be turned aside by Bobrovsky before scoring on his second chance.

Lundqvist was brilliant when he had to be in stopping all 29 Flyers shots to record his second shutout of the season.  Typically the team owes Lundqvist for bailing them out, but this afternoon the defense was extremely stingy in giving up any prime chances and closed off the Flyers top line excellently.  Some of that credit goes to Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, but don’t lose sight of the job done by Richards, Callahan and Ruslan Fedotenko as they were the matched up against Giroux, Hartnell and Voracek all game.
  • Prust might not be playing to the level of last season, but he showed today that he can still lift this team with his fighting.
  • Hagelin and Mitchell are both making cases to stay in the lineup beyond just a short stint and seem to have energized Brian Boyle to an extent.
  • The win gave the Rangers their second consecutive win while improving their home record to 6-1-1, which is the best home start since 1992-93 when they were 7-1-1.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rangers Get Back On Track As Offense Explodes In 6-3 Win

The New York Rangers left behind the offense that scored only once in two games and exploded for six goals to lead the Rangers to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals Friday afternoon.  Ruslan Fedotenko paced the attack with two goals while Brian Boyle, Artem Anisimov, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik all added one.

The Rangers were scoreless in the first period, but a 4:18 span in the second saw them go from struggling to flying offensively.  Marian Gaborik got it started at 3:37 when he took a beautiful feed from Derek Stepan and sniped Michal Neuvirth under the bar.  Artem Anisimov extended the lead with a power play goal off the far post when he took a feed from Ryan McDonagh and blasted it from the left circle.  Ruslan Fedotenko capped the three goal outburst when he Ryan Callahan’s pressure cause a turnover to give Fedotenko his first of the game and second of the season.

The Capitals struck back with two of their own from Brouwer and Carlson before Brian Boyle scored a critical goal late in the period to give the Rangers the crucial 4-2 lead heading into the locker room.  The goal for Boyle was created by excellent work from Carl Hagelin in the corner letting Boyle work out front and his extra effort lead to him finally netting his second of the year.

Richards finished off a beautiful feed from Callahan to extend the lead back to three and following Alex Ovechkin’s goal, Ruslan Fedotenko capped the scoring.
  • Hagelin and Mitchell both played very well in their debuts this season.  Hagelin showcased his speed and strength along the boards.
  • Fedotenko played his most effective game of the year, not just because he scored two goals, but because he got back to being a factor on the forecheck.

Rangers Announce Winter Classic Alumni Game Roster

The New York Rangers announced via Blueshirts United the roster for the Alumni game December 31st at 1:00 PM.

Goalies: Dan Blackburn, John Vanbiesbrouck

Defensemen: Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Laidlaw, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider

Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Pat Hickey, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Darren Turcotte

Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis, Colin Campbell

Ambassadors: Rod Gilbert, Ed Giacomin, Harry Howell

Great to see Vanbiesbrouck back playing in a Rangers uniform, but would love for Mike Richter to get the clearance to play as well.  Mark Messier is hoping to play as well though he will not know until after shoulder surgery early in December.

Rangers Forward Andre Deveaux Suspended Three Games

According to the New York Rangers official twitter forward Andre Deveaux was suspended three games for his elbow to the head of Florida Panthers forward Stephen Weiss on Wednesday night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Breaking: Rangers Recall Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell

According to Andrew Gross the New York Rangers have recalled both Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell from the Connecticut Whale (AHL).  Interesting that the Rangers made two moves up front, which means that someone will get scratched tomorrow. 

Video: Dan Girardi Responds To All-Star Campaign

Fans of the New York Rangers have been doing a phenomenal job in their campaign to get Dan Girardi into the All-Star game.  Girardi came in second thus far amongst all write-in candidates in the first round of voting and he was asked about the campaigns during the first intermission last night.

Will Zuccarello, Hagelin or Another Connecticut Whale Be The One To Replace Deveaux?

New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux is likely to be suspended for his elbow to the head of Tomas Fleischmann leaving the team in need of another forward.  The problem with projecting either as the callup is the utter lack of knowledge as to what Tortorella is looking for from the player he would bring in from the Connecticut Whale.  The bottom six has been atrocious in each of the last two games to the point that you have no idea about which forwards the promoted forward would be playing with when he got here.    

The recent struggles to generate anything offensively lead to speculation surrounding the potential call-ups of either Mats Zuccarello or Carl Hagelin to provide some skill and spark to the team.  Those two should certainly be considered, but the list of considerations likely includes…

Mats Zuccarello:  Zuccarello is the type of creative and skilled player that the lineup could use right now.  He can create for himself and his teammates with his vision and passing ability that can make the game easier for those he plays with.  Zuccarello has performed in Hartford with three goals and nine assists in 11 games thus far this season.  Working against him is that he has not shown production with any consistency at the NHL level and his cap hit works is large for a team with little cap room.  Also, Zuccarello would need a guaranteed top-9 spot to make the call worth it as he is useless as a fourth line player.

Carl Hagelin: Hagelin is continually getting better as his first full professional season moves along.  He has seven goals and six assists 17 games overall this season.  Those numbers are more impressive this month with four goals and three assists in the last seven games, scoring in all but one of those contests.  Hagelin’s speed is his best attribute and is something that the Rangers have been severely lacking in all areas of the ice.  His two-way play would allow him to play the system, aid the forecheck and create offensively.  The biggest detractor from him being the call-up would be uncertainty of his role in the lineup.

John Mitchell: Mitchell is the leading scorer for the Whale with 14 points (7G, 7A) in 17 games this season.  Mitchell is someone that the team can bring up to play a fourth line role without worrying about his development, but can also potentially pitch in a little offensively.

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault:  JAM is an unlikely choice for the call, but he has the skill and grit to add to the team.  The biggest knock on him will be about his size.

If the cap will allow the move, then Zuccarello is the easy move for management to make as it gives Zuccarello another chance to prove himself as a regular in the top-9 at the NHL level.  In the case that the cap will not allow that to be the move, then Hagelin would be the move for me as long as he is going to get significant ice time.  Playing him 5-7 minutes a game in the NHL is not better for his development in comparison with logging major ice-time in the AHL.  Kris Newbury likely would be the move if all were equal, but he is currently serving a four game suspension that should rule him out of contention. 

In the end it will come down to the role that Tortorella is trying to fill with the move and what he makes of the play from Boyle, Fedotenko, Prust, Avery and Christensen when he makes that call.  Needing more offense should result in Zuccarello (cap permitting) or Hagelin being the guy.