Friday, December 4, 2009

Rough Times Continue for Valiquette in Hartford...

In his '09 debut with the Hartford Wolf Pack tonight in Manchester, NH, Steve Valiquette continued his disastrous play with a 7-1 loss to the Manchester Monarchs. He let up 3 goals on his first 9 shots in the first period and was pulled 9 minutes into the game in exchange for Matt Zaba.  Zaba didnt fare too well either, giving up 2 goals on 4 shots and only lasting a little over 10 minutes in net. Vally was put back in net to start the 2nd period and played the remainder of the game giving up 2 more goals. His final save tally was 26 saves on 31 shots. I cant say that the Wolf Pack played an outstanding game, being outshot 35-20, but with that said Vally still was not on his game. (Full Game Recap @ Our Sports Central)

This is disappointing and truthfully very sad. The hope was to send Vally down to the AHL to work on his game, up his confidence and return (possibly) to the Rangers to keep his spot behind Lundqvist.  As time goes by this is seeming more and more unlikely. In the final year of his contract as a Ranger, Valiquette has very little margin for error. If things keep up, the Rangers are more than likely not going to resign him at year's end, and honestly I cant think of many teams who will be knocking on his door either.
As an NHL caliber goaltender, Valliquette should have had no problem playing in the AHL. We were all wondering if this was just a bad slump, but after tonights performance, it seems like it is a sign of a Rangers future without Vally included.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Most Valuable NHL Teams from

                                                                                     has a feature article on the NHL's most valuable teams. This puts a financial perspective on the NHL, looking at it simply as a business. No shock, the Rangers showed up at #2 with a team value of $416 million.

Below are the links for both the full article as well as the slideshow of teams and their team values.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Video: Ryan Callahan-Tough Guys of the NHL

Ryan Callahan was featured in this week's edition of the NHL/Timerland's Tough Guys of the NHL. Check out the video feature below and the full article at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thoughts from Rangers 4-1 Loss @ Vancouver

  • So, Gaborik is NOT in fact Superman, and he cant save us all the time. He did it last game against Boston and has done it all season so far coming up clutch in third periods. Didn't happen tonight but lets hope the rest of the squad can pick up the scoring and we wont need his clutch heroics so often. 
  • Chris Higgins CAN score.  For all those who doubted that, #21 picked up his first goal of the season and first as a Ranger. Lets hope that this is a sign of more to come from Higgins. He has been clearly off his game due to his lack of scoring and hopefully with that load lifted off his shoulders he will be able to contribute more.
  • What happened to the Ranger Power Play from the beginning of the season?? The powerplay tonight was looking all too much like the 2008-2009 powerplay horror. Vancouver was 22nd in the league at the PK coming into tonight, but were able to hold the Blueshirts to 0-5 of the PP tonight. Not good when the goals aren't coming as easily,they need to be able to tally a few when given the man advantage.
  • Penalties continue to be a problem. Torts will not be happy about that as he has been stressing it all season long. Rozsival's hooking penalty at 13:26 was really the hardest one to swallow, as that gave Vancouver the opportunity to score their third goal and give themselves a 3-1 lead with less than 6 minutes left in the game. 
  • Lundqvist played phenomenal once again tonight. Not much else he could have done to prevent those goals. Turnovers, missed clears and open men in front...sounds like the job of defensemen and forwards, not goaltenders.
  • Great game from Ales Kotalik.  In my opinion he was the best Ranger forward tonight by far. He didn't show up on the scorecard but he led the team in shots (5), clearly had the best chances and seemed to be on his game.
  • How about Dane Byers holding his own in the toughness category. He is making the most of his time up in the NHL by playing the tough guy role that Torts likes in him. He does not back down from a fight and stands up for his teammates. Somebody had to step up and do that (ahem Brashear). Nice to see, well done Dane.
Photo: (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TSN Power Rankings- NYR #6

TSN released this weeks edition of its NHL Power Rankings. Although, the Rangers dropped to #10 in ESPN's rankings (what do they know, they dont even like hockey!) this week, TSN bumped them up one spot to #6 overall.

Here is what they had to say about the Rangers:
"The goals aren't coming easily for the Blueshirts, who have just four in the last three games, but sniper Marian Gaborik missed the previous two (both losses) and then got the only marker in his return -- a Rangers win." 

Check out the rest of the Power Rankings at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rangers/Sharks...Versus FAIL!

I understand that Versus is more inclined to broadcasting bull riding and mixed martial arts, but give me a break...would 33 total games in 3 NHL seasons make any sense!?!?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rangers win again...make it 7 straight

Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Another great performance by Henrik and the Blueshirts tonight in Toronto.  They pick up their 7th straight win and are now 7-1 on the season. Their win also continued Toronto's dismal winless streak, who actually didn't look too bad at times in this game.
In  much of the first period and part of the second, Henrik kept the Rangers in it stopping the flurry of shots coming from the Maple Leafs.  Through the first 15 minutes, the Leafs outshot the Rangers 11-4. The turning point of the game, in my opinion, came when the Leafs had a 5 on 3 after Del Zotto and Boyle picked up penalties. Killing the 5 on 3, Ryan Callahan chased a puck in the neutral zone after clearing the zone and was slashed by Ponikarovsky. This ended the 5 on 3 and just thirty seconds later,  Brandon Dubinsky scored to make it 1-0.
From this point on, it seemed that the Rangers picked up their game. They showed more control in their offensive zone and were better defensively. Not to say that the Leafs didnt keep the shots coming, they did. But King Henrik stood tall, only allowing one goal on 35 total shots which came during the second period after making the initial two saves on the play. Cant fault him on that one, he made the stops he needed to make but the Leafs were able to pick up a rebound a put it in the back of the net.
In the third it was all Blueshirts after Enver Lisin scored his first goal as a New York Ranger and seemed to take the life out of the Maple Leafs. Both the crowd and the Leafs seemed out of it at that point and the Rangers controlled for the rest of the third.

A few thoughts from tonight:

**Nice to see Dubinsky continuing to rack up points. I know we saw his hot start dwindle last season, but something tells me that being on the line with Gabby and Prospal will keep his scoring up for quite a while.

**Congrats to Enver Lisin for picking up his first goal as a Ranger. Hoping for more to come.

**Redden seemed to have turned his game around drastically from last season, nice to see that money put to good use somewhat. Rozy is also improving slowly, key word there, slowly.

**Interesting stat: The oldest goal scorer tonight for the Rangers was just 23. Enver Lisin, beating out Duby in age by just 7 days.  Its nice to see that the future of this team is in good hands.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Few Thoughts from Rangers 3-2 Win over Capitals...

Just a few thoughts from tonights 3-2 win over the Capitals...

First of all, Marian Gaborik is that good! The Slovak really has shown his stuff these past two games. Tonight's two goal, one assist effort was truly exciting to watch and even more exciting to hope for this season. I know this has been harped on numerous times, but barring any injuries, we have a 50 goal scorer on our hands...

Chris Drury seemed to be invisible this game. Apart from that penalty kill where he stole the puck from Ovechkin, sprinted for a breakaway and drew a penalty, I didn't notice much from him tonight. He is either doing all the little things that don't get notice, or he is just not the same Drury from a few years ago that we desperately need this year. I was hoping for a turnaround year for Drury this year, but it just doesnt look like he has any spark in his step. I hope i'm wrong...

Did anyone else wonder what was with the Third Star selection at the conclusion of the game...Wade Redden??? Just in case I missed some of his stats, I checked the box score and saw 0 goals, 0 assists, 1 shot and a +2 rating. The only thing impressive on his stats for the night was his ice time, 23:50, the most out of both squads (yes, even more than #8). Is that enough to claim 3rd Star selection? I guess so. What about Chris Higgins and his 2 point night, assisting on Gaborik's second goal and netting the game winning goal with just over a minute to go in the game? Either i'm not familiar with the criteria for 3 Stars and ice time precedes game winning goals, or something else was going on. Maybe there was some sympathy for Redden and his not so favorable popularity with the fans, that there was an effort to use the excitement from the win to trick the fans into not booing Redden. If so, it partially worked..I heard some boos from the crowd, but definitely less than usual.  Who knows...    

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 Rangers Preview featured the NY Rangers in their 30 teams in 15 days season preview.  Check out what Adam Kimelman had to say about the blueshirts...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Waiting for Dubinsky

Over these past few weeks the issue of Brandon Dubinsky's signing has been at the forefront of Rangers news.  Supposedly, Dubinsky definitely wants to return as a NY Ranger and Glen Sather and the Ranger organization shares that same desire.  So the back and forth between Sather and Dubinsky's agent, Kurt Overhardt, has been and still is about the money involved.  From what I understand, Sather has the upper hand in this case, as Dubinsky is still a youngster and is a restricted free agent.  So, Sather has the right to low ball him and try to get him for cheap at least for this year.

The only thing that puzzles me is how this whole negotiation situation could be taking so long. I always thought that a negotiation starts with one side presenting an offer, the other side providing their counter-offer and then a compromise is made somewhere in the middle. Obviously I understand that its not exactly that simple, but it shouldn't be as complicated as it has been made up to this point. This whole process has been going on for so long that obviously both sides (Sather and Dubinsky's agent) know what they want and what the other side wants. How much more negotiation can be going on?? It has come to a point, so late in training camp, that each side should be coming to a breaking point. If the Rangers can't get him for the price they want and Dubinsky cant get what he feels he's worth, why even bother with the further "negotiations", lets just all move on.

Dubinsky is the one getting the short end of the stick here, because if he does end up settling and signing with the Rangers, he would have missed Tortorella's world famous training camp and will be that much more behind his teammates in his readiness for the upcoming season. Likewise, if he ends up on another team, he will have missed their training camp as well.

It seems as though there is something we aren't being told...simple contract negotiation between two very interested parties should not take this long...

Friday, September 11, 2009

What to expect from Rangers Camp

Tomorrow morning marks the first day of training camp for the Rangers. According to today's interview with John Tortorella, the team is in for a grueling first few days. Check out Blueshirt Banter for a rundown of the training camp schedule released today. It seems like Torts wasn't kidding when he said he takes conditioning very seriously. Camp will really set the players apart in regards to who is in shape and who may not be up to par. Just about the only thing set in stone so far for this season is the conditioning expectations. There are a number of things which are still up in the air and we can simply wonder about...

Today when Torts was describing the workout routines, he mentioned that Marian Gaborik and Ales Kotalik would not be participating in the evening 3-mile runs. He said that although they are healthy according the the Rangers doctors, they are staying on the safe side by allowing them to skip the long runs. Instead they will take part in some other conditioning exercise. What does this say about Gaborik and Kotalik's health? I thought that when the contract signings went through, we were all told that they were 100% healthy. Gaborik's health has been all thats been spoken about by the media as far as the value of his big ticket contract. Will his fragility stop at 3-mile runs, or will he also be wearing the "no contact" practice jersey during camp? Once the season gets going in just a few weeks, Gabby has to be ready to fill the role of the Ranger's #1 forward, and being the target of every hard hitting goon on opposing teams. Seeing how Torts is as a coach, I do not think that he will keep Gaborik in his porcelain case all throughout camp, he will make sure that he's ready for full time, full impact hockey.
All in all, im hoping that this is just playing the safe card and not the beginning of another Sather contract blunder.

Whats with Duby?! I know that everyne is sick of hearing about Dubinsky's contract or lack thereof, but according to reports today from Steve Zipay at Newsday, both sides were unable to reach an agreement and Duby will not begin training camp with the rest of the team.  How much longer will this go on? Sather needs to   accept that Dubinsky is the future of the league and pay him what he is worth and what he deserves. Attempting to pay him less than he made last year is truly a slap in the face. They need to agree on a long term deal, in which case the Rangers would be able to lock him in at a reasonable price. If they sign him for a low one year deal and he has a breakout year, his price next year wont be too favorable for Glen. How can Sather have no problem spending millions on big name players, but not decide on a fair contract for a player who demonstrates so much heart and talent. I just don't get it....hopefully a favorable decision will be in the works soon.

A few closing questions...

How will the new players gel as a unit? Most of these guys have not played together yet and with the limited scrimmage time Torts is allowing in the first few days, how long will it take for the lines to come together and click. Hopefully Drury and Kotalik pick up from where they left off in Buffalo and can make something work...Hopefully Duby can get on the ice as soon as possible and start clicking with Gabby....There are a number of hopefullys that can finish this paragraph, but we will just let time tell.    

How will Henrik Lundqvist prepare for this season and the upcoming Olympic games? Will he fall in line with Torts opinion on sitting a few more games this year? Will he come back tired and sluggish after the Olympics? My thoughts are that Henrik will be able to handle it. He has played 70+ games in the past 3 out of 4 seasons and knows what it takes to be conditioned. This will be his second Olympics, so hopefully he will be more prepared this time around and will know what to expect.

With all these questions, there is nothing else to do but wait and see....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rangers beat Red Wings in Traverse City and improve to 2-1

FINAL SCORE:     Rangers 4       Red Wings 3

The Rangers kept in stride with the Red Wings prospects, following the Red Wings' shots on goal nearly tripling after the first period.
Ethan Werek and Luke Walker (2nd of game) scored in the second on only a total of 5 Ranger shots that period.  Detroit picked up all three of their goals in the third period, with the third goal coming with just 24 seconds left in the game after pulling their goalie.
The Rangers improve to 2-1 and the Red Wings fall to 1-2.

Complete box score @ 

Rangers vs Red Wings in Traverse City

After one period of play, the Rangers prospects have a 2 goal lead on the Red Wings, 2-0.

Goals by Daniel Bartek and Luke Walker.

Updates at

TSN's 30 Teams in 30 Days: NY Rangers has been rating all NHL teams according to their "Preseason Power Rankings".  The Rangers came in at #22. Oddly, there was no mention of King Henrik, Drury or Callahan...

Naturally, the first item discussed was Marian Gaborik's health and potential. Nothing we haven't heard before, except for a cute little joke thrown into the mix this time..

 "The Rangers are throwing a lot of their eggs in the Gaborik basket, believing that the silky Slovak will flourish now that he's freed of the shackles of the Minnesota Wild.  

Gaborik's level of skill is unquestioned, but like the aforementioned eggs, he is extremely fragile. He has suffered groin injuries throughout his career, while hip surgery limited him to just 17 games last season."  
They also give mention of the still unresolved issue of Dubinsky's contract, which even they agree must be taken care of ASAP by Sather and the Rangers staff.  They predicted a similar outcome to what Duby has been saying all along,"any day now"...but when?!?!?

There was a large section devoted to Sean Avery and his off color behavior.  Here's what they had to say on their prediction for Avery's behavior issue...
"Avery has had a limited shelf-life with any team he joined.  While 'The Mouth' can be an extremely effective player on the ice, he can also wear out his welcome with teammates, coaches, management and fans very quickly. Avery was on his best behaviour in his return engagement on Broadway, but can only remain silent for so long. A leopard can't change its spots and Avery's history is well documented.  At some point this season, chances are that he makes himself the centre of attention and annoys those around him." 
Valid point, but something in me convinces me to believe that Avery has changed for the better and that he is due for a great season. As long as he can manage to keep his craziness to a manageable level, Torts will be okay with him and his play will reap major benefits for the team.

Check out the rest of the TSN article at

Vinny Prospal has some words about Torts

In an article by Damian Cristodero at, Vinny Prospal has a few words about his previous and now soon to be coach, John Tortorella:

"The thing is, the relationship I have with Torts is way beyond coach and player," Prospal said. "I saw him even last year when he didn't have a job and was on TV and we were in contact. we stopped by his place two or three times, and we talked about other stuff than just hockey. The way people see it is because of that incident, what I said after the game against Montreal. people don't realize it has nothing to do with the relationship between us. That was always about hockey. For some reason, Torts has some kind of power or vision of how to make me play better, and it works."
More Prospal on Torts: "He's got a game face on nine months out of the year. There's nothing else for him but the game of hockey. People don't realize when hockey is over, he's a totally different person."
Contrast this to what Prospal had to say about his coach in a postgame interview two seasons back when Torts, then the Tampa Bay Lightning coach, bumped him down a line to try to get Brad Richards more scoring opportunities. 
From what Vinny said this time around about Torts and the impact he has on his game, Vinny's performance this season will be something to look forward to. He should have a strong season and register at least 20 goals for the Rangers if not more, which would be a steal for his free agency sticker price.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blair Betts may be a Flyer in a few weeks...

News is that Blair Betts has been invited by the Philadelphia Flyers to attend their training camp. Good news for Betts who has been waiting around for a team, since the Rangers lost interest in him a few months ago. My opinion is that letting Bettsy go was a bad move, as he was the Rangers' best penalty killer and shot blocker possibly one of the best PK in the league.

We'll see in a few weeks if Betts ends up as a fourth liner for the Flyers, chances are the Flyers would be glad to take him. If thats the case, the Rangers will be seeing him at least 6 times a year (not counting possible playoffs); and unless our powerplay takes a 180degree turn for the better this year, his PK skills will probably come back to bite us.

                     (Photo Courtesy of Rangers Report)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Video from Rangers 4-1 victory over Thrashers in Traverse City

A short video of some of today's highlights from the Traverse City tournament. The Rangers prospects came out on top 4-1 against the Atlanta Thrashers. Video courtesy of Hockey's Future.

NY Rangers Prospects over Thrashers 4-1

In a much different game, the Rangers prospects redeemed themselves today in a big way by beating Evander Kane and the Atlanta Thrashers youngsters 4-1.  Mr. top six pick Evander Kane, picked up the first goal of the game along with 6 shots but ultimately posted a -1 +/- rating and couldn't do enough to rise above the Rangers squad.
Kudos to Rangers netminder Chad Johnson who stopped 28 of 29 shots and helped carry the team to victory.  The offense was lead in a big way by 6"2 forward Dale Weise who picked up a goal and 2 assists and a +2 rating overall.
Evgeny Grachev picked up his game after a quiet performance yesterday against Carolina, picking  up a goal, 5 shots and a +4 rating.  Hopefully he keeps stepping up his game and gets noticed by Torts as we wind down to Training Camp.  I think he would make a great addition to the lineup, possibly holding down a fourth line spot or even third line. With a good showing in the prospects tourney who knows the possibilities.

For full Box Score stats on this game check out

Ranger Prospects take on Atlanta in Traverse City

The New York Ranger youngsters just began todays game against the Atlanta Thrashers.  Although yesterday didn't work out quite as planned for the Blueshirt prospects, today is a new day.  Notes from yesterdays game painted a picture of sloppy mental play by the Rangers as far as taking too many penalties. Although they were able to successfully kill off 5 out of 5 penalties, it took some tempo out of their play.  They kept close in shots on goal and were lead by stellar play by young goaltender Scott Stajcer, saving 35 out of 39 shots.
Today they are taking on this years 6th top pick in the entry draft, Evander Kane, and the rest of the Atlanta prospects. Hopefully they took something away from yesterdays game and can build on it to secure a victory.

Current Score @ 0:49 left in the 1st period...Rangers 1 Thrashers 1
-with goals by ATL- Evander Kane (Darryl Smith, Drew Paris) 15:25
                 NYR-Samuel Klassen (Roman Horak, Luke Walker) 17:06

2nd Period Update
In a penalty packed period from both teams, the Rangers were able to put another notch on the scoreboard making it 2-1 at the end of the second period. Tomas Kundratek (assisted by Ethan Werek) scored the periods only goal, with the rest of the Ranger squad keeping up the pressure with 12 shots. Solid play by Rangers goaltender Chad Johnson, stopping all 8 shots that period, and 17 of 18 for the game so far.

Stay Tuned...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Leafs Acquire 2nd Round Pick, Gearing Up for Dubinsky?" from Blue Seat Blogs

Blue Seat Blogs posted an unsettling realization regarding Toronto GM Brian Burke's most recent trade acquisition of a 2010 2nd round pick. This possibly puts him in line to pursue Brandon Dubinsky who is a RFA...follow link below

Also check out Scotty Hockey for more on this...follow link below

"Rangers Open Play in Traverse City Today" from Rangers Official Site

Dan David over at gives an update on the Traverse City Tournament...follow link below

"Rangers: Keys to Success" from Puck Central

This morning, guest blogger on Puck Central Patrick Hoffman (from, discusses some crucial questions surrounding the Blueshirts' upcoming season. Questions like Gabby's health, this year's power play, and the lingering question of the #1 center...follow link below

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Rangers' Gilroy looking forward to earning his spot" from

Dan Rosen, writing for, has a piece on Rangers rookie and 2009 Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy.  He discusses Gilroy's future as far as ensuring a D spot and his potential impact on the team..follow link below

"Ranger FanFest 2009" from Scotty Hockey

Scotty Hockey posted a first hand experience of today's Rangers FanFest, a special event for season subscribers who paid via Amex.  Although not entirely thrilled by the rescheduled event, he describes his experience...follow link below

"Rangers Prospects head to Traverse City" from The Rangers Tribune

The Rangers Tribune covers the upcoming annual Prospects Tournament held in Traverse City, Michigan. It includes the full roster that the Rangers is sending to the tournament...follow link below

"Rangers Squeeze Dubinsky"- from Larry Brooks at NY Post

Larry Brooks from New York Post discussed the ever so popular discussion of Brandon Dubinsky's future with the Blueshirts, giving new details to the ever so complicated string of events...follow link below

"Meet the Rangers" Season Subscriber Event from PuckCentral

Puck Central gives a recap on the "Meet the Rangers" event held for season subscribers to introduce some of the new additions to the team...follow link below

All NYR...all the time

As a Rangers fan for as far as I can remember, I always had to be in the know as far as team news and updates.  With the advent of blogs and up to the minute news sites, getting this news quickly became easier than ever.  But, once I found my favorite news sites and blogs I had another problem.  Checking each separate blog for their news updates became time consuming and annoying. I wanted each reporter's/blogger's opinions and news stories all in one place.  This is what I try to deliver with this blog. I do not claim authorship of any of the articles, I am simply putting them all in one place for all to see.  I will of course provide the links to the original sources and give credit as far as the author and website.
With the new season rapidly approaching, well see how this experiment goes...