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Posts Tagged ‘Backman’

The Rangers signed Wade Redden, formerly of the Ottawa Senators, to a 6 year contract worth about $6.5 million per year. Redden is 31 years old, and had 6 goals and 32 assists last season while logging an average of 22:12 of ice time per game. The Rangers hope Redden will be the Power Play quarterback they’ve been missing.

In other news, the Rangers will be bringing back MIchal Rozsival for 4 more years at $5 million per year.

The Rangers now figure to (finally) have a solid core of defensemen, and will (finally) have some depth at the position. My guess is that Redden, Rozsival, Staal, Tyutin, and Girardi will form the core, and that Bobby Sanguinetti will get the call up to the big show. Christian Backman is also on the roster and should see some ice time (unfortunately).

In other other news, the Rangers added some more size up front with the signing of 6’4″ 220 lb. Patrick Rissmiller away from the San Jose Sharks.

I should also note that the Rangers re-signed backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette. The terms have yet to be disclosed.

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I spent a little more time on NHLnumbers.com (my new favorite website)… And you know what I realized? Glen Sather loves to overpay for defense.

Take a look at the Rangers defense from this past season (in reverse order of suckitude):

Michal Rozsival – $2.4 mil
Marc Staal – 850K
Dan Girardi – 550K
Fedor Tyutin – $1.025 mil
Jason Strudwick – 500K
Christian Backman – $2.2 mil
Paul Mara – $3 mil
Marek Malik – $2.5 mil
Darius Kasparaitis – $3.116 mil

How can you justify paying Backman, Mara, Malik, and Kasparaitis a combined $10.8 million? That’s inane/insane. And, in case you were wondering, Christian Backman is set to make $3.4 million next season! So, the Rangers traded a 4th round pick for a guy who A) might dress as the team’s 6th defenseman or more likely will spend the season riding the pine; and B) is going to make $3.4 million while doing that.

Good trade by Blues GM President John Davidson.

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Lauri Korpikoski is going to play center for the 4th line between Sjostrom and Hollweg.  Renney dangled this possibility before game 4, but this time it’s actually going to happen.

Strudwick is in for Backman.  Prucha will probably be on the 2nd line again just like game 4.

Here we go.

Let’s go Rangers!

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On the front lines, Petr Prucha and Brendan Shanahan switched spots, meaning Prucha skated on the 2nd line with Scott Gomez and Sean Avery, while Shanny skated on the 4th line with Blair Betts and Fred Sjostrom.  The Rangers used this lineup in the last game of the regular season against the Devils.

On D, Jason Strudwick skated in place of Christian Backman, and Paul Mara looks to be the D-man who will take over Backman’s duties playing point on the power play.

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Here once again is the definitive series preview, brought to you by a joint effort of the creators of this blog. The Rangers posted a 5-3 record against the Penguins this season. Can Henrik Lundqvist keep Sid the Kid and his cronies from punching the Rangers out of the playoffs? The only way to find out is to keep reading.

It’s on the long side, so click the “more” link below to continue reading.

(more…)

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Maybe I’m missing something here… but why in the world would a team choose to shoot first in the shootout? I don’t get it. More on this game later today.

Ok, I thought about this one a little more.  And, I still don’t get it.  I see the point that if your team scores first then it puts the pressure on the other team to match.  Ok, point taken, but let’s be honest, it’s a stupid point.  There’s a reason the home team in baseball gets last licks.  It’s an advantage.  Shooting last in a tied shootout is like having the opportunity to hit a walk-off homerun.  There is no reason for a team to relinquish that position.

As for the game itself, it really kills me to lose a game like this.  The Rangers had a nice comeback to get the game tied, but I felt that the Rangers fell behind in the first place because they had no puck luck at all.  The Rangers definitely outplayed the Islanders for the entire first period, only to give up a fluky late goal off Rozsival’s skate.  The Islanders 3rd goal was also kind of fluky.  Lundqvist struggled to play the puck (thanks to the stupid trapezoid rule) and after the puck popped around to the front of the net, the Islanders simply threw the puck towards the net and it trickled in off a deflection through Lundqvist’s legs.

Lundqvist did not look sharp for a lot of the game.  Don’t get me wrong… I think he played well, especially in the shootout, where he made some awesome saves — the right pad save on Comrie was pretty unreal.  I’m just saying that for most of the game he didn’t look particularly sharp.   As a goalie, I can tell you that there are times where you just don’t feel as sharp as you would like.  Maybe you’re fighting the puck a little, or maybe your head is not in the game.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re playing poorly, but when fluky goals are going in off the inside of your skate or trickling in through your legs, you’re not playing your best.

Is it me, or does Backman look a little overmatched on defense?  He was out of position on several occasions, and that was just on Rangers in 60.  Plus, there was a play late in the 2nd period where he threw a blind pass behind his own net that went directly to an Islander and led to a scoring chance.  I’m not impressed with his play so far and I’d rather see Strudwick for a few games, at least until Backman has had more time to practice with his new teammates.

The Rangers penalty killing gets an A+ for this game.

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Maybe the defense was asleep. Maybe the refs forgot the rules of hockey. Maybe Christian Backman got 10 penalty minutes (6 officially but it was him that made Cole’s face bleed, not Marc Staal. See second “maybe.”).

But does that really matter? Henrik played pretty well and Malik of all people had a sound game. He threw at least TWO HITS! And, oh yeah, we won!
The young’uns again showed us why they are still playing in the big leagues. Dubinsky completely fooled Ward with a beautiful deke to his backhand that he buried top shelf (Props to Jagr for the steal and the blind drop pass to set the whole thing up). Callahan stood up for himself by fighting Conboy. Dawes looked like he knew where everyone was on the ice at all times. Especially when he set up Shanny for the go-ahead-by-two goal.

***

Fredrik Sjostrom and Christian Backman played their first games as Rangers last night. Sjostrom played on the fourth line with Betts and Hollweg and played very well. He even made a nice drive to the net that needed a fair bit of effort on the part of Cam Ward.

Backman played alright except that he took quite a few penalties. He was the cause of 10 penalty minutes even though he was only charged with 6.

Now this doesn’t mean that I’m throwing him under the bus. I’m just waiting to see him play a few more games. For all we know, he was a nervous wreck last night. Hell, I would’ve been.

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