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Posts Tagged ‘MSG’

No Brandon!  You’re on TV!!!

Oh well.

The Boys over at Top Gear on BBC have outdone themselves.  After playing a game of soccer with cars, they have now played a game of ice hockey… with cars.

Hockeyness starts at 2:43.

Picks after the jump… (more…)

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Lightning Canadiens HockeyYes, we made picks yesterday and no, we didn’t post them.  We’re sorry.  But just to show our dedication to this, I am revealing to everyone that Marc and I both picked the Habs as our gimmies last night. The Habs lost. To the Lightning.  That’s right, the Lightning.

Last night, I went 5-3 and dropped my first gimmie of the season by picking the Habs over the Bolts.  Marc also went 4-4 and also dropped his gimmie by picking the Habs.  Rory went 3-5 last night but did not pick the Habs as her gimmie.  She went with the Sharks who won.

Oh well.  Let’s get to some news:

Petr Prucha’s days in a Rangers uniform may be numbered.  Andrew Gross over at Ranger Rants has this:

Renney was asked whether Prucha’s latest three-game stint was enough of a sample for him.

“Yup,” Renney said. “If it wasn’t, he would still be in. He gave me everything he could. It depends also on what you need. Nigel is in primarily because of his ability to score and help create offense. Also, he’s a playmaker. He helps, I think, supplement what we might need offensive by his ability to make plays. It’s where we are and what we need to generate. It’s capitalizing on guys that have been out of the lineup that want badly to get back in and do the right thing as they do that.”

So there you have it.  Nigel Dawes: playmaker.  Did anyone actually notice Dawes in that game on Wednesday night?  I mean besides the time in the third when he blew his golden opportunity.

The Islanders got absolutely destroyed last night by the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Enjoy:

Picks coming as soon as I clear all these hats out of the way… (more…)

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(Yes, this is late.  Midterms.  Suck it.)

Really? – The Dallas Stars? – They’re 1-3-1, and we can’t beat them? Seriously?

I’ll be quite honest, I was looking forward to this game since this season’s schedule came out. Actually, I look forward to The Lundqvist Bowl every year (more on that later), but this year was different. Because it was the return of Sean Avery. I always loved him as a Ranger, and even up until tonight, I was still a big fan of his. I actually wore my Avery shirt the other day, come to think of it. Yes, he had expressed frustration in what he felt was being rejected by the Rangers, then seeing them turn around and give the contract he wanted to someone else. But, honest as he was, he was still gracious(as gracious as Sean Avery gets), and left his teammates out of it, which proved to me that I was totally justified in still liking him beyond his Ranger tenure.

Until tonight. You, Sean Avery, are an ass. Are you an ass for yapping at anyone and everyone during warm-ups? No. Are you an ass for getting all up in Hank’s grill on the first whistle? No. I expected you to pull all that shit. Looked forward to it, actually.

No, you are an ass for this: “Valiquette is really a minor-leaguer and he’s got to get noticed, so what better way than to talk about me?” [Source: Sam Weinman’s Rangers Report] (Ed. Note:  He’s 2-0 with a shutout!)

Also, you’re an ass for this:

With at least half a dozen onlookers nearby, Avery emerged from the Stars locker room with about four minutes remaining in the break and unleashed a barrage of obscenity at Giannone. Unclear what lit the fuse.

During his tirade, when Avery reportedly made a remark about Giannone’s wife, the broadcaster fired back. [Source: Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes]

Going after an announcer and a back-up goalie? You are one classy bitch, Sean Avery. One classy bitch.

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Check out this article from abovethelaw.com for an interesting legal perspective on MSG’s battle with the NHL.

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Remember way back in September 2007 when the Rangers sued the NHL over the website?

At the time, the Rangers were outraged when the NHL insisted that MSG transfer control over the Rangers independently produced website, “newyorkrangers.com”, so that the league could convert it into one of 30 “cookie-cutter” club websites at “rangers.nhl.com.” 

Well, a judge ruled in favor of the NHL, and the Rangers website is now one of those dreaded cookie-cutter sites.

Now, Gary Bettman (current commissioner of the NHL——former lowly associate at a NY Big Law shop), has filed a letter in court threatening to kick the owners of the Rangers out of the league.

Yup, you read that right.  Bettman’s letter threatened to suspend or terminate MSG’s ownership as punishment for accusing league officials of violating antitrust laws.  (see ESPN article)

Now, I’m not a lawyer or anything (just 2/3 of a lawyer).  But, just to get this straight, here’s a summary:

  • The private owners of a business (the Rangers) involved in a joint venture (the NHL) sue to preserve their rights to an independent website.
  • They lose, and give in to the joint venture’s demands.
  • Now, the joint venture threatens to kick them out solely because they had the gall to say, “we want to run our own website.”

Seems a little excessive to me.  You be the judge.

Tell Gary Bettman what you think of his letter:  gbettman@nhl.com

 

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After a 3-0 shutout, the Rangers have forced a game 5 this Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Henrik Lundqvist was sensational in the win tonight.  Jaromir Jagr made the most of what was potentially his last game at MSG, with 2 goals and an assist. Brandon Dubinsky added a sweet power play goal. And Chris Drury, fighting through a rib injury, managed to play 20:40 and win 15 of 24 faceoffs! Great win for the Rangers.

I want to be cautious with hope here… but if the Rangers can pull out a win on Sunday, the series is 3-2 coming back to MSG. That’s pretty manageable. Just gotta win the next one.

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As if coming back from 0-3 in the series wasn’t going to be hard enough, the Rangers are going to have to do with it without Sean Avery (lacerated spleen), Blair Betts (broken bone in face), and without a 100% Chris Drury (torso injury). Drury is probable but after watching him skate at half speed and not taking any faceoffs in the 3rd period of game 3, I have to think he’s playing hurt.

So, where does that leave the Rangers? Well, the situation is not very good. Betts and Drury are the team’s top penalty killers, and the Penguins power play was destroying the Rangers despite Betts and Drury’s best efforts. I would be surprised to see Drury on the penalty kill even if he does play tonight. Now, without their services, it will be up to Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan, and possibly Brandon Dubinsky to really step up their penalty killing.

Who is going to fill the empty spots in the lineup? Hartford call-up Lauri Korpikoski is going to play center for the 4th line but it’s not clear who will play wing and it’s also not clear who will play on the 2nd line in place of Sean Avery. It will be some combination of Prucha, Orr, and Hollweg. Korpikoski, the 19th overall pick in the 2004 draft, will be making his NHL debut tonight. Hopefully he can make the most of his 2-3 shifts per period. I think Prucha makes the most sense to fill in on the 2nd line. On Defense, Jason Strudwick will play along side Paul Mara in place of Christian Backman.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation does not look very good. But, there is still some hope. The Rangers have lost 3 in a row, but the Pens haven’t exactly dominated the Rangers in this series. The Rangers let a 3-goal lead slip through their fingers in game 1, and in game 3 the Rangers dominated the flow of the game but couldn’t capitalize on scoring chances as effectively as the Penguins.

It’s possible, right?

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I have to admit I completely underestimated the Penguins before this series. I look back at my series preview and I can’t believe I gave the edge to the Rangers offense. I let the flashy shot totals from the regular season get to my head. What I didn’t take into account was which team was going to capitalize on their scoring chances.

These Penguins certainly know how to put the puck into the net, scoring on 5 out of 17 shots in this game. You can’t fault Lundqvist. His save percentage looks terrible on paper, but not one of those goals was his fault. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad either.

How did the Penguins score 5 goals? It’s as simple as this: The Penguins offense was faster than the Rangers defense with and without the puck. The Rangers defense was burned several times, and frequently coughed up the puck throughout the game.

In the 2nd period, the Rangers seemed to have stolen the momentum after tying the game at 3 and keeping possession deep in the Penguins zone for well over a minute and a half. Then, Ryan Hollweg took a braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.  The Penguins power play, which was absolutely killer, capitalized to make it 4-3. The Pens only had 2 power play chances, but scored on both. (The Rangers went 0 for 5).

So where do the Rangers go from here? The series isn’t technically over, but really, it is.

I’d be surprised if the Rangers can even pull out a win in game 4.

Game notes: I’m not sure what happened to Drury, but he’s definitely hurt. After missing most of the 2nd period, he came back in the 3rd but wasn’t taking faceoffs. (Avery skated at center with Drury on the wing). Blair Betts might be seriously hurt after blocking a slapshot. Renney tried a number of different line combinations, but none of them seemed to work. I really don’t like seeing Brendan Shanahan on the 4th line. Gomez and Avery did not generate any scoring chances with Sjostrom on their line. If Renney was going to keep Shanny on the 4th line, why wouldn’t he dress Prucha instead of Hollweg?? I just don’t get it. I’d really like to see someone, anyone, other than Hollweg after that braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.

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This is an obvious statement, but the Rangers have to win this game tonight. If they get the series back to 2-1, they are still alive. 3-0 is a different story.

You won’t see me quote a basketball coach too often in a hockey blog, but Doc Rivers had a great quote last night after the Celtics lost game 4. He said, “I could hear them in the locker room, saying ‘hey, guys we’re going back home, it’s going to be okay.’ I told them, ‘You have to go make it okay.’ We have to go make it okay.”

Since falling into the 0-2 hole, the Rangers have all been saying that they were still in this series because they were heading home to MSG. I just hope they remember that nothing magical happens when you take your home ice that suddenly makes you play better. The team is going to have to earn these wins. Playing at MSG with 18,000 fans at your back is going to help, but nothing is automatic.

A few game notes:

Remember that lineup shuffle from yesterday? Scratch that. Petr Prucha will be scratched in favor of Ryan Hollweg, which presumably means that Shanahan will skate in his usual spot with Gomez and Avery. Strudwick will also be scratched, which means the fans at MSG will see plenty of Christian Backman tonight. Renney said that Paul Mara will probably see some time on the power play unit, so we got that right.

Despite Therrien’s comments yesterday that suggest otherwise, the Rangers feel they have done very little this series to make it hard for Marc-Andre Fleury to see the puck. Renney’s reaction to hearing Therrien’s comments: “Really?” The Rangers beat up on Martin Brodeur in round 1 by putting bodies in front for screens and deflections. Look for a return to that form tonight at MSG.

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Game 1
Friday, April 25, 7:00 PM
Mellon Arena

Game 2
Sunday, April 27, 2:00 PM
Mellon Arena

Game 3
Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 PM
Madison Square Garden

Game 4
Thursday, May 1, 7:00 PM
Madison Square Garden

Game 5*
Sunday, May 4 2:00 PM
Mellon Arena

Game 6*
Monday, May 5, 7:00 PM
Madison Square Garden

Game 7*
Wednesday, May 7, Time TBA
Mellon Arena

*if necessary

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