New York Rangers

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What a Weird Weekend

All I can say is wow! Yeah, it's Halloween weekend but what the hell is up with the Rangers? First, they drop a game to Ottawa in which they led 4 - 1 with roughly 12 minutes left. Ottawa tallied three straight before downing the Rangers in the shootout. Not a good start to the weekend there.

Next we had news of all the roster shuffling. With Tim Erixon struggling some and only seeing seven-plus minutes of ice-time Saturday, the best thing to do is to send him down to Hartford (which they did) and let him get 20+ minutes and playing in all situations. 

News of Erixon's demotion brought on the inevitable hopes/prayers that the move was due to a miraculous and ultra...

Better But Still Not Good

After opening the campaign winless through three, the Rangers broke the ice with road wins over Vancouver and Calgary. The team then turned in an uninspired effort against Edmonton in a 2 - 0 loss to the young Oilers Saturday. They conclude their long road journey tomorrow in Winnipeg before heading home for the season opener at MSG Thursday against the Leafs. 

Getting a couple of wins was nice and a 2 - 2 - 2 record to start given the difficulty of the travel schedule isn't so bad but we still haven't seen the team play like the squad we expected to see. Here are some thoughts on the team so far and some random musings on a couple of the teams the Rangers have seen on ...

Are The Isles Better Than .500?

Once again the New York Islanders fell to the Florida Panthers last night in a 4-2 loss to end their Florida road trip. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines were held scoreless as John Tavares and Mark Streit did all they could with the support of strong goaltending coming from Evgeni Nabokov in net. For a full recap, read Evan Pivnick's post-game report here at TCL.

The Isles currently sit with a 3-3-0 record, placing them at 10th place in the East and fourth in their division. The New Jersey Devils sit in third with seven points, trailing the second placed Philadelphia Flyers with nine points. The Pittsburgh Penguins sit in first with 14 and the Rangers sit in fifth with six. All indica...

P.A. Perfect?

The New York Islanders headed into the season with some question marks surrounding the roster. P.A. Parenteau, who had played nicely along side John Tavares and Matt Moulson in 2011, was a player who had plenty of fingers pointed at him on Isles message boards and blogs during the off-season as someone who could be replaced.

With fans wanting more offense coming from their top line, P.A. was someone that many felt could be dropped to the lower lines or even traded, despite putting up 20 goals and 53 points in his first full season in the NHL. But so far he has done plenty to silence even the harshest of critics.

In four games with the Islanders, Parenteau has registered one go...

Rangers Through Three

Usually I like to be as original and creative as possible both when naming and deciding on a theme for a blog post. Sometimes though it is just better to keep it simple. That's the case here.

I can't tell you how many "good, bad and ugly" style posts I've read before but that is the perfect theme for today's blog. 

I waited until today to post anything on the Rangers start since the first two "regular season" games in Europe felt more like an extension of the exhibition season than the stat of the regular one. Now the club is back in North America and have a game under their belts in the States. So, let's do a little good, bad and u...

Thoughts on Staal, Simmonds and Avery

The Marc Staal situation is still no clearer today than it was weeks ago. At this point he is still in the States practicing with the Rangers AHL affiliate in Connecticut while his teammates are continuing the exhibition season in Europe. The question is when will Staal be ready to play.

Obviously the Rangers need Staal if they expect to challenge for the Atlantic Division crown. Given how much he plays against the opposition's best, a lengthy absence will force the Blueshirts to use inferior or more inexperienced defenders to counter some of the most skilled players in the league. For a team that relies so heavily on playing good defensively not having Staal in the lineup is a ...

Round 1: Rangers vs. Flyers (Things might get Messy)

For a game that was scheduled at the end of September, Monday night’s Flyers-Rangers bout would have been better served as a game that took place at the end of April. But regardless of the date on the calendar, Philadelphia’s 5-3 victory over New York was a preview to the kind of animosity that will be brewing between the two teams prior to January’s Winter Classic.

Finally, Winter Classic is Officially Official

“On behalf of the NHL I am pleased to finally announce that on January 2nd at 1 pm the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played here, at Citizens Bank Park by the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers” Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters. “Hopefully it will be easier to put on […] then it was to put on this event.”

Commissioner Bettman was also able to confirm that the ancillary project “24/7” would be produced for a second consecutive season by HBO. Last year’s show gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the players lives leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic.

Hockey Is Here At Last

The air is changing. There is a crispness to it that can only mean summer is ending, fall is coming and hockey is right around the corner. And that's a great thing.

Forgive my absence of late. Bears hibernate in the winter and sometimes my brain does the same in late summer. Let's face it; there isn't much going on in the NHL in August and my creative spark can be a fickle thing. But beginning with the Traverse City Prospects tournament, my motivation has returned.

Let's start with some recent developments in Ranger-Land.

Cally Is Captain

Duh! Was there really any question Cally was going to get the "C" sewn on his sweater? Everyone in the...

Jay Pandolfo Gets Tryout With Islanders

The New York Islanders announced today that former New Jersey Devils forward Jay Pandolfo will be attending the Isles training camp on a tryout basis. Pandolfo's tryout is likely in the hopes of him earning a roster spot with either the Islanders or another NHL organization.

The 36-year old left wing has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils and has won two Stanley Cups after being drafted in the second round at 32nd overall of the 1993 Entry Draft. Last year he played 12 games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. 

If Pandolfo were to crack the Islanders line-up, he would have to earn it as the Islanders already appear to be set at forward...