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What will the result of the Stanley Cup Finals be?

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JUNE 21ST, 2013
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  ۝  RUMOR MILL

Friday - September 20th

Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Rangers and Derek Stepan remain about $500K apart on a two year bridge deal.

According to Dreger, Stepan could miss the season opener, as the Rangers look ready to offer $3M a year, against $3.5M that the player is reportedly looking for.

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   BORN TODAY

Glen Sather - 1943
Don Jackson - 1956
Kevin Miller - 1965
Stephane Matteau - 1969
Martin Straka - 1972
Michal Rozsival - 1978

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Do You Smell Something Burning?
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - January 2, 2008

by Toby Ivey

It was another frustrating loss for the Rangers, with a team seemingly handing them opportunities to win the game, only to have the Blueshirts themselves make the mistakes that put it out of reach. Henrik Lundqvist was nowhere near his best, and critical mistakes by several players, including a series where three Rangers were beaten by a single Flame forward were just examples of how the game went.

Lundqivst allowed 4 goals on 22 shots, to ring in the New Year with a clunker, and waste an opportunity in which the Rangers scored three goals on the road...a not so common occurrence this season.

Turning Point
With just over two minutes remaining and the Rangers trailing 3-2, the Rangers lost the puck at the point to allow Kristian Huselius to skate down the near wing. The Rangers appeared to have the play covered though with players coming back to cover the man in the slot, only to see Henrik Lundqvist give up one of his worst goals of the season. The Rangers would score later to pull within one again, but the damage had already been done.

Offense
The Rangers top line once again featured prominently on the score sheet, with Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez assisting on two goals for the Rangers, albeit the last one coming with just over 14 seconds remaining in the game. The Jagr line was however not dominating enough that they prevented their opponents from scoring twice against them either.

By contrast the Rangers' second line continues to struggle to generate offense. CHris Drury, coming off one of his best games this season, did not have a shot on goal, while Sean Avery was wayward with his passes and shots much of the night. Brendan Shanahan eventually picked up a goal, but played with the top line at the time, while Avery got his assist on Brandon Dubinsky's goal.

The third line for the Rangers continues to demonstrate the ability to generate scoring opportunities, but also their inability to finish. Ryan Callahan pushed a shot wide, Brandon Dubinsky could have had two or three goals, though eventually did score in the third, while Marcel Hossa demonstrated his lack of scoring touch (and perhaps a touch of bad luck) when he had two prime opportunities saved by Kiprusoff.

Rounding out the forwards, the 4th line continues to play at a high level and actually generated some scoring opportunities of their own, if not particularly good ones. Their biggest contribution though was their ability to keep their opposining line pinned in their own zone for several shifts, something that will continue to earn them ice time if they can keep it up.

Defense
After several weeks of deteriorating play, Dan Girardi stepped up with the type of game that we saw earlier in the year. Girardi once again displayed his calmness during the game by fending off forecheckers, or taking the hit to spring the puck. While he has not necessarily been awful during his lull, he has certainly not been playing at the level that we saw tonight. His partner Fedor Tyutin continues to play down from his top form of the season, but was largely steady tonight.

The pair of Rozsival and Staal had an up and down night, with several solid plays undermined by a particularly bad series that saw them both individually beaten by Huselius for the Flames' third goal. Staal attempted to poke check his man instead of taking the body, while the stickless Rozsival made a diving attempt to touch the puck with his stick broken earlier in the play.

The pair of Paul Mara and Marek Malik had trouble with the Flames forecheckers all night, and Malik in particular looked slow in comparison to the Flames forwards.

The Rangers' forwards also had their opportunities to prevent the Flames offense, with Scott Gomez one of the three Rangers beaten for Iginla's second goal and a weak check by Marcel Hossa on Iginla for the Flames' second goal. The Rangers weren't awful defensively, but they did not work as hard as they could have been, and it's possible that the Flames actually had better scoring chances despite taking ten fewer shots than the Rangers.

Goaltending
Perhaps Henrik Lundqvist's mind was still on the New Years' Eve festivies, or perhaps he was thinking about his forthcoming bank breaking contract. Whatever the case, the Rangers netminder did not look his best tonight, often overplaying the puck, and letting in one of his two worst goals so far this year. To rub salt into the wound, the goal turned out to be the game winner for the Flames.

On the first goal, Lundqvist was screened and didn't even see the puck go into the net. A shot from the point went through three or four bodies and gave the Flames a 1-0 lead with just over a minute gone in the game.

The Flames then went up 2-0 courtesy of a power play goal by Jarome Iginla that beat the Rangers' netminder cleanly, without anyone in front of him...a goal perhaps he stops when he's on top of his game.

It's difficult to fault the Rangers' netmidner on the third goal, a 2 on 0 down low after Kristian Huselius beat three Rangers' defenders single handedly to feed Iginla for his second of the game.

But it was the fourth goal that really showed that Lundqvist was not on his game. With the Rangers looking for a way to tie the game late in the third, Huselius skated down the near boards and threw the puck at the Swede from behind the goal line. Lundqvist was caught playing the pass and saw the puck deflect into the net and give the Flames a 4-2 lead with 2:19 remaining in regulation.

Chris Drury made his second goal-line save in the past three games, stopping a puck that went through his netminder on the goalline and clearing it out in time to prevent the Flames from going up 2-0 at the time.

With the Rangers flying to Vancouver tomorrow night, Lundqvist will need a much improved game if he hopes to keep the Canucks from getting the two points.

Special Teams
The Rangers had their chances tonight on special teams, but could not convert on the power play, nor prevent the Flames from scoring. The Rangers power play tested Kiprusoff with several shots, but not of sufficient quality to really give the three time Vezina finalist trouble.

There were few chances at rebounds as the penalty killers almost always seemed to win the battle for the loose puck. The Rangers also had trouble with penalty killer Eric Nystrom who on more than one occasion forced turnovers in the Rangers zone while shorthanded..

The penalty kill gave up plenty of opportunities as well at if not for some poor finishing by the Flames, and some timely saves by Lundqvist, could've had more. The one goal against came after both Malik and Hossa failed to pressure Jarome Iginla, allowing the Flames' leading scorer to notch his 28th goal of the year.

Power Play: 0 for 5
Penalty Kill: 4 for 5

Injury Notes
Petr Prucha sat out his second straight game with a wrist injury allowing Marcel Hossa to get another start.

Milestones and Notes
The Rangers modest three game winning streak came to an end, as to their streak of seven straight games scoring the first goal of the game. This was the first game the Rangers had played in Calgary since November 14th, 2002 when Dan Blackburn backstopped the Rangers to a 2-1 win.

With the loss tonight, the Rangers are now 0-4-1 against teams from the Western conference, with the only point an OT loss to the Colorado Avalanche. During those five games, the Rangers have been outscored to the tune of 12-22.

Michal Rozsival tied his career high (set last season) of 10 goals in a season, in as on pace for 21 this year. The goal moved him into a three way tie for first in the league amongst defensemen with Andrei Markov of Montreal and Mike Green of Washington.

Statistical Streaks
Scott Gomez - 13 games with a point (4-15-19)
Jaromir Jagr - 8 games with a point (4-10-14)
Brendan Shanahan - 4 games with a point (3-2-5)
Sean Avery - 3 games with a point (0-3-3)
Michal Rozsival - 3 games with a point (1-2-3)
Dan Girardi - 2 games with a point (1-2-3)

Brendan Shanahan - 3 games with a goal (3)

Starting Lines
Straka - Gomez - Jagr
Avery - Drury - Shanahan
Hossa - Dubinsky - Callahan
Orr - Betts - Hollweg

Tyutin-Girardi
Staal-Rozsival
Malik-Mara

Lundqvist
Valiquette

Petr Prucha - Injured (wrist)
Jason Strudwick - Healthy Scratch

Next Game
The Rangers continue their road trip out west with a game Thursday night in Vancouver - 10:00pm (MSG)


Profile of the Author:
Originally from New Zealand, Toby took up following the Rangers upon moving to New York City in 1996. After leaving New York in 1999, he continued to track the progress of the team closely and ultimately started OutsideTheGarden.com as a way to stay in contact with the team and the fans. Now living in Florida, he continues to operate the website and contributes articles and content on a regular basis.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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Question Of The Day

June 21st, 2013

How many of the Rangers 34 Head Coaches have been born in Quebec?

Answer...
   �   STANDINGS
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  Rangers 82 45 31 6 96  
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NOEL PRICE
(1959-1961)
  Born: Dec 9 - 1935  
  Position: Defense  
  Games: 7  
  Goals: 0  
  Assists: 0  
  Points: 0  
  PIMs: 4  

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