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RUMOR MILL

Saturday - August 6th

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the Rangers are looking to bring back former forward Jimmy Vesey on a one-year league minimum deal. Vesey notably signed as a UFA after declining offers from Nashville and Buffalo at the conclusion of his college career, joining the Rangers for a three years before being traded to Buffalo.

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 INJURY REPORT
Filip Chytil 6/7
Took a hard check from Hedman and left the game late in the second period and did not return
 
Ryan Strome 6/7
Skated in warm-ups for Game 4 but couldn't go
 
Sammy Blais 5/18
Skated for the first time, but is still probably at least a couple of weeks away. Could return if the NYR make it to the next round
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...

Question Of The Day

August 19th, 2021

Earlier this year the Rangers won by a margin of nine goals as they beat the Flyers 9-0. How many times has the margin been bigger?

Answer...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
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Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

  BIRTHDAYS

Joe Krol - 1915
Stan Smith - 1917
Mark Osborne - 1961

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  RANDOM RANGER

ERIK CHRISTENSEN
(2009-2012)
  Born: Dec 17 - 1983  
  Position: Center  
  Games Played: 132  
  Goals: 20  
  Assists: 38  
  Points: 58  
  Penalty Minutes: 44  
 


Happy Vally
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - October 18, 2008
by Toby Ivey

After recording their first loss of the season Wednesday night, the Rangers were looking to bounce back with a win against the hardworking, but less talented Maple Leafs. But, just as it proved to be for the Red Wings on opening night, Ron Wilson's team would be no easy beats.

Neither team could score through 65 minutes of play, and so it was left to the goaltenders to duel it out in the shootout, a competition that was ultimately won by the Rangers' Stephen Valiquette.

Both goaltenders looked strong on the night, with the Rangers coming close on a couple of occasions, but were unable to beat a swarming Toronto defense or their surprisingly steady goaltender.

Turning Point
The teams were tied 1-1 in the shootout courtesy of goals to Nikolai Zherdev and Nikolai Kumelin. Fredrik Sjostrom was given the opportunity to put the Rangers ahead, and with advice from Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, the fourth line winger converted on a deke to Toskala's right side...the puck deflecting in off of the Toronto Netminder's foot as he slid back in a prone position.

Stephen Valiquette made sure he stopped Blake, and the Rangers came out with a 1-0 win and another two points.

Forwards
After Wednesday's disjointed effort against the Sabres, Tom Renney elected to shake the lines up with little success. With Korpikoski out, Chris Drury shifted back to center and Tom Fritsche joined him and Markus Naslund on the right side. Of the three, Fritsche clearly had the best chances on the night, with four shots and a couple that gave the netminder trouble. Drury appears to be tired, particularly on defense, and his shot went wide as much as it hit the net. As for Naslund, the only real chance he had in the game was a fanned shot off of a beautiful pass by Scott Gomez.

The second line remained intact, but neither three players had much of an impact on the game. Aaron Voros and Brandon Dubinsky were for the most part invisible, while Nikolai Zherdev showed moments of brilliance, but had little support from his linemates offensively. It was the second straight game where the opposition had effectively neutralized the line.

A newly constituted line of Scott Gomez centering Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan. The trio did little through the first two periods, but Dawes probably had the best opportunities on the line, particularly later in the game. It was his first game after being a healthy scratch the past three, and he certainly could have done more to keep his spot in the line-up.

The fourth line had some of the better shifts offensively for the Rangers, but as often is the case, they also gave up some of the few chances the Leafs had at even strength. The line worked hard all night, but like the rest of the team, didn't sustain pressure for long.

Defense
It's hard to fault a defense that gave up just 21 shots in 65 minutes of play, especially when several of those shots came with the Maple Leafs on the power play. The Rangers gave Toronto little room all night, and while no defender particularly stood out as above the others, the same could be said in terms of mistakes made.

It wasn't a completely mistake free game though, and the Rangers were forced to break up a couple of two on ones, including a play by Paul Mara while the Rangers had a PP. Mara has quietly had a solid start to the season defensively and has been less prone to find himself out of position...Dmitri Kalinin too seems to have settled down after a poor start, and is less likely to be caught up ice.

Goaltending
Valiquette faced only 21 shots on the night, but made several great saves to keep his team in the game. Particularly on the PP, overtime and the shootout, the lanky netminder showed why the Rangers have such confidence in their backup.

Having faced just twelve shots through the first 55 minutes of play, Valiquette came up big with the game on the line, shutting the door as the Maple Leafs registered nine more shots in the final ten minutes of play.

He then stopped shots by Matt Stajan and Jason Blake in the shootout to ensure that Fredrik Sjostrom's goal would stand, and the Rangers would come away with two points despite not being able to register a goal.

Special Teams
The penalty kill returned to form, though in all honesty Stephen Valiquette was a big part of that, particularly in the OT period when the Rangers killed off a two minute 4 on 3 advantage. It was the sixth time in seven games this year, that the Rangers had denied their opposition a PP goal.

The power play was simply terrible. The Rangers struggled with the aggressiveness of the Toronto PKers and probably had fewer chances than the Leafs, despite having twice as many opportunities. On two occasions, the Rangers were their own worst enemies, taking penalties to shorten their opportunity, and they finished with a 1:04 of 4 on 3, but could not sustain any pressure.

Particularly disappointing was the trio of Naslund, Gomez and Drury, who remain united on the top PP unit. Redden and Rozsival also struggled to find shooting lanes as the team failed to pass the puck quickly, allowing the defense to recover.

Power Play: 0 for 8
Penalty Kill: 4 for 4

Injury Notes
Patrick Rissmiller again sat out, but is close to return. Lauri Korpikoski was reported to have sore wrists that kept him from "shooting, passing and taking faceoffs" according to Tom Renney. Korpikoski is day to day.

Fight Card
Marc Staal and Jamal Mayers had the only fight of the game, and barely a punch was thrown. Mayers challenged Staal after the second year blueliner caught Matt Stajan with a hard shoulder check.

Milestones and Notes
Stephen Valiquette picked up his third career shutout last night. It was the first by the Rangers this year, and gives Valiquette a 3-0-0 record against the Leafs as a Blueshirt. He now has a career .944 Save Percentage and 1.44 Goals Against Average versus the Leafs. By contrast, Henrik Lundqvist is 4-3-0 with a .883 Save Percentage and 3.43 GAA. Valiquette started just one game at MSG last year.

Because they won in the shootout, the Rangers were technically shutout in the game. It was their first of the season, and also their first overtime and shootout game of the season.

Nikolai Zherdev scored on his first ever shootout attempt as a Ranger, he was 5 of 8 last year with Columbus. Fredrik Sjostrom picked up his first shootout game winner in New York, and is now 2 of 3 in shootouts since joining the Rangers last season.

Marc Staal recorded his first fighting major of the season and the third of his career. Both of his others were against Pittsburgh last season.

Streaks
Team
Two game road winning streak

Starting Lines
Naslund - Drury - Fritsche
Voros - Dubinsky - Zherdev
Dawes - Gomez - Callahan
Sjostrom - Betts - Orr

Redden - Rozsival
Staal - Mara
Girardi - Kalinin

Lundqvist
Valiquette

Laurie Korpikoski - Injury (wrist)
Petr Prucha - Healthy Scratch
Patrick Rissmiller - Injury (ankle)

Next Game
The Rangers head out on the road today to the Detroit Red Wings, who are 2-1-1 on the season, but are 0-1-1 at home. The Rangers did not play the eventual Cup winners last year, and are a pitiful 4-15-1 in their last twenty games between the two teams (1-9-0 in their last ten).

Their last win in Detroit was January 30th, 1999 when Niklas Sundstrom scored the game winner late in the third period.


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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