Posted January 25, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Islanders
The New York Rangers had Stanley Cup aspirations even before acquiring Rick Nash prior to the lockout.
Despite their star power, they've yet to prove they're capable of living up to the lofty expectations.
New York looks to get on track Saturday night by avoiding a third straight home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have earned both of their victories on the road.
The Rangers finished with an Eastern Conference-best 109 points in 2011-12 before falling in six games to New Jersey in the conference finals. They traded Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick to Columbus for Nash in July, adding another marquee player to join fellow top-liners Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.
New York (1-3-0) is off to a poor start, though, and fell to previously winless Philadelphia 2-1 on Thursday. All three of Gaborik's goals came in Wednesday's win over Boston, and he notched his first assist versus the Flyers.
Richards and Nash went without a point for the first time this season.
''We're not getting enough good plays from our top guys,'' coach John Tortorella said. ''From some guys, yeah, we're getting a good level. From others, absolutely not. We have to decide, consistently as a group, how we want to play.
"I thought we got some good shifts, but our top guys, Gabby, Richards, Nasher, just have to get going more.''
Toronto (2-2-0) will need to replace one its top players after forward Joffrey Lupul broke his forearm in a win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, just days after signing a five-year contract extension.
He missed his first game Thursday when the Maple Leafs fell 7-4 at home to the New York Islanders, prompting fans to chant "Let's go Blue Jays!" in the final minutes.
Coach Randy Carlyle isn't giving up on his team that quickly, but he also knows the inconsistency will hurt Toronto going forward. It went 0 for 5 on the power play, which included a pair of 5-on-3 advantages - including one late in the first period while holding a 3-1 lead.
''I think we saw one team (Wednesday) and a totally different team (Thursday),'' Carlyle said. ''We were out of it, we were out of sync
''It you don't score on your 5-on-3 at some point in the game usually momentum is going to turn in favor of the opposition."
Though the home fans have been displeased, the Leafs are playing well on the road. They beat Montreal 2-1 on Jan. 19, and James van Riemsdyk scored twice and added an assist in a 5-2 over the Penguins on Wednesday night.
Toronto is 1 for 24 on the power play while going 2-4-1 in the last seven meetings with the Rangers, but both victories came at Madison Square Garden.
It's unclear who will be in net for the Leafs after Ben Scrivens allowed five goals on 25 shots Thursday before being pulled in favor of James Reimer.
"It's another learning experience and it's a tough one to swallow, but I'll take what I can from it," Scrivens said.
The Leafs have gotten the better of Henrik Lundqvist in the last three meetings, scoring 10 goals after he shut them out in his two previous starts. Lundqvist, though, earned a 4-3 shootout victory in the most recent matchup March 24.
BEST OF MAXIM
With the Rangers off to a 1-3-0 start, there have certainly been a number of issues that are cause for concern for Rangers fans. While the team continues to develop chemistry with each other and work on the same problems that have plagued their power play for seemingly over a decade, one of the other [...]
Even today I'm still in disbelief at the Rangers decision to post their infamous "Girls' Guide to Watching Rangers Hockey." Hearing Rangers will now be forcing female fans to take a Blueshirts knowledge test before allowing them into MSG. Better start studying that guide ladies.
In all seriousness, man you women were pissed yesterday. And I don't blame you...
After blowing a four goal lead in the third period, Brandon Segal netted his second goal of the game and the OT winner for the Whale in their 6-5 victory over Adirondack. The Whale jumped out to a 5-1 lead midway through the second period, but surrendered four straight goals, including two goals in the final two minutes. Newly acquired Brandon Mashinter made his presence known...
By all accounts, last season was quite successful for the New York Rangers. With an Eastern Conference-low 187 goals allowed, the Rangers were able to climb from the 8-seed in 2011 to an NHL-best 51 wins and home ice throughout the conference playoffs in 2012. Unfortunately, home ice wasn’t enough to dispatch the cross-Hudson rival [...]
Steve Zipay at Newsday reports that John Tortorella raised the possibility of the Rangers sending Chris Kreider back to the CT Whale saying he's going to have discussions about it.
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record adds this quote from Torts on Kreider...
“He just hasn’t played well, I don’t have a reason. It’s something we really need to talk about as an organization...
Tonight’s breakdown is courtesy of myself and The Suit. All in all, the Rangers outplayed the Maple Leafs for most of the contest, but a few defensive miscues and a subpar power play prevented the Rangers from running away with the win early in the contest. Instead they had to battle it out for the W in the third period.
On to the goals…
Leafs 1, Rangers 0
This goal was just...
from the New York Post,
The Rangers — who posted an article on their website yesterday many viewed as sexist — quickly yanked the story less than an hour later after a flood of negative comments.
The posting, which appeared in slideshow form, was entitled “A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers” and gave words of advice to female fans on how to watch a hockey game...
Via Darren Dreger, the Rangers have agreed to terms with veteran center Jason Arnott on a one year deal worth between 1.6-1.7 million. More to come as details become available, but considering the Rangers’ lack of depth at forward and the early season face-off woes, I think this is a great pick up.
Before the Whale went on to win last night’s game 4-1, rookie J.T. Miller was named to the AHL All Star Team. Miller will be the Whale’s lone representative, replacing Chad Kolarik, who was traded this week for Benn Ferriero.
Miller struggled out of the gate with the Whale, but has been much stronger since returning from the USA’s gold medal winning World Junior Championship...
Henrik Lundqvist watched his New York Rangers teammates dominate the Toronto Maple Leafs at the other end of the ice and couldn't believe he was the goalie trailing by two goals.
Shot after shot was gobbled up in the first period by Toronto's James Reimer as Lundqvist stewed because two of the three pucks that came his way got past him.
Patience paid off late as the Rangers...
This is what the New York Rangers will try to do tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.
At 1-3 through four games, it is easy to see that the Blueshirts have not found the things that made them so successful last season on a consistent basis. In fact, there have only been glimpses of the team's tight defense, great goaltending from Henrik...
The New York Rangers (1-2-0) are in Philadelphia to face the Flyers (0-3-0) at 7:00 EST.
Tonight's pre-game notes from the official Rangers website can be viewed here.
TV: MSG, NHL Network ; Radio: AM 1130 or XM 212
Live Stream can be viewed here (avoid clicking on Ads)
(Keep reading for the rest of tonight's pre-game notes.)
With just under a minute left in regulation in a 3-3 game between the Bruins and Rangers on Wednesday night, Tuukka Rask likely single-handedly earned the B’s a point when he was able to surpress a Rick Nash & Marian Gaborik scoring push with an unbelievable sprawling save. Nash pulled off a nifty move to get around Milan Lucic and fire a shot on net, one which Rask turned...