Found January 14, 2012 on
The Rangers Tribune:
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
It was quite clear going into this game that the Rangers needed to play better hockey, despite having won five of their last six prior to tonight. They did that and managed the blank the red hot Maple Leafs, 3-0, to again take over the top spot in the National Hockey League. For the first time in several weeks, the Blueshirts again played a complete team game, and as they’ve shown plenty of times over the course of the season, they can be very dominant when doing that.
The Rangers had a very active first period in the physicality department. Led by captain Ryan Callahan, the team was hitting everything in sight and was making sure to set the tempo right from the get-go. At one point in the opening stanza, the Blueshirts held a 13-3 advantage in hits over the Maple Leafs. One weakness the Leafs have acknowledged having in their lineup is size, and the Rangers made sure to exploit that from the beginning.
New York did not find a way to get a puck past Jonas Gustavsson until the second period, however. At 3:35 of that period, Derek Stepan led an odd-man rush that saw him skating alongside Wojtek Wolski and Mike Rupp. Stepan dropped to Wolski, Wolski gave it back to Stepan, and then Step sent it across for Mike Rupp, who one-timed the pass to the back of the net. Hard to follow? It should be, but that speaks to how well executed this play actually was.
The Rangers would strike again at 16:28 of the second when Brian Boyle’s long wrister beat Gustavsson to break a 22-game scoreless streak. Out of anyone in the lineup, Boyle was the one who needed a goal the most, and finally he was able to get it on a simple shot to the net through traffic. It was a perfect way for the Rangers to cap-off an absolutely dominant 20 minutes in all three zones.
In the third period, Derek Stepan found himself on the scoresheet again when he took a Carl Hagelin pass and made a slick move to beat Gustavsson to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead at 6:01. That came shortly after the Leafs came very close to scoring, but were not given a goal due to inconclusive evidence upon video review. To be honest, though, I do think that puck crossed the line.
The Rangers would eventually cruise to a 3-0 win over the Leafs.
I liked Marty Biron’s play in goal tonight, even though he was not tested all that much. When he was challenged, however, he was very strong in the net because the Leafs were coming very hard to the crease area. Again, Biron has been incredibly reliable when backing-up for Henrik Lundqvist this season, and that makes life for Hank and his team much easier. Aside from making 19 stops tonight, Biron also picked up an assist on the Stepan goal in the third period.
Derek Stepan has taken some heat as of late for hitting a slump, but he had an excellent outing this evening in Toronto. I felt like Derek skated very well tonight and that enabled him to earn more space and time with the puck. And when Step has space and time, he’s almost always going to make something happen. We saw that on both the Rupp goal and the one he scored on his own in the third.
Yet again, the Brian Boyle line was very effective tonight, even though the coach has previously said “that line cannot be our best.” It all starts with forechecking and relentless effort, and both of those were going for this trio all game long. They did lose Ruslan Fedotenko late in the second period due to back spasms, though. Fedotenko has played in every game for New York so far this season.
And on defense, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh were rock solid. They kept Phil Kessel quiet, they were very physical and obviously played a big part in earning Biron the shutout. Can’t ask for anything more than that.
The Rangers will be back at it tomorrow night against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The Habs are a frustrated team right now, so the Rangers are going to need another strong effort like they had tonight.
BEST OF MAXIM
Yes, that is a screenshot from 24/7 when Avery was modeling.
In that segment, Avery talked about what it was like being sent down to the minors and how good it felt to come back to the big boy league. Now, Avery is back down with the Connecticut Whales and there is big time drama!
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Steve Zipay at Newsday reports that it is believed the Rangers eventually will place Sean Avery on re-entry waivers, perhaps closer to the Feb. 27 trade deadline....with everything going on down in Hartford, not so sure teams would be interested in claiming him anymore. I do hope it works out for Avery.One team that was interested in Avery, according to the Calgary Sun, was the Florida...
Sean Avery just can't buy a break these days. It's bad enough that he's been waived by the Rangers for the second time this year and is currently playing with their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Whale. Now, there's been a rumor floating around the Internet that Avery was benched on Friday because he spit on the Whale's coach, Ken Gernander. The Rangers have come...
Andrew Gross reports that the Rangers have recalled Kris Newbury for tonight's game in Montreal. Newbury is likely just precautionary in case both Brandon Dubinsky (shoulder) and Ruslan Fedotenko (back spasms) cannot play this evening.
As you know, the four of us were unable to watch the game last night, so the recap today comes from Tom Urtz Jr, who writes for Bleacher Report. Thanks again Tom. You can follow Tom on Twitter here.
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Shut the front door.
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Sean Avery, now playing for the Connecticut Whale in the AHL, was a healthy scratch last night for what the Rangers are calling "disciplinary reasons." It remains unclear, however, what required the discipline. The rumor spreading on Twitter is that he was benched for spitting on his coach. More »
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Rick Carpiniello’s Rangers Report Chat
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CLICK HERE for Rangers-Leafs Pregame
New York backup Martin Biron made 20 saves, and the Rangers bounced back from a streak-busting loss to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 on Saturday night.
Well, that’s certainly an unforeseen development. It’s hard to argue with the fact that the 2012 NHL Winter Classic — held at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and featured the Flyers taking on the rival New York Rangers — was an unmitigated success. The game was entertaining, the ballpark looked fantastic and a grand time [...]