Found February 25, 2012 on
The Rangers Tribune:
Prior to last night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, the New York Rangers had not lost back-to-back games since the middle of December. Now, as they enter tonight's contest against the Buffalo Sabres back at Madison Square Garden, they are on the verge of dropping their third straight game, and four out of their last five. This is not a position John Tortorella's squad is accustomed to being in and he acknowledged that in his postgame comments on Friday. The Rangers are not playing the smooth-sailing hockey they were just several weeks ago, and with slightly over a month remaining before the start of the playoffs, this is certainly not the time they want to slack off.
It all comes down to the technicalities of the game with these Rangers, and lately sloppiness, specifically early on in games, has cost them. Missed defensive coverage followed by soft goaltending had the Blueshirts down 2-0 in the first half of the opening period last night against the Islanders. I still cannot put a finger on what it is that causes the Rangers to repeatedly have bad starts each night, but it's getting out of control without a doubt. Even when the wins were coming game after game, still this team struggled to establish their play in the first ten minutes or so. It's baffling at this point.
And the starts are just the beginning of the team's problems. The defense has not been as sharp, the offense has not been as effective on the forecheck and that damned powerplay -- it actually produced two goals against the Isles, but prior to that it was becoming more of a problem than it was a help. These are just a few of the things the first place Rangers will be looking to clean up when they get back at it against the Sabres this evening.
If things don't show signs of fixing themselves tonight at MSG, there's a good chance we see GM Glen Sather go out and acquire some help via trade before the 3 p.m. deadline on Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres are coming off a huge shootout win over the Boston Bruins last night and are currently sitting in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference - five points out of a playoff spot. The Sabres have a legitimate chance of pushing for the last seed in the East, so much like the Islanders last night, expect them to come out playing desperate hockey. This time, though, the Rangers need to be ready for it from the start.
Derek Roy will be the player to watch on Buffalo, as he's led the charge in the team's resurgence as of late. He's recorded 7 points in his last five games.
The Rangers are expected to go with the same lineup as they did on Long Island, but Henrik Lundqvist will be returning between the pipes after getting the night off on Friday. Would it have made more sense to start Biron against the non-rival Sabres tonight and Lundqvist against the Isles? Maybe, but here's a few things to consider for those of your who are still complaining about that; Biron was taunted in his last start at MSG, he has an outstanding career record against the Isles and Lundqvist needs rest with a busy month coming up in March. Just sayin’.
Also, I'm getting fed up with Brad Richards and his lackadaisical play. Something needs to change there because he's only hurting the team with this poorly decisive hockey lately. He makes all of these comments in the media about how the team needs to be better... well, he needs to start with himself. I may lose it if I continuously watch him turn the puck over again tonight, but don’t worry, he won’t be penalized because he is one of ‘Tortorella’s guys’.
New York Rangers Lineup
* If you missed it from earlier, the Rangers traded Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers. Details here.
BEST OF MAXIM
On Friday, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported the Rangers were going to put Sean Avery on re-entry waivers before 3pm yesterday. Well 3pm came and went with Avery still a healthy scratch for the CT Whale...Talk about a marriage gone wrong. Sather doesn't put Avery on re-entry.— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) February 25, 2012
...thought it was odd the Rangers would add...
The New York Rangers are discussing the possibility of putting forward Sean Avery on re-entry waivers so he could possibly play in the NHL this season, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. If Avery is claimed on re-entry, the Rangers would be hit with a $209,460 salary cap charge for the remainder [...]
A little bit of a different approach tonight; breaking the game down by period. The Rangers dropped a decision to the Isles, 4-3 at the Coliseum having trailed by two twice in the game.
Simply put, the Rangers stunk out the Coliseum in the first period and were lucky to be just the odd goal down heading in to the first intermission. Some first period thoughts for your...
Via Mark Spector, talks between the Rangers and Blue Jackets regarding Rick Nash have “advanced.” The reported package includes one of Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, a prospect (apparently Tim Erixon), and a first round pick. The Rangers believe this offer gives them the edge over the Maple Leafs, and I would sure hope it would. That’s a serious haul.
As Dave said on Twitter...
Good Gravy. That about sums up my feelings on last night’s game. It made me loathe the shootout even more. Now, I’m not saying that the Rangers played well enough last night to be worthy of 2 points. But I was baffled at the line up that the coaching staff decided to go with. The [...]
The Sabres just can’t decide on whether or not they want to be bad and bottom out, or good and make a run to the playoffs. After being 15th in the conference and ten points back just one week ago, Buffalo has climbed four spots and have come within five points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Derek Roy scored the game-winning shootout goal to lift the Sabres to...
Friday night’s battle of New York lived up to expectations. In front of a sellout crowd, the Islanders outlasted the New York Rangers in a shootout, 4-3, at Nassau Coliseum.
Ryan Callahan scored his 100th NHL goal 2:59 into overtime, and the New York Rangers snapped a rare losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
A milestone goal from Ryan Callahan helped the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers get back on track.
The New Jersey Devils seem to need of a spark of their own.
The Rangers look to build on their latest effort Monday night when they host a Devils team trying to avoid losing three straight games in regulation for the first time in almost three months.
New York (39-15-6...
Derek Roy scored the decisive shootout goal in lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Ryan Miller made 35 saves through regulation and stopped three of four shootout attempts in helping the Sabres improve to 3-0-1 in their past four games. Andrej Sekera scored for the Sabres, who are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games.
Zdeno Chara scored the tying...
The New York Rangers have traded forward Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Michael Vernace and a 2013 third round drat pick, the team announced on Saturday.
The New York Rangers (38-15-6) host the Buffalo Sabres (27-27-7) at Madison Square Garden starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports. Rangers Game Notes TV: MSG; Radio: ESPN Radio 1050AM, XM 214Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus):http://www.firstrowsports...
---> Tonight's Game
The Rangers face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back set....