Boyle Suffers Concussion on Neil Hit

April 22, 2012

To pour salt into the wounds for the Rangers following last night’s disappointing 1-0 defeat in Game 5 to the Ottawa Senators, center Brian Boyle suffered a concussion on a dirty, high hit at the hands of Chris Neil, who has been sandpaper for the Rangers all series. Boyle is out indefinitely.

At 5:40 of the third period, Boyle was blindsided by Neil who left his feet and made direct contact with Boyle’s head. Head coach John Tortorella compared it to the hit given by Phoenix’s Raffi Torres on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, which left Hossa in the hospital and Torres with a 25-game suspension.

“Well, they have a blueprint,” Tortorella said. “It’s probably the exact same hit as Torres’ hit. It’s a different part of the ice. He launches himself, head shot, the puck is at the goal line when he’s hit. So the blueprint is there. He’s a repeat offender, too. Not too much research to be done there.”

Neil disagreed and said it was a clean hit and Boyle should not be skating with his head down.

According to Katie Strang of ESPN New York, there is no hearing currently schedule with the league and Neil.

Neil needs to get suspended. This is the blueprint for what the league is trying to rid itself from. Neil should get no where near 25 games, but should get one or two, especially considering Boyle is concussed, and the league loves to take injuries into what the penalty should be. Just once, I would love to see a player take responsibility and say “you know what, it was a bad hit, and I deserve what I get.” Wishful thinking on my part.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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Kreider Debuts Against Senators in Game 3

April 16, 2012

New York Rangers top prospect Chris Kreider made his NHL debut Monday night in the Rangers’ 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup. The Rangers lead the series 2-1.

Kreider, who signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers last week just two days after winning his second National Championship at Boston College, played 11:11 and skated alongside Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards throughout the night in the absence of Carl Hagelin, who was handed a three-game suspension for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson in Game 2.

As expected, Kreider didn’t see much action late in the third period with the Rangers clinging to a 1-0 lead. Head coach John Tortorella said he wanted Kreider to watch the game from the bench to get a better view of the game. Kreider took it in stride.

When asked what he learned, Kreider said: “What it takes to win at this level. More than anything, how the guys have bought into this series. It’s a winning brand of hockey and I was able to see that from the bench.”

Kreider nearly had his first NHL goal in his first game. With a few seconds left in the second period, Kreider had a golden opportunity on the goalmouth but couldn’t get stick on the puck.

“I’m still thinking about it, I just missed it,” Kreider said. “I was so excited I just missed it.” Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATED: Hagelin Suspended Three Games for Hit on Alfredsson

April 15, 2012

The NHL announced that Carl Hagelin will receive a three game suspension for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson Saturday night in Game 2, which reportedly left Alfredsson concussed. The Senators were awarded a five minute powerplay as a result, which led to a goal.

Brendan Shanahan, vice president for player safety, said the hit targeted the head. He also said the league took into account that Hagelin has no prior history with suspensions.

In a statement, the Rangers said: “The New York Rangers accept the NHL’s three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal. However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs. We will have no further comment on this decision.”

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Let’s be honest. Shanahan dropped the ball with Shea Weber, and now has to carry a big stick. Weber’s was more vicious than Hagelin and he wasn’t even suspended. Byron Bitz of the Vancouver Canucks completely targeted the head of Kyle Clifford and only got two games.

I was expecting a fine, but I would have laughed in your face if someone suggested three games. 

Looking forward, I’d give Chris Kreider the shot to fill Hagelin’s spot on the top line. The other option — aside from an AHL callup — would be John Scott, and I think that’s a terrible mistake given the speed of the Senators.


Hagelin to Have Hearing With League Over Elbow

April 15, 2012

Game 2 between the Rangers and Ottawa Senators was chippy and nasty from start to finish. Matt Carkner was a lunatic on his one shift, jumping Brian Boyle which led to Brandon Dubinsky to take a third-man in penalty and an ejection, along with Carkner.

Later in the game, Carl Hagelin checked Daniel Alfredsson, and his shoulder appeared to hit Alfredsson’s head and was given a five minute major penalty. Alfredsson left the game with a possible concussion, and according to ESPN New York, Hagelin has a hearing with the league tomorrow.

Hagelin isn’t the only one with a hearing tomorrow, as Chris Phillips elbowed Ryan Callahan in the second period, which resulted in a two minute minor.

A hit like Hagelin’s gets a hearing, but Shea Weber smashing another players’ head into the glass like he was fighting in the WWF gets a $2,500 fine? This league is so backwards.

Have to figure if Chris Kreider will be the guy to take his spot if anything does happen.

Game 3 is Monday night in Ottawa. The series is tied 1-1.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Rangers Sign Kreider

April 10, 2012

The waiting game is over.

The New York Rangers today announced it came to terms with 2009 first-round pick Chris Kreider on an entry-level deal. According to the NY Post, the deal is worth $1.3 million per year.

Although the deal is for three years, the first year will be burned due to Kreider joining the team immediately. He is expected to be at practice tomorrow as the Rangers prepare for their opening round matchup against the Ottawa Senators.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound forward shined at Boston College where he won two National Championships in three years. He finished his junior season with 23 goals and 45 points in 43 games, as well as had success in World Championship tournaments.

He’s finally signed, but now what do they do with him. Personally, I’d like to see him in the lineup by Game 2 Saturday. Sure he doesn’t know the system, but let him play Mats Zuccarello-type minutes; four or five minutes at 5-on-5 on the fourth line, and some time on the powerplay. The kid is a dynamic play maker who knows how to win. If anything, he’s an upgrade over John Mitchell who has been invisible over the last two months.

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Report: Kreider to Sign With Rangers

April 9, 2012

Nothing official yet, but according to The Boston College Hockey BlogChris Kreider will forgo his final year at B.C. to sign with the New York Rangers.

Not sure how legitimate the post is or if there is any substance behind it, but that is what is being reported right now. As stated in an earlier post, it is really down to when over if Kreider signs with the Rangers.

There’s nothing left he can prove in college after he won his second National Title in three years at the school. Time for bigger and better things for the former first-round pick.

The question then comes down to whether the Rangers will insert him into the lineup against the Ottawa Senators or have him play the remainder of the season in Connecticut. Personally, I put him into the lineup on the fourth line and let him get his feet wet. Nothing better than having the kid have a handful of playoff games under his belt before he even dresses for a regular season game next season.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Kreider Still Unsigned

April 9, 2012

Chris Kreider shined at Boston College for three years. Now, the Rangers hope their 2009 first-round pick can shine on Broadway.

Kreider’s collegiate season ended Saturday night when B.C. defeated Ferris State for their second national title in three years. The Rangers can sign him at any point.

But as of 7 pm Monday, Kreider has not signed on the dotted line. Attribute it to Kreider wanting a little break more than not wanting to play in New York. Several reports indicated a deal could happen as early as tonight, making Kreider eligible to attend practice tomorrow as the team readies itself for the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs.

I’m not sure where I stand on the Kreider situation. I think it would better suit him to head to Connecticut over jumping into the lineup and play in a system he knows little or nothing about in the playoffs. I do think this kid is going to be the real deal, so let him take the rest of the year in the AHL and save the one year on the entry level contract.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia