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.

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Rangers-Senators Game 3: Observations From the Couch

April 17, 2012

By: Gene Morris

I’d like to use this space to talk about any interesting things that happen during the playoffs, whether in the game, off the ice or even in the living room as I’m watching the game with friends.

Could there have been a better way to win game 3 in Ottawa than to have Lundqvist come up with a 39-save shutout and Brian Boyle score the game’s only goal?

After sending out this tweet on Sunday without really thinking…

… I was swarmed by Ottawa fans and members of “Sens Nation” who told me crazy things like Matt Carkner is a serviceable NHL player and shouldn’t have been disciplined at all by the league to more believable things like I had a stupid haircut in my twitter profile picture.

Apparently Boyle was a worthless thug – a worthless thug who has scored one less goal in these playoffs than Carkner has in his entire NHL career – who deserved to be sucker punched and beaten.

According to “Sens Nation” Matt Carkner is a vital part of the Ottawa game plan and would have made a difference in the outcome of last night’s game.

When Boyle put back that rebound and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead last night it was a truly amazing feeling. I didn’t hear anything from “Sens Nation” the rest of the night. I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way.

All I know is that there’s nothing better than the NHL playoffs and if the Rangers go on a deep run into June I might have a heart attack first and/or become an alcoholic to deal with the stress.

I can’t wait.


Carkner Gets 1 Game Suspension

April 15, 2012

The NHL continues to doll out suspensions in lieu of Saturday night’s physical contest between the Rangers and Ottawa SenatorsBrendan Shanahan announced Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner will be suspended one game for his actions against Brian Boyle minutes into the opening period.

Just have to laugh at this point. Carl Hagelin gets three games for finishing a check on a player with a concussion history, and Carkner gets inserted into the lineup to injure Boyle and he gets one game.

All these suspensions really stem from Shanahan and the league failing to punish Shea Weber the way it should have. The league received a lot of negative feedback on the $2,500 joke fine, and now it’s “no more Mr. Nice Guy.” Sadly, everyone but Weber will feel the effects.

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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.

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Rangers Stump Senators, Win Game 1

April 12, 2012

Courtesy of BlueShirtsUnited.com

You couldn’t have asked for a better performance from the New York Rangers in Game 1 Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators. No, the Rangers didn’t dominate from start to finish, but their offense was solid and their defense weathered the storm when the Senators’ potent offense was controlling the puck. When the defense broke down, Henrik Lundqvist stood tall and the Rangers walked away with a 4-2 opening game victory to lead the best of seven 1-0.

Ryan Callahan opened the scoring in the first period when his turnaround shot found space between the far post and goaltender Craig Anderson‘s pad to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 7:59 left in the first period.

The Senators responded and applied pressure, but a key timeout by head coach John Tortorella settled the game down for the Rangers. They responded when Marian Gaborik drove to the net and slipped the puck between Anderson’s legs to give the Rangers a 2-0 with 3:36 left. Brian Boyle added to that lead when he fired a loose puck over Anderson’s shoulder to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead with 54 seconds left in the middle period.

Brad Richards closed the scoring minutes into the third period, converting off a pass from Carl Hagelin after he stripped a Senators defenseman of the puck to make it 4-0.

Daniel Alfredsson broke Lundqvist’s shutout bid with 9:55 left, and Erik Condra cut the lead to 4-2 with 2:19 left. Read the rest of this entry »


Rangers Draw Senators in First Round

April 8, 2012

No one expected the Rangers would be playing the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that’s what we got.

After losing Saturday night against the Washington Capitals — the matchup most saw coming — the Rangers will draw the Senators, whom the team went 1-2-1 against in the regular season.

Let’s face it, this isn’t an ideal matchup for the Blueshirts, especially in the first round. The Senators are a fast, offensive-minded team that plays a run-and-gun style. That style has given the Rangers a tough time all season. The Rangers prefer to slow the game down to a grind; with a team like the Senators, doing that is difficult.

The Senators have scoring depth throughout the lineup, including on the backend. Jason Spezza had a phenomenal season, finishing with 34 goals and 84 points, while Milan Michalek tallied 35 goals and 60 points. On defense, the Senators posses possible Norris Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson, who at just 21-years-old finished with 19 goals and 78 points.

While Ottawa’s 249 goals was good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference, the team allowed 240 goals, 10th worst in the East. The Rangers aren’t a high-scoring team, but facing against a team that isn’t defensively sound plays well into the Rangers game. They will need to capitalize on any and all chances the Senators give them, including on the powerplay.

The Senators had the 20th best penalty kill in the league, another area that should benefit the Rangers, who have had success lately against poor penalty killing teams, including Winnipeg and Philadelphia.

On the flip side, Ottawa finished with the 11th ranked powerplay, operating at over 18 percent. Even with a penalty kill that has been strong all season, the Rangers have to stay out of the box against a team with as many weapons as the Senators.

The Rangers have the talent to come out on top. Marian Gaborik, who finished with 41 goals and played in all 82 games,  is playing as well as anyone in the NHL alongside Brad Richards. The team is receiving some secondary scoring from players like Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky, but more is needed.

Henrik Lundqvist is the key to any success the Rangers will have this spring. He hasn’t played well the last little bit, save for the game last week against the Flyers. The Rangers need him to be the player he was for the first four or five months of the season, especially against a team like the Senators.

The Senators outscored the Rangers 11-8 in their four-game matchup this season. Both teams blanked the other 3-0, while the Senators defeated the Rangers 4-1 early last month. The first clash of the season was back in October, where the Rangers blew a 4-1 lead and lost 5-4 in a shootout. That game was before the Rangers hit their stride, which began two days later against the San Jose Sharks.

It isn’t the ideal matchup for the Rangers, but at this stage in the game, nothing is easy. Every team — minus the Florida Panthers — deserves to be where they are. If the Rangers play their game and play within themselves, they’re going to be a very difficult team to defeat, no matter what jersey the other team is wearing.

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Poor Start Leads to 4-2 Loss Against Blackhawks

February 16, 2012

They say you can’t win a game in the first period, but you sure could lose one, as the Rangers learned tonight when they gave up four goals in the first five minutes en route to a 4-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

The Hawks opened the scoring on a Jonathan Toews penalty shot after Dan Girardi closed his hand on the puck in the crease. Just 1:03 later, Chicago took a 2-0 lead on a Nick Leddy shot from the point that wrang off the post. Martin Biron allowed two more breakaway goals to Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, as the Hawks took a 4-0 lead after the first period.

The Rangers finally cracked through in the second period on Marc Staal‘s first goal of the season. They added one more late in the third period on a goal by Carl Hagelin, but that is as close as it got, as the Rangers’ win-streak was snapped at four.

  • Couldn’t have gotten a worse start from the Blueshirts tonight. After a positive opening one or two shifts, the Rangers fell apart. I’ve really lost a lot of confidence with Biron, even if he did settle down and really kept the Rangers in the game. Sure he’s 10-3 and has good numbers for a backup, but I don’t have the same feeling I had about him early in the season. I’ve also never seen a goaltender fail to cover up the 5-hole like he has. The word is out. Also had to be tough for him to hear the “Hen-Rik” chants and the Bronx Cheer in the first, but he deserved it.
  • Believe it or not, I think this game was a lot closer than the score said, and I hate that saying. But after the first five minutes, the Rangers really settled down and I think were the better team the final 50 minutes or so. The Hawks still won the game, but if we’re looking for some positives, we could start there.
  • With that said, the powerplay took a giant leap back following a little stretch where it saw success. You could make the argument that this was the worst game of the season in terms of powerplay success. They just had absolutely nothing going, and finished 0-for-7.
  • I like him, but boy does Mike Rupp have to cash in on that empty net in the second period. That goal would have made it 4-2 midway through the second and the Rangers would have all the momentum on their hands. I think even Brandon Dubinsky would have buried that one.
  • Staal continues to improve, and now has two points in three games. On top of that, Ryan McDonagh‘s play on the Hagelin goal was a thing-a-beauty.
  • Some of the penalties that were called tonight were just brutal on both sides, including the Toews interference call on Brian Boyle and the first Dubinsky call.
  • Have to just forget about this one and take care of business Sunday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia