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 »

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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.


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 »


Hagelin Named to Rookies All Stars

January 25, 2012

The NHL announced today that Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin will be heading to Ottawa this weekend as one of 12 rookies to take part in the All-Star Skills Competition.

The 23-year-old speedster will join Marian Gaborik, Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist, who was named an assistant captain for Daniel Alfredson‘s team. Rangers head coach John Tortorella will be the head coach of one of the squads.

I’d put my money on Hagelin taking home the fastest skater contest. The kid skates like the wind. Not much else to say, other than its nice to see Rangers being represented this weekend north of the boarder. I still probably won’t watch the competition or the game, though.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Game 9: Rangers Cough Up Three Goal Lead, Fall to Senators in Shootout

October 29, 2011

Every game you think this team has hit rock-bottom, but then they surprise you and cough up another stinker. Today, the Rangers blew a 4-1 lead with about 10 minutes left, and fell to the Ottawa Senators, 5-4, in a shootout.

The Senators opened the scoring with about seven minutes left in the first period, when Chris Neil deflected a shot from the point that beat Henrik Lundqvist just inside the near post.

In the second, Zenon Konopka boarded Artem Anisimov, leading to a five-minute major power play for the Rangers. Midway through the power play, Ryan Callahan went top shelf on Craig Anderson to knot the game at 1. A minute later, Brad Richards buried a pass from Marian Gaborik on a low 2-on-1 break to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

The Rangers appeared to blow the game open in the third on goals by Gaborik and Richards to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead with about 10 minutes left. Then the wheels came off. The Senators scored three goals in eight minutes, including a power play goal by Jason Spezza after Wojtek Wolski elbowed Daniel Alfredsson in the head.

After a scoreless overtime, Erik Christensen, Richards and Wolski failed to beat Anderson and Milan Michalek beat Lundqvist for the 5-4 victory.

Reaction after the break Read the rest of this entry »