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 »


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 »


Tortorella Fined $20K

April 7, 2012

I don’t think many believed the NHL would take a hard stance against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik for his illegal knee-on-knee Thursday night on Derek Stepan.

But many didn’t think John Tortorella would take the brunt of the punishment. But we were wrong, as the League handed Torts a $20,000 fine yesterday for his post-game comments against Orpik, Sidney CrosbyEvgeni Malkin and the Penguins organization as a whole.

“Absolutely, it’s a cheap, dirty hit,” Tortorella said. “I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there, I wonder what would happen? So I’m anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just no respect among players, none. It’s sickening.”

He wasn’t done. When asked why players have no respect for each other, Tortorella responded: “Ask the guy who did it, ask him. It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the times and look what happens. It’s ridiculous, but they’ll whine about something else over there, won’t they? Starting with their two (bleepin’) stars.”

Torts spoke the truth and the League didn’t like it. Do we see some pattern developing? Last week, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette complained about a late, big hit on Danny Briere in the dying minutes of a Flyers 6-4 loss that resulted in a melee. A few days later, Mike Milbury took the airwaves to bash Crosby and others on the team.

The Penguins are the love of the League. They get away with everything and escape punishment at every corner. I don’t think Orpiks’ knee was overly viscious but was still illegal. Could you imagine if that was Stu Bickel or Brandon Prust injuring Crosby or Malkin. I think the Rangers would forfeit their playoff spot. 

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Rangers Cut Ties With Sean Avery, Dubinsky Has Sinuses

March 7, 2012

According to several reports, the Rangers’ organization has told Sean Avery to stay away from the Connecticut Whale. The organization told the feisty 31-year-old winger that he would not be on the team’s playoff roster, and while he’s at it, not to report to practice or games anymore.

What does this mean? Well, it basically speeds up the inevitable. The relationship between Avery and the Rangers was going to end July 1, when his contract with the team expired. There was no way he would be brought back, even if he agreed to play for designer clothing.

It’s a shame it ended this way because Avery contributed a lot to this team, especially in his first stint under Tom Renney. It just didn’t work out with John Tortorella, and there was no way it would. 

Onto hockey-related news, Brandon Dubinsky left last night’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils after mixing it up with Ryan Carter with sinus trouble. It was originally believed to be a hand injury.

“Just didn’t feel well; got hit in the nose pretty hard,” Tortorella told the NY Post. “[He is] just having some problems with his sinuses; just isn’t on top of it. So he took today off.”

I originally believed it would be a concussion, as Dubinsky got his rear-end handed to him big time. Glad it’s just sinuses. 

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Rangers Top Hurricanes 3-2

March 1, 2012

I’m actually having difficulty coming up with witty openings for post-game entries. This team just keeps rolling and rolling. They lose one or two, they win three or four. The shock is starting to wear off, and many Rangers fans have now just become used to the success of the regular season. That, obviously, will change in about five weeks time when the playoffs start.

Tonight, the Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, behind second period goals by Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik, and a third period tally by Brandon Prust. For the Hurricanes, Jeff Skinner and Jay Harrison were able to beat Martin Biron over 60 minutes.

The Rangers improve to 41-15-6, lead both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division

  • Really solid effort from start to finish. The Rangers were the better team for 60 minutes and were just too much for the Canes to handle.
  • When the Rangers got into penalty trouble — especially the four-minute double-minor in the third period — the penalty kill stepped up huge. This team prides itself on team defense, and it very rarely fails them.
  • Speaking of penalties, Brandon Dubinsky‘s tossing the stick penalty late in the first period, which led to Skinner’s goal early in the second period, is just a bad penalty to take. Dubinsky didn’t have a shift in the second or third periods. Hopefully it sends the message. Coach John Tortorella called it a “dumb penalty.”
  • The line of Anisimov, Gaborik and Derek Stepan continues to generate offense on a nightly basis. They’re developing into a legitimate first line threat. Gaborik’s tally was his 30th of the season, and he’s had over a point-per-game over the last 20.
  • This was one of Biron’s most solid starts, and he needed it. He’s been lack-luster as of late, and he really bounced back and maintained the Rangers’ leads. Big win for him.
  • Scary scene in the third period when Dan Girardi appeared to injure his arm blocking a shot. I understand the mentality of blocking shots, but sometimes I wish these guys would let the guy with the goalie pads block them.
  • Michael Del Zotto left the match with a hip injury. It could be the same injury he suffered last weekend against Buffalo, but not a lot of information given tonight.
  • No Ryan Callahan, no problem. The team didn’t skip a beat without the captain in the lineup. Obviously we don’t want to make that a regular story, but one night they survived.
  • Ryan McDonagh is a great player.
  • The Prust goal was something out of NHL 94 on the Sega Genesis. Picture perfect.
  • I really hate when Marc Staal plays one of his brothers. MSG makes out like it’s the first time this happens, rather than a 10-time a season thing.
  • Right back at it tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


Flyers Acquire Kubina

February 18, 2012

Quick post here, as it isn’t really related to the Rangers, but it kind of is…if that makes sense.

Anyway, the Philadelphia Flyers today acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional second-round pick in either 2012 or 2013, and a 2013 fourth-round pick, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

I was pulling for the Blueshirts to acquire Kubina — along with his expiring contract — for the stretch run. He’s a guy who was part of the 2004 Lightning, along with John Tortorella and Brad Richards. The price was a little high, but I would have pulled the trigger on this one. Hurts even more that he went to Philadelphia.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia