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


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.


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 »


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.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia


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 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 »