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Tag:New York Rangers
Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Brandon Prust fights Rinaldo, Simmonds

By: Adam Gretz

Brandon Prust played eight minutes during the Rangers 2-0 win over the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. He scored no goals, was credited with no assists, did not record a single shot on goal and was credited with just one hit. But head coach John Tortorella said he was a major factor in setting the tone for the Rangers, and described his play on Saturday with the following sentence: "Oh, he's got balls as big as this building."

(Yes, Tortorella is going to be amazing on 24/7.)

What exactly did Prust do with his limited ice time? He seemed to make it a point to fight as many Philadelphia Flyers as he could, dropping the gloves twice in the first period -- once right off the opening faceoff in what was a lengthy bout with Zac Rinaldo, and then later in the period trading blows with Wayne Simmonds.


Prust said, via ESPN New York's Katie Strang, that the bout between he and Rinaldo right off the opening faceoff was mutually agreed upon before hand.

This was the first meeting of the season between the two Winter Classic participants, and Prusts physical exploits offer a nice look at just how heated this rivalry can be.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 25, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Winter Classic alumni game rosters announced

By: Adam Gretz

Before the current Flyers and Rangers meet on the ice for the Winter Classic on Jan. 2, a pair of teams made up of players from their past will hit the ice for an alumni game on Jan. 31 at Citizens Bank Park. After a few confirmations and several rumors of the players involved, we finally have the rosters, and no, Wayne Gretzky will not be suiting up for the Rangers, and we won't be seeing a legion of doom reunion due to the absence of Mikael Renberg.

FLYERS

Coaches: Pat Quinn, Keith Primeau, Mike Nykoluk

Players: Neil Little, Mark Laforest, Chris Therien, Derian Hatcher, Kjell Samuelsson, Larry Goodenough, Eric Desjardins, Terry Carkner, Joe Watson, Brad Marsh, Mark Howe, John Leclair, Eric Lindros, Mark Recchi, Bobby Clarke, Rick Tocchet, Shjon Podein, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuck, Bob Kelly, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, Ken Linesman, Brian Propp, Al Hill

RANGERS

Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis, Colin Campbell

Players: Glenn Anderson, Dan Blackburn, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Pat Hickey, Darius Kasparaitis, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Tom Laidlaw, Darren Langdon, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Stepane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider, Darren Turcotte, John Vanbiesbrouck

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: November 25, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 1:58 pm
 

Andre Deveaux suspended 3 games

By: Adam Gretz

Andre Deveaux of the New York Rangers wasn't quite as lucky as Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian when it came to the result of his Thanksgiving day meeting with the NHL's disciplinary board.

The NHL announced on Friday that Deveaux has been suspended three games as a result of his elbow to the head of Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann during Florida's 2-1 win on Wednesday night.

Here's Brendan Shanahan's latest video explaining the punishment:



The three-game suspension will leave Deveaux sidelined for the Rangers' upcoming games against Wasington (Friday), Philadelphia (Saturday) and Pittsburgh (Tuesday). He will be eligible to return to the New York lineup Thursday, Dec. 1 when the Rangers travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 25, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: November 25, 2011 9:10 am
 

No discipline for Bogosian

By: Adam Gretz

Brendan Shanahan had a pair of disciplinary meetings on Thursday due to hits that took place on Wednesday night. We're still waiting to here what comes out of the hearing that involved New York Rangers defenseman Andre Deveaux for his hit to the head of Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann, but the NHL did announce that Winnipeg Jets defense Zach Bogosian will not face any supplemental discipline for his hit on Washington Capitals rookie Cody Eakin.

This is what the play looked like midway through the second period of Washington's 4-3 overtime victory on Wednesday night:



According to the disciplinary board in a statement released by the league, "in spite of the fact that there was contact with the head, when Bogosian committed to the check, he was coming for Eakin's shoulder and Eakin's change of direction and opening up after his dump-in just prior to the contact contributes enough that there will be no supplementary discipline."

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 10:56 pm
 

Rangers' Deveaux gives Fleischmann elbow to head

By Brian Stubits

In the second period of the Florida Panthers' 2-1 win over the Rangers, New York forward Andre Deveaux gave Brendan Shanahan a reason to work on Thanksgiving.

The Rangers tough guy delivered an elbow to the head of Tomas Fleischmann in open ice. Fleischmann left the game for a while but did come back and played well enough to receive one of the Stars of the game. Here's a look.

At first he was sent to the penalty box, but upon further deliberation, Deveaux was given a game misconduct in addition to the five-minute major on the play. The game misconduct automatically means a review, but something tells me Shanahan was going to take a closer look at this one.

“I don’t know, I haven’t seen it yet, it happened quickly. I probably can’t comment on it until after I see it,” Deveaux said after the game. “He was cutting in. I went to finish my check. I just remember that he went down. I haven’t seen it. I don’t know how bad it is. I know I elbowed him. He came back, so that’s good.”

Looking at Deveaux, he does have a history on his record, so you can all but guarantee Shanahan will lay a pretty heavy hammer on Deveaux in this case. I wouldn't be surprised if Deveaux is called in for an in-person hearing, opening him up to a suspension of at least five games.

For Deveaux, this could cost him more than a few games and pay. Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record suggests that Deveaux could be sent down to Connecticut of the AHL and Mats Zuccarello be given a shot to prove his worth.

More NHL Discipline News Here

H/t to Kukla's Korner

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:11 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Are the Wild, Rangers for real?

wild1

Pucks and Numbers: a weekly statistical look at what's happening around the NHL. This week: A look at the fast starts of the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers and whether or not they are for real.

By: Adam Gretz

The Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers enter their games on Wednesday night as two of the hottest teams in the NHL, with the Rangers winning seven of their past eight games and the Wild riding a four-game winning streak that has helped propel them to the top of the NHL standings with 27 points.

The Rangers were expected by many to be a playoff team this year, coming off a season that saw them take the No. 8 seed in the East and add the top free agent on the market, center Brad Richards. But Minnesota's meteoric rise to the top under the leadership of first-year coach Mike Yeo has been quite a surprise to say the least.

Are these two teams as good as their early season (and most recent) records would suggest? Or are they both setting themselves up for a sudden fall?

If you're a believer in PDO  (or familiar with it) you're probably placing your bets on the latter.

Along with their recent hot streaks, these teams have three things in common.

1) Both teams are getting crushed during 5-on-5 play in terms of shots for and shots allowed. The Wild currently own the third-worst shot differential per game during even-strength play at minus-6, while the Rangers are currently the worst at minus-7. Neither team scores a lot of goals, mostly because...

2) ... Neither team is particularly dominant on special teams, especially when on the power play.

3) As a result, both teams are relying almost entirely on their goaltending, which is good in the short-term, but could be very, very bad in the long-term. In the case of the Rangers, it's Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron, while in Minnesota it's the tag-team duo of Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.

All four of the aforementioned keepers are near the top of the league in terms of even-strength save percentage (they're all in the top-12, actually) with Backstrom pacing the league with a mark of .953. Which is unbelievable.

(Harding, for what it's worth, isn't far behind at .946, while Biron and Lundqvist are currently checking in at .944 and .939 respectively.)

Now, Backstrom is a fine goaltender. Probably one of the better ones in the NHL. But unless he's suddenly become the best goalie in NHL history he (along with the other three -- at least Harding and Biron) probably aren't going to maintain their current save percentages all season, especially given the amount of rubber they face every night. Just as an example, in the post-lockout NHL there have only been seven instances in which a goaltender finished a full season with an even-strength save percentage north of .940, and two of them belong to Boston's Tim Thomas.

Only once (Thomas last season) did a goalie finish over .943. In other words, this probably isn't going to continue all season.

And that brings us to PDO, a relatively simple but often times telling statistic about hot teams that could soon fizzle out and cold teams that could suddenly catch fire.

Originally the brainchild of Brian King (you can check out a recent interview he did talking about the subject by clicking right here) PDO is simply the sum of a team's shooting percentage and save percentage. For individual players, you take the sum of the shooting percentage and save percentage only when that player is on the ice.

On a league-wide level, this number will equal always 1000, but will vary from team-to-team and player-to-player. Teams (and players) with a PDO above or below that will, over time, see it start to regress back closer toward 1000.

Over the past four seasons the PDO range, from low-to-high, for individual players that have played at least 50 games in a single season have been as follows:

2007-08: 937-1056
2008-09: 944-1068
2009-10: 932-1069
2010-11: 934-1062

And let's take a look at the current ratings for the Wild and Rangers players. In an effort to avoid what is an even smaller sample size than we're already dealing with this early in the season, I've limited it to players that have played a minimum of 10 games this season:

Wild And Rangers -- PDO
Team Player PDO Team Player PDO
Wild Guillaume Latendresse 1087 Rangers Michael Sauer 1100
Wild Justin Falk 1060 Rangers Michael Del Zotto 1079
Wild Clayton Stoner 1045 Rangers Ruslan Fedotenko 1058
Wild Pierre-Marc Bouchard 1042 Rangers Erik Christensen 1056
Wild Mikko Koivu 1041 Rangers Derek Stepan 1050
Wild Dany Heatley 1039 Rangers Ryan McDonagh 1046
Wild Marek Zidlicky 1039 Rangers Dan Boyle 1046
Wild Matt Cullen 1035 Rangers Dan Girardi 1028
Wild Nick Schultz 1032 Rangers Brandon Dubinsky 1028
Wild Nick Johnson 1031 Rangers Jeff Woywitka 1027
Wild Jared Spurgeon 1028 Rangers Ryan Callahan 1026
Wild Nate Prosser 1028 Rangers Marian Gaborik 1022
Wild Devin Setoguchi 1025 Rangers Artem Anisimov 1017
Wild Kyle Brodziak 1024 Rangers Brad Richards 1010
Wild Cal Clutterbuck 1014 Rangers Brandon Prust 996
Wild Brad Staubitz 1011 Rangers Steve Eminger 993
Wild Marco Scandella 1010      
Wild Colton Gillies 1009      

The only two regulars on either team with a PDO currently under 1000 are Brandon Prust and Steve Eminger, both of the Rangers. Many of the others are well above their career norms, mainly due to what are almost assuredly unsustainably high on-ice save percentages.

There are currently 551 skaters that have appeared in at least 10 games this season, and out of the top-100 in PDO, an incredible 15 of them play for either the Rangers or Wild. There's a very fine line between winning and losing in the NHL, and right now these are two teams that are probably getting their fair share of breaks and bounces, while also being led by what are probably unsustainable levels of goaltending.

We've seen teams in the past get out-shot, out-chanced, and ultimately, out-scored at 5-on-5 the way the Wild and Rangers currently are and not seen a regression in the win-loss column. Last year's Anaheim Ducks are one such example. The biggest difference between that team, and these two teams, is that while Anaheim also had stellar goaltending, it also had a power play that scored almost at will. This season, Anaheim is once again getting consistently beat during 5-on-5 play, and now that its power play isn't scoring the same way it did last season, it finds itself near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

It should again be pointed out that in the case of the Wild and Rangers, these are currently two of the worst power plays in the NHL, in terms of not only scoring goals, but also generating shots.

So how long can we expect the wins to keep coming at this pace for New York and Minnesota? Probably as long as their goaltenders continue to stand on their heads.

(PDO and shot data via BehindTheNet)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:47 pm
 

Flyers unveil Winter Classic Jersey's

flyerswcjersey

By: Adam Gretz


Finally, the speculation and guessing can end. The Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled the jersey's they will be wearing during the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 against the New York Rangers, and you can see them in the photo above which comes via Flyers beat writer Frank Seravalli.

As you can see, the sweaters are mainly orange with black shoulders, black numbers and some black and white stripes on the sleeves.

Since the Winter Classic began back in 2007 teams have been wearing special jersey's for the game, usually going for a retro look. The Flyers look isn't a bad one, but of all the special jersey's we've seen in the past I'm still a fan of the ones worn by Chicago, Detroit and Washington in recent years.

(H/T The 700 Level)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: November 18, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Bryzgalov gets to meet Winnipeg

By Brian Stubits

Weekend Schedules: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Let's call this the Ilya Bryzgalov tour of fun.

It started with Bryz facing his former team on Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes. His old pals still in the Phoenix red? Let's just say not all of them had flattering comments to make about their former netminder.

There was Derek Morris (no, not THAT Derek Morris) talking about how Bryzgalov gives up soft goals. He even went so far as to say he's glad Bryzgalov is gone and Mike Smith is in. Adrian Aucoin wasn't the most complimentary either.

In the end Bryzgalov got the last laugh with a 2-1 win. Afterward he was only complimentary of his ex-squad.

"It's my former team and not an easy team to beat," he said.

That was Step I, reunion with the team he used to play for. Step II is visiting the city he could have played for, but never would have on Saturday afternoon.

You remember earlier this year, before the Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets, don't you? Most of the speculation was that the Coyotes, not the Thrashers would become the Jets. So Bryzgalov was asked for his thoughts on the matter and considering he's usually always candid, the response he gave didn't exactly sit well with the 'Peggers.

Here is what he said in April.

"You don't want to go to Winnipeg, right?" Bryzgalov said. "Not many people live there, not many Russian people there. Plus it's cold. There's no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It's going to be tough life for your family.

"I better go to somewhere in Russia, KHL, to be honest. Because KHL is Russian people, it's family, friends. Even as a cold place, I can speak to people in Russian language."

Think the people in Winnipeg forgot about that? Of course not. After all, there is no excitement except the hock ...

Bryzgalov remembers it too, and he did back off a bit on Friday.

"I didn't mean it and I didn't want to offend anybody," Bryzgalov said (from Ted Wyman at the Winnipeg Sun). "I'm pretty sure it's good people, beautiful people live in Winnipeg. I'm pretty sure it's passionate fans. I didn't mean it to be honest. That's it."

Since returning to the NHL this season, the Jets fans have enjoyed once again the art of goalie taunting. No doubt they will serenade the goalie with "Illlll-yaaaa" chants all game long, but they could have just a little more juice in store. A popular Jets fan forum has taken to posting sign ideas for fans at the game. I'm envisioning a WWE event or ESPN College Gameday site with signs all over in the crowd. Make it happen Winnipeg.

Of course, with all of the anticipation in Winnipeg for the chance to boo and jeer Bryzgalov, it will probably be Sergei Bobrovsky that starts.

As far as the game on the ice is concerned, the Jets are playing better hockey these days and have been getting the habit of knocking off some of the traditionally stronger East teams at home. They come into the game against the Flyers -- the top team in the East at the moment -- having won the last two home games, both against teams in the playoffs last year (Capitals and Lightning). They also knocked off the Penguins at home early in the season.

When you add in the absence of Jaromir Jagr for the game and it won't be a walk in the park (get it?) for Bryzgalov and the Flyers.

Back on track

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the Canadiens were in disarray. They were off to their worst start in more than 60 years. Assistant coach Perry Pearn was fired. Jacques Martin seemed to be only a couple of losses away from meeting the same fate.

Since an October 24 loss to the Florida Panthers and the subsequent dismissal of Pearn, the Canadiens have very quietly rebounded. I mean, when have you known the Habs to do anything quietly? They have posted a 7-3-1 record since that game and have climbed within three points of the division-leading Sabres.

The natural connection to make is to see the team has done well since firing Pearn, so that must have something to do with it. While I don't want to completely dismiss the idea -- there could be some credence to the belief that it was a "wakeup call" for the Habs players -- it probably is more coincidental than anything. Montreal just happened to have a rough patch at the beginning of the season.

This is where I caution you not to get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. The Canadiens have evened themselves out and are at .500 (if we treat OT losses as ties). Of course, that doesn't mean Martin's seat isn't still hot, it's just not scalding at the moment. He's been passed by Scott Arniel and Paul Maurice in the hot seat rankings.

We will get a better idea of which team more closely resembles the truth: the one that started the season or the one that is 7-3-1 of late. That's because they will go up against arguably the hottest team in hockey on Saturday night. What the Rangers been up to lately? Oh, they're just on a seven-game win streak.

Roller coast of tough love

Speaking of highs and lows, check out the Detroit Red Wings. Talk about a roller coaster of emotion.

The Wings came out of the gate winning their first five games. They followed that up with six straight losses before rebounding with four consecutive wins. Now they have lost two in a row. Pretty amazing for a team to be 17 games in without anything but a streak.

Overall, they have lost five in a row on the road.

"It's tough, nothing that we want to do," said Henrik Zetterberg of the road losing streak. "We have another chance Saturday [in Los Angeles] to turn it around."

That will come on Saturday afternoon against an on-the-up Kings team, 4-1-0 in their last five.

"Do we want to be a good team or not?" coach Mike Babcock said about what will be the subject matter of a team meeting (Detroit News). "Life doesn't just go on good for you. You make a decision it's going to go good for you. You decide for yourself you're going to be successful. You decide for yourself that you're going to make a difference and have a good career. No one just gives you stuff.

"The other teams are trying to. We have to make some decisions."

Ovie debate continues

Alex Ovechkin is drawing a lot of heat these days, and unfortunately for him it isn't over goal celebrations.

At first glance, his numbers don't seem bad (seven goals and seven assists in 17 games) but this is Ovie we're talking about here. Obviously a lot is expected of him.

Right now he is struggling. And, maybe as a result, the Capitals are struggling. Are the two connected? Somewhat. Obviously No. 8 is a big part of the Caps. They especially need more than one goal in a five-game span, such as his current stretch.

So what better place than Toronto for Ovechkin and Washington get find their confidence again? Since James Reimer went down, the goaltending in Toronto has returned to its pre-Reimer state: atrocious. Moreover, Ovechkin has always put up good numbers at the Leafs' place, scoring 23 goals in 23 games there.

It would help ease some of the increasing hysteria in "the nation's hockey capital" if he and the Caps could bust out the scoring stick again in a Hockey Night in Canada showcase.

How much more for Maurice?

That's becoming a popular question in NHL circles right now. Is Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice one or two more losses away from being fired?

Something's gotta give right now in Carolina. The 'Canes have lost six of seven and their star player, Eric Staal, is still struggling to make much of an impression. This was supposed to be a year of progression, not the other way around. After just barely missing the playoffs last spring, the hopes were that the 'Canes would again contend for the postseason as presently constructed.

It would probably go a long way toward calming the panic that is setting in not only among the fans, but GM Jim Rutherford as well, if they handle the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. As you'll recall, Rutherford has fired Maurice before, he could certainly do it again.

We're going streaking

As the great Lou Brown said in Major League: "Gentlemen, we won yesterday. If we win today, that's two in a row. If we win tomorrow, that's what they call a winning streak. It has happened before."

So with that obvious definition in mind, here's a look at the winning streaks in play.

Flyers: As mentioned above, they play in Winnipeg on Saturday and they enter having won three in a row.

Rangers: Also covered, they have won seven games in a row and take that streak into Saturday's tilt against the Habs.

Boston Bruins: The B's also enter the weekend winners of their last seven games and only have one game to play, that's Saturday at the Islanders.

Ottawa Senators: Yes, the Sens have found themselves on another run, winning three in a row. Their lone weekend game comes on Sunday night in Vancouver.

Chicago Blackhawks: Riding a four-game streak, the Blackhawks will have to do the Alberta two-step with the Flames on Friday and Oilers on Saturday.

St. Louis Blues: That's right, that Ken Hitchcock move is working out pretty well. The head to Minnesota having won three consecutive.

Kings: Lastly (boy there are a lot of streaks right now) the aforementioned Kings also take a three-game run into their Saturday game against the Red Wings.

Among the losing steaks, we'll just list the top (or bottom) and that's the Oilers, losers of four in a row.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com