A lot of you were discussing this story from “Hockey’s Future” on the Rangers prospects yesterday.
I forgot to tell youse, I spoke with a guy who does a lot of scouting, and who has seen a lot of Chris Kreider this season.
This is what he had to say, his eyes popping out of his head, by the way:
“Kreider is the real deal. He’s an NHL skater with an NHL shot. I’m telling you, this kid’s the real deal.”
The scout also said that he thinks Ryan Bourque is going to be a legit NHL player, mainly as a penalty-killer type, and that he could be a captain/alternate captain kind of guy — though the Rangers have a bunch of guys who are going to be wearing letters for a long, long time.
Scoreboard watching tonight:
… and for those keeping an eye on the race to be the Rangers’ first round opponent (or to not be):
Here are the pre-game notes from the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS
Thursday, Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 40-30-4 (84 pts)
Senators: 27-37-9 (63 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 22
The Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their two-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 40-30-4 (84 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Florida Panthers, 1-0, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden to extend their season-high winning streak to five games, and are now 7-1-0 in their last eight contests. The five-game winning streak is the longest for New York since they won seven in a row last season from Oct. 3 to Oct. 17. The Senators enter the contest with a 27-37-9 (63 pts) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference, and have won five of their last eight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six match-up on Saturday, Mar. 26, at TD Garden (1:00 p.m.), to begin a four-game road trip.
TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Senators
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Senators
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. SENATORS:
- All-Time: 32-33-3-1 overall (14-20-0-0 at home; 18-13-3-1 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts are 2-1-0 overall and 0-1-0 at home. The Rangers have tallied 10 goals combined in their three previous meetings.
- Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 overall with a 1-1-0 mark at home. The Rangers’ penalty kill held the Senators scoreless in 13 power play opportunities in the season series.
- New York ranks 19th with an 18-16-3 (39 pts) record at home; Ottawa ranks 26th with a 14-18-4 (32 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 9-6-1 vs. the Northeast Division; the Senators are 8-9-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 10-11-0 with a 1.98 goals against average and one shutout in 22 career regular season appearances vs. Ottawa; Chad Johnson has yet to face the Senators
- Bryan McCabe leads the Rangers with nine goals, 23 assists and 32 points in 65 career regular season contests vs. the Senators; Marian Gaborik has registered 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 11 career regular season games vs. Ottawa
- New York lists one former Senator on their roster: Vinny Prospal (1997-98 – 2000-01)
- Ottawa lists no former Rangers on their roster
The Blueshirts have posted a plus-13 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for fourth in the league. The Blueshirts did not commit a penalty on Tuesday vs. Florida, marking the first time that has happened since Jan. 9, 2009 at Buffalo.
- Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play opportunity (2:00) on Tuesday vs. Florida, and are now 13-46 (28.3%) in their last 13 games. New York ranks 13th overall (48-264, 18.2%) and 10th at home (28-141, 19.9%). The Rangers are 4-12 (10:42) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/20 at PIT), and 0-5 (7:02) when four-on-three (last – 3/18 vs. MTL). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards); 3/20 at PIT (Kunitz).
- Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts did not skate in a shorthanded situation on Tuesday vs. Florida. New York ranks 14th overall (203-244, 83.2%) and 19th at home (93-113, 82.3%). The Rangers are 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (11): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust); 3/15 vs. NYI (Prust).
- Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Tuesday vs. Florida, and are now plus-four in 59, four-on-four situations (116:05). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello); 3/4 at OTT (Stepan); 3/6 vs. PHI (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (3): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson).
New York won its 40th game of the season with a 1-0 victory vs. Florida on Tuesday. It is the fifth time in the last six years the Rangers posted 40 or more wins in a season, marking only the second time in franchise history the team accomplished the feat (1968-69 – 1973-74). The Blueshirts are one of five Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06 (Montreal, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Blueshirts tallied six or more goals in three consecutive home games from Mar. 6 vs. Philadelphia to Mar. 18 vs. Montreal, recording 19 goals over the span. The last time the Rangers tallied 19 or more combined goals in three consecutive home games was Dec. 26, 1995 to Jan. 10, 1996 (20 goals). Friday’s contest vs. Montreal was the 10th time this season New York recorded six or more goals in a game, marking the 26th time in franchise history they accomplished the feat and first time since they tallied six or more goals in 11 games during the 1996-97 season. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a four-game home winning streak.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 30th win of the season on Friday vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career. He also extended his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. On Tuesday, Lundqvist turned aside 22 shots in a 1-0 victory vs. Florida to post his league leading, 10th shutout of the season. It is the second time Lundqvist registered 10 shutouts in a season (2007-08).
Henrik Lundqvist faced 40 shots in a 5-2 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday, marking the fourth time this season he faced 40 or more shots in a game. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.51 goals against average, a .964 save percentage and one shutout in those contests.
Rangers’ forwards Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal rank first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, since returning from injury in early February. Callahan leads the team with 13 goals and 23 points in 21 games since returning from injury on Feb. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, following a 19-game hiatus due to a broken hand suffered on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh. Prospal leads the team with 11 assists and ranks second with 16 points in 20 games since he made his season debut on Feb. 3 vs. New Jersey after missing the first 53 games of the season with a knee injury.
Since acquiring defenseman Bryan McCabe on Feb. 26, the Rangers power play has tallied 10 goals in 38 attempts (26.3%) in 11 games. McCabe has registered five power play points (one goal, four assists) over the span.
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted seven more wins and nine more points compared to last season through 74 games (33-32-9, 75 points in 2009-10), having tallied 21 more goals (216 this season, 195 last season) while allowing 21 fewer goals against (179 this season, 200 last season). New York has also shown a six-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (11 this season, five last season).
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers lead the league in hits (2,116) and players with at least one game-winning goal (18), are tied for first in shootout wins (eight), seventh in goals for (216), fourth in road wins (22), rank fourth in blocked shots (1,172) and shorthanded goals (11), fifth in goals against (179), and are tied for third with a plus-37 goal differential.
THE HOT LIST:
- Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a five-game winning streak, and is 7-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA, .932 Sv% and two shutouts in the last eight games
- Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a four-game point streak (three goals, four assists over the span), and has recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in the last 17 contests
- Artem Anisimov enters the contest with a four-game assist/point streak (two goals, four assists over the span), and has tallied 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last eight games
- Brandon Dubinsky enters the contest with a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists over the span)
- Marian Gaborik has tallied six points (five goals, one assist) in the last six games
- Erik Christensen has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last five games, and has tallied at least one point in seven of his last 10 games (five goals, seven assists)
- Vinny Prospal has tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the last 13 contests
- Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 44
- Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 31
- Chris Drury (knee, 2/4) – 20
- Martin Biron (fractured collarbone, 2/28) – 10
- Marc Staal (injured) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost: 294
- Mar. 16 – Agreed to terms with forward Ryan Bourque and defenseman Dylan McIlrath