But first, a crucial message from Blogmama.
re: This weekend’s Boneheadpalooza:
“Greetings all! As promised, here’s the info on this weekend’s Boneheads “We Will Make the Playoffs” Picnic (cole slaw not included).
We’re breaking it into two events, in case some people can’t make Saturday but would like to picnic anyway. You can RSVP here, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the dealio:
Friday: 7 p.m., Flying Puck, 7th Ave. and 30th St. This is so folks can watch the games on that night and pray for the right teams to lose.
Saturday: Post-game, Warren77 (at 77 Warren St., for those who actually may not know that). I’m hoping the place isn’t too insane, but it just seems wrong to picnic anywhere else, so we’ll just have to deal.
We have a small group already set for both events (Krisy, who has flown in from Norway just for the games and picnic this week, is the guest of honor. You’ll just have to be surprised by the rest!) but hope to see many of you either time. Let’s send our boys into the playoffs with Ranger Report style!
How to find us: Listen for Norwegian accents or scope me out. For those who have not met me yet, I’m tall, have short hair, green-framed eyeglasses and a fabulous tan :) Or just shout out “boneheads!”
Here are the pre-game notes, courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. ATLANTA THRASHERS
Thursday, Apr. 7, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 43-32-5 (91 pts)
Thrashers: 33-34-12 (78 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Apr. 5
The Rangers will face-off against the Atlanta Thrashers at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the penultimate game of their 2010-11 regular season schedule. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 43-32-5 (91 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Boston Bruins, 5-3, on Monday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 10-3-1 in their last 14 contests. New York is 5-0-1 in their last six games at MSG. The Thrashers enter the contest with a 33-34-12 (78 pts) record to rank 11th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, Apr. 9, at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), to conclude their 2010-11 regular season schedule.
TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Thrashers
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. Thrashers
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)
RANGERS vs. THRASHERS:
- All-Time: 19-14-1-9 overall (7-8-1-5 at home, 12-6-0-4 on the road)
- 2010-11: Tonight marks the fourth and final meeting this season, and the second of two at MSG. New York is 1-2-0 overall and 0-1-0 at home.
- Last Season: New York was 1-1-2 overall, with a 0-1-1 mark at home. Two of their four meetings were decided in the shootout.
- Six of their last 10 meetings have required overtime, and five of their last nine have ended in the shootout
- New York ranks 22nd with a 19-16-4 (42 pts) record at home; Atlanta is tied for 23rd with a 16-19-5 (37 pts) mark on the road
- The Rangers are 8-9-2 vs. the Southeast Division; the Thrashers are 9-7-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
- Henrik Lundqvist is 7-4-6 with a 2.20 GAA and one shutout in 18 career regular season appearances vs. Atlanta; Chad Johnson is 0-0-1 with a 0.92 GAA in one career regular season contest vs. Atlanta
- Vinny Prospal has registered a team-high, 21 goals, 37 assists and 58 points in 53 career regular season contests vs. Atlanta. Prospal’s 58 points vs. Atlanta is his most against any NHL team.
- New York lists one former Thrasher on their roster: Erik Christensen (2007-08 – 2008-09)
- Atlanta lists two former Rangers on their roster: Nik Antropov (2008-09); Radek Dvorak (1999-2000 – 2002-03)
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.
- Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (8:00) on Monday vs. Boston, and are now 14-68 (20.6%) in their last 19 games. New York ranks 16th overall (49-286, 17.1%) and 14th at home (28-147, 19.0%). The Rangers are 5-15 (12:41) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/3 at PHI), and 0-7 (8:42) when four-on-three (last – 4/3 at PHI). 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 held the Bruins scoreless in one shorthanded situation (2:00) on Monday at MSG. New York ranks 10th overall (213-255, 83.5%) and 16th at home (96-116, 82.8%). 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 Monday vs. Boston, and are now plus-three in 64, four-on-four situations (130:25). 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 (4): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson); 4/3 at PHI (Zherdev).
The Rangers competed in 18 back-to-back sets this season, posting a record of 10-7-1 (3-2-0 at home, 7-5-1 on the road) in the first game and 12-6-0 (5-2-0 at home, 7-4-0 on the road) in the second game of the set. New York out-scored their opponent, 50-35, in the second game. Over the last two seasons, New York is 21-8-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 9-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-1 on the road over the span.
The Blueshirts are the only team in the NHL who are undefeated when leading after two periods, posting a record of 28-0-0 in those contests. The Rangers rank fourth in the league with a plus-22 goal differential in the third period (84 goals for, 62 goals against).
PLACE IN HISTORY:
- The Rangers’ 43 wins are tied for seventh most in franchise history, one win shy of moving into a tie for sixth
- The Blueshirts’ plus-13 rating on special teams is tied for 15th in team history
- Henrik Lundqvist’s 35 wins are tied for seventh in Rangers’ history, one win shy of moving into a tie for sixth
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Mar. 27 after posting a 2-0-1 record, 0.32 GAA, .987 Sv% and two shutouts in three games. On Mar. 26, Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in a 1-0 victory at Boston to establish a new career-high with his league leading, 11th shutout of the season, while appearing in his 400th career game. His 11 shutouts are tied for second in team history for most shutouts in a season, and are the most by a Ranger since John Ross Roach posted 13 shutouts in 1928-29. He is now one of two active goaltenders with at least two seasons of 10+ shutouts (M. Brodeur – 4). Lundqvist also posted his 30th win of the season on Mar. 18 vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career, and extend his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. Lundqvist established a new career-high by appearing in his 22nd consecutive contest (dating back to Feb. 11) on Mar. 31 at Long Island. Lundqvist has appeared in 24 straight games entering tonight’s contest.
New York won its 40th game of the season with a 1-0 victory vs. Florida on Mar. 22. 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).
COMPARED TO LAST SEASON…
The Rangers have posted six more wins and seven more points compared to last season through 80 games (37-33-10, 84 points in 2009-10), having tallied 11 more goals (228 this season, 217 last season) while allowing 20 fewer goals against (193 this season, 213 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 (2,269), rank fourth in blocked shots (1,276), fifth in goals against (193), are tied for first in shootout wins (nine), second with number of players with at least one GWG (18), fourth in shorthanded goals (11) and road wins (24), and fourth with a plus-35 goal differential.
THE HOT LIST:
- Vinny Prospal enters the contest with a three-game scoring streak (three goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in the last 19 games
- Henrik Lundqvist is 10-3-1 with a 2.05 GAA, .933 Sv% and three shutouts in the last 14 games
- Marc Staal has tallied six assists in his last eight games
- Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 50
- Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 37
- Chris Drury (knee, 2/4) – 26
- Martin Biron (collarbone, 2/28) – 16
- Ryan Callahan (ankle, 4/4)
Total Man-Games Lost: 318
- Apr. 1 – Assigned forward Mats Zuccarello to Connecticut (AHL)
- Apr. 4 – Recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL)
- Apr. 5 – Assigned forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut (AHL)