Blue Jackets at Blueshirts (late start) tonight

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NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Sunday, Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 37-14-5 (79 pts)
Blue Jackets: 17-35-6 (40 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Feb. 17

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio). The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 37-14-5 (79 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden to snap their four-game winning streak, and are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. The Blueshirts are 20-6-1 in their last 27 contests, dating back to Dec. 17, and have registered at least one point in 37 of their last 48 games since Oct. 29 (34-11-3) after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Blue Jackets enter the contest with a 17-35-6 (40 pts) record to rank 15th in the Western Conference, and have lost three of their last five games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), in an Atlantic Division match-up.

RANGERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
* All-Time: 4-6-1-0 overall (2-1-1-0 at home; 2-5-0-0 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the first and only meeting this season.
* Last Season: New York was 0-1-0 overall (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 3-1 loss in their only meeting on Dec. 11 at Nationwide Arena. Marc Staal tallied the Rangers’ lone goal, on the power play, while Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko each picked up an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves.
* The last time the Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden was Nov. 23, 2009 (7-4)
* New York ranks sixth with an 18-7-2 (38 pts) record at home; Columbus ranks 29th with a 7-19-3 (17 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 1-2-0 vs. the Central Division; the Blue Jackets are 0-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists two former Blue Jackets on their roster: Mike Rupp (2005-06); Anton Stralman (2009-10 – 2010-11)
* Columbus lists two former Rangers on their roster: Vinny Prospal (2009-10 – 2010-11); Fedor Tyutin (2003-04 – 2007-08)

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. BLUE JACKETS:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.77 GAA
* Martin Biron — 4 GP, 1-2-1-0, 1.73 GAA, 1 SO
* Marian Gaborik — 24 GP, 13-9-22
* Brad Richards — 19 GP, 8-11-19
* Artem Anisimov — 2 GP, 1-2-3
* Dan Girardi — 4 GP, 1-1-2

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Rangers have tallied five power play goals in the last five games, posting a 25.0% success rate over the span (5-20). The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in the last four games (10 times shorthanded), and 18 of the last 23 games (57-62, 91.9% over the span). The Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 19-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 27-7-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in seven power play attempts (10:06) on Thursday vs. Chicago. New York ranks 27th overall (28-196, 14.3%) and is tied for 23rd at home (16-106, 15.1%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), and 1-6 (8:52) when four-on-three (last – 2/1 at BUF). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Blackhawks scoreless in three power play attempts (3:24) on Thursday at MSG. New York is tied for fourth overall (160-183, 87.4%) and ranks sixth at home (70-81, 86.4%). The Rangers are 8-9 (4:34) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/16 vs. CHI), and 2-3 (2:24) when three-on-four (last – 2/16 vs. CHI). Shorthanded goals for (7): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky); 2/12 vs. WSH (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in two four-on-four situations (1:24) on Thursday vs. Chicago. The Rangers are plus-six in 58 four-on-four situations (106:30), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik); 2/9 vs. TBL (Stepan); 2/9 vs. TBL (Richards); 2/14 at BOS (Anisimov). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 2/9 vs. TBL (Lecavalier).

HOME SWEET HOME
The Blueshirts’ 18-7-2 (38 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 27 games since 1995-96 (19-2-6, 44 pts).

PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .705 win% through 56 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 38-13-5 record (.723 win%), and is the third best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau

BENCH BOSS
Head Coach John Tortorella registered his 131st win as Rangers’ head coach with a 3-0 win on Tuesday at Boston to move into a tie with Herb Brooks for sixth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list. His .584 win% currently ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time coaching win% list.

MEASURING UP
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* T-2nd in points (79)
* 1st in win% (.705)
* 2nd in wins (37)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (34)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (14)
* 2nd in fewest goals against (110)
* 2nd in GAA (1.96)
* 1st in hits (1,682)
* 4th in blocked shots (946)
* 4th in +/- rating (plus-40)
* 3rd in goal differential (plus-44)

QUICK HITS:
* This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* New York has registered at least one point in 37 of their last 48 games (34-11-3), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 13-1-2 when leading after the first period and 23-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Rangers rank fourth in the league with a .267 win% when trailing after two periods (4-10-1), and their four third period comeback victories are tied for eighth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 15 games this season, which is the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with a .760 win% when out-shooting their opponent (19-6-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 27-1-2 mark (.900 win%) in those contests; Their 27 wins rank third in the NHL

THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 7-1-0 with a 1.10 GAA, .960 Sv% and three shutouts in his last eight games
* Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in 12 of his last 22 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 30 games this season
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 14 starts this season
* Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a five-game point streak (six goals, one assist over the span), and has tallied 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in the last 13 games
* Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist over the span)
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in the last 14 games
* Brad Richards has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in the last five games
* Derek Stepan has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last seven games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last 10 games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last seven games
* Carl Hagelin has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last 13 games
* Marc Staal has tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in the last three games

MILESTONES APPROACHING:
* Ryan Callahan: 1 goal from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 4 points from 100 NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 4 games from 700 NHL career
* Ryan McDonagh: 4 games from 100 NHL career
* John Mitchell: 3 games from 200 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Artem Anisimov: 100th career NHL point (2/14 at BOS)

INJURIES:
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 32
* Ruslan Fedotenko (injured, 2/9) — 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 172

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45 Comments

  1. LGR’S…

    Blue Jackets special advisor, Craig Patrick was spotted at the Whale game.. Uh Oh…..

  2. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    If Beer-on qualifies for the Rangers “hot List,” I would hate to see who is on the club’s “cold list.”

  3. Take this for what it’s worth, but my sources tell me that Rick Nash is in NYC and will be at the Garden later today.

  4. Interesting, thoughtful discussion yesterday on the blog. Was a very pleasant read for me since I couldn’t join you. Except there was a suggestion to trade Marc Staal. Oh well, nothing is perfect. Some interesting reads around this morning, but nothing appears imminent. I can’t link NY Post using my iPad anymore, but apparently Neal Smith is against trading for Nash, and he also talks about all the trades he made in March of 1994. LB’s Slap Shots is OK. One smart move Slats already made in my book, he didn’t go after Pavel Kubina. Speaking of Flyers, who got him, I find it entertaining that they’re involved in Nash sweepstakes. Goal scoring isn’t their problem. The defense (and adding Grossman and Kubina doesn’t solve that) and GOALTENDING are their main issues. Unless, of course, they believe that if they had Nash, they would’ve won 7-6 yesterday, instead of losing 6-4 to Pens.

  5. I hope the flyers do get Nash and trade there young players to do it. The flyers would be mediocre for years to come because they still will have no goal tending and bad defense and no depth with a tight salary cap.

  6. it’s not only the rangers ex-gm Smith who feels that way. I’ve heard analyst, sport writers etc.. all say the same thing besides myself and about 80% ranger fans. The right move would be to make minor moves before the deadline and wait till the off season to make any big trades and or free agents.

  7. NASH-SANITY continues! However I liked Larry Brooks’ suggestion of renting Teemu Selanne much better. He’s 41 and still killing it.

  8. Except Brooks does realize the Ducks are hanging around on the playoff bubble and the Selanne has a NMC, he’s never played in the East and he’s basically a deity in the Ducks org?

  9. And with Dom Moore going for a 2nd rounder (again!) what do you think the cost to rent Selanne would be assuming he was available?

  10. can someone tell me the last time a player refused to waive their no trade clause to come to the Rangers???

    I think its ridiculous to even put that into consideration when talking about the Rangers of all teams especially when they are the best team in the league.

  11. How do we know whether players are asked to waive their NTCs before trade talks are even started? I wouldn’t be surprised if a GM asks a players agent informally if their player would consider to waive this NTC to go to NY or a few different teams.

  12. CTBlueshirt

    players don’t turn down the Rangers as a two month rental. They’ll be put up in one of the best hotels in the city while getting a chance to win an original 6 team a cup at the World Most Famous Arena.

    Noone says no to that. They might not sign a long term deal here but for 2 months, noone says no which is why Ryan Smyth would come willingly to the Rangers whereas he moped with the Islanders and Kings…

  13. Oleo,

    I still think that’s probably due to confirmation bias. We see the the players that want to come here waive their NTC, but rarely do we hear about the players that refuse to come here. Maybe a player lists the Rangers on their NTC list and it’s a non-starter for their agent to ask them to waive it.

  14. How do you know? Especially for players that have wanted to go to contenders, which up until this year the Rangers haven’t been one for quite a while.

  15. it would be awesome to Selanne in a Rangers uniform and I would certainly give up a 1st rounder, conditional 2nd rounder and Zuccarello to make that happen.

    Don’t think that I would do anything more than that though, nor would that get it done…

  16. Czechthemout!!! on

    Tomg

    Look we get it. You don’t want the Rangers to trade a lot young kids for Nash, you are right about that. I don’t want them too either. But I will tell one thing about Sather, hate him or not, his trading record here has been pretty stellar. The Gomez deal leading the way as a total fleecing.

    I am a proponent of trading Dubi and AA if that is what it will take plus a number 1 and Mcilrath. You can’t deny that the Rangers are a better team with Nash and Krieder than they are with Dubi,AA,and Kreider.

    The bottom line is the Stanley Cup. And in my opinion as well as some of the same experts you cite, we just don’t have enough scoring to go all the way. Look at the plethora of options the the Bruins had last year. The Penguins before them, the Red Wings, the Ducks,etc…

    The Bottom line is that I believe we are one big time forward and one big time defenseman away from being a truly elite team that will challenge for the Cup for the next 5-6 seasons. Nash gives us the offense we need this season to compete for the Cup at least this year.

    The Bottom line is that Nash is young, fast, tough down low and in the corners. He makes us instantly better on the powers lay because he can create his own shot. He also has proven to be a big game player in the Olympics when his team has needed him. I think we would be licks to have him. But for the right price. I would be curiou to know what you think?

  17. As much as I love Zuccarello and want him to develop as a Ranger, I’d also give him up for renting Selanne…

    It’s rare that you have the chance to rent a HOF’er of Selanne’s caliber for a Cup run….

    You have to give up goods to get goods….

  18. Oleo,

    Rangers 1st rounder is almost a 2nd rounder. Especially if they go deep in the playoffs. They don’t have a 2nd rounder as that was dealt in the Erixon trade.

    And Dom Moore fetched a 2nd rounder. Selanne will cost a lot more than that.

  19. Regardless of any trade banter, we better come out and respect the BJ’s tonight :/ Seriously, I don’t care how bad they are, if we come out all high and mighty, it could be a long night.

    On to the Nash rumors. I am not 100% against getting Nash. I love Dubi. He helped give this team an identity. He is a gritty guy who plays along the boards and in the corners probably better than anyone else on our team. But if he was the one roster player that had to go in order to get Nash, and we didn’t have to trade Kreider or Erixon to get him, then I am on board. If I knew right now that we had at least a 85% chance of getting Parise this summer, then I say leave the team as is. But I will tell you this. If we do land Parise, you better believe that Dubi is most likely going to be moved at the draft. Even if the cap goes up a significant amount, we are still going to have to shed salary and make some room.

    Either way, I like this team the way it is, but I like with a player like Nash, and I LOVE it with Parise.

    What I love even more than the whole trade speculation, is the fact that we have HOME GROWN talent, and a lot of it, and that we are upset thinking of trading one of them away. I never thought I would see the day, under cigar puss, that we would be in this situation, and here we are.

  20. “Czechthemout!!! February 19th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Tomg

    Look we get it. You don’t want the Rangers to trade a lot young kids for Nash, you are right about that. I don’t want them too either. But I will tell one thing about Sather, hate him or not, his trading record here has been pretty stellar. The Gomez deal leading the way as a total fleecing.

    I am a proponent of trading Dubi and AA if that is what it will take plus a number 1 and Mcilrath. You can’t deny that the Rangers are a better team with Nash and Krieder than they are with Dubi,AA,and Kreider.

    The bottom line is the Stanley Cup. And in my opinion as well as some of the same experts you cite, we just don’t have enough scoring to go all the way. Look at the plethora of options the the Bruins had last year. The Penguins before them, the Red Wings, the Ducks,etc…

    The Bottom line is that I believe we are one big time forward and one big time defenseman away from being a truly elite team that will challenge for the Cup for the next 5-6 seasons. Nash gives us the offense we need this season to compete for the Cup at least this year.

    The Bottom line is that Nash is young, fast, tough down low and in the corners. He makes us instantly better on the powers lay because he can create his own shot. He also has proven to be a big game player in the Olympics when his team has needed him. I think we would be licks to have him. But for the right price. I would be curiou to know what you think?”

    I’m glad you get it but you don’t get it. I do not want Nash and that ridiculous contract period, forget about giving up prospects.

  21. Strictly speaking for this season and ignoring the potential disaster his contract could become for the next 6, what is it about Nash’s worst year since his rookie year that makes people think he’s the final piece? His 26 goal pace, his 4 PPG? Or are we gambling that an underachieving Richards finds his game and helps Nash find his game with new teammates and a completely new system that is based primarily on strong defensive play?

  22. between the linsanity and the nash circus the garden will be buzzing today and tonight.

    the ice will be pathetic of course.

    the last two times columbus came to msg they won. respect the opponent

  23. I seem to think that Dubi would make a better captain in Columbus than Nash. And that’s probably the exact type of change Dubi needs to help find his confidence in his game…because, as we know, his problems on the ice are mostly mental…

    We need a big scoring winger who can play physical. Nash is very expensive but he fits the bill.

  24. Two teams coming off having their rear ends handed to them by the Hawks. Should be a spirited one. I know this team doesn’t have much history, and I know we only see them once, maybe twice a year, but we need to create some hate here, and pretend they are the Flyers, Devils, or Islanders.

    And not to praise an Islander player, but damn, how about the year Tavares is having. I watched the Islander game last night, and that kid is really turning himself into a complete player. Very strong on his skates, and a good finisher. Good for him.

  25. Also, even if Kreider’s NCAA season were to end tomorrow and they could sign him to an ELC an hour after that. No way do they burn the first year of his ELC for just the rest of the season by playing him in the NHL.

  26. Also, the fans that had the boo birds out for Biron the other night were LAME. People that boo Nash tonight, LAME. The fans that boo Jagr when he comes as an apposing player, LAME.

  27. “Czechthemout!!!,

    If this was Malkin we were talking about I would be all in but it’s not and to say Nash is a great player because he played great in the Olympics, well, the season and playoffs isn’t the Olympics.

  28. But nasty, we pay our hard earned money to go to the game, and I will boo if I want to boo.

    That is all fine and good, but this team would not be in the position we are in this year with out Biron. LAME

    This team would not have come out of our laughing stock hibernation without Jagr, LAME.

    Nash may very well end up a Ranger very soon, and you want to boo the guy for what?? Because a fan favorite might be traded for him. LAME

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