Maple Leaves at Rangers tonight (7 p.m.) … pre-game notes

201

Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Monday, Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 17-18-2 (36 pts)
Maple Leafs: 18-16-4 (40 pts)

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers will conclude their franchise record nine-game homestand when they face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG 2; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts rank sixth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 17-18-2 (36 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Minnesota Wild, 4-1, Sunday, and are now 2-4-2 on their current homestand. The Blueshirts have tallied 13 goals during play in the last four games, and are tied for fifth in the conference in ROW (16). The Maple Leafs enter the contest with a 18-16-4 (40 pts) record to rank seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have lost six of their last eight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Washington Capitals on Friday, Dec. 27, at Verizon Center (7:00 p.m.), to begin a five-game road trip.

RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS:
All-Time: 222-273-95-6 overall (129-111-56-3 at home; 93-162-39-3 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the first of three meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at Madison Square Garden.
Last Season: New York was 2-1-0 overall (2-0-0 mark at home; 0-1-0 mark on the road). Two of their three meetings were separated by one goal, including a 3-2 SO victory for the Blueshirts on Apr. 10 at MSG. The Rangers out-shot the Maple Leafs, 104-70, with a 75-48 advantage after the first period, and out-scored Toronto 6-2 in the third period. Rick Nash (two goals, two assists) and Derek Stepan (one goal, three assists) tied for the team lead in scoring with four points apiece in the series, while Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA.
The Rangers have recorded a point in 12 of their last 15 meetings with the Maple Leafs (10-3-2 over the span), and have out-scored Toronto, 54-31, during the stretch
The Blueshirts have won each of their last two games against the Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden, having out-scored Toronto, 8-4, over the span.
New York is 7-10-2 at home; Toronto is 6-8-3 on the road.
New York is 6-4-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; Toronto is 5-4-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents.
New York lists two former Maple Leafs on its roster: Dominic Moore (2007-08 – 2008-09); Anton Stralman (2007-08 – 2008-09).
Toronto lists one former Ranger on its roster: Colton Orr (2005-06 – 2008-09).

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS: Henrik Lundqvist – 23 GP, 12-7-4, 2 SO, 2.65 GAA; Brad Richards – 37 GP, 17-18–35; Benoit Pouliot – 17 GP, 4-9–13; Rick Nash – 11 GP, 4-6–10; Dan Girardi – 25 GP, 4-4–8.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Rangers’ power play is 10-43 (23.3%) in the last 13 games … Have tallied two or more power play goals in five games this season … Is tied for third in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations … The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 14 of the last 20 games (46-52, 88.5% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-2 (2:22) earlier tonight vs. Minnesota. New York ranks 12th in the NHL overall (24-125, 19.2%), and 20th at home (11-68, 16.2%). The Rangers are 3-11 (5:44) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/15 vs. CGY), and 0-3 (3:55) when four-on-three (last – 12/20 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille); 12/20 vs. NYI (Clutterbuck, PS); 12/20 vs. NYI (Grabner).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 2-2 (4:00) earlier tonight vs. Minnesota. New York ranks eighth in the NHL overall (96-113, 85.0%), and is tied for 13th at home (45-54, 83.3%). The Rangers are 2-4 (3:25) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/20 vs. NYI), and 4-6 (4:29) when three-on-four (last – 12/15 vs. CGY). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh)..
Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) earlier tonight vs. Minnesota, and are now -1 in 41 four-on-four situations (62:44) this season. Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin). Four-on-four goals allowed (5): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS); 12/18 vs. PIT (Sutter).

BACK-TO-BACKS: Scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back sets this season … Combined record – 7-5-1 … Record in 1st game – 4-2-1 (2-1-1 at home; 2-1-0 on the road) … Record in 2nd game – 3-3-0 (1-2-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road) … Last season – 7-4-1; 1st game, 4-1-1 (3-0-0 at home; 1-1-1 on the road); 2nd game, 3-3-0 (0-2-0 at home; 3-1-0 on the road) …  The Rangers are 17-5-5 in the first half of back-to-back games dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season, and 16-8-2 in the second game over the span … Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 67 times in his career (41-19-7, 2.06 GAA, .930 Sv%, 6 SO in the 2nd game).

ORIGINAL SIX SHOWDOWN: Tonight’s contest will be the sixth of 14 scheduled games against Original Six opponents this season (2-3-0). Since 2005-06, New York has posted a record of 60-40-12 against Original Six teams, including a 18-9-4 mark vs. Toronto over the span. The Rangers’ .589 win% ranks third, trailing Detroit (.640, 47-24-11) and Montreal (.611, 87-53-13), and ahead of Chicago (.555, 40-31-11), Boston (.535, 73-62-23), and Toronto (.484, 64-69-22).

SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in five of the last six games (tied on shots in the sixth game), and hold a 187-151 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 30 or more shots in seven of the last 10 games.

RINGMASTERS: The Rangers have won 318-589 faceoffs (54.0%) through 10 games in the month of December, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Dec. 5 at Buffalo. Derek Stepan has won a team-high, 102 faceoffs over the span, while Brad Richards (58-102, 56.9%), Dominic Moore (56-87, 64.4%), Derick Brassard (49-90, 54.4%), and Brian Boyle (43-72, 59.7%) have each won better than 54% of their faceoffs taken during the month.

MILESTONE MATS: Mats Zuccarello tallied a power play assist on Friday against the NY Islanders to establish a single-season career-high in scoring with his 24th point of the season. He has recorded 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in the last 15 games, and leads the team in scoring with 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in the last 29 games since his healthy scratch on Oct. 24 at Philadelphia. Zuccarello is currently tied for first on the team in assists (17), third in goals (eight), and ranks second in points (25) overall this season.

MILESTONES IN SIGHT: Derick Brassard – 2 points from 200th NHL career.

INJURIES (71 Man-Games Lost):
Marc Staal (IR – concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 7
Ryan Callahan (IR – sprained MCL on 12/10, 4 weeks) – 5

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
Dec. 19 – Recalled forward J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL), and assigned forward Arron Asham and defenseman Dylan McIlrath to Hartford.

 

 

 

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201 Comments

  1. Maybe we should discuss two items in these comments. Would Prucha-ing #61 do any good like it did for The Zuc?

    #2 let’s debate whether we should hope for a different buyout candidate, Rick Nash. Getting older will surely slow down and his production is steadily on the decline? Does he contribute more than Brad Richards, on and off the ice? Would the cap savings equal or even surpass the current scapegoat, Brad Richards? Think about it for a while. We only have one guy to show the door left in this CBA.

  2. eddie eddie eddie on

    My time’s come, any day, dont worry about me know
    been so long since I felt this way….

  3. _Would Prucha-ing #61 do any good like it did for The Zuc?_

    Meh. You have to believe there’s cause and effect there in the first place. This seems like a confirmation bias, if the player does better, its the benching. If he doesn’t, the benching is merely sitting an unproductive player.

    _#2 let’s debate whether we should hope for a different buyout candidate, Rick Nash. Getting older will surely slow down and his production is steadily on the decline?_

    Not in rates, just relative to missing games.

    _Does he contribute more than Brad Richards, on and off the ice?_

    Yup.

    _Would the cap savings equal or even surpass the current scapegoat, Brad Richards?_

    Nope. 2 less years, more productive anyway.

  4. eddie eddie eddie on

    My time come, any day, dont worry about me now
    been so long since I felt this way, but Im in no hurry now…

    dont worry about me now…nah nah nah dont worry bout me now…

    California, preaching on the burning shore
    California, Ill be knocking on the golden door….

  5. The thing about Nash vs. Richards is that A) Richards is encouraged to retire before those last three years, hence the recapture penalty is almost a guarantee, and it will be vicious. B) If Nash has a career-ending injury (very possible) they can get LTIR relief.

    right, ilb?

  6. I imagine the league would strongly look into it if Richards got LTIR for 3 years from the Rangers.

  7. Are you saying Manny that Nash is above a kick in the butt? Are you suggesting sitting him would bench a productive player? Have we been watching the same games? Nash is #61. Has he been productive recently? Has he been significantly productive since he joined the rangers?

  8. _Are you suggesting sitting him would bench a productive player?_

    Yes. Leads our team in points per 60 and I imagine is 2nd to Kreider in goals per 60.

    _Have we been watching the same games?_

    I don’t know.

    _Nash is #61._

    Totally agree.

    _Has he been productive recently?_

    Kind of, yeah. 3 in 4, 4 in 6, 14 in 20 for the season. Relative to the team, he’s very productive.

    _Has he been significantly productive since he joined the rangers?_

    Yes. 56 in 64.

  9. My issue with Nash is more that I don’t like how he fits the team, much like I didn’t like how Gaborik fit. Or how Richards fits. Points only guys are insanely frustrating to watch, especially when the non-points stuff _looks like_ questionable effort as much as anything.

  10. Nash has turned into a ghost of himself. Saw some hitting from him, which I’m interested in only because of his head injury and my presumed and projected fear of contact which I project on him. But overall, Nash has been an oddball taking very short shifts and mostly just looping around out there with no regard for defense or the actual game occurring. He looks like he’s playing the game as if it was a practice and he is wearing a no contact jersey.

  11. Carp,
    from previous post. no, I do not think you have an agenda, with regards to Kreider and Stepan. I just think you find it very easy to knock them, and you go out of your way with praise for Boyle, and MDZ. it just makes me question why? I have said many time here this year, that Stepan’s play is one of the reasons the Rangers have struggled. so I don’t think he has played well. knocking Kreider right now is shortsighted. where would they be without him right now?

  12. Some day I’m going to go back and see who advocated trading Kreider for Nash because WE NEED NASH RIGHT NOW. Man will that be fun.

  13. Try and find the last time I praised Boyle, or said anything about Del Zotto that suggests he’s been mildly better from one game to the next.

  14. e3,
    there was a lot of celebrating here when they traded Dubi. now a lot of those same people are wishing he was here.
    for the record, I was ok with the NASH trade the way it went down. I would not have put Kreider in the trade, and I could have cared less that they traded AA, and understood that Dubi had to be part of it.

  15. Yeah, seems like a different team with him back there. They seem to control the game. I think that might be do to his puck control. Maybe ?

  16. eddie eddie eddie on

    flying away aha, flying away aha, flying away
    cause there’s no where to go
    when the road is out stretching before you….

  17. eddie eddie eddie on

    The Tam is smooth as silk…much more relaxed looking than hanky panky that’s for sure….

    this year TAM > hank

  18. They don’t play well in front of Lundqvist because he’s the star quarterback who gets all the chicks and goes to all of the cool parties. Talbot is the geeky kid that everybody likes and wants to see do well.

  19. I would say that Carp calls ’em as he sees ’em, and he sees them. We, myself included, are a bit more invested in the team rather than the sport. We occasionally rant, like parents do , then pass out the ice cream cones. It’s all good.

  20. eddie eddie eddie on

    mister, you better get a move on, you better get a fix on, you better walk straight….

    and there’s no where to go
    and the road is stretching out before you
    and the farther you go
    I said you’re never gonna get to heaven
    I said you’re never gonna get to heaven
    And you know just who you are
    and you know that there’s something between us…

    you like what you feel
    but I can tell that youre not gonna turn back….

  21. I like it sb1 plus in those 9 games the geeky kid started the team has looked better, at least it seems so to me.

  22. eddie eddie eddie on

    can you put your hands in your head oh no…

    nothing but a dreamer……

    i said ohhhhhhh what a day, a year, a life it is…

  23. As an example, The Carpster actually notices and acknowledges Dorsett’s value even when he’s NOT fighting.

  24. Kristo called up yet? on

    Manny – I agree with you on Nash. He’s not the same player. He may get us a point here or there, but I hate to say it I have to keep benching him on my fantasy team, he’s as productive as Gaborik this year.

    What was I thinking when I drafted the 2 softest players in the NHL?

  25. eddie eddie eddie on

    what a day, a year, a life it is

    well, you know you had it coming to you
    now there’s not a lot i can do

  26. eddie eddie eddie on

    I think Wicky, kooz, and I were the only ones high on the dorsett part of that trade…..

  27. last night was the best game the Rangers have played this year

    and I know Carp doesn’t like the Rangers (what team does he like anyway?) but he was overly critical of the Nash-Stepan-Kreider line. I think that line was really good yesterday and Kreider in particularly played well. Nash was better as the game went on than he has been in recent weeks; not exactly glitzy stuff but the kinds of things that you want to see from him. I thought most guys including Pouliot and Boyle looked good and Zucc really shined – was the #1 star of the game by a long way. Only Richards, as per usual, looked like crap.

  28. Here’s my Nash thing. We have seen far more of the turn your back AT THE BLUE LINE and back the puck in than the two explosive strides, dip your shoulder, and take it to the net. I rather like the latter move, a lot.

  29. eddie eddie eddie on

    you say you will love me if i have to go
    you’ll be thinking of me
    somehow I will know
    someday when I’m lonely
    wishing you weren’t so far away
    then i will remember things we said today

  30. eddie eddie eddie on

    someday when we’re dreaming
    deep in love, not a lot to say
    then we will remember things we said today….

  31. I didn’t think I was unfair in my assessment of Nash, Stepan and Kreider. I just didn’t think they were very good. I could certainly have been incorrect.

  32. Get the ringtone
    Share
    stepan’s musical interrogatory

    ‘When I get older, losing my hair, (many years from now)
    Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
    If I’d been out ’til quarter to three, would you lock the door?
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m thirty-four?’

  33. I’ve refrained from talking about Nash but I’ll say this much- I was fooled into thinking we were getting a go-to guy that could make an impact when he got here. He has great hands and a couple of sick moves aside from that he’s not clutch and he’s certainly not a player to base an identity over. Boyle was more noticable and more of a difference last night. 7.8 mill is a lot to be paying a player like that. I’ll agree with this much though- Richards should be bought out. Otherwise you’re stuck with him til the day his contract expires. Nash at least is young enough that if you throw some good talent around him and in front of him on the depth chart he can be valuable. or at least better be.

  34. Relatives were very cordial, Seee. Even if they were broke, or if I was completely cut out of the will, I would probably like them not an iota less. :)

  35. Well beyond Richards’ retirement, James. That’s why they have to do it. They will be crippled cap-wise when he retires.

  36. Nash was nonexistent for a big chunk of the 1st but it was that shift they had that led to Ballard taking a tripping penalty (and subsequently a power play goal for Pouliot) that turned the game around for those guys. And I think that shift helped set the stage for the rest of the night as the Rangers basically dominated for all but handfuls of seconds after that shift from Nash, Stepan and Kreider. I thought they looked so strong there that I was annoyed Vigenault didn’t keep them out there for the PP.

  37. God: “As I blew rain down upon them, I realized they have figured out how to manufacture and merchandise umbrellas. Crafty creatures!”

  38. did you have a problem with Stepan losing every faceoff cleanly, one of them leading to the goal? Or him knocking down the puck with a high stick on the power play, thus causing a whistle and a faceoff in the defensive end? I did.

  39. James,
    I think most of us were fooled by Nash. I thought he was a power forward. the kind this team has not had since Adam Graves. before the concussions Nash was a pretty soft player. since the concussions he has become even softer. still has great hands, and skill. and I think he will figure out away to score 25 or so a year.

  40. and for most of last season, I thought Nash was as good as advertised. Much better defensively than I knew, and had almost a hit per game, as opposed to one every 15 or 18 games this season.

  41. Carp, I was there last night and I can tell you 2 things. 1- they were awful to start. and 2- it was not that “top line” that got things going for them.

  42. Stepan is terrible on faceoffs but that one goal you pointed out occurred during that 15 minute stretch of the 1st period when they entire team was fast asleep. The high-stick thing = whatever.

    With Nash it’s going to be baby steps. I’m convinced the guy is gun shy since the concussion stuff started and it’s going to be small bits of progress here and there until the guy gets back to where he was. I saw some evidence of him making an impact last night.

  43. its the physical part of Nash’s game that has disappointed me the most Carp. he does not go to the dirty areas enough. he is a perimeter player. there is nothing wrong with being a perimeter player. many guys have scored a lot of goals playing on the perimeter. I just was not expecting Nash to play that way.

  44. I certainly agree that he’s been gun shy. I don’t know if he will ever not be gun shy … and wonder if the next hit is going to really be bad for him (we saw at the end with Beukeboom, Richter, LaFontaine, Lindros, that it really didn’t take much more than a bump).

  45. only 2 ranger forwards are plus players this year. one is a plus 1, and the other is a plus 9. can you guess who is who?

  46. oh and with regard to that, I fear Staal may already be in that category (although to be fair to LaFonatine, he was clobbered by Mike Keane, wasn’t he?). given that the last few mysterious absences resulted from relatively minor hits, Nash looks like he’s closing in on that group, too. there’s no way that fear isn’t inhibiting him. you can see over the last bunch of games since he’s been back that there are moments where he’s clearly avoiding contact and for a guy of his size to be walking on eggshells…oy vey. I’m just hoping that the post-concussion symptoms haven’t been that bad and he’s got a bit of a psychosomatic thing going on.

  47. Carp, I think that’s exactly what Nash is afraid of- the next hit and what that may produce. I don’t mind him doing what he is doing now. It takes time. He also knows there are pretty positive examples out there, starting with Crosby. The medicine is far more advanced in that field than it was during Beuk/Lindros time. I wouldn’t write him off as a non-factor in the future as yet. Time will only tell. Either way, it’s too premature to start talking trades, let alone buying him out. The latter, btw, wouldn’t be a smart cap move anyway

  48. eddie eddie eddie on

    re: staal…….my latest brain tumor isn’t as bad as the previous ones…this time, the surgery was only 15 hours….

  49. eddie eddie eddie on

    Ilb – but crosby took a ton of time off….perhaps the gnasher should pull the plug on the season

  50. They say that when you are badly thrown you have to get back on the horse, but you’re sure to be somewhat leery until you have gained a renewed, and probably hard-won confidence to compete effectively in world class events.

  51. And I don’t blame Nash one bit if he is overly cautious. They shouldn’t and — never say never anymore — probably won’t buy him out.

  52. eddie eddie eddie on

    Jimmy Brown
    Made of stone
    Charlie Clown
    No way home
    Bring on the dancing horses
    Headless and all alone

    Shiver and say the words
    Of every lie you’ve heard

    First I’m gonna make it
    Then I’m gonna break it
    Till it falls apart
    Hating all the faking
    And shaking while I’m breaking
    Your brittle heart

  53. Yup, Hagelin and Kreider, respectively. Kreider didn’t pile up the big minuses with everybody else on the nine-game trip because he was in Hartford.

  54. I know a lot of you view plus minus as a meaningless STAT, and sometimes it is. but if you look at Stepan for ex. he was plus 8 his rookie yr, plus 14 in year 2, and plus 25 last year. this year he is a minus 4. most agree that Stepan has not been good this year, and that is reflected in his plus minus STAT.

  55. Jeff in South Dakota on

    George, you’re forgetting how much Festivus has meant to us all. I brought one of the cassette tapes.

  56. when 1 guy is a plus 9, and nobody else on the team is better than plus1, that is a meaningful STAT.

  57. Jeff in South Dakota on

    You, Kruger. My son tells me your company stinks! You couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe…I lost my train of thought.

  58. eddie eddie eddie on

    today, i feel like leaving you more than before
    today, i know what i wanna do, but i dont know what for….

  59. Jeff in South Dakota on

    At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.

  60. Kristo called up yet? on

    Is it time to changes horses yet.

    This Pony Express of team needs new HORSES!

    Stat.

    Is it Game Time YET?

  61. Elaine Benes? I bet you meet a lot of men. You know who’s a man? Me. I’m a man. You know who else is a man? Charley here. He’s a man.

    I’m a man.

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