Monday, November 28, 2011

Rangers Unveil Winter Classic Jerseys

Not too shabby! The Rangers unveiled their new Winter Classic jerseys today at 4 p.m. on Facebook. Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi were on-hand to model the jerseys and answer a few questions from Dave Maloney and Al Troutwig.

I personally love the jerseys and can't wait to get my hands on one. The old 1926 crest looks awesome and I love the creme color they use for all the vintage jerseys in the NHL. The Rangers did a good job of making them different from the heritage jerseys while still giving them that throwback feel. Bias aside, I think they look way better than the Flyers' Winter Classic jerseys that were unveiled last week.

What do you guys think of them? Will you be buying one when they go on-sale Dec. 5? I'm debating between a Callahan or Lundqvist jersey myself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Notes From Rangers Practice: Stralman and Richards Work Points On First Power Play Unit

The Rangers were back at it on the ice at practice today, as Brandon Dubinsky (flu) and Brad Richards (maintenance) both returned after missing practice yesterday.

It seems as if we may get our first look at Anton Stralman in a Rangers uniform as soon as tomorrow night against the Panthers. Stralman was working with Brad Richards on the points of the first power play unit with Brandon Dubinsky, Erik Christensen and Ryan Callahan playing up front. Yes, you read that right. Erik Christensen was working on the first power play unit, not Marian Gaborik. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

Anyway, I don't think John Tortorella would use Stralman on the first power play unit at practice unless he was going to be in the lineup. I mean, what exactly would the point be to work on an already struggling power play if the coaching staff didn't plan on using the same personnel in games that they used in practice?

Here are the forward lines from practice that you'll likely see tomorrow night in Florida (hat tip to Andrew Gross):


If Stralman suits up tomorrow the general assumption is that it'll come at the expense of Steve Eminger or Jeff Woywitka. But I also wouldn't rule out the possibility of Michael Del Zotto being a healthy scratch. He's coming off a terrible game in Montreal and was bumped from the top power play unit in favor of Stralman. John Tortorella, of course, won't confirm any lineup changes until game-time tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

Also, in case you missed it earlier, there was some big news that Marc Staal has accompanied the team on the trip to Florida, along with Mike Rupp and Wojtek Wolski. Here's to hoping Staal is closer to returning than we all thought.

Breaking News: Marc Staal, Wojtek Wolski, Mike Rupp Travel With Team To Florida

Some very surprising news just broke right now, courtesy of Jim Cerny, that Marc Staal, Wojtek Wolski and Mike Rupp are all traveling with the Rangers to Florida today as they prepare to take on the Panthers tomorrow night. Wolski (groin) and Rupp (knee) are both still several weeks away from returning, but the status of Marc Staal (concussion) is completely up in the air. Larry Brooks reported late last week that Staal had just recently been cleared to resume light workouts, though the Rangers have not given any official update on Marc Staal since the end of training camp.

This has to be looked at as a huge step forward for Marc Staal's recovery from his concussion. We really have no concrete information on how his recovery has gone so far, but the very fact that the Rangers would allow him to fly is a huge deal. Teams typically do not allow a player suffering from a concussion to fly unless he is cleared of all symptoms and is no longer experiencing headaches.

Does this mean Marc Staal is even further along than we thought? It sure seems that way, but right now this is all speculation. Dan Rosen of speculated that Staal might be just getting antsy and wants to be around the team since he's been away from the boys for so long. Even if that's the case, the Rangers would still have to deem him fit to fly no matter what the case is. It's interesting to note that the Rangers have a game tomorrow in Florida and a game against the Capitals in Washington on Friday before returning for a two-game homestand at the Garden. It really wouldn't make sense to have Staal traveling with the team on a brief two-game road trip if he wasn't closer to playing than perhaps we all thought.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rangers Defeat Islanders 4-2, Avery Questions Refs

The Rangers defeated the Islanders by a final score of 4-2 tonight in a crazy, up and down game that pushed the Rangers' winning streak to seven games. The Rangers got goals from Sean Avery, Steve Eminger, Brad Richards (the game-winner) and Ryan Callahan (empty netter), and Henrik Lundqvist absolutely stood on his head while making 31 saves and leading the Rangers to victory on the Island.

The Broadway Hat was awarded to Brad Richards tonight, who finished with the aforementioned game-winning goal, four shots and a plus-3 rating on the night. After the Islanders tied the game at two on a power play goal earlier in the third period, Brad Richards fired a rocket of a slap shot past Evgeny Nabokov after a terrible giveaway by Josh Bailey in the Islanders' zone and a nifty little pass from Brandon Dubinsky. Richards nearly had another goal earlier in the game on the power play that hit the post, as well.

Click below to read more on tonight's game, and what Sean Avery and John Tortorella had to say about a controversial call in the first period.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rangers Unveil New Lines at Practice

John Tortorella broke out some new forward line combinations at practice today that will presumably be the lines we'll see tomorrow night when the Rangers take on the Islanders on the Island. The lines the Rangers used at practice today actually were actually the same ones they ended their last game with on Friday night.

Here are the lines Torts rolled with:


Click below to read more news and notes from practice today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rangers Defeat Senators 3-2, Win Fifth In a Row

The line of Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik dominated the entire night and Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves, as the Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators by a final score of 3-2 tonight to win their fifth game in a row.

The Rangers' G.A.S. line (Gaborik, Anisimov, Stepan - get it? I stole it from Mike Rupp on Twitter) was precisely that tonight. They were absolutely flying and storming the net whenever they were on the ice and each player had a hand in the Rangers' three goals tonight. Marian Gaborik had two goals, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and Artem Anisimov had two assists. Altogether the trio combined for seven points tonight, and could've easily had more if not for a few nice saves by Craig Anderson.

Read more on the game below, including who got the Broadway Hat for player of the game.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rangers Trade Tomas Kundratek to Capitals for Francois Bouchard

As we wait for the Rangers' next game tomorrow night at 7:30 against the Ottawa Senators, some news to report today on the trade front. The Rangers traded defenseman Tomas Kundratek to the Washington Capitals in exchange for RW Francois Bouchard, who has spent the past three seasons playing primarily for the Caps' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Bouchard will head to the Connecticut Whale to provide some more depth at the forward position.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rangers Defeat Ducks 2-1 in Shootout; Wolski Hurt

Original Image Credit: Pat Leonard of New York Daily News

The Rangers beat the Ducks tonight by a final score of 2-1 in a shootout tonight. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 2 of 3 shootout attempts and the Rangers' shootout goals came from Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik on a dazzling move that was the game-winner (Brad Richards was the other shooter, unsuccessful on his attempt). If you haven't seen Gaby's goal that won the shootout for the Rangers, it's definitely worth checking out.

Click below to read more on the game.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rangers Sign Defenseman Anton Stralman

According to, Anton Stralman's agent has confirmed that the Rangers have agreed to terms with the defenseman on a one-year, $900,000 deal. The Rangers have not officially confirmed the signing yet, but they likely are waiting until after the game tonight before announcing it.

No word yet if the deal is a one-way contract yet.

Stralman, 25, attended training camp with the Devils as a tryout this year but wasn't offered a contract. The Rangers have reportedly had an offer on the table for him for the last few weeks and he was debating between accepting the Rangers' offer or playing in Sweden.

Stralman was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs as a fifth round pick in the 2007 Entry Level Draft. He's spent four seasons in the NHL with the Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets. In the 2009-2010 season he recorded 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points and a minus-17 rating in 73 games with the Blue Jackets. Last year, he skated in 51 games with Columbus and recorded 1 goal and 17 assists for 18 points and a minus-11 rating.

I imagine that even if the Rangers plan on using Stalman in the NHL they'll likely have him go on a conditioning stint with the Connecticut Whale since he hasn't played hockey for a few weeks now.

I'm not sure how much of an upgrade Stralman will prove to be over Jeff Woywitka, but it can't hurt for the Rangers to continue shopping for low-cost defensemen while Marc Staal is out. I don't think the signing necessarily has anything to do with Staal's progression from his concussion because the Rangers made this offer to Stralman several weeks ago.

Rangers vs. Ducks Tonight at 7:00; No Avery, Lundqvist Back in Goal

 With the exception of Henrik Lundqvist being back in goal over Marty Biron, the Rangers will roll with the same lines tonight against the Anaheim Ducks they used in Monday's win against San Jose. Those would be:


Del Zotto-Sauer

This means that Rangers fans will have to wait a little while longer to see Sean Avery make his 2011 season debut in a Rangers uniform. I can't really blame John Tortorella for sticking with the same lines that worked in what was easily the Rangers' most impressive win of the season on Monday, but I'm sure that won't matter to fans at MSG who were hoping to see Avery tonight. If the Rangers have a bad showing tonight don't be surprised to hear "We want Avery!" chants ringing in the Garden yet again. Nevertheless, Avery said himself after practice yesterday that he fully understood the coaching staff's decision to stay with the same lines from Monday since Avery only just started practicing yesterday and also hadn't skated in the last few days while he was waiting to see how the re-entry waivers scenario played out.

More to come later, as the Rangers look to make it two in a row at the Garden.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guess who's back? Sean Avery Clears Waivers, Returns To Rangers

Well, that didn't take long.

After admitting himself three weeks ago that he didn't expect to return to the NHL again this season, Sean Avery cleared re-entry waivers today at noon and is back on Broadway for the third time in his career.

I'm sure we'll hear more from practice later. John Tortorella said after yesterday's game that he wouldn't necessarily make any changes to the lineup come Thursday night when the Rangers face the Ducks, but I would be pretty surprised if Avery didn't play.

More to come on The Grate One's return later.


The Rangers have officially confirmed via Twitter that Avery has cleared waivers and has been recalled from the Connecticut Whale.