Monthly Archives: October 2015

Zuccarello nets first career hat trick in win over Maple Leafs

Alexandra Russo

mats zuccarello first star 10-30

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Might as well call it a “Mats-trick.”

Led by the 5-foot-7 Norwegian, the Rangers battled hard and came away with a 2-1 win, their second straight victory and Toronto’s fifth straight loss.

In his return, after a six day break, Henrik Lundqvist improved his record to 5-2-2 last night as the Rangers gained two more points to keep them at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings. They are now 7-2-2 (16 points) in their first eleven starts this season.

Alain Vigneault decided to reunite some trusted line combinations by switching centers Brassard and Stepan. Vigneault also mentioned that while Zuccarello has gotten off to his best start ever, he expects more from him. These small critiques were made in the hopes of better offense, although the Rangers haven’t seemed to have a problem with that as of late.  Read the rest of this entry

Rangers take on Babcock and struggling Maple Leafs at MSG

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrate a win 10-22

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

It’s about darn time the Rangers played again.

Following a long four day break, the Rangers (6-2-2) will look to shake off any rust and grab a home win when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (1-5-2) in the second game of a three game homestand.

After being the most active team in the NHL, New York had a rare four day break this week, while Vigneault kept his troops sharp with some conditioning drills and extended practices. A lot of the practices were geared towards improving certain aspects of the Rangers play.

This is the first of three games between these two Original Six teams, and the first of two contests in the next 17 days. The Rangers are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against Toronto, but they did lost two of the three games against them last year. Expect a close game, because six of the last eight games between these teams have been decided by one goal. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers Practice Report: Etem remains in lineup, new line combinations

Bobby Bevilacqua

emerson etem battling for the puck 10-25

Emerson Etem stays in the lineup following a strong game against the Calgary Flames. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

During the long break, the Rangers have been practicing and staying active ahead of Friday’s clash with the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers practiced both Tuesday and today, Thursday, mixing some things up in the process.

Viktor Stalberg missed his first game of the season on Sunday against the Flames, dealing with a head injury. Stalberg was hit up high by Radko Gudas on Saturday against the Flyers, leaving the game in the second period and not returning since then.

He didn’t practice on Tuesday, but came out afterwards and skated on his own. Stalberg returned to the ice with his teammates today, but told reporters that it’s “better to be safe than sorry.” Vigneault said that he would not be available for Friday’s game, but Stalberg will be ready after that. Read the rest of this entry

Critiquing the coaches challenge process in the NHL

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers bench celebrates a goal 10-22

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The NHL made the right decision expanding into the realm of instant replay and coaches’ challenges. The MLB has implemented in to great effect, and challenges have been a long standing rule in the NFL.

Now, an NHL coach can challenge a goal, only on the basis of a potential offsides or goalie interference. It’s worked to some effect, but there needs to be one major change to the process.

Don’t let the on ice official make the call to overturn a goal or not. Read the rest of this entry

Emerson Etem makes a case to remain in the Rangers lineup

Bobby Bevilacqua

emerson etem full body 10-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

With Viktor Stalberg injured, Emerson Etem really opened some eyes with his performance against the Calgary Flames.

Despite not necessarily being known for his defense, Etem was placed onto the fourth line alongside Dominic Moore and Jarret Stoll, tasked with playing tough minutes and not necessarily going on the attack too often.

In fact, Emerson Etem didn’t start any of his even strength shifts in the offensive zone. Every time he took the ice, he started in the neutral zone or backed up in the Rangers zone. Despite this, Etem still managed to lead all Rangers in even strength corsi with a +8. Read the rest of this entry