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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Rangers look to clinch a playoff spot as Eric Staal returns to Carolina

Bobby Bevilacqua

eric staal full body profile 2-29

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For the first time ever, Eric Staal will be playing against the team that he spent 12 years in his return to Raleigh, this time in a different sweater. The Rangers (43-24-9) can clinch their sixth consecutive playoff appearance with a regulation or overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes (33-28-16), and Eric Staal will be a part of it.

It was a tough transition for the former Hurricanes’ captain, who had to learn a new system, move away from his family for a brief time, and fit into a new locker room with new teammates. But Staal has looked increasingly more comfortable as a Ranger, and is coming off of his best game with the team. Now he’s looking forward to taking part in the playoffs again, and will be looking to help his team clinch their berth tonight.

The Rangers have rebounded well since the 4-1 debacle of a loss at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, going 3-0-1 in their last four games and 16-7-3 since February 4. The Penguins are just one point behind the Rangers, so a regulation or overtime win is needed to officially punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After the overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, New York is just 13-10-4 against Metropolitan opponents, but that includes a 3-0-0 mark against the Hurricanes. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers sign Steve Fogarty to entry level contract; Mats Zuccarello nominated for Masterson Trophy

Bobby Bevilacqua

Steve fogarty

Steve Fogarty. Photo courtesy of Michael Yu/The Observer.

After signing Michigan prospect Boo Nieves to an entry level contract, the Rangers announced that they signed 2011 third round draft pick Steve Fogarty to two year, entry level contract.

Just like Nieves, the contract will not kick in until next season, and he will join the Hartford Wolf Pack on an ATO – essentially a tryout. The signing came after his senior season at Notre Dame.

Fogarty, turning 23 in April, recorded 23 points in 37 games during his senior season, his highest point total in his four years at the collegiate level. He helped the Fighting Irish reach the NCAA tournament, where they were knocked out by Nieves and the Michigan Wolverines. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers sign Cristoval “Boo” Nieves to entry level contract

John Dundon

Boo Nieves

Photo courtesy of Courtney Sacco/AnnArbor.com

The Rangers have signed their second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, Boo Nieves, to a two-year entry level contract.

The contract will kick in next season. For the remainder of this season, Nieves is heading to Hartford on an ATO. The contract comes after Nieves’ senior season playing at the University of Michigan.

The Baldwinsville, NY native will go from the Wolverines to the Wolf Pack, joining the Rangers AHL affiliate in the middle of an epic playoff race. It’s good that Nieves, 22, will be jumping right into the fire and getting some experience in big games. He comes to the Rangers organization after spending 4 years at Ann Arbor. In 148 games as a Wolverine, Nieves registered 28-82—110.

Nieves (6’3-200 Lbs.) can be described as a solid all-around player who isn’t afraid to hold the puck and make a play. He possesses a smooth, powerful stride. In addition to his skating ability, he is an above average passer. If there is a criticism of him, it’s that he’ll often times look to pass before he looks to shoot. In any case, he probably possesses enough skill to eventually make a push for a top-nine spot.

The realistic expectation should be that Nieves will make the Rangers think hard about keeping him up out of camp in Sept. of 2016. This of course depends on what the roster looks like next fall. There may not be a forward spot open. My best guess is that he’ll start the season in Hartford and will be considered throughout next season as a call up.

In his senior season at Michigan, Nieves was an assistant captain.

Mailbag Monday: Playoff matchups, consistency from Zuccarello and Nash and more

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to the first mailbag Monday in a while. With the playoffs approaching and getting closer, lots of questions are floating around in people’s heads about the Rangers, their chances in the playoffs and more.

If you have a question you’d like answered for the next article, leave it in the comments section below, or click the “Contact Me” tab and send an email with your name and question.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Do you thing we have a chance in the playoffs without Nash scoring goals? – Scott Rosenberg

rick nash profile 11-23

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

When he’s playing at his best, Rick Nash is clearly the Rangers’ best player. We’ve seen it in the past few games, scoring twice in the past four games. And in the last two games, he attacked the net and got some great chances despite not finding the back of the net. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers pick up crucial point in overtime loss to the Penguins

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Penguins 3-27

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

It’s never good to lose, but if there’s a way to do it against a division rival battling for playoff position, it’s in overtime. In a very even and tightly contested game, the Rangers (43-24-9) were defeated in overtime by the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-25-8), ending their three game win streak and seeing the Penguins win their eighth game in the past nine contests.

This also marked the third consecutive game that the Penguins have beaten the Rangers, giving New York a record of 1-2-1 in the season series. The overtime loss was crucial, meaning that they would still be a point ahead of the Penguins if they won a game in regulation or overtime (ROW = tiebreaker).

The first period was very even between both teams. Similar possession, the shots on goal were very close (13-11 in favor of New York), and each team scored a goal. Both teams played last night and that showed at first, as both teams were clearly trying to find their legs and stretch the ice. Read the rest of this entry