Blog Archives

Calling Eric Staal; Where have you been?

Bobby Bevilacqua

eric staal full body profile 2-29

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Eric Staal was acquired at the trade deadline to be a playoff hero, but so far against the Penguins, he’s been a playoff zero.

Staal, 31, was traded to the Rangers for two second round picks and highly touted Finnish prospect Aleksi Saarela. The Hurricanes captain had been having a bit of a down season, scoring just 33 points (10-23-33) in 63 games with Carolina. His underlying numbers looked fantastic though, owning a career high Corsi For percentage, and it seemed like his scoring troubles were due to a lack of talent on the Hurricanes.

When he got to the Rangers, things didn’t improve all that much. He collected just six points (3-3-6) in 20 games, scoring in just four of them. Staal spent almost all of his time on the third line with Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast. Read the rest of this entry

Dan Girardi needs to sit

John Dundon

dan girardi skating 12-6

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Accountability is a term that Alain Vigneault has used often in his tenure as Rangers head coach.

And for reasons we may never understand, it’s one of the things he has perhaps lacked most in crucial spots. His blatant favoritism isn’t just costing his team points in the standings anymore, now it could cost them a playoff series. It seems to me like the coach needs to start holding some of his favorites accountable.

Dan Girardi—a warrior, life time Ranger, heart and soul guy, notoriously AWESOME human being—is not getting the job done anymore. It has been bad for some time but in the last little while it has come to a breaking point. The abilities of the player do not match up with what the coach wants him to be. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers open round one on the road vs Pittsburgh; Fleury a game time decision

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs penguins 3-3

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a tumultuous regular season, the Rangers open up the playoffs tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, looking to get things started on the right foot in their latest quest for a Stanley Cup Championship.

This marks the third consecutive season that the Rangers and Penguins will meet in the playoffs, and the second straight year that they play in Round 1. Two years ago, the Rangers came back from a 3-1 series deficit, without having home ice advantage. Last year, Derick Brassard opened the scoring 28 seconds into the playoffs and Carl Hagelin sent the Penguins home packing after a Game 5 overtime winner. The Rangers had home ice in that series.

The mentality in the Rangers locker room since training camp was getting back to the playoffs and finishing what they’ve started, what they’ve been so close to accomplishing in three of the last four seasons. They haven’t made it easy on themselves, and face a tough road ahead, but this is a team full of hungry guys as well as veterans who realize their window may be closing. And that makes this playoff series a special one, and one with potentially a lot more riding on it. Read the rest of this entry

Series Preview, Round 1: Rangers vs Penguins

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs penguins game 1 faceoff 4-16

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

This matchup seems quite familiar.

For the third consecutive season, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will face off in the playoffs, as the long time rivalry between the teams continues to intensify through intense playoff matchups.

The Rangers have won both of the playoff series in the past two years, including a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit in 2014 after rallying around the death of Martin St. Louis’ mother. That series saw the double goal in overtime from Benoit Pouliot, a St. Louis goal on Mothers’ Day, and a clutch Game 7 win with some excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers swept in season series verses Islanders (but who cares)

John Dundon

Rangers vs Islanders 4-7

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers won this installment of “epic tank battle” in a slowed down version of NYI-NYR. The Isles took this one by a final score of 4-1. Oh no… what ever will we do?

This makes the Rangers path to the first wild card spot markedly clearer, which is good! Losing to the Islanders sucks, but in this case we could care less. The regular season hasn’t mattered in two years. This team is going to be judged by performances in May and June, not April.

The Rangers had a good first period and controlled play for the most part. There was not a noticeable lack of effort. Although I suspect they missed some open corners of twine intentionally, but that’s just me. Read the rest of this entry