Monday, October 31, 2011

Thornton Calls Rangers "Soft," Which Reminds Me Of The Time Lindros Broke His Face

After last night's loss to the New York Rangers by a score of 5-2, Sharks center Joe Thornton said:
To be honest, they were probably the softest team we played against on this road trip, and we should have had these two points.
Which may be true, but not certain what the point of the statement was. First of all, Thornton was pretty much invisible all night. Secondly, you just got beat 5-2. Finally, it's the only time that the two teams meet all year unless Thornton thinks this is some great smack talk for the rivalry if the two meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

For some reason Thornton's "soft" comments immediately reminded me of the night Eric Lindros broke his face with one punch.

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It's Official, Avery Placed On Re-Entry Waivers

Pat Leonard, NYR beat writer for the Daly News confirms that Avery was placed on re-entry waivers:
Sean Avery has, in fact, been placed on re-entry waivers. Rangers confirm. He would clear at noon Tuesday #NYR
Read more about the call up and the possible implications if claimed by another team from yesterday's blog post.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rangers To Recall Avery!

Source: NYRZone
Update 4:25pm: Larry Brooks confirms that Avery will be placed on re-entry waivers Monday by the Rangers. 29 other teams can place a claim for Avery. It's expected that Avery will clear re-entry waivers and be available for the Rangers game on Thursday against the Ducks.
Update @ 2:55pm: No confirmation yet and still a lot of speculation but Nick Kypreos tweeted:
Look for #Rangers 2 put Sean Avery on recallable waivers as early as Mon. He still wouldn't be eligible 2 play Mon vs #Sharks due 48 hr rule
Now, this still doesn't mean anything is set in stone to me. This could be confirming the rumors or just adding an explanation if the rumors were true. We'll just have to wait and see...


Boomer Esiason did a pretty good job of getting all our panties in a bunch this fine Sunday morning. He posted on Twitter this morning:
Little birdie telling me Sean Avery is back! Thank God! Finally some energy! For the NYR.
And that was all it took to get the rumor rolling. As of 1:30pm there has been no additional reports of Avery being recalled and no one else in the media has picked up on this rumor. Does Boomer have a legit source for this? Is he playing around with us? Is someone he knows fooling around with Boomer and us?

If Avery were to be recalled he'd have to clear re-entry waivers on Monday. Something that is not a guarantee, but something that most NHL pundits seem to believe is likely. If Avery were claimed off re-entry waivers by another team then the Dallas Stars would be responsible for 50% of his cap hit, the Rangers for 25% (about $950k) and Avery's new team for the remaining 25%.

Avery has been saying the right things since being demoted prior to the start of the season. He played in two games this week with The Whale, scoring the game winner in the shootout last night. But, it does seem like a fast turnaround from the rumors last week that Avery would never play on Broadway again.

Keep checking the AHL transaction page, that's the first place you'll likely hear about the recall (if it happens)!

H/T NYRangers Blog
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Andre Deveaux Called Up By Rangers

 According to Carl Hagelin via Twitter:
Big win tonight! Good luck to my roommate Andre Deveaux on getting called up
Strange to see that the guy who breaks the news is the guy who some fans were hoping would be the call up! Deveaux is a big and physical player. To me this signifies that Rupp may be out a little longer. Unless Torts really wants a pounding 4th line with Rupp and Deveaux in the lineup. He's a big boy and can scrap.

Hopefully this means Christensen will be a healthy scratch, but who knows, Tortorella for some reason loves him.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why The Hell Is Christensen (aka Charmin) Still On This Team?

If you've been following me on Twitter any length of time then you'd know of my serious problem with Erik Christensen being a New York Ranger. I had a problem with him when he was centering Gaborik last season and became the team's de facto #1 center and I have an even bigger problem with him this year now that he's ousted Sean Avery from the NHL and continues to be his useless self.

What I can't for the life of me understand is what the hell John Tortorella or Glen Sather see in this guy? He is in my opinion the most inconsistent player to have worn a Rangers jersey in the past decade. He's so anti-physical that he makes Petr Nedved look like a friggin power forward. It's not bad enough that this clown was getting a regular role on the fourth line, Tortorella is now experimenting with him as the team's number one center AGAIN. It didn't work last year and honestly, it looks like instead of taking a step forward, Mr. Christensen has taken a giant step backward.

Thankfully yesterday it didn't take long for Tortorella to replace him on the top line with Derek Stepan. But seriously, what the heck does this guy have that infatuates John Tortorella? Sure he's got some skill, the problem is he lacks any physical ability to make himself room. Sure he's fast, but he looks like he's skating with zero purpose 95% of the time. And whatever skill he does have is completely offset by what in my opinion is a complete lack of heart. Oh yeah, he was also semi-useful when he actually scored in the shootout, but now he even sucks at doing that! (0-2 this season)

Since day one  as Rangers head coach John Tortorella has preached about accountability and that players who deserve to stay in the lineup will and players that don't won't. Let's not even get into the Sean Avery debate. There are going to be Avery supporters and Avery haters, my position on this side of the debate is abundantly clear. But are you seriously telling me that Erik Christensen is even the 12th best forward in this organization? His skill set is that of a top six forward and if he ain't in the top six then he shouldn't be anywhere near the ice. He clearly isn't worthy of a top six position on this team. Therefore, get him the hell out of here.

After the game last night Tim Erixon and Kris Newbury were sent back to Connecticut and I can only assume that means that Zuccarello will be re-called. Don't get me wrong, Newbury hasn't done much to keep himself in the Rangers lineup but he sure brings more to the table than Christensen.

The only unresolved issue surrounding Christensen is what his new nickname should be? Personally I prefer "Charmin," while others liked the nickname I had given him "Tin Man."

The rationale behind each is below as I had posted on Twitter this week:
"Tin Man" - because he has no heart
 "Charmin" - both soft and good for $hit 
 Let's just hope he isn't around long enough for a new nickname to be worth getting used to!

Added 10/30/11:
I posted a poll over at HFBoards to see what the genuine consensus on Christensen was amongst NYR fans and not surprisingly at this point with 78 votes, more than 80% of voters say Christensen should be in the AHL.

Also, funny that while digging through old posts today I came across my post on PuckCentral when Christensen was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in December of 2009. Yeah, I wasn't that excited about the acquisition even then!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mike Sauer Will Play Tonight

Some good news this morning from the morning skate, according to Katie Strang of ESPN:
Sauer first one on the ice this morning at MSG hours before home opener. He'll be in lineup tonight. Likely means Woywitka will come out
Not only is it a good thing to have a solid defenseman back in the lineup it also should reduce the workload of some of the other defensemen who have been playing top minutes like McDonagh and Girardi.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Will Anton Stralman Be a NYR? Offer Made

Source: The Star
There was a report yesterday on a Swedish website that the Rangers were interested in defenseman Anton Stralman. Stralman was in the New Jersey Devils training camp on  a tryout but was not offered a contract for this season.

According to Fire & Ice the Rangers have in fact made a contract offer for Stralman. Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of this. I don't know much about Stralman but from what I've read he's a semi-decent defenseman, a good passer but is "as soft as a pillow."
Stralman, who has 11 goals and 63 assists in 212 career NHL games with Toronto and Columbus, has yet to decline or accept the contract the Rangers offered. He also reportedly is weighing an offer to play for HV 71 in the Swedish Elite League.

The Rangers have been looking for help on defense with Marc Staal still sidelined with post-concussion symptoms.

Stralman had no points and an even defensive rating in four preseason games with the Devils.
Now, does this give any indication as to how Marc Staal is progressing? It's expected that Mike Sauer will return to the Rangers lineup within the next game or so. This likely means that Woywitka would be heading to Connecticut as the Rangers would immediately have eight defensemen, not counting Staal.

Defensively, the pairs would likely look something like this:

Sauer-Del Zotto
Eminger (subbing in as needed)

Of course when Staal then returns another defenseman would be sent to the AHL. Unfortunately, if Staal's return were likely to be anytime soon I highly doubt that they'd be sniffing around Stralman.

With King Henrik and Marty Biron standing on their heads so far for the Rangers it's hard to tell how good/bad the defense has been. The more pressing issue for me (and likely anyone watching a period of this Rangers season) has been their inability to not only score but to have any sustained offensive pressure.

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Avery Continues To Say The Right Things ...

Source: intobolivian
Sean Avery continues to say all the right things when asked about his situation of being demoted to the AHL and the remote possibility of getting re-called to the NHL this year because of salary cap concerns. Avery who was claimed off of re-entry waivers from the Dallas Stars several years ago earns almost $4M per year, but while still playing in the NHL last season was only a cap hit of around $1.9M for the Rangers who split the cap hit with his former team, the Stars.

After being demoted to Hartford Connecticut before the start of the NHL season the chances of Avery being recalled this season by the Rangers is unlikely. Why? The reason being if the Rangers were to recall Avery, he'd have to first go through re-entry waivers. Meaning, 29 other teams would have first dibs at claiming him. In my opinion it's still very unlikely that any team would put in a waiver claim for Avery, but if they were to, Avery would still count as a $900k cap hit for the Rangers. The reason being the Rangers and his new team would be responsible for 25% of the cap and the Dallas Stars responsible for 50% of the cap. Truthfully, at this point the Rangers would likely need to be pretty desperate to risk that cap hit for a player not on the roster.

However, since his demotion, Avery has continued to say the right things. In an article in today's Bergen Record discussing the loophole to bury NHLers in the AHL Avery said:
I think that’s a consequence when they sign contracts, and it depends what team you sign with, some owners are willing to spend money to make their team better whether it’s to spend money to get rid of a guy or spend that money to sign a guy
He went onto add
That’s the sacrifice you make. You feel sorry for anybody making $5 million? Rip up your deal. If you want to play in the NHL that bad, rip your contract up.

Last week Avery said that New York is the only place he wants to play:
I have a lot of other things going on that is going to pay me when I'm done playing hockey.
I would play for the minimum, whatever that is, $500,000. Why not?
We'll see how that plays out, remember, it's not that long ago that he turned down an offer from the New York Rangers and jumped ship for more money with the Stars. Not that I fault him for that, maybe it was that lucrative deal that has him feeling financially comfortable enough to take a pay cut to continue living the dream. Truthfully, outside of the Rangers there may not be many teams willing to give Avery another shot, even for the league minimum.

I certainly hope we haven't seen the last of Sean Avery in the NHL. Love him or hate him, he was entertaining. On any given night he had the potential to have us all talking about something that he did.

He's an above average hockey player, despite what many critics would have you believe. His haters downplay his contributions to the team and whine about Avery's antics. Like it or not, those antics were pretty damn successful in drawing a lot of power plays for the Rangers and throwing many players off their game. In his time in New York he had a lot of penalty minutes, you may be surprised to know, he drew more minor penalties than he took.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Callahan & Dubinksy Autograph Signing December 6th In Paramus, NJ

Photo source: Rangers Tribune
New York Rangers forwards Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky will be signing autographs on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 from 6pm–8pm at Buddy’s Sports Corner (sports store located in Paramus Park Mall) Paramus, NJ.

Typically these stores charge a decent chunk of change if you want to get an autograph, the prices vary depending on what it is you want signed. An example of items that will likely be available include 8x10 photos, pucks and jerseys. Sometimes it's cheaper to bring your own high quality pictures with you to have them signed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rangers Recall Bell & Newbury, Demote Zuccarello

With a rather slow start to the season for the Rangers and several injuries hampering the blue line it was not unexpected that the Rangers would make a few moves last night after a 5-3 loss to the Islanders.

The first move announced was that Zuccarello had been sent down to Connecticut and Kris Newbury recalled. It was expected that Newbury would be the first re-call as I tweeted Friday night, after all he did start the season in the AHL with 4 goals and 8 points in the first 8 games. However, I am surprised that once again Eric Christensen has managed to avoid the drop.

A poster on HFBoards may have just hit the nail on the head as to why Christensen is still with the team:
And yet Christensen stays? Does he have naked photos of Torts or something?
With the injuries on defense to Marc Staal and Mike Sauer, with no known return table for either the Rangers decided to play it safe and bring Brendan Bell, an eighth defenseman with them for the four game road trip out West.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Expected NYR Lineup vs Isles (no Sauer or Wolski)

Expected lines for tomorrow's game against the Islanders (via Andrew Gross):

Del Zotto-Erixon

Sauer is injured and will not play on Long Island due to a shoulder injury. Wolski still remains injured because of a groin injury.

The most notable change in the forward lines is Dubinksy re-joining Anisimov and Callahan on the second line. Dubinsky started the season with Richards and Gaborik but Tortorella said that he wanted to re-united Dubinksy with Callahan and Anisimov because of their chemistry together last season. This gives second year NHLer Derek Stepan a chance to get some significant playing time with two of the elite forwards in the NHL.

And in case you didn't already know, King Henrik will be between the pipes. On the other end of the ice, it's no surprise that Rick DiPietro won't be.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Video: Arron Asham Plays Mike Tyson Punch Out With Jay Beagle

via Puck Daddy

And a different video that shows Asham's "go to sleep" gesture
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Video: Don Cherry Rips NHL's New Hitting Policies

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