Buzz: Ray Emery likely to start for the Flyers tomorrow (Update: He will)

11:55AM: Mason will NOT play tomorrow. (Sarah Baicker)

11:32AM: Emery doesn’t know if he is starting yet. (Tim Panaccio)

11:19AM: Steve Mason did not practice today for the Flyers so it appears likely that Ray Emery will start in goal tomorrow for game one. (CSN Philly and Philly.com)

Emery is 7-2 against the Rangers in his career with a 1.87 GAA and a .936 save percentage.

This season, Emery was 0-1 against the Rangers this season and allowed 4 goals on 35 shots at MSG.

In the the past:

  • 2005-06 with Ottawa: 2-0, stopped 51 of 53 shots
  • 2006-07 with Ottawa: 3-1, 123 saves on 131 shots
  • 2007-08 with Ottawa: stopped 11-12 shots in 40 minutes of relief
  • 2009-10 with Philly: 1-0, 24 saves on 24 shots
  • 2011-12 with Chicago: 1-0, 22 saves on 25 shots

Emery is 9-12-2 for the Flyers this season.

Adam Rotter: It is a fact that Ray Emery has nice numbers in his career against the Rangers. It’s also a fact that the bulk of those games came when Emery was in Ottawa in the first two years after the lockout. Emery is a solid NHL goalie who was 17-1 last year for Chicago and took Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006-07 but his numbers against the Rangers have come against vastly different players, most of which aren’t with the team anymore. Emery can certainly beat the Rangers tomorrow in this series but I don’t think it would have anything to do with performances from 7+ years ago.

Practice: Derick Brassard is on the ice at Rangers practice

11:52AM: Brassard left practice early. (Larry Brooks)

11:49AM: JT Miller has been skating with Pouliot and Zuccarello lately, not Brassard. (Steve Zipay)

11:06AM: Derick Brassard is skating at Rangers practice today. (Katie Strang)

Brassard left practice yesterday holding his lower back but when asked if Brassard would be ready for game one, Alain Vigneault said that he expected he would be.


11:16AM: Justin Falk and Raphael Diaz are skating as a pair for the second straight day which could indicate that they will be scratched tomorrow. (Andrew Gross)


Recap: Ryan McDonagh on The Michael Kay Show

Ryan McDonaghRyan McDonagh joined The Michael Kay Show at 4PM on ESPN Radio:

  • What percent is your shoulder, “I’m not going to put a number on it. Anybody at this time of the year, playing a large amount of games, you will never be fully 100% a but I am excited to get the uniform back on and get ready for the playoffs.”
  • Could you have played Saturday, “I told the coaching staff and told AV that I was ready to go and ultimately he chooses the lineup and who will go and he decided it would be better to give a few more days of rest and he pulled some more guys off for rest as well.”

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Recap: Marty St. Louis on Mike Francesa

Marty St. LouisMarty St. Louis joined Mike Francesa at 5:05PM yesterday to talk about the Rangers playoffs:

  • On the playoffs, “I mean, everyone is excited about getting this underway. The Flyers are a good team, they had a tough start but played really well in the second half. I’m new to this but I have seen the rivalry from a distance and I am looking forward to it.”
  • On scoring in the playoffs, “the biggest thing in the playoffs is that it’s a tighter game. You have to elevate the emotions a little bit and trying to play a grittier game. I try to go to scoring areas. I like to say that I play hard every game bu there is another level that I can get to in the playoffs. I try to help my team win and bring the things that I can bring. I am known for some of my offensive but I think in the playoffs it’s important to play a total game.”

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Alain Vigneault

Recap: AV Squad (4/10)

Alain Vigneault joins Bill Pidto on the latest episode of The AV Squad:

  • On the state of the team at the end of the regular season, “we are playing some good hockey to be on this push right now because we needed a push. It’s so competitive and tight and we were able to go on a run there and for a while in our last ten games we were 7 wins and 3 losses and we needed a push like that. We have a couple of more games to play and hopefully play well and be ready for the playoffs.”
  • On lineup juggling with injuries, “in losing Chris Kreider, he had been one of our better offensive players because of his size and speed has been challenging. Obviously losing Ryan McDonagh on D. That is part of a season. You will have to deal with injuries and make sure that your team has depth and deal with it. Our guys have done a good job. Some guys have been asked to play different minutes, more minutes and they have handled it pretty good.”

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Read/stats: The PP and memories of last year

RangersSince the Olympic Break, the Rangers are 9-70 (1 goal into an empty net) on the PP and averaging 3 power plays per game.

Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers power play is resembling the power play that struggled mightily in the playoffs last year that went 4 for 44 in the playoffs. (NY Post)

Derek Stepan added that there isn’t much panic and that the PP this year doesn’t feel like the PP last year. (NY Post)

Alain Vigneault was asked on the latest episode of the AV squad about the struggles of the PP and said that the Rangers stopped taking shots, “One thing that is consistent is that teams who shoot the puck the most on the PP have the better percentage. Lately, for whatever reason we have gotten away from that and maybe too cute and the PP, you get a lane to shoot and some net presence, put it on the net and get rebounds.”

  • In the playoffs last year the Rangers attempted 144 shots and 64 were on goal.
  • Since the Olympics, the Rangers have attempted 201 shots and 106 were on goal

  • In the first 20 games this season, the Rangers had 12 goals, 200 shot attempts and 104 on goal
  • In games 20-40, the Rangers had 15 goals, 192 shot attempts, 95 on goal
  • In games 40-60, the Rangers had 11 goals, 195 shot attempts, 105 on goal
  • In games 60-82, the Rangers had 8 goals, 196 shots, 105 on goal

On the season, the Rangers ranked 9th in the league in PP shot attempts with 783 and 10th on shots on goal on the PP. (ES)

The Rangers finished the regular season 15th in the NHL on the PP.

Brooks says that the PP struggled when Chris Kreider was first taken off in favor of Marty St. Louis but adds that going back farther, the PP has struggled since Michael Del Zotto was traded. Brooks says that 5 on 5 the Rangers are better without Del Zotto but, and maybe it’s a coincidence, the Rangers PP has struggled since Del Zotto was traded to Nashville.

Buzz: Could Adam Graves replace Brendan Shanahan in the Department of Player Safety?

Bob Duff of The Windsor Star, via 30 Thoughts, mentions that there is some speculation that Adam Graves could replace Brendan Shanahan in the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. (Bob Duff)

Graves currently works for the Rangers in Hockey and Business operations.

From the Rangers media guide this season:

  • Returned to the Rangers organization on July 19, 2005 in a dual role that uses his myriad of abilities in both the on- ice and off-ice areas of the organization. In this capacity, Graves works with the club’s hockey personnel to advance the development of key Rangers prospects, while also assisting in the development and execution of the organization’s many community outreach programs as well as marketing and sponsor- ship initiatives.
  • Graves plays an integral role in strengthening the bond between the team and its fans while developing future Blueshirt loyalists. He is involved in a variety of youth hockey and season subscription events, and is instrumental in supporting the efforts of the Garden of Dreams Foundation through appearances, media interviews and participation in the fulfillment of fund- raising auction experiences.
  • With a keen eye for talent, Graves has become an essential member of the hockey operations department. His ability to lend support and direction, both on and off the ice, has benefited many key prospects within the Rangers system. He is also involved in free agency signings and the NHL Draft with the Rangers as well as the development of players with the Hartford Wolf Pack

For more on what Graves does in the community and his work with the Garden of Dreams foundation, CLICK HERE.

Brian Leetch is currently the Manager of Player Safety.

Alain Vigneault

Recap: Alain Vigneault’s comments today (On JT Miller, Rick Nash)

Alain Vigneault met with the media today following the Rangers practice (via Rangers Report):

  •  Is there an update on Brassard, “no.”
  • Do you expect him on Thursday, “I would say yes.”
  • On Mats Zuccarello, “he is a very important player to our group and one of our most consistent offensive players and in our push to get into the playoffs his line with Brassard and Pouliot has been good at 5 on 5 and on the PP and he is a big part of that. He is intense and smart and plays with an edge to his game and we need that from him.”

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