9:33PM First Period:
- Rick Nash 5 (Assists: Derek Stepan 15, Ryan McDonagh 11)
- Brad Richards 8 (power-play) (Assists: Derick Brassard 8, Mats Zuccarello 13)
- Mats Zuccarello 5 (Assists: Brad Richards 14, Ryan McDonagh 12)
- Tyler Ennis 5 (Assists: Zemgus Girgensons 7)
- Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding in the third period after not having many tough saves in the first 40 minutes. The Rangers defense started to leak a little and Lundqvist was there to make all the key saves before the Rangers added their second and third goals.
- The play that Derick Brassard made on the Brad Richards goal was everything that is frustrating yet great about him. He had the shot, didn’t take it but faked everyone out and made a great pass to Brad Richards who buried it. Brassard is a great playmaker, when he doesn’t force the puck, and hopefully he is getting his confidence going. It would still be nice to see him taking more shots.
- Everything about the first goal, from the outlet pass by Ryan McDonagh, to the touch pass from Derek Stepan to the power move and then deke Rick Nash made to score, was excellent.
- They gave up a lot of odd-man rushes and chances to the Sabres in the third period. They didn’t close out the game the way that they should have, but Lundqvist was there to bail them out.
To read more of this story, click here
Alain Vigneault chatted with Sam Rosen prior to the Rangers and Sabres game:
- On Henrik Lundqvist and the core players, “from Hank, it’s real simple…stop the puck. He is going to be a Ranger for the rest of his career. We are fortunate and happy for that and we want him to play like he can, the elite goalie that he is. For the rest of our core it’s simple…we are no different from any other team in the NHL. We need our best players to play their best hockey and if we do that we will have a good chance.”
- How do you get that consistency, “it’s a matter of execution, focus, compete level. That core group as far as me talking to them, they understand that they need to be better, they want to be better and that is what we as a coaching staff, we are behind them. They have a high will and I am sure that we will get things going in the right direction.”
- Any style of play changes that need to be made, “No…we are trying to all improve in all the areas we need to improve and we are working extremely hard.”
- On scoring, “we need our back end to help us on the breakouts and on the rush and in the offensive end and they are doing a pretty good job but if they get a little better…this is a tough league to score. Hopefully we can get it done and have it start tonight.”
via the Rangers:
- The Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, Dec. 5, at First Niagara Center (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in their first of three games in a four-day span.
- The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 14-14-0 (28 pts).
- The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Winnipeg Jets, 5-2, on Monday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 11-7-0 in their last 18 games.
- The Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the conference, and ninth in the NHL, in ROW (14).
- The Sabres enter the contest with a 6-20-2 (14 pts) record to rank 16th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost six of their last seven games.
- Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers will begin a franchise record, nine-game homestand, when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set.
To read more of this story, click here
Carl Hagelin has played in 18 games this season and has five goals and five assists.
Hagelin picked up eight points in his first seven games. He only has 3 points in his last 11.
He has a goal and an assist in his last four games and also went 5 games between points and he only had one point during an eight game stretch.
Hagelin told the Daily News today that he isn’t worried about which line he plays on and that he knows that if he plays better he will get more time.
Alain Vigneault told the Daily News that Hagelin can be effective with his speed but, like the rest of the team, has been a little inconsistent lately. Vigneault added that he is sure Hagelin’s game will come back around and he will help the team.
Adam Rotter: When it comes to scoring, Hagelin scores in bunches and then periodically in-between. Last year he had 11 in 12 February games, he has 20 points in 25 career February games, but his career average is .56 points per game. Hagelin, I think, is more effective on the third line and as PKer than he is playing on the top line consistently. He still gets a chance to chip in offensively in a top-nine role and when he gets hot he can move up and play in a more offensively focused on role. Hagelin’s two-way game, forechecking and speed are what make him an effective player. He can do a lot more to help the team than just score goals.
At CBC, Elliotte Friedman spoke with some General Mangers who said that they expect the salary cap for the 2014-15 season to rise to be around the $70.2 million it was last season.
James Mirtle, of the Toronto Globe and Mail, projects that the 2014-15 salary cap will be $67.7 million and the 2015-16 season, the first one where money from the new Canadian TV deal will be collected, could rise to $71.3 million.
On Hotstove Tonight on Saturday night, Elliotte Friedman said that some teams are projected an $80 million cap in three-years and one team said that they wouldn’t be surprised to see the salary cap hit $90 million in five years.
Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that by the end of Henrik Lundqvist’s seven-year deal, the salary cap will be close to $100 million.
via Dave Art on Facebook,
“Today we have the pleasure to present #NHL star Henrik Lundqvist´s latest mask creation in his unique mask art saga. This mask is created for the 3rd jersey of #NewYork #Rangers, a design in dark blue and cream color, and a lot of bling bling…”
Me and Henrik always talk a lot for each and every mask art design we evolve and create together, it is a very creative process. It was such a joy to create this piece for you Henrik, love to be your painter!
This NHL design is a direct continuation of Henrik´s last mask. Just as usual this #Lundqvist design is pimped with extreme detail work all over the mask, as well as all the #DAVEART NHL trademarks effects, such as 3D PaintTech, Holographic FX, Metallic FX, GhostSmoke and so much more.
Thank you for your visit here on the site. Much more NHL masks to come!
To read more of this story, click here
While meeting with the media in Buffalo today, Alain Vigneault said (Ranger Rants) that while none of the three of John Moore, Michael Del Zotto or Justin Falk have shown they can play in the top four, Moore is the one who is closest.
Vigneault said that Moore went through a rough patch but is a young player with a lot of upside.
In terms of Falk and Del Zotto in the lineup, Vigneault said that it depends on what he thinks the team needs more bite or puck moving.
Adam Rotter: So it seems as if Moore, even after a little rough patch and being scratched, is the number 5 defenseman and Falk and Del Zotto are battling for the 6 spot. Moore has the same kind of skill set as Ryan McDonagh but doesn’t seem to have the same level of hockey IQ or strength in his own zone yet. There is a lot of upside there, John Tortorella thought that in the future he would be the steal of that trade, and Alain Vigneault wants him to tap into it.
11:41AM: The Rangers skating during the optional morning skate, via the team, are Cam Talbot, Derek Dorsett, Talyor Pyatt, Justin Falk, Anton Stralman and John Moore.
11:23AM: Derek Dorsett will be out of the lineup tonight as his wrist is bothering him, via Andrew Gross. Taylor Pyatt will take his place in the lineup.
Dorsett missed two games last week, Panthers and Bruins, because this wrist injury.
John Moore will return to the Rangers lineup after sitting out the past two games, via Pat Leonard. It it not yet clear which defenseman is coming out of the lineup for Moore.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers have yet to find an identity or defining characteristic for the team.
He says that the Rangers don’t have enough “top-end talent” to play a system based around skill and that they aren’t big enough to “impose their will” on anyone.
John Giannone said on Monday nigh that the only thing consistent in the Rangers game right now is their “maddening inconsistency”
Ryan McDonagh told Giannone that the team is talking about their inconsistencies and how they are “nowhere near where they want to be.”
Marc Staal said, “we are up and down and I think we know it’s not good enough to get into the playoffs. We need to get on runs to play better consistently and start stringing wins together. We need to find it in this room to be better.”
Dave Maloney said on MSG that the upcoming stretch for the Rangers, their nine straight at home, is “crucial” to their success this season.
The Rangers spent most of the offseason talking about how the identity of the team wasn’t going to change with Alain Vigneault.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers have been playing with the same identity that they had last year, which is that they are a talented but inconsistent team that isn’t as good as people thought they would be. The one thing, above all else, that the Rangers should strive to be is hard to play against. That is what they were in 2011-12 and what they have been this season when they have been at their best.
Rangers owner James Dolan made a statement today at Henrik Lundqvist’s press conference:
“I have some prepared comments here but as usual I like to go off the script a little bit at the start. The New York Rangers have had a long history of having great goaltenders and great goaltenders who have been with the team for a long time. Ed Giacomin, John Davidson, Mike Richter to just name the ones in my time. I just want to say how proud and pleased I am that Henrik is going to finish his career here with the New York Rangers and how appropriate that is because of the history.”
“He has proven himself to be a world class goaltender and I expect him to continue to play at a high level into the future…(To Lundqvist) Right?”
Dolan: “He is everything that you want on and off the ice. He is a leader a tireless worker, his focus on his game is basically unparalleled as a team owner he is the model for what you want in a player and in a leader for the team. In addition he does wonderful work with the Garden of Dreams foundation that we very much appreciate and again, I am pleased that he will be in the blue for the rest of your career…thank you.”