That really was surreal. You can?t get ahead of yourself, you just have to worry about your position. You?re in this place in your mind where you block out everything else. I?m preparing myself and after all the chances at both ends, after all the great saves Marty had made, this innocent thing goes around the net and Stephane chucks it on. I?m 200 feet away, and I?m looking down the ice. The way the puck looked, there?s this hesitation, for sure. It just seemed so slow. The fans, I don?t think, saw it. The referee barely saw the thing, too. There was very little reaction by Marty and the players, and then there was this opening where I go, ?oh my God, I think that went in.? But you?re not convinced and you certainly don?t want to start investigating. The hesitation from the crowd gave me no indication, and then the place just exploded. And even then you?re like, ?is it really over?? I felt that seven games later, when we were in the Finals. It?s very odd to be deeply immersed in a game and then, an instant later, the series is over.

Mike Richter to the NY Times

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Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh will both likely finish tonight's game and be over 500 total minutes on ice for the playoffs.

They are almost 30 minutes ahead of Marc Staal who is third on the list.

Harrison Mooney wonders at Puck Daddy if the Rangers will be able to win the Stanley Cup with their top two defensemen playing so much.

Tags: Dont Post To Twitter, NO MAIN PAGE, Rangers, Adam Rotter
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2011 fifth round pick Shane McColgan has been traded from the Kelowna Rockets to the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL.
"We're pleased to bring in a player like Shane McColgan," said Blades Head Coach and General Manager Lorne Molleken.? "He's a dynamic offensive player that also brings grit, versatility and hard work to the table.? He's also a guy that brings in some solid playoff experience, something we will need going forward into next season."

More on McColgan, HERE.

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At NHL.com, Steve Hoffner, Mike Morreale and Adam Kimelman put together their third mock draft of the season following the NHL Draft Lottery.

The Rangers are slotted at 29th.

Kimelman has them taking Slater Koekkoek, a defenseman from Peterborough.

Tags: 2012 NHL Mock Draft, Dont Post To Twitter, NO MAIN PAGE, Adam Rotter
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Yesterday, John Tortorella was asked if there was something that he has seen or needs to see to know that the Rangers are ready to embark on this playoff run.

Tortorella responded with, "I saw it. I am not telling you but I have seen it the past few days."

Mike Rupp told Ranger Rants that the team has been loose as it prepares to defend the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, "Our room has been loose and it?s a confident group. We?re excited. I don?t know if that?s what he?s seeing. I guess you?d look to see if something was abnormal. But it?s the same jokes, the same stupid comments.?

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Discover is offering a chance to spend the day with the Stanley Cup.

Fans can enter the contest at www.Discover.com/StanleyCup by submitting an original photo that best demonstrates their passion for hockey, along with a 1000 character or less description that answers the question, ?I deserve a day with the Stanley Cup because??

The deadline to submit is April 12.

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On the SNY.tv Metro Hockey Podcast, Pierre McGuire talked about the Rangers and how they have been able to develop themselves into being top flight contenders:

I don't think he has to tinker with his internal chemistry because he was able to steal some players. Carl Hagelin was a steal, Ryan McDonagh was a steal, Dan Girardi went undrafted. He has built up a solid infrastructure because of guys like Gordie Clark who have done great scouting. They have a plethora of young players on the rise.

You could see these young players coming and the Rangers, after all of those years of doing it wrong, finally woke up and realized that you can't win with mercenaries, you can't win with unrestricted free agents, you have to develop your own core of players, you have to be smart about when you get them into the NHL, you have to make some shrewd trades and you have to have goaltending and the Rangers have all of that and they are a legitimate team.

One of the best things that Glen Sather ever did was start building up the hockey operations department and bringing in smart people to help run the team with him. He gets an unfair amount of the credit, and of the blame, for a lot of things, but it's people like Jeff Gorton, Gordie Clark and the scouts who watched a Ryan McDonagh and watched a Carl Hagelin and started drafting the same kind hard working and high IQ player that this team is chock full of.
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Recently Glen looked at how the Advanced Stats were shaking out for Brad Richards so far this season.

This was in response to a piece at ESPN Insider which had him on the "bad" list of free agent signings. When Craig Custance asked a GM about Richards being on the "bad" list, the GM responded, "the Brad Richards in New York?" he asked to make sure he understood. "Tell the Rangers that so maybe they'll move him. I'll take him."

The GM went on to talk about how some of Richards biggest intangibles and contributions don't come on the score sheet.

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At AM New York, Henrik Lundqvist had a little piece talking about the Winter Classic and the lead up and preparation towards it.

Hank says that it was scary to think about the HBO cameras being around all the time for 24/7, but now it is easy to forget they are there.

Plus, I think it's cool for the fans to be able to see what goes on behind the scenes. We're a pretty tight group, which you can probably tell from the show. Overall, it's been a good experience, and it will be a nice thing to look back on for all of us.
I have talked with many non-hockey fans who have watched 24/7, and it's universal in thinking that Henrik Lundqvist could be the coolest person on the face of the earth. I think that after the first episode, and the guys saw how the program would look, they started to relax and probably even play up to the cameras a little more.
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Mike Rupp told Larry Brooks in the NY Post that he was happy he was given the chance to travel with the team during the team he was injured.

He told Brooks that during that time he fostered friendships and relationships with the rest of the players and that he was happy to have that opportunity while injured.

As this story shows, Rupp is an awesome guy and having him around as a veteran presence, even if he wasn't playing, was a great idea. He was a popular player in the Penguins room and seems to have a nice personality that has fit in with the Rangers.

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It's 3:44PM on Tuesday and the rest of my day appears to be filled with work, the gym (maybe), and a reheated leftover dinner from Thanksgiving while the Rangers take on Crosby and the Pens. I have plenty of time, with the game starting at 7:30PM tonight. As I await 5:00PM, an unexpected text message arrives and an invitation to the Rangers game from my cousin whose company owns a Suite in the Garden. So, as my superiors head out the door at 4:00PM to attend a managers meeting at the company headquarters, I subtly shut down shop, go to the car for the Drury Jersey and head to station for the 5:16PM train from Princeton Junction to Penn Station.

This is the typical ride I?ve taken the last 5 years since I moved to New Jersey. It?s long but the train is much like the quiet before the storm, and I expect the energy in the building tonight to be as high as any home game this season. Additionally, I will be experiencing suite level treatment for the first time and the ticket is free, so there is no denying the expectations for tonight are high.

While riding the train, I often think about everything I love about being a hockey fan. Being a hockey fan for me (and probably most of you) is more than a rooting interest; it?s a commitment to a lifestyle. And if you are a Rangers fan, it?s a lifestyle born on traditions. Traditions that are celebrated by 18,200 people one night at a time.

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For those not familiar with twitter, Cslocum19 wrote to Wolski saying "if you put as much effort into your tweeting as your do your hustle on the ice, we should see a tweet from you every few weeks."

Wolski re-tweeted it for his followers to see and then responded "priceless tweet"

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Awesome. I love that she works with them.

[jbutton color="red" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/barb-underhill/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] for more on Underhill and what she does.

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Last night, Erik Christensen scored his first goal of the season. This followed his two assist performance against San Jose on Monday and his shootout goal against the Ducks on Thursday.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/AGrossRecord/status/132199783770238976"]


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Before the game last Saturday, John Tortorella spoke about why he separated Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

He told ESPN New York that both plays like to have the puck and that:

"They both want the puck, they're both good with the puck, but sometimes the puck isn't big enough for the both of them," he said.
Elliotte Freidman wrote at CBC: "It's important to make sure guys who need to carry the puck are partnered with those who don't mind playing without it. Look at Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Both love to carry it, and that doesn't necessarily work."

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Paul Doyle writes in the Hartford Courant that Ryan Bourque skated for the first time today at Whale practice after suffering what the team is calling an undisclosed injury in the third game of the season.

Today was the first time in 12 days that he skated and there is no timetable for his return.

It is believed that Mats Zuccarello may have suffered a concussion after this hit over the weekend.

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If you lived through 1991-1992 and 1993-1994, you can distinctively recall the swagger of a franchise expected to win just about every game handily. The roster was well-stocked with threats three lines deep. And whilst you cannot really replicate that architecture in a salary-capped era, my point is that an ensemble which is a contender is something you know when you see it.

Hockey Rodent

Leslie Treff says that right now "the team just doesn?t have enough to win consistently."

I sort of agree with this. I don't go into games and think that the Rangers are gonna dominate the way that I think the Red Wings, Penguins, Capitals or the Canucks might in a game in game out basis. The Rangers are good and a playoff team but there is still space between them and the top four teams in the east. As I have said before, this season had three goals to me, a winning record at home, clinching a playoff spot before the end of the season and winning a round in the playoffs. If the Rangers accomplish all of that and see players progress, I will consider that a successful season and something that the team can build towards for next year.

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"It felt kind of normal again (Wednesday). Things have been out of whack. It is what it is and we've dealt with it, but this was a great day of work."

Brad Richards to NHL.com

Today was and tomorrow will be big for the Rangers to re-acclimate themselves to playing on the smaller ice and working the schemes out on there.

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We have the same reaction to a Ranger scoring a goal.

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In the last post we introduced Hockey Prospectus? VUKOTA projection system and scrutinized its forecasting skills against the actual results of last season?s Blueshirts squad. While VUKOTA proved somewhat underwhelming in a limited sample I thought it would be interesting to see how VUKOTA pegged this year?s club. Here are the results.




Tags: 2011-12 Predictions, Advanced Stats, NO MAIN PAGE
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John Tortorella spoke about the Rangers power play earlier today and said that it is up to the players to make the power play work:

We give them a foundation on the breakout, how we retrieve it, what type of setup we?d like to get to initially. Then they need to take over with their creativity and what they see that the other team is giving you, and taking it, is the important part.?
Tortorella also said that he will look at a five man unit of Wojtek Wolski and Brad Richards at the point with Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan down low.

Brad Richards should fix some of the creativity issues and we will get a nice look at some of the different units tonight

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At Hockey's Future, Ken McKenna writes that the Rangers Samuel Noreau was impressive during the Traverse City tournament.

The 6-5 Noreau isn't afraid to use his big frame while defending in his own end, but he showed that he is more than just a big bodied, stay-at-home-defenseman.
Noreau had six penalty minutes and one shot in Traverse City

He was the 136th pick this past season.

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/stevezipay/status/116548175166312448"]

That is the word with everyone. With Wolski, the talent is there and work ethic, at least this summer and in training camp, has seemed to match up. He will likely get to start the season on the top line so he will have chances to make an impact early on.

Tags: NO MAIN PAGE, Wojtek Wolski, Adam Rotter