Dec
11

Lettieri notches 2 goals, assist in Pack win

December 11, 2017, by · Comments (1)

Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Springfield Thunderbirds 3

By Meghan O’Reilly

Hartford, CT, December 10, 2017 – Vinni Lettieri had two goals and an assist Sunday at the XL Center, to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 5-3 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds.

With the victory, the Wolf Pack are now 3-0-1-1 in their last five games, the team’s longest streak without a regulation loss of the season.

Marek Mazanec made 17 saves in the game, in his Wolf Pack debut, while Springfield goaltender Evan Cowley had 28. The Wolf Pack outshot the Thunderbirds 33-20. Steven Fogarty scored a shorthanded goal for the Wolf Pack, and Dawson Leedahl and Scott Kosmachuk also scored. John Gilmour added two assists. Juho Lammikko had a goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds.

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Categories : AHL
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Dec
11

How the salary cap news can impact the Rangers

December 11, 2017, by · Comments (9)
rick nash kevin hayes

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Over the weekend, news broke that the salary cap for next season might hit as high as $82 million, with a low of $78 million. This is mostly due to the success in Vegas, which no one is sure is sustainable, but for now impacts the salary cap in a positive manner.

For the Rangers, their offseason look is interesting. They have a bunch of key RFAs they will need to re-sign (Miller, Hayes, Vesey, Nieves, Skjei). Vesey and Nieves likely won’t command more than $3 million combined, but the trio of Miller, Hayes, and Skjei could get pricey fast.

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Categories : Musings
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Dec
11

Weekly Preview: Busy, Important Week for the Rangers

December 11, 2017, by · Comments (7)

Your Friday Night Matchup

As mentioned last week, and as will be likely be mentioned every week until April, the Metropolitan Division is tighter than Ron Duguay’s blazers. Despite a divisional matchup week last week for the Rangers, there hasn’t been much movement going on either way, so the Rangers just need to keep their heads up and win win win.

Here’s what the Divison standings look like as of Sunday night:

The Rangers are still shy of the playoffs, but certainly not out of the picture entirely – surprisngly, nobody really is with the division being separated by only ten points. The Rangers have four games this week, starting tonight, against mostly subpar opponents. The question will be whether they can cash in on easier games. The second question is if Henrik Lundqvist will play every game (my vote’s on yes).

Let’s take a look at the opponents.

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Categories : Preview
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Dec
10

Holland nets two in Pack win

December 10, 2017, by · Comments (5)

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Rochester Americans 2 (SO)

By Meghan O’Reilly

Hartford, CT, December 9, 2017 – The Hartford Wolf Pack went to overtime for a fourth game in a row Saturday night at the XL Center, and were ultimately able to walk away with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rochester Americans.

Chis Nell made 28 saves in the Hartford net to get the win, while Rochester’s Linus Ullmark was credited with 24. Peter Holland scored two of the three goals for the Wolf Pack, and also scored in the shootout.

Holland opened the scoring at 12:26 of the first period, getting one around Ullmark for his first goal in four games with the Wolf Pack. Assists were given to Scott Kosmachuk and Cole Schneider.

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Categories : AHL
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Dec
09

Game 29: Rebound and gain ground in the division

December 9, 2017, by · Comments (75)
jesper fast

Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

The Rangers lost last night to the Caps, but beat Pittsburgh earlier in the week. Tonight they face off against the surprising Devils, in an attempt to end this three game run in the division with a winning record. It won’t be easy, since the Devils, picked by everyone to finish last, were just bumped from first last night. Who woulda thunk?

The Blueshirts got thoroughly thrashed against Washington, and now face a tough challenge of a back-to-back against a team with strong goaltending, a good top line, and now got stronger with the addition of Sami Vatanen. The Devils have depth issues, and that is where the Blueshirts are going to need to do their damage.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Providence Bruins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3 (SO)

Providence, RI, December 8, 2017 – Cole Schneider had his first two-goal game in a Hartford Wolf Pack uniform Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, but the Wolf Pack could not hold a late lead and lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Providence Bruins.

Schneider’s second of the game put the Wolf Pack up 3-2 at 2:13 of the third, but Jordan Szwarz tied the game for the Bruins with 39.9 seconds left, and goaltender Zane McIntyre on the bench for an extra attacker.

Ryan Graves scored his first goal of the year for the Wolf Pack in the first period, and Anthony D’Angelo had two assists. Colby Cave had a goal and an assist for Providence, as did Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson.

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Categories : AHL
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Dec
09

Michael Grabner Was Supposed to Regress – What Happened

December 9, 2017, by · Comments (18)

It’s something many of us know-it-all number crunchers said: Michael Grabner simply wouldn’t be able to score this year the way he did last year. It tied into laments about the state of the forward corps, the fact that the Rangers didn’t offload him to a real contender (or some wannabe) at the deadline for a million first round picks, and came with an air of certainty often attributed to smugness by those less inclined to numbers. Well, it’s safe to say us spreadsheet samurai were wrong, and Michael Grabner is at least so far putting on a repeat performance. So what’s going on there?

First of all let me just say this – I’m happy to be wrong, and I’d imagine I speak for pretty much all of us in that regard. Nonetheless, it is something of a curiosity, because last year he finished the season with an individual shooting percentage (at even strength too, so no shorthanded or empty net situations inflating the numbers here) of 16.28%. To put it a little bit more intuitively, he was getting a goal more than every ten shots, which, even by Alain Vigneault standards, is high.

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Categories : Players
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Dec
09

Comeback falls short as Caps dominate Rangers

December 9, 2017, by · Comments (47)

AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Rangers were hoping to make it two in a row against divisional opponents above them in the standings, but the Caps had other ideas, as they thoroughly dominated the Rangers en route to a 4-2 win. The Rangers were down early, giving up a goal to Jay Beagle in the first 15 seconds. They were playing catch up from there.

The Blueshirts woke up in the second, but the Caps really dominate the third period. Jesper Fast tied it in the third, but with the ice tilted, it was only a matter of time before the Caps took the lead. No gifs/goal breakdown today, so let’s go with some bullets.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (47)
Dec
08

Game 28: Another divisional showdown in Washington

December 8, 2017, by · Comments (31)

Disclaimer: I know I’m trolling with this gif. It was a while ago and it’s still hilarious. Even the staunchest Girardi supporters have to find this to be funny. If it makes you feel any better, in one of my games I covered the puck (I’m a goalie), and shuffled it from my glove to someone who I thought was on my team. He was not. Empty net. I laugh about it now.

After a hard fought win in Pittsburgh, the Rangers are in Washington for another tough divisional matchup. There is one point separating the top five teams in the division, with the Rangers three points back of all of them. But the Rangers have games in hand on all of them. The win against Pittsburgh was a four-point swing. Another win tonight, and the Rangers will have gained a pair of points on both Washington and Pittsburgh without losing a game in hand.

The Rangers are getting this done without Mika Zibanejad, which is pretty amazing. They have Henrik Lundqvist back tonight, and they will need him to be on point with Ovi firing cannons from the dots. The Rangers are the deeper team, but the Caps have more high-end skill. This might be another wide-open affair.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Per Pierre LeBrun, the salary cap could be as high as $82 million next year, with $78 million apparently the low end of that projection. No matter what, it looks like a large increase on the current $75 million cap ceiling. Most of this is due to the success in Vegas, but it remains to be seen if it is sustainable.

This is good news for the Rangers, as they have a whole bunch of guys (Miller, Hayes, Skjei, Nieves, Vesey) they need to re-up. Three of those are due for some hefty raises as well. More money is always good. Hopefully this gives the Rangers the room they need to keep guys they want.

Categories : Business of Hockey
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