New York Hockey: Derek Boogaard

Boogaard's family files lawsuit

September, 24, 2012
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The family of late Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard is suing the NHLPA for $9.8 million for allegedly failing to secure the remainder of the balance on their son's contract after he passed away, multiple sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

The 28-year-old Saskatchewan native was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment in May 2011 from an accidental drug overdose. His family is seeking the balance of $4.8 million plus an additional $5 million in punitive damages, according to the website.

The PA released this statement Friday:

"We are saddened to read reports that the parents of the late Derek Boogaard have filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA. We have not been served with or seen a copy of the complaint, but we are confident that there is no meritorious claim that can be made against the NHLPA in regard to Derek's tragic death. It is not appropriate to comment further at this time."
ESPN.com illustration
The hype and hysteria of the impending Eastern Conference final between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils made the eve of Game 1 an exciting one -- but the day was also a somber reminder to Rangers tough guy Brandon Prust of a fallen former teammate who would not be along for the journey.

Sunday marked one year since the death of beloved enforcer Derek Boogaard. The 28-year-old lost his life after an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers at home in his Minneapolis apartment, a tragic passing that has left its imprint on his friend and former road roommate.

"It's tough to think back to the day," Prust told ESPNNewYork.com. "Obviously, it's very sad and not a day you like to remember, but on a day like today you remember all the good things and how we want to win one for him."

One of the game's most dominant and daunting fighters, Boogaard played only 22 games with the Rangers because of his concussion-shortened season in 2010-11. An autopsy later revealed he had signs of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer's.

His death, one of three last summer among NHL tough guys, caused debate on fighting's place in the game. While some argued that the pugilism was inextricably tied to the league's epidemic of concussions, others countered the link as reactionary and over-simplified.

In the wake of Boogaard's death, Prust defended the difficult task of NHL enforcers and vocalized his support to keep fighting in the game. That hasn't changed.

"I have the same feelings I had at the beginning of the year. I think it's a way we can police our own game," he said. "It is a tough job, but it's something that I've chose to do. And, if I didn't want to do it anymore, I wouldn't do it."

Before the season started, Prust vowed to honor Boogaard's memory, not just with the No. 94 decal he and his Rangers teammates wore on the back of their helmets, but with his play every night.

Prust has lived up to his word.

He leads the league with 20 fighting majors and has carried on Boogaard's legacy as one of the team's most well-respected protectors. Prust was credited by many teammates for the Rangers' win in a pivotal Game 6 against the Senators that, they felt, turned after his first-period fight with Ottawa antagonist Chris Neil.

"He was one of the best in the league at that. He was one of the most feared guys to ever put on skates," Prust said of Boogaard, with reverence. "He brought that intensity to our team when you were out on the ice with him. It's a void that you kind of have to try and fill. He's missed that way."

Rangers discuss loss of Boogaard

September, 16, 2011
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On the first day of Rangers training camp, several players were asked about this summer's loss of teammate Derek Boogaard, who died in May from an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers.

"Some guys have talked about it," captain Ryan Callahan said. "It's tough to lose a teammate. I don't think there's anything like it."

Boogaard, a hulking enforcer, was known for being as lovable and tender-hearted off the ice as he was menacing on it.

"He was a big guy and a big personality and he's going to be missed" alternate captain Marc Staal said. "He's not going to be forgotten with us."

Boogaard was one of three NHL players -- along with Rick Rypien and recently retired Wade Belak -- who died this summer.

Boogaard played in 22 games for the Rangers last year before suffering a season-ending concussion.

Fellow tough guy Brandon Prust, who was roommates on the road with Boogaard before he was injured, vowed to honor his fallen teammate every night.

"I'll honor Derek every game," Prust said. "I hope he's out there with me every game."

Rangers moving on after tragic summer

September, 8, 2011
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Rebecca Taylor/ MSG PhotosRangers Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards sign autographs in Manhattan on Thursday.
The NHL has seen its share of bad news these past few months. Three deaths of current or former players coupled with Wednesday's plane crash in Russia that killed 43 people, including many players from the KHL, has left the hockey community stunned.

With training camps beginning shortly, players are going to have to try to move on from a summer that has affected many of them, be it directly or indirectly.

“You just try to stay positive and remember good things about them and we have to move forward and think about the good things of the sport,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said while appearing at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in Manhattan for a question and answer session with teammate Brad Richards. “It’s been a tough summer but it’s getting closer and closer to the season and we talk about all the good things this game brings and not only the negatives with some tragic incidents but also concussions and things like that. We try to be positive. We talk about the good things also and not get sucked in all the bad things happening."

Lundqvist, who lost teammate Derek Boogaard in May and knew Lokomotiv Yaroslavl goalie Stefan Liv, who died in the plane crash, said he’s still in shock at what happened Wednesday. He added that players need to look out for each other and make sure that their teammates are in good health. The NHL also lost Winnipeg forward Rick Rypien and former skater Wade Belak in the past few months.

Richards, who signed with the Blueshirts in the offseason, played in Dallas with Karlis Skrastins, who also died in the plane crash. He had played against some of the others who died in the crash and also expressed shock over the tragedy.

“Obviously not the best of summers for all that news but we all believe truly it’s just a bad coincidence and everybody has been touched by someone at one of the four events, if not all of them, and we’re going to grieve and we’re going to think about it," Richards said. " We’ve all known someone [affected] but we are also going to move on and get more help for each other if there [are] people [who] need it.

"Talk about hockey, it happens in everyday life. It’s just that we’re a little more in the spotlight and there’s tons of issues in everyday life that shows we’re not immune to it and we’re not above that. We still get affected by everyday life.”

After signing Richards, while retaining their core, the Rangers seem poised to contend in the Eastern Conference.

“Personally I think we’re a better team than last year,” Lundqvist said. “We did a great job over the summer to re-sign guys, so that’s a great feeling and we added Brad and (Mike) Rupp and some other guys, so it’s exciting, I’m really excited about this year, we have a lot of things going on and I think the team looks better than last year, so the expectations should be higher.”

Boogaard family releases statement

May, 20, 2011
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The family of Derek Boogaard released a statement on Friday through the National Hockey League Players' Association on Derek's death. It was also announced Friday that Boogaard's death was an accident.

Here is the statement from the family:

“We would like to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love and support for our family during this difficult period as we grieve the loss of Derek – our son and brother. We are deeply saddened by this unimaginable loss, but we are grateful for the expression of support that has given us strength as we go through this tragic time.

It is very comforting for our family to know that, while Derek’s life was far too short, he had a great impact on many people who he came into contact with. We are proud that Derek was able to live his boyhood dream to play in the National Hockey League. We are even more proud of the fact that Derek was dedicated to making a difference in his adopted communities of Minnesota and New York City, through his countless hours of charitable work.

Earlier today, we received the results of Derek's toxicology report at the time of his accidental death. After repeated courageous attempts at rehabilitation and with the full support of the New York Rangers, the NHLPA, and the NHL, Derek had been showing tremendous improvement but was ultimately unable to beat this opponent. While he played and lived with pain for many years, his passion for the game, his teammates, and his community work was unstoppable.

Our family would like to like to thank the New York Rangers, the Minnesota Wild, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, and the National Hockey League for supporting Derek's continued efforts in his battle.

Derek will be greatly missed and will never be forgotten by his fans, friends, and teammates, and especially by us – his family. We respectfully ask for continued privacy as we grieve the loss of Derek.”

To read more about Boogaard, you can click on this link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nhl/news/story?id=6570143

Donations can be made in Boogaard's honor

May, 17, 2011
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NEW YORK -- The family of Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers forward who died last week in Minnesota, is asking for donations to be made to Defending the Blue Line in his memory, in lieu of flowers.

The Rangers said Tuesday that the family "would like to see Derek's legacy live on by supporting military kids and the game he loved."

Defending the Blue Line is a nonprofit organization created by soldiers with the spirit of keeping hockey alive for the children of our nation's military heroes, according to the mission statement on the group's website.

Boogaard, 28, was found dead Friday at his Minneapolis apartment. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
Following the news of the death of Rangers forward Derek Boogaard in his Minneapolis apartment on Friday, many of his former Rangers teammates have expressed their sadness and shock over the loss of one of the league’s toughest enforcers.

"On behalf of all Derek's teammates, I would like to say that he was a great friend and a great teammate and that we are all going miss him dearly,” Rangers captain Chris Drury said in a released statement. “This is a tragic loss for the hockey community. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

Boogaard, who served a role as an enforcer, joined the Rangers for the 2010-11 season after signing with the team on July 1, 2010. He didn’t have much of an effect with the Rangers, scoring just one goal and adding one assist in 22 games. His season was cut short on Dec. 9 after he suffered a concussion against Ottawa.

Rangers forward Brandon Prust said on twitter that he roomed with Boogaard and tweeted just after midnight that Boogaard was a great friend and a teammate and was a loss for words following the 28-year-old’s death.

“I am still in shock. It keeps hitting me off and on all day as I'm driving home. Though he was a fighter on the ice, he was definitely a gentle giant off the ice,” Prust said in a released statement. “He was just a real good guy, a team guy all the way. I've been looking at some of the silly pictures I have from when we were roommates and it just hits me what a good guy he was. I still can't believe I am referring to him in the past tense."

Rangers Right Wing Marian Gaborik, who played with Boogaard for four season in Minnesota and one year in New York, said in the statement that he was very close with Boogaard and the two helped each other out both on and off the ice. He said that Boogaard was one of the best enforcers in the league and any team would have been pleased to have him.

“He was a year younger than me, and you could see that he improved so much,” Gaborik said in a released statement. “But he was always such a calm guy, got along with everybody. We had a lot of good times together. He was a really easy going guy, really caring. We talked pretty much about everything. He’s just the type of guy who would be there for you when you needed him.

He also added in the statement: “We spoke before the World Championships. We were in touch a lot. He was focusing on coming back, training each day. He was really looking forward to coming back in great shape and prove that he’s the best at what he does. He was really looking forward to that. He was always so positive and optimistic”

Several other Rangers showed support for Boogaard's family on twitter. Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto tweeted “Boogy, you will be missed! Condolences to the Boogard family. The world lost an amazing friend and teammate!”

Backup goalie Martin Biron, who did not want to comment out of respect for Boogaard and his family when called Saturday morning, said on his twitter account: “Extremely sadden by the loss of a great teammate, Derek Boogaard, we’ll miss you. Praying for his family and friends.”

A life cut short

May, 14, 2011
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The hockey community is a tight one. A family. Everyone knows everyone. And when one is lost it is felt by everyone, everywhere. On Friday night we lost one of our own, Derek Boogaard at 28.

Derek was 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, thought by some to be the best fighter in the league. So good, in fact, one of the biggest problems having him on your team was nobody wanted to fight him!

You would think someone like that would be considered scary. But ask anyone who knew Boogaard and they'll tell you quite the opposite. You'll hear words like "kind" and "nice" and "good."

He played just 22 games for the Rangers. My dealings with him were nothing more than a brief chat, a passing nod in the dressing room or on the plane. Every time I would say to myself, "For a scary guy, he's pretty nice."

On days like this you're reminded how fragile life is. That tomorrow is promised to no one. As hard as Derek hit on the ice, nothing matched the blow to the belly we all felt when we heard the news that he died.

I'm just glad that I knew him. And glad that he'll be remembered as the toughest nice guy you could ever meet.

5 intriguing contract situations for Rangers

April, 26, 2011
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With the offseason rapidly ramping up and contract rumors starting to fly, it marks a good time to look at some of the most intriguing deals to be dealt with this summer. Here are the five most interesting in my humble opinion.

5. Brandon Dubinsky, LW, Age 24 - Based on Dubinsky's comments to the Daily News, it sounds like an extension could get done pretty quickly. The fit is good and the desire for both sides to make a deal seems strong. The only hiccup could be if Dubinsky is looking for a megadeal of some kind. I would think he’s not looking to hold up the bank though, especially since he should see a nice raise on his $1.85M salary from this past season anyway.

4. Brian Boyle, C, 26 - Boyle presents a very interesting case as a restricted free agent. He will absolutely get a raise off his $525K contract from a season ago. But how big will that raise be? With 21 goals and 14 assists this season, Boyle produced one of the biggest breakout seasons in the NHL. And while he didn’t put up a point in the Rangers’ playoff series against the Washington Capitals, he was arguably the team’s most consistent forward over the course of the series. Now … were the 21 goals a fluke or something he can reproduce in future seasons? His shooting percentage of 9.6 percent, right around the league average, suggests that he wasn’t just lucky. Couple that with the fact he does most of his work around the opponent’s crease and it seems like 20-goal seasons are not unrealistic expectations, even though Boyle’s previous career best for goals was four.

3. Ryan Callahan, RW, 26 - Callahan has been described many times as the Rangers’ captain in waiting. He plays exactly the style of hockey endorsed by head coach John Tortorella and contributes in all aspects of the game. Players like that are rare and highly coveted in today’s NHL. So, how big a bump will Callahan, a restricted free agent, get from his $2.3M salary of 2010-11? He produced career bests in both goals and assists in just 60 games this season. If I had to guess, I would think that Callahan could see a long-term deal to help keep his cap hit manageable but still get him the bucks he deserves.

2. Derek Boogaard, LW/Penalty Box, 28 - Boogaard won’t be a free agent until 2014-15 ... which is precisely why I’m putting him and his $1.65M per-season deal on this list. Tortorella dressed Boogaard in 22 games during an injury-shortened season that ended after he sustained a concussion on Dec. 9. His recovery from that concussion is still in question. But also, when he's not dropping the gloves his contributions are limited, at best, on the ice. There have been rumors connecting him to the KHL, but it seems very possible the Rangers will try to offload Boogaard in some way, shape or form. I certainly don’t fault Boogaard for signing the deal and taking the money, but Wade Redden and Co. might need to make room for the Boogie Man on the Connecticut Whale team bus. And that could be the best-case scenario for the banged-up brawler.

1. Chris Drury, C, 34 - Faceoffs. Right now, it seems that winning draws is Drury’s biggest on-ice contribution to the Rangers. That’s a rather short list considering the team’s current captain is set to draw a salary of $7.05M next season. Tortorella’s comments Monday seem to indicate that the team will seriously consider buying out Drury’s contract after he battled a string of injuries and averaged about 7:30 of ice time in the playoffs. With a no-movement clause in his contract, Drury won’t face the same fate as Redden, but the Rangers probably value the $3.5M-plus of cap space they can free up by buying him out more than a fourth-line and situational center, the role Drury mainly filled this season.

There’s a perception issue as well though. Will future free agents look at the Rangers’ offers skeptically if the players accepting their lucrative money -- Redden and perhaps Drury and Boogaard -- don’t get to reach the end of their deals in New York? Will they start to demand no-movement clauses -- which have severely hindered the Devils across the Hudson -- limiting the Rangers’ options when it comes to roster management?

So, if you’re the Rangers, do you try to buy out Drury, knowing he’d count just $3.3M against the cap next season and $1.67M against the 2012-13 cap, thereby freeing up space for a high-skill scorer the Blueshirts badly need? Or do you ride it out knowing you have a high character guy to help lead a young roster and hope that he can rebound in the production department as he returns to good health?
Rangers President & General Manger Glen Sather said he does not expect injured center Chris Drury to return this season during a conference call on Monday. Drury, who has missed 41 games this season, has missed the Rangers past 10 games after arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 11.

“He’s a question mark. He’s probably the biggest question mark of all of (the injured players). I don’t think he will be back.”

Drury, in his fourth season with the Rangers, missed the first two games of the season and then fractured his finger on Oct. 15 and missed the Rangers following 29 games. He has just four assists on the season with no goals.

While Sather’s outlook on Drury was bleak, he expects the other sidelined Rangers to make returns at some point this season, including forward Marian Gaborik. Gaborik has missed the Rangers past three games with concussion-like symptoms.

“I met with him today and he said he felt good all day today and he’ll wait to see what he feels like tonight,” Sather said. “He’s been getting some headaches at night but they’ve been less and less and I think he’ll be back before too long.”

Sather added that he doesn’t expect Martin Biron (collerbone) back until the end of the season, Derek Boogaard (concussion) is starting to work out and feel better and will probably return and Marc Staal (knee strain) will return. While Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder) was inactive Sunday against Tampa Bay, he played Friday against Washington.

Said Sather: “I expect all of them to be back at some point in time.”

Player Poll: Isles are unliked

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
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Just prior to Sunday's All-Star game CBC released the results of an NHL player poll conducted in conjunction with the NHL Players Association, producing a load of debate fodder for the next few days.

As I shared on Twitter Sunday, the results were often interesting, but hard to weight as you wonder how much thought the players put in to their responses and many of the answers are certain to change from year to year. For example, the New York Islanders -- a team that hasn't advanced beyond the conference quarterfinals since 1993 and plays in the NHL's worst arena -- earned the dubious distinction of being the franchise with which players would least like to join. Hardly shocking considering the other teams on that list -- Edmonton, Atlanta, Toronto and Florida -- are all in rebuilding modes as well, even though Atlanta is in the thick of the playoff race this season.

On the flip side, the Rangers were among the top five teams players would most like to play for.

But it wasn't all bad news for the Islanders. Frans Nielsen was singled out as the league's second most underrated player, behind the Stars' Loui Eriksson. The Devils' Travis Zajac joined tied for third on that list as well.

A few Rangers were also held in high regard, with Marian Gaborik named the league's best and fastest skater by his peers. The Islanders' Michael Grabner, winner of All-Star weekend's fastest skater competition, was fifth on the fastest skater list.

Henrik Lundqvist ranked fourth behind Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas as the goalie skaters see as toughest to beat. Derek Boogaard meanwhile was the runaway winner for the NHL's toughest player.

On the coaching front, players picked the Devils' Adam Oates as one of the top five current NHL assistants who should get a shot at head coach. With Jacques Lemaire saying he'll step aside at the end of this season, Oates will certainly have his name thrown around, but I wonder if GM Lou Lamoriello will consider another first-time head coach after the team's struggles under rookie bench boss John MacLean.

John Tortorella, known for his tough-love reputation, was dubbed the league's most demanding coach, earning 28 percent of the vote. Unsurprisingly, that helped land him at the No. 2 spot when players were asked which coach they'd least like to play for.

MSG was a winner and a loser in the poll, named as the second favorite arena to play in, but also knocked as having the second worst ice in the NHL.

Rangers ready to gain ground

December, 20, 2010
12/20/10
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After falling 4-1 to the Flyers Saturday, the Rangers may have missed their chance to sweep the Eastern Conference's three elite teams. But given the Blueshirts' upcoming slate of games they could certainly soon join, or even pass them at the top of the standings.

Over their next six games, the Rangers only face one team currently in the Eastern Conference playoff picture (meeting the Tampa Bay Lightning twice, the first coming Thursday). This is one of those prime opportunities that good teams use to fuel their playoff push. If the Rangers can get on a six-game run, they'd have 53 points with exactly have their schedule (41 games) remaining. That would put them on pace for 106 points, which would have placed them second in the East last season. Heck, tack on 12 more points in the next six and the Rangers could pretty much play .500 hockey with a few one-point losses mixed in and probably cruise into the playoffs.

Is it likely? Maybe not. But with the way the Rangers have been playing, it's certainly possible.

Here are some other notes from around the Rangers' media.

Afternoon Links

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Oilers 2

November, 14, 2010
11/14/10
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The Rangers’ Kids Day clash saw young faces in the stands and on the ice with the Edmonton Oilers in town. When the final horn sounded, it was the Rangers teaching the rookie-laden Oilers a few lessons in a slump-busting 8-2 victory in which several Blueshirts broke out.

Marian Gaborik gave the youths a little something to remember him by, scoring his first three goals of the 2010-11 season to earn a hat trick.



The Rangers’ kid, Derek Stepan, had pair of assists. On the first helper, Stepan eluded defenseman Jason Strudwick and found Artem Anisimov at the back door for the goal. The points end a long drought for Stepan, who hadn’t figured into a goal since Oct. 21.

Alexander Frolov also snapped a 10-game goalless streak, stashing a shot with five seconds remaining in the second period and snapping a wrister past Nikolai Khabibulin in the third.

And that’s just a small sample of all the action that went down on the Garden ice Sunday.

And For His Next Trick…

Gaborik’s first goal of the season was probably the ugliest of his career, but it counts all the same. Gaborik stripped the puck from Andrew Cogliano behind the Oilers net and somehow slipped it under the pads of Khabibulin. His next two goals were more traditional for the sniper, beating the Oiler netminder on a pair of breakaways. Gaborik also finished with an assist and a plus-five rating. Not too shabby.

Shouldering the Load

Gaborik looked fine after ramming his left shoulder into the post while potting his second marker of the night. That was the same shoulder that sidelined him for the past four weeks, and he looked a little sore after he slowly picked himself off the ice. But he showed no ill effects for the rest of the game.

The Hits Just Keep on Comin’

The Rangers wanted to establish a physical tone against the younger (and smaller) Oilers, and certainly did so based on the first-period hit totals. The Rangers dished out 21 hits in the first 20 minutes, including four each by Marc Staal and Ryan Callahan.

Don’t Blink

It wasn’t all pretty for the Rangers and I really fought the urge to invoke an infamous Sean Avery quote to describe the Blueshirts’ ugly second-period lapse. The Rangers fell asleep for just a minute and it cost them a pair of goals in the early second period. The first marker followed a terrific minute-long cycle by the Gaborik-Christensen-Frolov line when all five Blueshirts chased puck carrier Jordan Eberle, who deftly slipped the puck to Randy Jones at the goal mouth for the score. Shawn Horcoff followed up about 30 seconds later with a wrister that somehow eluded the glove of Martin Biron.

No, Seriously, Don’t Blink

Four minutes after the pair of Oilers’ strikes, the Rangers tallied twice in 24 seconds. A breakaway goal by Gaborik was followed by a Brian Boyle one-timer to regain the lead, 3-2. The goal-scoring of Boyle has been a very welcome surprise this season. He now has eight goals this season, his previous career high was four. Moreover, the goals aren’t the product of surrounding talent as Boyle has usually centered the third or fourth line this season.

Royal Rumble

In the third period, things took an ugly turn that resulted in 87 minutes of penalties. As Sean Avery was being escorted off the ice after dropping an unsuspecting Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham jumped off the Edmonton bench to chase Avery off the ice and throw some verbal barbs. That ignited a massive brawl that spilled into the Ranger bench when Colin Fraser started throwing punches at a seated Brandon Dubinsky. It was a suspension-worthy affair to be sure, but it certainly seemed like the Oilers will have more to fear from the league office than the Rangers. Remember folks, it’s for the kids.

Prior to the battle royale, in a true clash of the heavyweights, Derek Boogaard showed he’s more than just a goal-scorer when he dropped the gloves twice with Steve MacIntyre. The Boogie Man had to work to free his right hand from MacIntyre’s strong grasp, but once free, a series of head shots knocked off the Oiler enforcer’s helmet and earned Boogaard the decision. MacIntyre fared a little better the second go-round, but he still didn’t really land any punches before the pair tired out.

Biron Back In Net

With Henrik Lundqvist less than 100 percent, the Rangers put Biron back between the pipes. That’s the luxury the Rangers now have with a very solid understudy. Biron only saw 21 shots, but (with the exception of the Oilers’ second goal) was very strong. His best save came in the first period, stoning Horcoff on the doorstep during a first-period Oiler power play.

Rangers Tuesday notes and quotes

November, 10, 2010
11/10/10
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  • The quote of the night went to Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau, who summarized the John Erskine/Derek Boogaard consecutive goals by saying:

  • “That should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. That’ll never happen again. Not even in the same week, more or less the same minute.”
  • I was joking with Comcast Sportsnet’s Corey Masisak after the game that I thought the game automatically ended if Boogaard scored a goal. He countered by saying, it was actually the world that ended. (I checked the Mayan calendar just to be sure. It’s okay folks, we’re safe.)
  • Ruslan Fedotenko wasn’t entirely thrilled with the new line combination of Derek Stepan, Alex Frolov and himself, simply because they didn’t produce last night despite some good scoring chances: “If we scored a few goals, I’d say we’d really be happy. We still need to focus on finishing.”

  • To answer a reader comment on the disallowed goal by Feds, the officials deemed that the puck crossed the goal line only after the Ranger forward made contact with Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth in the crease. You could have made the argument Fedotenko was forced into the goalie by a Caps defenseman, but the call seemed correct to me.
  • Via Andrew Gross, head coach John Tortorella is souring on Alexander Frolov who isn’t scoring and frankly not doing much of anything at the moment: “You can’t score, you’ve got to do the other stuff,” the bench boss said after the game.
  • Also from Gross, Steve Eminger was grateful his young partner had his back after suffering a possible knee-on-knee collision in the first period from Matt Hendricks: “Everything’s OK,” Eminger said. “I didn’t see a replay so I can’t really determine if it’s a knee. I tried to go by him. I don’t know if he stuck a knee out. I tapped (Mike Sauer) after it and said, ‘thanks a lot.’ If something happens to him, I’ve got his back. I’m grateful to him for sticking up for me.”
  • Here’s the link the NHL game highlight reel, including that sweet end-to-end rush by Alex Ovechkin to produce Mike Knuble’s game-tying-goal.
  • In the faceoff department, where the Rangers have been rather lousy, the team again was outdrawn 38-31, but both Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky were sharp, combining to win 19 of 32 draws.

Flyers' D smothers Rangers

November, 5, 2010
11/05/10
9:12
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Efficient. Methodical. Complete. Those are three words that best describe the Philadelphia Flyers' 4-1 win at home over the New York Rangers Thursday night. Philly held New York to a season-low 21 shots, a sign that top defenseman Chris Pronger is returning to form after offseason knee surgery. Pierre LeBrun has more in the recap of ESPN.com's game of the week.

Game Story | Box Score

With the Penguins' power play again struggling and Marc-Andre Fleury's early troubles in net, the Flyers are emerging as the top team in the Atlantic. To this point, and particularly during its current five-game winning streak, Philly has shown a very balanced attack, getting scoring from multiple lines while limiting opponents' scoring chances. For the season the Flyers rank sixth in both goals scored and allowed per game. They've outscored the opposition 22-9 over the five-game streak, which should give the faltering Islanders plenty to worry about when those teams tangle Saturday.

Back to the Blueshirts, here's a survey of the media after a flat night Thursday.

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