New York Rangers: Jimmy Howard

Tri-staters competing on U.S. hockey team

February, 8, 2014
Feb 8
With the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia kicking off on Friday, here is a list of the Tri-state area men's hockey players who will compete for the United States:

Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y.) The Los Angeles Kings captain, who won a Stanley Cup Championship in 2012, will be called upon as one of the members of the U.S. team’s leadership group. He is one of four players returning from the 2010 Olympic squad.

Ryan Callahan (Rochester, N.Y.) The 28-year-old winger and captain of the New York Rangers will make his second Olympic appearance. He was a member of the silver medal-winning squad in Vancouver in 2010.

John Carlson (Colonia, N.J.) One of the youngest members of the U.S. team, Carlson was a member of the U.S. team that won gold in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The 24-year-old Washington Capitals defenseman scored the overtime game winner to best Canada in the gold-medal game.

Jimmy Howard (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) The Detroit Red Wings netminder will likely be third on the goaltending depth chart for the U.S. team behind both Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick.

Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) One of the Americans’ most dynamic weapons on offense, Kane has already proven he’s a winner. He’s got two Stanley Cup Championships to his name and won the Conn Smythe Trophy last spring for his MVP performance in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Brooks Orpik (Amherst, N.Y.) The veteran defenseman is one of two blueliners from the Pittsburgh Penguins to compete for the U.S. team in Sochi. He’ll play alongside Paul Martin on a team led by his Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) Pacioretty was far from a lock to earn a roster spot on this year’s squad but an impressive start to the 2013-14 season for the Montreal Canadiens helped his cause. He is second in scoring with 26 goals and 37 points in 49 games for the Habs this season.

Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y.) Shattenkirk is expected to be one of the key players on the back end for the U.S. team, and he may be headed for a long stretch of hockey even after the Games are over. His St. Louis Blues squad is battling the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Central Division.

James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) The 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger has played alongside offensive dynamo Phil Kessel this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two hope to put that chemistry to good use for the U.S. in Sochi.

Jonathan Quick (Milford, Conn.) The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and brother-in-law to former Islander Matt Moulson, will battle Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller for the top goaltending position.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Red Wings

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
At a glance: The Rangers and Red Wings face off Thursday night at Madison Square Garden with only one point standing between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference standings. A surging Rangers squad, that has won eight of its last 11 games, hosts an injury-ravaged Red Wings club that is coming off a trying West Coast swing. The Wings currently sit in ninth place with 50 points behind the eighth-place Rangers heading into the Original Six showdown.

Prior to the game, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault praised the Wings as one of the premier puck possession teams, “It’s unreal how hard those guys work.”

Vigneault said he also feels their net presence is second to none.

M*A*S*H unit: The Red Wings have been hampered by injuries all season and Thursday will be no different as Detroit will be missing several key players –- Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson and Stephen Weiss. Tomas Tatar will also be unavailable, as the young forward was excused by the team to attend his father’s funeral in Slovakia. Goaltender Jimmy Howard is expected to return from a minor hip injury, with Petr Mrazek backing up.

Power outage: Though the Rangers’ power-play has been a source of strength for the team this season, Detroit has struggled with the man-advantage as of late. The Wings enter Thursday’s action looking to snap an 0-for-21 skid over their last five games.

Still streaking: With the Rangers’ lone goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, veteran center Brad Richards is riding a season-high six-game point streak.

Hot hand: Though Henrik Lundqvist will likely get a game off this weekend with the Rangers’ back-to-back set against Ottawa and Washington, the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner will get the nod Thursday against the Wings. After a poor start to the season, Lundqvist has recovered nicely and regained some confidence. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals against average and .944 save percentage in his last four games.