November 26, 2011

No place like home as Rangers blank Flyers: 2-0

This bitter rivalry was immediately sparked by a fight four seconds into the start of the game as Brandon Prust dropped gloves and exchanged blows with Zac Rinaldo.  Prust dropped the gloves at the 11:26 mark for the second start of the game; the night was spirited as the two teams combined 56 hits in the game.

Brad Richards (8) opened the scoring for the Rangers at 0:54 mark of the second period, as the forward connected on a power play opportunity.  Richards now has six points in the last six games, and has seemed to settle in a nice scoring grove in a Blueshirts uniform.

After much grinding and great defense, Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, making his MSG debut-tallied his first NHL goal at the 5:06 mark of the third period of play. It was a great overall effort by Hagelin’s line, as head coach John Tortorella as the forward teamed up with fellow young guns Ryan McDonagh (7) and John Mitchell (2).

Hagelin has impressed fans of the Blueshirts, with is ‘nose to the net’ type of play. The future star now has two points in his first two games with the team-and his energetic skating style thus far has been a source of energy for New York.

In the cage for the Rangers was Henrik Lundqvist, who earned his 40th career shutout. The Swedish keeper finished with 29 saves, thanks to a great overall defensive effort by his team.

New York will have two days off before looking to extend their home record against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. The game between the Rangers and Pens is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with the face-off slated for 7:30 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

Ray Trenton of GetRealHockey Scores an Exclusive Interview with Eric Nystrom of the Dallas Stars

To say the 2011-2012 Dallas Stars season has been a rollercoaster would be the understatement of the year. With ownership changes finally done and a young core building the Stars back into a powerhouse, it's easy to get excited about the future.. something that was frankly scary a year ago. One of the key elements to the on-ice success is the Stars checking line. Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler, and Radek Dvorak have been pressuring opponents up and down the rinks of the National Hockey League.

The son of the NY Islander's 4 time Stanley Cup winner Bob Nystrom, Eric has big shoes to fill. A veteran of the Michigan State Wolverines, Calgary Flames, and Minnesota Wild, Nystrom brings an energy to the Stars locker room that is both welcomed and embraced by his fellow players.

Starting the season with the Minnesota Wild, Nystrom was unexpectedly waived on October 6th, but quickly picked up by the Stars. With something to prove and a newfound energy, Nystrom has excelled. With 9 points, a positive +/- score, and more hits than I can count, Nystrom's contributions to the team have been immediate.

Recently I sat down with left winger Eric Nystrom who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the success of the NyFidRak line (I know, I need to come up with a better nickname), how he's adjusting to Dallas, and a few other questions including one that may settle an age-old dispute!

1) A lot has been made about the Stars 'youth factor' this season, especially with Glen Gulutzan in charge. Is there a noticeable energy in the locker room/on the ice?

Nystrom: There's definitely a noticeable energy both on the ice and in the room! The coaching staff is very positive and that rubs off on us as players. Everyone has a lot of enthusiasm. It's awesome!!

2) Since coming to the Stars, you've already started out on a career-best season. Any special factors leading up to this? Line chemistry?
Nystrom: My linemates have been awesome. We definitely read well off each other. Also, i have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and I'm super motivated to prove myself!!

3) Speaking of line chemistry, it's not often that a checking line is the talk of the league. Any keys to success? I think it's a blessing in disguise that you were picked up on waivers because you've made an immediate impact. Was there much of an adjustment period from being released to being picked up? Did that motivate you even more to put up the strong numbers you have already posted this season?

Nystrom: Devo (Radek Dvorak, RW) Fids (Vernon Fiddler, C) and I all play a pretty straight line, predictable game. Because of that, we know what's on each others minds and we're not guessing! Plus those guys have great speed on the forecheck which is tough for opposing d to handle. I'm very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play with these guys. It has definitely made the adjustment really smooth. With us its a lot more than putting up points, theres so many small details we pride ourselves in!

4) Since I'm also participating in Movember I'm curious about this one.. on December 1st, are you going to shave or have you and your teammates grown attached to your staches?

Nystrom: I always have the scruff going. I hate shaving!! I'll prob just trim it up since my beard grows so quick.

5) I know you're sick of getting this one but... having lived in both Calgary and Dallas.. settle the score for us. Alberta beef or Texas beef?

Nystrom: I go grass-fed, so wherever that's comin' from is my choice of beef!! thanks Eric Nystrom for his time. Nystrom's Movember page can be found at, and you can keep up with him on Twitter, @enystrom23. I'm also on Twitter, @txhockeyroundup should you want to say hi!

November 26th, 2011
Trenton Ray

Sensational sixth victory for Isles as they edge Devils 3-2

The New York Islanders (6-11-4) picked up a huge two points in a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils (12-8-1) on Saturday afternoon hockey action.  Looking to avoid their seventh shutout, the Islanders were also looking to snap a four game losing streak.

It took a while for the Islanders to pick up speed, but the team got the effort necessary to earn a victory over their Atlantic Division Rivals in the Devils.

Matt Moulson (7) snapped an 115:33 scoreless drought for the Islanders at the 11:28 mark of the first period. As the forward connected with a 35 foot snap shot, which was assisted by P.A. Parenteau (12) and Milan Jurcina (2).  Parenteau was the main catalyst of the goal, on an aggressive forecheck of the puck that was held in the Devils zone.

After that goal the Islanders seemed more aggressive, taking more shots and putting bodies at the net. Both teams continued their physical play, as scrums and hard hits continued in game two of this home-and-home series.

Adam Larsson (2) atoned for a rough game one defensively for the Devils, by tallying their first goal of the game at the 4:20 mark of the second period. The young blueliner was set up by sniper Ilya Kovalchuk (8) and Adam Henrique (9).

Josh Bailey (2) responded at the 11:59 mark, netting a top-shelf 27 foot snap shot, which doubled-up the Islanders lead.  The rivalry between these two teams intensified in the third period, as both clubs had great opportunities to score.

New Jersey opened up the final frame with a backhanded goal by young-gun Henrique (5) at the 3:59 mark, to tie the teams up for the second time in the game.  A hustle play by Michael Grabner (7), along with a sweet 17 foot shorthanded shot gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead.

The goal for Grabner was a weight lifted off the forwards’ shoulders, as the young-gun had golden opportunities in the team’s Friday night 1-0 loss to the Devils’. Grabs hustled throughout the whole play, forcing a Devils turnover that led to the eventual game-winning goal.

New Jersey had a barrage of chances towards the end of the third, including one by captain Zach Parise that was overturned by officials.  After review one could see the Devils star make a kicking motion, which caused the reversal of the third New Jersey goal.

For the Islanders though, this game was much needed, after the team has been grinding it out on the ice and leaving their last bit of effort on the ice in their last three games. Success for New York thus far has been found when the team is throwing bodies and pucks at the net, which is something head coach Jack Capuano has been preaching all season.

Also vital to the victory was Isles cager Al Montoya, who shined in his second straight start.  The ‘Big Cubano’ earned the second-star of the night, making 24 saves in the game.

The Isles will have two days off before heading to Buffalo to take on the Sabres for a Tuesday night showdown. The game between the Isles and Sabres is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus network, with face-off slated for 7:00 p.m. 

Stacy Podelski

Injuries Plague Buffalo Sabres

I haven't written anything in a while. I have a few reasons why: college applications, a team that can't win, and a team that can't stay healthy. Mainly the last one. It's really starting to get pathetic. Just for the fun of it, here's the list:

Tyler Ennis (63), Ryan Miller (30), Mike Weber (6), Brad Boyes (22), Patrick Kaleta (36), Cody McCormick (8), Robyn Regehr (24), Tyler Myers (57). And now Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News is reporting an as of yet un-named forward is out as well. That's 9 injuries. That's 9 Amerks playing for the Sabres.

It's getting to be pathetic. How can there possibly be this many injuries? It scares me to see this, I'm not sure if there are many players available for us to call up anymore. Watching the game tonight, the team might as well be wearing the Red, White, and Blue instead of the Blue and Gold. That would probably be more fitting considering who will be on the ice.

I don't have much else to write. We're looking horrible down there on the ice right now, but I can't exactly critique them for the way they're playing right now because it's not the Sabres, it's the Rochester Americans. So I've only got three things to say:

1.      Shanahan declares open season on goaltenders.

2.      I love Nathan Gerbe's play, good to see someone getting physical.

3.      Let's go Amerks!

~Adam Singh
Follow on twitter: TyMyers57

Habs Set To Clash with Sid the Kid - Expect a Classic

The Montreal Canadiens have been on the proverbial see saw since the start of this NHL season.  In recent weeks they have seen a heartbreaking loss to the Bruins, a blow up to the Flyers and they scored a couple shut outs (against the Rangers and Canes) led by Carey Price.  It won't get any easier for the Canadiens.  Every victory has to be earned.  The team has a huge hole on defense and this is at the forefront every time that Montreal hits the ice.

The beat goes on for the poor Habs tonight.  They are up against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the crown prince of hockey; Sidney Crosby.  Playing Pittsburgh is an uphill battle on the best of nights but this game could be very special.  Sidney Crosby made his comeback last week and this is without the biggest game on the biggest stage since his return.  Hockey crazy Montreal will be all over Crosby and he will probably respond with a stellar performance.  The "Kid" is the king of clutch and if history is any indication we should see him jump all over the Habs and their shaky defense.  The pressure is not like it was for Crosby's gold medal game at the Olympics but it might as well be for the Penguins captain.  He is the center of the hockey universe right now and he would not have it any other way.
Ever since his return, Crosby has been under the microscope.  Last night, Sid the Kid loaded up on assists as the Penguins blew past the Ottawa Senators by a score of 6-3. The Habs will have trouble containing this talent laden group.  Sid, Malkin, Staal, Dupuis, ect, ect......It is going to a scary night for the Habs faithful but a great night for hard core hockey fans.  Sid the Kid is Back and ready for the highlight reel (Again !!!!).

Herning Blue Foxes Fall @ the IIHF Continental Cup

Group D and E had games face off in the evening with the hosts of both groups getting into the action.

Group D saw hosts Herning Blue Foxes start their campaign with a shock loss on home ice to Hungarian team Dunaujvaros. Despite taking a 1-0 1st period lead and having 7 powerplay chances to their opponents 1 the Blue Fox couldn’t take advantage and the team from Hungary took the game 3-1.

This makes for an interesting afternoon Saturday as both Dunaujvaros and HC Asiago will go out in their clash knowing that a win for either of them in regulation should put them in pole position for first place and a spot in the Finals.

Gropu E saw hosts Donbass Donetsk take the game comfortably with a 6-2 win over Liepajas Metalurgs. Both games in this group have been somewhat battering so far with Rubin and Donbass getting 6 a piece. They exchange opponents for Saturday’s matches and then face each other on Sunday in what could be the telling game of Group E.

- Adam Yates

November 25, 2011

Giroux and Nugent-Hopkins Shine in Friday Action in the NHL

The youth movement in the NHL was in the spotlight on Friday in the victory of the Flyers over the Habs and the Oilers over the Wild.  The youngsters which are shining in this new NHL season are showing in the scorecards on a nightly basis.

Claude Giroux is proving to be a sensation for this year's edition of the Philadelphia Flyers.  The guys is a machine.  He tallied two more goals against the Habs in a 3-1 victory on Friday night.  The kid is young, fast, and he has great hockey sense.  He is the leader of the youth movement in Philly and we think he could easily become the heart and soul of the Flyers for years to come.  The burden on Giroux was huge after the blockbuster trades by Philly in the post season.  His maturity in dealing with the new responsibilities should give Flyer fans something to look forward to for years.

The young guns for the Edmonton OIlers came to life on Friday night again and carried the Alberta boys to a 5-2 win over the Wild.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall notched goals for Edmonton for a team that seems to be a clear contender in their division.  The success in Edmonton is the product of years of planning with smart drafting and trades.  The kids on the Oilers squad are the future of hockey in this great market and the addition of Ryan Smyth has proven to be the leadership influence which was needed to get to the next level.  We really this team and the fact that they can bounce back from adversity so easily.  Just like Giroux in Philadelphia; Nugent-Hopkins and Hall show maturity beyond their years and unlimited potential.  

Second period surge leads Rangers to 6-3 victory over Caps

The New York Rangers (11-5-3) used a second period power surge to lift them to a 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals (12-8-1) in Friday night hockey action. The Blueshirts scored three times in a 4:18 span in the second period to snap a two-game losing streak.

Ruslan Fedotenko (3) recorded two goals, and finished with a plus-three rating to lead the Rangers offense. Blueshirts captain Ryan Callahan finished the night with three assists, as well as earning the first-star of the game.

Marian Gaborik (10) opened the second period surge with a goal at the 3:37 mark, before a power play goal by Artem Anisimov (2) doubled the Rangers lead at 6:52. Fedotenko gave New York a 3-0 lead, before the Capitals spoilt the shutout bid by Henrik Lundqvist.

Washington cut the Rangers lead at the 8:53 mark when Troy Brouwer (6) netted a backhanded shot at the 8:53 mark of the frame. The Capitals cashed in on a power play opportunity of their own at 12:52 when John Carlson (4) connected on a wicked slap shot.

Brian Boyle (2) gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead at the 16:49 mark of the second period, connecting on a wrister, which was assisted by John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin-who both earned their first points in a Blueshirts uniform.

Brad Richards (7) tipped-in the fifth goal for the Rangers at the 4:15 mark, before the ‘Great Eight’ Alexander Oveckin (8) cut the lead for the Capitals with 5:57 on the scoreboard. Fedotenko closed out the night with his second goal of the game, on a wicked wrister-to lead the Blueshirts to the 6-3 victory.

New York will return to Madison Square Garden for a Saturday showdown against the Philadelphia Flyers. The game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with face-off slated for 2:00 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

Isles Blanked by Devils: 1-0

The New York Islanders (5-11-4) had a spirited game, but fell to the New Jersey Devils (12-8-1) by a final of 1-0 on Friday night hockey action.  New York had a total of five power play opportunities, but could not cash in-as the team has now been blanked in three of their last four games.

“How would you think?” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said of the Islanders’ frustration. “We had three power plays right off the bat, and didn’t get many shots to the net. They might have had more shots on the PK than we did on our power play.”

New Jersey, meanwhile, cashed in on their first power play opportunity of the game, as Petr Sykora (5) netted a 22 foot slap shot for the 1-0 lead. The Devils defense, along with backup keeper Johan Hedberg (23 saves) was enough to keep the Islanders at bay.

Meanwhile, the one goal by the Devils spoiled what was a very good effort by returning Islanders keeper Al Montoya (22 saves). Having one of the best chances in the game was forward Michael Grabner, who had a short-handed penalty shot with 12:50 in the third period of play.

Montoya had this to say of the lone goal, “It was a power play shot from the point, breaks a stick and (puck) lands on one of the most lethal guys in the NHL for a long time.  He (Sykora) was able to put it in a great spot, it was a good goal.”

Grabner had this to say of the penalty shot, “Everyone saw what happened. I didn’t score. Its’ not just a penalty or breakaway, I had open chances and need to find a way to score at least one.”

The Isles came out with fire in the first frame, as call up Michael Haley dropped gloves and exchanged blows with Cam Janssen, within minutes of the start of the game. It was a spirited exchange between the two combatants’, as both men were able to put on a display of fighting.

“The effort and passion was there,” said Haley of the loss. “It is just they got a lucky break with the stick breaking and the puck goes right to the guy in the slot. Obviously the effort was there, just got to find a way for the bounces to go in.”

On the fight tonight Haley had this to say, “It was a good fight, it happens in hockey and it is a part of the game.”

This home-and-home series will conclude on Saturday, as the Isles will now head to New Jersey. The game is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus 2 network, with face-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Good luck Blake: It was reported prior to the game that Blake Comeau was claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames. The Islanders had placed Comeau on waiver on Thursday.

Charity Note: Prior to the game the Islanders concluded their holiday food drive in conjunction with Island Harvest.

Stacy Podelski