Rangers Fourth Line Revived With Whale Help

Back to the Garden for game five! Why not win it on home ice boys?

That would be nice, especially after the downfall of the Providence Bruins. They lost during game seven after being up 3-0 going into game four. The good news for the Boston Bruins is that we have the PBruins best defense, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski.

Krug of course who managed to net a goal.

Game three was all about Merlot. They walked all over Brad Richards, and the Rangers’ fourth line showed weak attempts to fight against the likes of Paille, Campbell, and Thornton. That all changed in game four with the addition of forwards Micheal Haley, and Kris Newbury. These AHL players had something to prove, and much like the outstanding work of Krug and Bartkowski they weren’t going to let the Rangers down.

So, I suppose spending fall semester tracking the Connecticut Whale paid off. With the Rangers calling up from their farm team for game four I found myself prepared and excited to see these players getting post-season opportunities. I’m not surprised that they helped the Blueshirts on Thursday night, as the two played big roles during the Whale’s season.

Haley was perfect to pull up to the lacking fourth line. This enforcer was new to the Whale this season; his five previous seasons were spent fighting on the Islanders. Haley racked up 170 penalty minutes, ten goals, and thirteen assists in 69 games with the Whale.

Game four wasn’t his first time up with the Rangers as Haley was called up in the beginning of March where he played nine regular season games. Torts must have liked what Haley had to offer, for when the Whale missed out on a post season, Haley was quickly added to the Rangers’ roster and made the journey to Washington with the team.

Toward the end of the Whale’s season, Haley found himself on the scoring line. Paired with center Kelsey Tessier and Christian Thomas, this line was affectionately dubbed the “Smurf” line as Haley stood the tallest at 5’10. In their first weekend together the line managed five of 11 goals against the St John’s IceCaps. Haley is able to hold his own in a fight, and plays smart with the puck. Just what the Rangers needed to counter the Bruins fourth line.

“You could put me against anybody and I’m going to do the same things… I’ve got one train of thought… Hittin’ and bangin’ and skatin’ hard.” Reported Haley when questioned about facing the Washington Capitals, guess not much changed when it came to facing the Bruins.

As for the AHL vet Kris Newbury, he made an appearance in the Rangers game one against the Washington Capitals this post-season. I really mean appearance, with only five minutes of ice time. This season with the Whale, Newbury scored 20 goals, had 42 assists and 127 penalty minutes in 70 games. Newbury was second on the Whale with goals, Brandon Segal holding first. Newbury was traded to the NYR organization in 2010 and has seen a handful of regular season games with the Rangers.

They also played Roman Hamrlik in place if the injured Stralman. Hamrlik was acquired from the Washington Capitals this season, and if his name sounds familiar it is because he played in all seven games against the Bruins last year in the playoffs. This was his first game back after playing for only 4minutes back on April first, 2013. He only played sixteen games this half-season and had only an assist and eight penalty minutes.

The Rangers played their best game of the series Thursday night. The Bruins need to get refocused, and play the full 60minutes during game five. The second Rangers goal was painful to watch, with Chara lollygagging behind the net. Sure Rask could have been ready for it, but I’m finding it hard to blame Rask who put faith in his Captain to get the puck out of their zone.

Anyway I guess I really just wanted an excuse to write about Micheal Haley.

Fingers crossed for game five!

GO B’S!

-Kaylin

Winter Classic, Not So Classic Anymore

The Winter Classic, one outside game played on January 1st every year to spark a holiday event in hockey mid-season. A tradition that started in 2008 when the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Buffalo Sabers on the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The event was such a hit with a crowd breaking record, that it sparked a fire. There has been a Winter Classic every year since, except for 2013. Most notably for this blog being the 2010 matchup between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers in Fenway Park.

My point being, the Winter Classic is supposed to be just that, a classic. An event held once a year to have lasting significance or worth. Its going to be really hard to be an enduring value when the NHL is prepared to host not just one, not just two, but a whole handful of extra outdoor games on top of the already announced Winter Classic scheduled between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings to take place in Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor Michigan.

This Winter Classic was supposed to be held this year, January 1st, 2013. However the obnoxious NHL lockout prevented this growing tradition. Instead it will be head in 2014, same time, same place.

This post is more focused on the other games. They take place towards the end of January and the start of March. These games are striking up a controversy within the NHL fan base. Many fans argue that these additional games are going too far. They are going to take away from the excitement and feel of the what-should-have-been solo Winter Classic. Why should fans rally around the January 1st game when they can pick one of six to put their money behind instead?

On the plus side, this gives other teams a greater probability of taking part in one of these outdoor spectacles. Giving them an opportunity to grow their fan bases, and create a buzz to attract more profit. However the Rangers, Penguins, and Blackhawks will be making multiple outdoor appearances, while other teams are still left on their own.

These extra outdoor games host a number of big name rivalries. These games will draw in a large crowd, but the smaller rivalries will fall to the way-side.

I think the NHL jumped the gun with all of these outdoor games. The Winter Classic was budding in reputation, fans were still excited for it every year, they just started the HBO series. Now though, things are going to be different. They are going to bleed this marketing opportunity dry. Tsk.  Fans will still show support for their teams of course, but no more interest in the once a season Winter Classic.

.Anyway, that’s my take. Big mistake.

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

 

Here are the scheduled outdoor games for next season:

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings 1/1 @ Michigan Stadium

Anaheim Ducks vs. LA Kings 1/25 @ Dodger Stadium

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers 1/26 @ Yankee Stadium

New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers 1/29 @ Yankee Stadium

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks 3/01 @ Soldier Field

Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks 3/02 @ BC Place

Devestation Never Hits as Hard as When It Hits Close to Home

I hope this finds you well, after the tragedy that occurred in Boston yesterday. The news found me at work, and after I anxiously awaited to hear if my best friend was alright, I found my nerves focused on the Bruins boys. In particular my mind jumped to the two Twitter-nuts Tyler Seguin and Andrew Ference. Seguin has tweeted maybe an hour before about all the traffic in Boston, and I’d assumed Ference would be all over the marathon. The boys both started tweeting around three, Ference showing his heart and sympathy.

Ference Twitter

The Bruins game was postponed for obvious reasons, Cam Neely offering an official statement. Meanwhile other hockey franchises reached out to show their support.

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city.

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city.

Twitter became flooded with well wishes for Boston, #prayforBoston ending most. NHL teams and individual players took to social media to express their sympathy. Multiple members of the New York Rangers tweeted their support, including Brian Boyle, Michael Del Zotto, Brad Richards, Henrik Lundqvist, along with many members of their farm team, the CTWhale, as well. The Dallas Stars were quick to offer their condolences.

@nhlbruins our deepest sympathies are with you and everyone in Boston. Stay safe, friends.

— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 15, 2013

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city (see right).

Moments of silence were held at multiple games last night, most heartwarming was the Montreal Canadiens v. Philidelphia Flyers silence. Showing that despite rivalries people can come together during difficult times. The Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars game and the San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes game also paused pregame in support.

Keith Yandle, a Boston native, plays for the Phoenix Coyotes and showed his support for Boston on his skates.
Keith Yandle Skates

At practice this morning the Bruins Twitter had encouraging quotes from all of the guys on how to move forward.

Bruins tweets sympathy

I don’t want to say that there is a bright side from this, because it is hard to believe that anything bright can come from something so dark. But a silver lining would be to admire the love and respect the hockey community has for each other during these difficult times. Especially to look at those who risked their own lives to help the fallen. Ference tweeted about his girls and what it was like to be a parent in a situation like this.

I hope Brad Marchand is right in his desire to give Boston something to believe in. As it is needed more than ever now. Below is the eight year old boy, Martin Richards, who died in the explosions.

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.” - Bill Richard

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.” – Bill Richard

As Obama mentioned in his speech yesterday, “Boston is a resilient town; so are its people“. Boston will rally to push through this, and come out stronger on the other side.

As for rescheduling the game, Jack Edwards pointed out on twitter that “NHL season scheduled to end Sat 27Apr. In order to make up game Bs would have to play 3 nights in a row. Can’t do that by NHL rules. Sun 28?” So I’ll keep an ear to the ground for more on that.

EDIT: The Ottawa game has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 28 at TD Garden.

Best of luck to those injured and traumatized, my thoughts are with you. Go B’s!

-Kaylin