Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Alain Vigneault, Rangers hope 'to make it a series' with home win

Rangers Derick Brassard and Beniot Pouliot celebrate Brassard's

(Credit: Vincent Pugliese)

It should be an electric evening on Seventh Avenue.

At least to start Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday.

The Rangers cannot afford another loss.

Nonetheless, there was a palpable air of anticipation for the first Cup Final game at Madison Square Garden since June 1994. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is expected to send out the same lineup against the Kings as he did in Game...

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Today's topics: Experience, rallies and Game 2 stats

 

Today‚Äôs topics, before we roll on over the Staples Center for some pre-Game 2 activities  (AV speaking around 2:30 pm PT): Experience, and rallies.

The Kings are loaded with the former, having won the Stanley Cup in six games against the Devils two years ago.

Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, 10 years ago, and Dan Carcillo are the Rangers to have played in a Cup Final...

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Rangers back on ice at noon PT Friday

 

After some biking and shopping on the off day---and why not, what good is brooding?---the Blueshirts hit the ice at Staples Center at noon on this cloudy and cool morning on the Left coast.

Expect to see John Moore back on D, not sure if Talbot will be there, and the rest of the roster, including guys who AV didn't name, but I believe most of the forwards didn't bring their "A-game"...

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After loss, Rangers rally around Dan Girardi

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, center, of

(Credit: AP)

In a beachfront hotel, not far from the famous Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel, the Rangers and coach Alain Vingeault didn't plan on going in circles before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday.

They would rest and regroup Thursday after the the ups and downs of Game 1's overtime loss, make some adjustments, and then practice on Friday at Staples Center.

They rallied around Dan...

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Five Things to Know Before Game 1 in L.A.

1. Looking like David LeNeveu will back up Henrik Lundqvist. Extras skated and fourth goalie Jason Missianen was only goalie on ice. No sign of Cam Talbot; will know more perhaps when AV speaks at 2:30 Pacific.

2. Raphael Diaz will be on D for the second consecutive game while John Moore serves the last game of his suspension.

3. So the lineup should be: Kreider-Stepan-Nash; Hagelin-Richards-MSL;...

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Rangers: What to like, why there's concern

Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a play against the

(Credit: Getty Images)

WHY WE LIKE THE RANGERS

Henrik Lundqvist: In his ninth season, the perennial Vezina Trophy finalist has not had two poor playoff games in a row, and is among the leaders in wins, save percentage and goals against average.

Defense and speed: The mobile but rugged blueline should be able to clear the zone and join the attack as well, especially if the forwards pitch in with a persistent...

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On Rangers stage, conductor Vigneault lets the music play

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault shares a light moment

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

In today's briefing, on freshly-cut grass inside a white tent outside the Rangers practice complex in Westchester that made it almost seem like a summer concert or reception, head coach Alain Vigneault was asked how he remains so calm and collected, as players describe him.

And he told this story:

"I started coaching when I was 23 years old; I went back to school after my brilliant 42-game...

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The Stanley Cup Final Schedule: Teams TBA

    The NHL has finalized its arena availability and television plans, so the SCF schedule is set.  All we need are the two teams. The Rangers and Kings are one win each from the SCF beginning with two games at Staples Center.

    But Chicago, which hosts Game 5 tonight, and Montreal, which should have arrived in New York City for Game 6 tomorrow, still have a...

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NHL hearing for John Moore today on Dale Weise hit

Rangers defenseman John Moore checks Montreal Canadiens right

(Credit: AP / Ryan Remiorz)

The Rangers were given off Wednesday to regroup after the 7-4 loss at Bell Center. During some media availability in Montreal this morning, Vigneault defended John Moore's action, saying Dale Weise "was admiring his pass a bit" and that Moore didn't desereve to be suspended.

Been told it's a mid-afternoon hearing for Moore, whose third-period blindside hit ended a gamelong running battle with...

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Vigneault treading carefully, but Derek Stepan likely to play tonight

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 17: Head coach Alain

(Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett)

Like many of us covering the Rangers, I believed Monday when Derek Stepan traveled here that without an unforseen setback, he would play in Game 5.

Well, the center was on ice for Tuesday's morning skate, with visor and protective jaw guard, was talking with teammates, and in his regular spot between Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. His friend Ryan McDonagh called it "a great sign" and commented...

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