Blue Notes

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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On the Montreal Scene: Boyle, Richards, St. Louis, Vigneault

Alain Vigneault looks on during the second period

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

I have an album, yes, vinyl, from the mid-90s by jazz pianist Johnny O'Neal titled "On The Montreal Scene".

And we all know that there are plenty of memorable scenes in this city, winter, spring, summer and fall.

Today was one I'll remember, too.

A couple dozen valiant members of the playoff media who arrived in Montreal by 6 p.m. gathered in a smal, street-level outdoor patio...

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Transcripts of Therrien, Gionta, Plekanec interviews today

Michel Therrien, headc oach of the Montreal Canadiens,

(Credit: Getty Images / Elsa)

From ASAP Sports/NHL:

BRIAN GIONTAQ. Is there anything from 2010 that you guys can draw on coming back in the series?

BRIAN GIONTA:  Well, the guys that were here, you know, you remember the situation and you remember the feelings that you had.  At no point in that series did we feel we were out of it, and the same holds true now.  We believe in the team that’s in here,...

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Derek Stepan joins team on flight to Montreal for Game 5

Derek Stepan celebrates his third period goal against

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Derek Stepan, whose jaw was fractured on a Game 3 hit from Brandon Prust, had surgery and sat out Game 4, a 3-2 OT win that put the Blueshirts within a win of the Stanley Cup Final, flew to Montreal with the team Monday. It was unclear whether he would practice and/or play in Game 5 Tuesday night.

Coach Alain Vigneault and some players will be available to the media around 6 p.m., we may know...

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NYR's Stepan out for Game 4 as Vigneault fires back

Derek Stepan is attended to by the trainer

(Credit: Getty Images)

Derek Stepan (broken jaw) will not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final on Sunday, although he is not hospitalized and home recovering. 

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Stepan stopped by the morning skate to say help to teammates and that there is no timetable for his return. 

So, as reported yesterday, Derick Brassard, now healthy, and J.T. Miller will dress....

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