80° Good Afternoon
80° Good Afternoon

Morning Xtra: Comments, quotes, notes, stats



             Well, the morning drive to the train station to drop off my wife was blissfully shorter and safer than the whited-out, tenuous journey north from Manhattan post-game.  In case you didn't see the papers, my game story is in an earlier post.

            Rangers are scheduled to practice at 2 and host the sizzling Canucks tomorrow. Here's some more comments, notes, quotes and stats:

              Henrik Lundqvist (36 saves) was selected as one of the six goaltenders for the game in Raleigh on Jan. 30. It will be Lundqvist’s second All-Star appearance. But don't be shocked if Martin Biron plays in Saturday's rematch in Montreal. Lundqvist hasn't been himself at Bell Centre and the Flyers are in MSG Sunday.  Won't be easy up there again. Expect Cammy back and Price in net.

              The Swede surrendered a short-side (again), sharp-angle, high cheese from Pouliot for the winner. "He took a really good shot but I should have it..... I felt like it wasn't our night tonight. It's very disappointing to come up short at home." NYR at MSG? 10-9-2.

            Lundqvist's handoff to Matt Gilroy on Brandon Dubinsky's first period goal was registered as an assist for the third consecutive game, the first time for a Rangers goaltender. Tom Barrasso (twice) and Ed Belfour, as far as I can tell, are the only other NHLers to share that stat.


               John Tortorella called the Canadiens quick and opportunistic. Brandon Dubinsky thought P.K. Subban was out of line. The d-man decked and appeared to kick the skates out from under Brian Boyle in the first and was called for roughing. Dubinsky received similar treatment and complained to the refs. “I thought it was a slew-foot. He got called for the first one. Should’ve gotten called for the second one. That’s all I want to talk about with that."


               Paging Marian Gaborik. Two shots. No goals in five games. Yes, he had some moments with Wolski, but is some ache still nagging him?...Steve Eminger, six blocks, six hits and minus-2...Callup Kris Newbury, scratched with the sudden trade for Wolski, "gets screwed", according to Torts last night. Could be send back to Conn. today..


             Wolski on the crowd and his near game-tier with 2:58 left, which hit the near post low, then Alex Auld, but was cleared from the crease by Jaro Spacek

              "I thought it did go in," said Wolski, who played 19:39, "and if it didn't, we would get the rebound, but it kind of went into a position where we just could't react to it. Sometimes it works out that way, and hopefully next game it goes in....The fans are great, loud, enthusiastic and they know what's going on out there."


                    Rookie Derek Stepan, who has 12 goals and 12 assists, was selected to participate with 11 other freshmen in the All-Star skills competition. “It’s a honor. Things just keep snowballing for me,” said Stepan, who made the team in training camp after leaving the University of Wisconsin and winning a gold medal for Team USA in the World Junior Championships. “It’s definitely going to boost my confidence. But you have to make sure you keep a level head.”

                   Stepan (17:10, no shots) was shaky last night, including the miscommunication on the blue line with Staal, and you wonder whether he really shouldn't be on the PP point. Here's where Del Zotto, when he's right, or an acquisition like Bryan McCabe would help.


               As a youngster in Thunder Bay, Marc Staal played with younger brother Jared in 2 on 2s against older siblings Eric and Jordan. Yesterday, after he was named to his first NHL All-Star team, Marc declared that he’d still rather play against Eric, of the Carolina Hurricanes, who is expected to pick teammates as captain of one of the teams. “I don’t think I could handle being on his team,” he said. “He’s too mouthy.” The Rangers defenseman, 23, is anything but mouthy, and has quietly developed into a top shutdown defenseman, on ice for 25 minutes again last night. “He’s played against some pretty good forwards on opposing teams, I think the league has recognized that now,” said Tortorella.


              Michal Rozsival had a limited no trade clause, but one of the teams he'd accept a swap to was Phoenix.  He was scratched last night, and may not play till Saturday, according to Zona reporter Sarah McLellan. 


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