The Week Ahead: Could Someone Score, Please?

This is an angry face from a man known for angry faces (Photo: screenshot from Canadiens post-game/ BlueshirtsUnited.com)

This is a very angry face from a man known for angry faces (Photo: screenshot from Canadiens post-game/ BlueshirtsUnited.com)

So, the Rangers are still in a playoff spot, thanks to the Devils’ inability to win in the shoot out and thanks to the Penguins for taking down the Islanders even without Sidney Crosby. But Tortorella’s face up there pretty much speaks to the feelings of the team right now: they haven’t scored in the last two games, games where they needed points.

Its going to be a pretty tough week, so brace yourselves. We gotta be triceps, biceps, arceps hard! It’s the week ahead:

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Rangers Leave Canada With No Goals Or Points

No one on the visiting team did anything worth talking about so take a look at a picture of Garden ice. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

No one on the visiting team did anything worth talking about so take a look at a picture of Garden ice. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

In my recap of the game versus Ottawa, I just asked for the Rangers to score a goal before leaving Canada. I knew asking for a win in Montreal was a lot so I didn’t want to be greedy. Apparently asking for a goal was too much as well.

The Rangers entered their house of horrors with one lineup change – Mats Zuccarello was in for Arron Asham. I wasn’t surprised to see Zuccarello in but Asham out caught me a little off guard. I’ll say it again, the Rangers are definitely shopping guys because otherwise that move made no sense. In other non-surprising news, Marty Biron got the start in net because he’s actually won games in his career in Montreal unlike Lundqvist.

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Do The Rangers Problems Run Deeper Than On Ice?

We all see the chemistry issues on the ice but are there issues off it as well? (Photo: Melissa Andus)

We all see the issues on the ice but are there issues off it as well? (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Last year ended with me saying “this isn’t 1994”. This years’ motto? This isn’t last year.

As the Rangers continue to fight for a playoff spot, fans are left wondering what happened. Some are blaming Tortorella, some are blaming those who left and some are blaming those who remain. We can sit and place blame or point fingers all we want, but there honestly isn’t a single fan who knows what goes on inside that locker room.

Which got me thinking, what made last years’ team so successful? Yes they clicked and many guys played way over their heads. That all helped. But the biggest thing was that they played for each other. Fans hear all the time how great guys are in the locker room or who is friends with who but never had Rangers fans seen a team as close as the 2011-2012 Rangers. Those guys truly were best friends off the ice. It was both adorable and nauseating, to be honest.

I don’t get that vibe from this years’ team. Yes last years’ team had a few years together while this years’ has a lot of new pieces. But that doesn’t mean they can’t become friends or be willing to play for each other. Last year, every player played for the name on the front of the jersey. If one went down, there were 19 guys ready to stand up for him. Have we seen that this year? I think we just have to go back to the last time the boys were in Montreal to answer no we haven’t, which led me to another question:

Could the issues on the ice have nothing to do with coaching but rather a rift in the locker room?

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Rangers Sign Defenseman Conor Allen

Welcome to the Rangers, Conor Allen! (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

Welcome to the Rangers, Conor Allen! (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

Some quick news today as the Rangers announced they signed college defenseman Conor Allen to an entry level contract. Allen, who is 23 years old and just finished his junior year at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, was a free agent.

So what do we know about him? He’s 6-foot-1, 210 pounds and led his team this season in blocked shots with 57 in just 33 games. Sounds like he’ll fit right in. The Chicago, Illinois native also had 19 points, 5 goals + 14 assists, giving him 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) in his three year college career (99 games). Here’s an interview he did when he attended the Caps development camp back in 2011 on a tryout basis.

Allen will report to the Whale on what is believed to be an ATO as his contract does not go into affect until next season. This is important as that means the organization still has room for one more contract this year (they are at 49 out of the allowed 50). With the trade deadline next week, I wouldn’t be surprised if that spot is being intentionally left open.

Welcome to the Rangers, Conor!

The Week In Review: What… Happened?

Even Rick Nash looks disappointed after that game (Photo: Screenshot from Senators post-game/ BlueshirtsUnited.com)

Rick Nash needs to take some style lessons from King Henrik (Photo: Screenshot from Senators post-game/ BlueshirtsUnited.com)

“We weren’t good enough.” “It’s really disappointing… let’s leave it at that.” “We can’t start playing midway through the third.” “I had some key opportunities and I don’t score.” Just a selection of quotes from last night’s post-game interviews after a 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The entire team is frustrated and it’s coming to a head. The Rangers are still in a playoff spot, trailing behind the Devils (who just lost half of their top players to injury). What’s the problem with the Rangers? Well, I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you what happened with them this week.

It’s….. the week in review:

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Sens Shutout Rangers To Sweep Season Series

If you ask for a trade at some point, I wouldn't blame you. You deserve so much better than this. (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

If you ask for a trade at some point, I wouldn’t blame you. You deserve so much better than this. (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

At this point in the season, the Rangers know they can’t give away points. I said from the start this road trip wasn’t going to be easy. At some point, the Rangers need to learn how to get points in Canada.

Actually let’s not be greedy…the Rangers need to learn to get goals in Canada.

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Firsthand Videos From The Whale’s Win Sunday

Catch up on some great fan videos of these guys from this weekend! (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

Catch up on some great fan videos of these guys from this weekend! (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

Those who want to follow the Connecticut Whale know there are a few places that are go-to sites for all the most up-to-date information. (We like to believe we’re one of them but if we’re being honest, we get our info from those sites.)

For instance, if you are on twitter you probably follow @WhalePack who are one of, if not, the most pro-Hartford hockey fans we know. If you don’t, you are missing out on not only great commentary but great videos like the ones below from the Whale’s 6-1 win over Binghamton Sunday afternoon.

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