Happy Birthday Chris Kreider!

Hey there Birthday Boy! (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

Hey there Birthday Boy! (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

It’s birthday week! No really, it is. We have one more after this one.

Today everyone’s favorite rookie turns 22. And what a season it has been. Last year at this time we were discussing if he should be playing in the playoffs or not. After that run, fans assumed he would lead the Calder race whenever this season began. Instead, he had a back and forth season making his rookie season a forgettable one.

But we’re not here to talk about the bad so let’s remember the good, shall we?

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Schedule Released + Stepan Gets Recognition

You should be smiling after the month you had! (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

You should be smiling after the month you had! (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

Late last night, the NHL decided to make another spectacle of themselves by announcing in a TV special the schedule for the first round of the playoffs. From the reaction of those who decided to watch it, I’m glad I didn’t waste my time. Seriously NHL, just post it on the website and call it a day.

Anyway, the Rangers start their series on Thursday which isn’t ideal but isn’t the worst thing either. (Extra practice time as well as extra time to get guys healthy makes me not upset about the delay.) Here’s the full schedule:

 

Game 1: Thursday, May 2, 2013  7:30 PM ET New York at Washington. NBCSN, TSN, MSG

Game 2: Saturday, May4, 2013 12:30PM ET New York at Washington. NBC, TSN

Game 3: Monday, May 6, 2013 7:30PM ET Washington at New York.  NBCSN, TSN, MSG

Game 4: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 7:30PM ET Washington at New York.  NBCSN, TSN, MSG

*Game 5: Friday, May 10, 2013 7:30PM ET New York at Washington.  TSN, MSG

*Game 6: Sunday May 12, 2013 TBD Washington at New York.  TBD, TSN

*Game 7: Monday, May 13, 2013 TBD New York at Washington. TBD, TSN

*if necessary

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Happy Birthday Dan Girardi!

Girardi-memeLast year on this day, I wrote my first birthday post. It was a simple post wishing one of my favorite defenseman a happy birthday. Since then, I’ve made these posts a little more fun so be prepared for videos and pictures because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to look at videos and pictures of the goofball that is one of the Rangers’ top defensemen?

Wait, you didn’t know Dan Girardi was a goofball? I’m not going to ask where you have been but instead allow you to enjoy the ridiculousness that we’ve seen from the now 29-year old guy known in the locker room as “G”.

First, let’s start with the basics. By now everyone knows that he took the long road to the NHL by not being drafted and then playing in both the ECHL and AHL before finally making it to New York. (He was actually named to the Hartford Wolf Pack all star roster voted by the fans before they changed their name to the Connecticut Whale.)

Anyone remember his first NHL goal? Better yet, anyone remember a team called the Atlanta Thrashers? Kidding on that second question but that’s who his first goal was against:

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Bring On The Caps…Again + Taxi Squad Arrives

So we meet...again... (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

So we meet…again… (Photo: Bridget Samuels/flickr)

With their win against the Devils yesterday, the Rangers were guaranteed to finish no lower than seventh and could finish sixth depending on what the Senators did. Seeing who was in third, I assumed the Rangers would go from not sure if they would make the playoffs to finishing the season in sixth place. I was right. So what does this mean? The Rangers get to play the Washington Capitals for the fourth postseason in five years. (The only year they didn’t play each other the Rangers missed the playoffs.)

Of those four postseasons, the Rangers and Caps have met three times (inlcuding this year) in the first round. As I’m sure everyone knows, the Caps won the first two series in seven and five games. Last year, meeting in the second round, the Rangers finally defeated their foes in seven games. So expect the series to go for a while. I will probably change my mind after watching game 1 (which we still don’t know when is) but I’m taking the Rangers in six. Yes I know the Caps are playing well right now but I think the Rangers can beat them. I just hope we don’t have to go through game three and five of last years’ series again.

Speaking of the playoffs, with the Whale missing theirs, it was a given that a bunch of players would be recalled to practice in case the Rangers needed players during their playoff run. This years squad includes two goalies, two defensemen and six forwards as the Rangers announced this morning that Cam Talbot, Jason Missiaen, Stu Bickel, Dylan McIlrath, Ryan Bourque, Micheal Haley, Brandon Mashinter, J.T. Miller, Brandon Segal (whose wife just gave birth the couple’s first child, a girl), and Christian Thomas were recalled. Haley is expected to practice with the Rangers and travel to DC but the rest will practice on their own and only join the big boys if needed. Curious why Haley is actually being recalled. (Is there another injury? A replacement for someone else? Guess we’ll find out soon…)

Lundqvist Shutout Sends Rangers Into Playoffs On High Note

Someone has to buy wine in the next few days... (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Someone has to buy wine in the next few days… (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Two weeks ago, all the talk was about how great Henrik Lundqvist was playing…but he didn’t have a shutout. All he needed to do was play the Islanders and the Devils.

This afternoons game against the Devils really wasn’t fair. The game meant nothing to our rivals across the river and it was obvious from the first puck drop that they really didn’t want to be in the Garden today. Sure they got chances but they put a measly 20 shots on net and to show how difficult they were, Lundqvist was only the third star of the game after saving all of them. The Rangers, on the other hand, came out with a purpose. It was far from a 60-minute effort (which honestly worries me) but they did what they needed to in order to win the game and ensure they would not be heading to Pittsburgh next week.

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Congrats to Staal, Girardi, Asham + More Rangers Notes

Congrats on the latest edition to your family! (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Congrats on the latest edition to your family! (Photo: Melissa Andus)

I always love when I can place Dan Girardi and Marc Staal in the same sentence, especially when it’s regarding good news. Yesterday, the New York Rangers’ chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association announced that Staal had been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and Girardi was the recipient of the John Halligan Good Guy Award.

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Staalapalooza Ends With Rangers Clinching Playoff Birth

nyr-meme

Tonight’s game between the Rangers and the Hurricanes could’ve gone one of two ways – the Rangers could’ve taken control from the opening face-off and earned a playoff birth the easy way or they could’ve let Carolina control the game and shown why many believed they would run out of time and head to the golf course early. Of course they managed to find a third option – play the first 25 minutes and then let the Canes take control before managing to steal the game in overtime.

A couple of lineup notes. First, on the Rangers side, Arron Asham missed tonights’ game due to the fact that he flew home to be with his wife for the birth of their fourth child. In his place, Matt Gilroy became a forward and played his first game since March 12th. Well I guess you can say he played although he only got 3:15 of ice time. (That said, that may have been due to what he did in that time not due to the fact that Torts didn’t want to play him.)

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