Yesterday, John Tortorella was a guest on the Michael Kay Radio Show (ESPN Radio) and discussed how this year, despite the Rick Nash trade, was a sideway step for the team and just because the Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals didn't mean the Finals were a guarantee...
...this was the second straight interview with Kay that Tortorella mentioned that the team underestimated the loss of Prust, Dubi, Anisimov, etc. Assuming he feels a lot better about it now that the Rangers made the moves they did at the trade deadline.
...also found it very interesting that Torts would admit that it was almost Stepan in the Nash deal instead of Anisimov. Guess they made the right decision. lol
...i've got to say, I love Torts when he's a guest with Kay. He's very candid and much more likeable than he is with the beat writers. Wish he was on more.no comments
With the Islanders (55 pts.) picking up a point in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Sabres last night they moved into the 6th seed ahead of the Rangers (54 pts.) and Senators (54 pts.). The Rangers now need a minimum of one point today to clinch at least the 7th seed.
The sixth seed is also a real possibility but there's a lot of scenarios that need to playout:
The Rangers clinch the 6th seed if,
- Ottawa gains no more than two points in their remaining games.
- Rangers win their final game in regulation or overtime.
Ottawa clinches the 6th seed if,
- They earn three or more points in its final two games.
- They tie the Rangers in points but finish with more regulation/overtime wins (Ottawa bested the Rangers in their season series, giving them the second tiebreaker.)
The Islanders clinch 6th seed if,
- The Rangers lose its final game.
- Ottawa does not win either of its final two games in regulation or overtime, and gains no more than 2 points combined
Here are the standings...
...love these "Because it's the Cup" commercials.no comments
Lots of injury news as Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record says that while Ryane Clowe did not practice today, John Tortorella expects him to be an important player for the Rangers in the playoffs.
...with the Newbury recall, it's highly unlikely he'll be in the Rangers line-up against the Devils tomorrow, however, Torts' comments has me optimistic about his return in time for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Gross also reports that Derek Dorsett said he is awaiting a CT Scan to be cleared for contact.
Here's a pic of Dorsett at practice today (via Rangers Instagram)...
...with Clowe's status still up in the air the results of that CT scan are going to be very important.
Ryan Callahan also did not practice today and Gross suspects it has something to do with the shot he blocked with his hand last night.no comments
When the season is hanging in the balance, you look to your leaders to step-up and carry the team to the finish line. And that's exactly what the Rangers captain Ryan Callahan did last night.
One look at the above stat line from last night tells you all you need to know about Callahan's influence and impact on the Rangers.
Here's video Cally's overtime winner in Raleigh...
....Callahan would be the first to admit he didn't have the best game in Florida the other night, but he made up for it in spades with his ridiculous effort last night. And that's what a captain is supposed to do. The man wearing the "C" doesn't always have to be the most skilled guy on the team, although Callahan is very talented, he has to be the guy the rest of the team is willing to run through a wall for and I think the Rangers have that guy.
...when the Rangers are going right, they personify the grit, determination and emotion of their captain. It's when they stray from that style of play that they get themselves in trouble.
...i truly cannot wait for the day when Captain Cally holds that Stanley Cup over his head in front of 18,200 at MSG cementing his place among the all-time great Rangers captains.
Here's Cally post game...no comments
Courtesy of my good friends over at The Pens Blog comes this amazing gif of the notorious John Tortorella "overtime winner" fist pump last night in Raleigh...
...i've literally watched this a thousand times already.
...i tell you what, you can criticize Torts about a lot of things (line juggling, Kreider, etc.), but as I've said numerous times on this blog, the guy cares about the success of the Rangers franchise. Don't know how anyone can look at Torts' emotion in the above gif and not be excited to have a guy like that behind the bench.
...as we remember from the early 2000s, it's not easy to get into the playoffs and the Rangers have now qualified for them in four of Torts' five seasons behind the Blueshirts' bench.
Here's Torts after the game...no comments
There is still no word on Ryane Clowe's condition after he was forced to leave last night's game with either a leg injury or an elbow to the head by Bobby Sanguinetti. Larry Brooks at the New York Post speculates that it's a right leg injury.
In an early indication of how bad it might be, the Rangers recalled Kris Newbury after the game.
...no idea what the injury could be. He did take an elbow to the chops, but his reaction was sort of delayed and it looked more like he might have pulled something in his leg. Either way, the Newbury recall doesn't have me feeling very good.
...if Clowe is seriously injured it could put a real damper on the Rangers ability to make some noise in the playoffs. Although, it'll open up a real opportunity for Dorsett to make an impression once he's healthy.
Brooks also mentions that Brian Boyle (leg) began off-ice training without his knee brace on yesterday, but has not been cleared to skate.no comments
Bergen Record - Rangers beat Hurricanes in OT to clinch playoff spot
New York Post - Rangers finally earn playoff spot
New York Times - Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot With Overtime Winno comments
The New York Rangers (25-18-4) defeated the Carolina Hurricanes (19-24-4) by the score of 4-3 in overtime, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...welcome to the playoffs Rangers fans!!!!!!! As has been the case all season, the Blueshirts didn't make it easy on their fans tonight, but who cares. They're in the playoffs and anything can happen.
...Ryan "Mother Eff'n" Callahan!!!!!!!! That is why he's the best captain in the NHL.
...no one more relieved in the building to see Callahan bury that one than Matt Gilroy.
...for one of the few times this season, we saw the resiliency that defined last year's squad.
...it's bad enough Sanguinetti was a first round bust for the Rangers. Now he knocks out Clowe?
...as my friend Fleisch texted me, when did Zuccarello become Sean Avery?no comments