NEW YORK – You could see it coming, but it’s still a shock when it happens.
Forward Brad Richards, two years into a nine-year, $60 million deal, will be a healthy scratch for the New York Rangers elimination game against the Boston Bruins tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Richards, who played less than six minutes of even-strength hockey on the fourth line in Game 3 Tuesday as the Rangers fell behind 3-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinal, said he got a call from Rangers coach John Tortorella this morning with the news.
“I don’t know if ‘surprised’ is the right word, just disappointed,” said Richards, whose skating just hasn’t allowed him to be a factor in the playoffs.
He has one goal in 10 playoff games and is -3.
His play and his contract make him a candidate for the Rangers’ remaining amnesty buyout under the new CBA (they exercised one on defenceman Wade Redden already), but Richards said he hopes it won’t come to that.
“Nothing’s over,” he said. “(I’ll) work harder and try my best to never let it happen again.”
It looked like Arron Asham could be a scratch for tonight, too, with Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley and Ryane Clowe all coming off the ice early from the Rangers morning skate.
Veteran defenceman Roman Hamrlik is likely to replace the injured Anton Stralman on the Rangers blue line.
Despite being up 3-0, the Bruins aren’t taking anything for granted. They blew a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 in the second round – just the third time in NHL history that’s happened – and were up 3-1 on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round this year only to see the Leafs force a seventh game.
“If you give the other team life, you saw what happened with the Leafs and with the Flyers three years ago,” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic. “A lot of our focus is on not being complacent.”
NEW YORK – You could see it coming, but it’s still a shock when it happens.
Here’s what we know: We are headed back to Pittsburgh.
Don Brennan, Errol McGihon and Le Droit sports editor Marc Brassard will jump into a rented SUV Thursday morning to head back to Steeltown.
If you think we’re the only ones behind the wheel we’re not. The guys across the street and Roy MacGregor of the Globe will be in another vehicle. Driving to Pittsburgh can provide better connections than flying.
What position will the Senators be in?
Tied 2-2 or down 3-1?
Hard to say. The Penguins are a champion calibre team. They can handle adversity. They’ve proved it in the past. They did it to get here. I’m not sure they’re exactly facing any here. They lost a game. It took five periods.
In my eyes, the Senators have to play better in this series.
They’ve never led. They are playing with fire here and they don’t have the firepower the Penguins have. There has been no respect shown to Tomas Vokoun, but he’s a heck of a goalie with a strong track record.
You cannot expect _ or want _ Craig Anderson to make 50 saves every night. He needs some support. The Senators were only 30 seconds away from disaster, 30 seconds away from everybody holding off on making any plans from going back to Pittsburgh.
The Senators have booked the trip with the win Sunday. If they can win Wednesday they can make it worth their while. Otherwise they’ll be back on the brink and fighting for another chance to come home Sunday.
Big test. We’ll check in with you from Pittsburgh.
It’s a long road ahead getting there but we’ll find out if there’s a long road ahead for the Senators.
NEW YORK – It’s gotten late early for the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Boston Bruins.
The Rangers are down 2-0 going into tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden. If they are going to win to make this a series – they faced the same situation against the Washington Capitals in the opening round – they are going to have to tidy up a few areas that let caused them trouble in Boston.
Their play away from the puck wasn’t good in the latter half of Game 2 and the Bruins were able to generate a lot off the rush.
But Rangers coach John Tortorella, while giving the Bruins their due, said his team helped make the Bruins look good.
“I’ve been surprised when we made some glaring mistakes,” said Tortorella. “I’ll just go to Game 2 where we’re usually very good away from the puck. That’s surprising. Hopefully they’ll rectify that tonight.”
Rangers shutdown D Dan Girardi had a rough game in Game 2, going -4, but Tortorella said he didn’t feel the need to speak to the veteran.
“I didn’t even talk to him. He’s going to play his best game,” said Tortorella. “With Danny, he’s one of the better defencemen in the National Hockey League that had a tough night. He knows it. He doesn’t need to hear it from any coach at all as far as what needs to be done.”
Based on the morning skates, it looks like both teams will stick with the same lineups. Veteran Bruins defenceeman Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, coming off injuries, both skated, but are not expected to play tonight.
Here’s one from the ‘Torts being Torts’ file.
After New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tied Game 2 Sunday with a nifty goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period, NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire asked Rangers coach John Tortorella midway through the second period what it’s like coaching Callahan.
“Well, that’s a huge goddamned goal he scored for us in the first period. That’s how I’d describe it,” Tortorella said before walking away.
With Tortorella’s history of being curt with reporters, you can imagine his thoughts on mid-game interviews such as the one he gave Sunday.
It turns out Tortorella had plenty more to be upset about as the Bruins ended up crushing the Rangers 5-2.
Here’s a look at the Callahan deke:
The Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had a couple of line brawls during their AHL playoff gameAnthony Vasquez-Peddie - May 19th, 2013
The AHL’s Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are fighting for a spot in the Eastern Conference final.
Things got nasty in the third period of Game 5 Saturday, a 4-0 win for the Penguins who now trail the best-of-seven series 3-1.
The teams combined for 117 penalty minutes on the night.
The first brawl started after Bruins forward Graham Mink fell on top of Penguins goalie Brad Theissen minutes after doing so before. Mink received a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure.
The second one was sparked by a slash from Bruins goalie Niklas Svedberg on Paul Thompson shortly after Thompson scored to make it 4-0. Svedberg received slashing and roughing penalties.
Here’s the penalty summary from the game:
- 1st – PRO, Garnet Exelby, 1:01 – Hooking, 2 min (PP)
- 1st – PRO, Ryan Button, 9:50 – Roughing, 2 min (PP)
- 1st – PRO, Jamie Tardif, 11:26 – Slashing, 2 min
- 1st – WBS, Riley Holzapfel, 11:26 – Roughing, 2 min
- 1st – PRO, Bobby Robins, 14:29 – Fighting, 5 min
- 1st – WBS, Adam Payerl, 14:29 – Fighting, 5 min
- 1st – PRO, Kevan Miller, 15:27 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
- 1st – PRO, Christian Hanson, 16:20 – Roughing, 2 min
- 1st – PRO, Christian Hanson, 16:20 – Roughing, 2 min (PP)
- 1st – WBS, Joey Mormina, 16:20 – Roughing, 2 min
- 1st – WBS, Peter Merth, 19:29 – Cross-checking, 2 min (PP)
- 1st – PRO, Tommy Cross, 20:00 – Roughing, 2 min (PP)
- 2nd – PRO, Bobby Robins, 4:09 – Major – Boarding, (41.3) 5 min (2 PP)
- 2nd – WBS, Brian Gibbons, 5:21 – Interference, 2 min
- 2nd – WBS, Joey Mormina, 11:45 – Slashing, 2 min (PP)
- 2nd – WBS, Joey Mormina, 17:22 – Elbowing, 2 min (PP)
- 3rd – WBS, Peter Merth, 9:02 – Delay of game, 2 min (PP)
- 3rd – PRO, Chris Bourque, 11:14 – Slashing, 2 min (PP)
- 3rd – PRO, David MacDonald, 14:37 – Fighting, 5 min
- 3rd – PRO, Graham Mink, 14:37 – Match – Attempt/Deliberate injury, (21.1) 10 min (PP)
- 3rd – PRO, Trent Whitfield, 14:37 – Misconduct – Continuing altercation, (46.5) 10 min
- 3rd – WBS, Alex Grant, 14:37 – Interference, 2 min
- 3rd – WBS, Alex Grant, 14:37 – Misconduct – Continuing altercation, (46.5) 10 min
- 3rd – WBS, Chad Kolarik, 14:37 – Fighting, 5 min
- 3rd – WBS, Reid McNeill, 14:37 – Misconduct – Continuing altercation, (46.5) 10 min
- 3rd – PRO, Craig Cunningham, 15:49 – Cross-checking, 2 min (PP)
- 3rd – PRO, Garnet Exelby, 16:44 – Fighting, 5 min
- 3rd – PRO, Niklas Svedberg, 16:44 – Slashing, 2 min (PP)
- 3rd – PRO, Niklas Svedberg, 16:44 – Roughing, 2 min
- 3rd – WBS, Trevor Smith, 16:44 – Fighting, 5 min
- 3rd – WBS, Paul Thompson, 16:44 – Roughing, 2 min
- 3rd – WBS, Riley Holzapfel, 18:22 – Cross-checking, 2 min (PP)
s/t Puck Daddy