Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jet Lag

The Jets not only beat the Rangers 4-3 at MSG last night they also passed them in the Eastern Conference standings. The Rangers are now sitting in the 11th spot, but just a point out of eight. For a team that is supposedly built around defense the Ranger D was lacking last night, and while Lundqvist made 28 saves Evander Kanes squibbler got through him for the game winner. Kane had two goals, (8,9) and former Ranger Olli Jokinen, also had a pair, (4,5). Callahan led the Rangers with a goal, (5), took seven shots and had five hits. He also worked the concession stands during the intermission.

There is still plenty of time to turn this around, but the Rangers and their organization seem to be going in the different directions. Management loads up with offense and coaching dwells on defense. I wonder if maybe we lost more in the off season then we gained. We brought in an elite offensive player in Rick Nash, but we lost a gang of role players like Dubinsky, Prust, Anisimov, Fedotentko, etc. True, we have some fine young talent like Stepan, Miller, Hagelin and Kreider, but it takes time for them to fit in. Plus we still give too much ice time to guys like Giradi, Staal and McDonagh. Losing Michael Sauer was huge and by the way what is his status anyway?

We have 28 games to go and we still have no offensive scheme, no power play, a depleted defense and a goalie who has yet to perform up to his standards. However, we still have a good shot at the playoffs, which tells you more about the quality of the NHL then it does about our team.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rangers Roundtable: Plumbing the Depths


One of our favorite Ranger bloggers, Scotty Hockey, along with some others sound off on what's wrong with the Rangers over at Puck Daddy, check it out.

What is wrong with the NY Rangers?
Puck Daddy Roundtable:
What’s wrong with the New York Rangers?
The New York Rangers aren’t a disaster.

They’re 8-7-2, sitting one point out of the No. 8 seed with a game in-hand over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their goal differential is a minus-3. If there’s a major point of concern, it’s the offense: Their 41 goals puts them No. 25 in the NHL, while their 3.35 goals per game average is 23rd in the League.

But there’s a sense that this team has dramatically underachieved, based on last season’s 109-point pace and appearance in the Eastern Conference Final, as well as its addition of Rick Nash to an all-star roster.

What’s wrong with the Rangers? ...
SCOTTY HOCKEY: ... But one big reason for their current struggles is the Blueshirts shed a huge part of their emotional and physical core over the offseason, and their replacements have yet to step up. No team can give up a ton of grit and heart and think that some mercenaries, minor leaguers and children will be able to immediately fill the void...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The House To End All Horrors

House of Horrors - low-budget horror film (1946)
It is the most predictable result in sports. The Rangers will lose a hockey game to Montreal in Montreal. The Arena doesn't matter. They could play it on the local pond and the result will be the same. They could play it in the local bar with the same result, a loss. They could draw on all the ghosts of the past Ranger teams, put them in their prime, go to Montreal and play the 2013 Canadiens and they will lose. The latest streak, 0-6-1 started on March 17, 2009, and includes 4 shutouts. The Rangers/Canadiens started in 1926 and for those 87 years the Rangers have failed to win 100 games in Montreal. Enough bragging.

Last night was more of the same. The Rangers played a competitive first period giving some Ranger faithful, including the fearsome foursome from Long Island, hope. Hope may spring eternal, but with the Rangers hope in Montreal is fleeting. At least I heard the food and the beer were good. Want to hear a meaningless stat? The Rangers out hit the Canadiens 32-13. However, the biggest hit was delivered by Max Pacioretty on Ryan McDonagh, crashing him head first into the boards. Pacioretty was given a boarding penalty and the play is being reviewed by the league. A suspension is in order. My rule. As long as McDonagh is out, Pacioretty should be out. The NHL? One game and a token fine.

Adding insult to injury Girardi blocked a shot with his ankle and was helped off the ice. Needless to say with the Ranger code of silence  there was no info on the conditions of Ryan and Dan. So now we have Del Zotto, McDonagh and Girardi all hurt along with Nash and Asham and it sounds like it's time to call in Dr. House to get us back in shape.

The coach made some good moves and questionable moves. The good move, by accident, was keeping Lundqvist out of the game. Wasn't going to win it anyway, why waste him. The other move was benching Gaborik for the entire third period. Gaborik, the leading scorer and goal scorer (7) played all of 11:03 after taking a penalty in the second period. Meanwhile Brad Richards was given 18:19 of mostly wasted ice time, and rarely misses a powerless play. I mentioned before that Gabby is in this coaches doghouse. He doesn't muck it up, block shots, go into the corners, ad nauseum...

Richards doesn't do those things either, but he's Richards and him and Torts are family. Instead of trading Gaborik we should trade Richards. Buffalo needs a coach so let's make it a package deal. Richards and coach disagreeable to Buffalo for a Patrick Kaleta and Marcus Foligno. This will be a plus more for the subtraction than the addition.

The good news? We have only one more game in Montreal this year. The bad news? We have one more game in Montreal this year.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lucky Point

The Rangers were credited with 38 hits last night. They must have started counting them in the local bar prior to the game. However, the biggest hit was accidental and came at 1:42 of the third period. That's when Chris Kreider slid into the Ottawa goal, upended goalie Craig Anderson, and knocked him out of the game. At the time, Anderson, was pitching a shutout and the way the game was going the Rangers were headed for their second straight loss. Anderson is leading the NHL goalies with a 1.57 GAA and a .95 save %. So odds were good that the Rangers would be blanked.

The Rangers were without Rick Nash and Arron Ashham but the Senators were really hurting with five players out including All Star Dman Erik Karlson and forward Jason Spezza. So the Red Cross could have sponsered this game and pulled in a haul. For the Rangers lately, it doesn't matter who is in or out. It's the same listless performance playing scared defense and tentative offense.

Callahan, who else, opened the scoring for the Rangers to tie the game. Believe it or not it was a power  play goal taking the Rangers off an 0-3 drought on the PP. Despite the goal, the Rangers have the worst power play in the NHL. Ryan McDonagh put the Rangers ahead but Mike Zibanejad tied the score with 6:39 left, a power play goal, and the teams then went to OT and eventually to a shootout which the Rangers lost 2-1. Kespars Daugavins pushed the puck under Lundqvist in the seventh round and the Rangers head to the House of Horrors in Montreal on a mini losing streak.

The only good news is that the Canadiens lost to the Islanders last night in OT, 4-3. That ended a Montreal five game winning streak. Maybe it will be bad news as the Canadiens will be smarting from the loss and come out flying. I remember back in the 50's they were known as the Flying Frenchmen. Save for that miraculous run in 49-50 when we lost out in seven games for The Cup, I won't mention what they used to call us.

So it's on to the Bell Centre, formerly New Forum, Old Forum aka House of Horrors. The only thing different is that I will have part of my family there. My two sons along with my grandson will be there rooting and tooting for the Broadway Blueshirts. It's time for a little retribution and a big win there. At the least, a good showing. Give 'em hell family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nash Out: So Are Rangers

They played a so called hockey game at the Garden last night that should have been a thriller. It was the opposite. After all it was an original six game. Montreal is leading the North East. The Rangers were coming off a great win over the Caps. Montreal had won four straight. So it's natural that we get a barn burner. Right? Wrong.

Without Nash, two young guys got back in. Kreider and recently acquired Brandon Mashinter, a fighter. Mashinter got all of 5:55 of ice time. Meanwhile old friend Prust got 16:26 one assist, two shots, four hits and was a plus three. He was also quick with a quip when it was mentioned to him that coach disagreeable called him, "just another hockey player", Prust replied that "Tortorella is just another hockey coach." You think that maybe there was a reason Prust signed with Montreal.

So Nash was out and we don't know why. Mr. personality, aka as disagreeable, snapped to a reporter, "none of your business." I'm told the news conference was all of sixty seconds. I don't know. I don't watch the news conferences any more. Politics and sports, they are all B.S. But more important is the Nash situation. Remember last year we had the Gaborik situation where he was rapped in the press by the coach and all the while he was injured as we here suspected.

Does Nash have a concussion? He is banged up? Remember, Girardi was banged up and now he plays. Is he stilled banged up? We will never know. But we should know about Nash and all the other players. But we never will with an owner that is not to be found, a GM who is in hiding and a most disagreeable uncouth person who poses as a coach.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Young Guns Pop Caps

As you all know I love to talk about the old guys, in the old days, that weren't so good either, I might add. But there is nothing better than watching the young ones. Last night the young ones, Hagelin, Stepan continued their fine play and as a result the Rangers beat the Caps at the Garden before a noisy packed crowd including the Pundit.

Sure, Lundqvist was his usual steady self, 27 saves. Callahan was Captain Crunch with 5 shots, 6 hits and 6 blocked shots, including two in the last minute. Nash had 8 shots in over 20 mintes and Gaborik had 6 shots including at least two which looked like gimmees, but he missed. Girardi was his usual Dan The Man. But it's the young guys who impressed me.

The Washington goalie, Braden Holtby, almost stole the game for the Caps. Holtby had 38 saves, 20 in the first period. Alex Ovechkin tried mightily to derail the Rangers with 7 shots in a little over 21 minutes, with one shot ringing off the crossbar after a Lundqvist save. It was probably the best game of the Garden year and not because I was there. My son said, it was in spite of me being there.

Hagelin continued his fine play scoring his sixth goal of the season, five goals in four games, tying the game at one. He seems to have a nose for the net, is always in the right spot and has quick hands. The winning goal was scored on a power play, believe it or not, on a beautiful tic-tac-toe, Richards to Del Zotto to Stepan and poof, 2-1 Ranger lead. The goal was Stepan's third of the year and it's good to see him hitting the back of the net as his overall played has improved.

There was a real scary moment when Darroll Powe fell to the ice after missing a check on Cap center Matt Hendricks and lay motionless for what looked like an eternity. It happened in Powe's 300th NHL game. No word on his status. Also had the pleasure to meet with ex-Ranger goalie, Dan Blackburn in between periods. In two seasons with the Rangers he played 63 games. His final season he had a 3.17 GAA and save % of .890. He was injured that year and never returned and many questioned the rehab the Ranger management proscribed. He is now married, living in Dallas and is a real estate agent. Nice guy and he was great for a short period. Good luck Dan.

So let's see if we can keep this youth thing going. Hagelin, Miller, Kreider, Stepan and gang and maybe get the "older" guys clicking and maybe regardless of the coach we may have something going.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rangers Blow It!

Considering the opposition, the Islanders, this was probably the worst performance of the season. Almost everyone stunk, including the coach. Marty Biron, so good last game, not too good this game. The defense looked like they played helter skelter, trying to catch up. The power play, while scoring a goal went 1-4 and actually was the cause of the Islanders comeback. The Islanders out did the Rangers on the supposed Ranger strengths. They out hit us 33-29 and they blocked 21 shots to our 16. The coach? Line changes galore and he cut down Richards ice time in the third period.

Players? Carl Hagelin was good. 21:51 of ice time. A goal, an assist, plus two and seven shots on goal. Richards, to me, has become an enigma. Lately he has been hard to find on the ice. Maybe it's all this shuffling around. We are stuck with this guy who got an eight year deal and to me is starting to bring up memories of Lindros, Bure, Fleury, ad nauseum... Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't the Islanders. After all we did get a point. Del Zotto was back over 20 minutes. Why? I don't know. Third base. Boyle was back. Another why? Kreider sat. Is that anyway to develop a prospect? We'll ruin this kid yet.

The Islander started their comeback 12 seconds after the Rangers "killed off" two power plays. It's now 5-49 on the season. They scored two goals in forty seconds to take a 3-2 lead. That's becoming a habit. Scoring goals against us in a matter of seconds. We were lucky we didn't lose in regulation. Hagelin's goal (5) was scored on a scramble and poor defense by the Islander defense and goalie Nabokov's inability to hold on to the puck.

Two streaks ended. Our three game winning streak and the Isles five game losing streak. Watching, I fell back to thinking about old Ranger/Islander games. The excitement, the fury, the efforts, the crowds. This one was absent of all that. It was two nondescript teams out fumbling each other. Even the coaches looked out of place. Our coach wasted a timeout because of two many icings. How about the days when the goalies stalled and got time outs. Hasek knocking the net over. Brodeur getting his glove or pads restrung. I forget the name of the goalie who used to break his stick banging against the pipes. No innovation these days.

Number two son insists I go to the game Sunday. So I'll go and make it a part of my Lenten penance. The good news is maybe I'll see some old friends. The bad news is that I will see a blowhard coach overcoaching a team that needs to be unshackled and left to play hockey. Fat chance. I have to go see my grandson's team to see that. But that is good because it's free. There is nothing free at MSG except the antics of the coach.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Good, The Bad, The ......

Fortunately we didn't reach that third plateau, the ugly. Callahan and Nash saved us from that. BTW, I have never seen the good in that movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Bad? Yes! Ugly? Yes! Good? No way. Actually we saw three different hockey games last night. The Rangers, on goals from Hagelin (4), Stepan (2), and Stralman (1) were up 3-0 with about 13 minutes to go when Rick Nash got whistled off for hooking Bruin pest, Lucic, to get the Bruins going. One second after Nash returned the Bruins scored their first goal. Less than eleven minutes later the Bruins tied the game by another pest, Brad Marchand. Remember when we had a pest? No pests now. No pests. No individuals. Robots, who respond to the machinations of their beloved leader.

So, the first game was 46:43, all Rangers. The second game was roughly 13 minutes all Bruins. The third game was the shootout with great goals by Nash and Callahan and Lundqvist stopping 2 of 3 Bruins. Nash, despite his bonehead play on Lucic, played a good game and started the scoring with a great rush and beautiful feed to the speedy Hagelin for the first goal of the game.

The win over the tough Bruins is big, but there were warts in the win. Lundqvist made 37 saves but look rattled for the last half of the third period. The power play, now on its own, was 0-4 and now is 4-44 on the season. Would you believe the Bruins have almost the same numbers on the PP that the Rangers do? I wonder if they are on their own or if their coach, Claude Julien, screws it up? He seems like such a pleasant man. And we took another too many men on the ice penalty. That's our sixth this year. Six penalties, six different players.

So, one quarter of the season is done, and the Rangers are 7-5, and have won three straight. They will have to step it up a bit to start challenging for the top. The next three games against the Islanders, Canadiens and Caps should give us an idea of how we are progressing. Of course, our young 'uns are doing a great job keeping us afloat. Keep going kiddies, you may save the day yet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Swede It Is!

That two stroke engine that jb talked about the the other day was in full mode last night as the Swedish Express in the form of Henrik Lundqvist, 20 saves, and Carl Hagelin, 2 goals, an assist, powered, sort of, the Rangers to a 5-1 win over the high powered  Tampa Bay Lightning. In two games the Rangers have allowed Tampa Bay only two goals.

While Lundqvist made only 20 saves they were mostly on high quality shots and many saves were brilliant. Hagelin, in 15:48 of ice time was a plus two, in his best game in over a year. Rick Nash continued to dazzle, was a plus 4, picked up 5 hits and was rewarded with a goal with 8 seconds to go in the game. He also had an assist.

The key to the game for me was the equal distribution of ice time. No forward got 20 minutes of ice time. Stepan was the highest at 19:48, and despite not scoring, was a plus 3. Del Zotto was dropped to 17:41 and Matt Gilroy played only 8:53. The other four defensemen all logged over twenty minutes each. Those numbers have to be knocked down as they will be telling down the stretch.

The power play continued powerless going 0-3 and now on the season are 4-40. Disagreeable came up with, "We're allowing them to try to express themselves a bit, trying to leave them alone." Ah, so now we are leaving the PP unit alone. Good move. Don't know a thing about the PP. Can't help improve them. Leave them alone. Yes, there will be a brighter day tomorrow, so leave them alone.

Thank God for Lundqvist, the young ones and that two stroke engine that jb talks about. Now let's go get them big bad Bruins.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Youth Will Be Served

Us "old codgers" have a saying we usually use when we see a young person doing some daring or unusual thing, "Too bad youth has to be wasted on the young." Well youth stepped up big last night in the form of 19 year old J. T. Milleer. Could the J. T. stand for, just trying? Consider that for the previous nine games the team has been, one time or another, lifeless, powerless, clueless and coachless. The young man may save a team and in the process a coach.

Miller was brilliant last night. In 13:31 of ice time he got two shots and scored two goals. A minute and a half into the game Miller rifled one by Islander goalie Evgeni Nabokov. He then scored the Rangers third goal, a power play no less, on a breakaway from an outlet pass from McDonagh to put the Rangers up 3-1. The point was McDonagh's first of the year and he added an empty netter. While the Rangers were 1-2 on the PP it wasn't scored in PP fashion. It was a breakaway.

Miller wasn't the only reason for the win. Callahan's return helped and Lundqvist returned to form making 27 saves and showing his old form particularly on stopping Michael Grabner on a breakaway. Callahan was his usual reliable, driving force. In 19:22 he managed 2 shots, 4 hits and 2 blocked shots.

Even the coach reformed. One day after stating that some Rangers were playing scared, tentative, he coached the same way. Minutes were distributed more evenly. Cally got the top minutes followed by Nash, very quite, one shot, 18:50, Richards, 15:54, Gaborik, scoring his 6th, got 14:42 and Kreider, 11:23. Even Del Zotto was 'downed' to a mere 22:55 and was a plus two. It's funny, after the game Isle coach Capuano said his team played tentative. There it is, the operative word, tentative.

The ice time given to Gaborik indicates that Gabby is once again on a slippery slope with this coach. Gabby is not disagreeable's type of player. Why play a 41 goal scorer when you can get another block shoter who could get maimed or miss half the season? Remember last season Gabby played with a dislocated shoulder and was rapped in the press. The coach is not only disagreeable he is classless. What about Girardi? Now we learn he has a lower body injury and is day to day. Wonderful. One of the top D men in the business and all we know is that he is "banged up."

So it's Tampa Bay Sunday with a chance to go over .500. Let's see how long the youth movement and the equal time distribution lasts. Let's see.

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PUCKINGS:

Taking one for the network: John Giannone

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Video:


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via @AlTrautwig -- Johnny G puck to the face!


via John Giannoe / @jaygeemsg --
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for your well-wishes! I appreciate the kind words but it was all just part of the job. 
But seriously, million thanks to #NYR, especially trainer Jim Ramsay, doctors, staff, players & coaches for everything tonight. #firstclass

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Powerless In Newark

Everyone was taken by surprise by the power outage at the Super Bowl. Not Ranger fans. We get that every night. Last night against the Devils the Rangers were 0-5 on the power play and are now a dismal 3-35 for the season. It's hard to pick out one culprit when the whole team is non-productive, but why does Michael Del Zotto still gets close to 25 minutes of ice time, when he is the worst defenseman on the team, is a lousy power play QB and always escapes the wrath of the coach? Del Zotto, Nash and Gaborik were all a minus two last night. Gaborik was ripped, the others escaped.

The Rangers have had power play problems for the last, what six, seven years. Both coach disagreeable and his predecessor, coach clueless, have had no idea on the what, where and why of the power play. In an attempt to shore up the team and prevent a deep slide the Stealth GM acquired some additional players. Who was the key? Darroll Powe acquired in a trade for Mike Rupp. On paper that's a plus, getting rid of Rupp. Powe is a defensive specialist. He kills penalties and last year he was the number two shot blocker in the NHL. Great. We can't score goals and we get another shot blocker.

Speaking of blocked shots, the number one shot blocker on the team, Dan Girardi, with 17, missed the game because he was "banged up." You don't think it's because of those blocked shots or the fact that he is averaging about 25 minutes a game this early in the season? But "banged up" may be a minor issue when the next 100 mph puck hits a Ranger in a more vulnerable spot.

The tide which had turned toward the Rangers since the arrival of Lundqvist seems to have reversed. It started with last years playoff and has continued with the strong play of Brodeur. Without Lundqvist at his best, and right now he is not, the Rangers have no chance of beating the Devils or of making the playoffs. No amount of ranting by the coach will change that. He now claims that some of his players are playing scared. Hello. Guess where that comes from coach?

So next is the Islanders. What lies ahead? What will the caption be?  If this keeps up the Rangers may star in their own realty series. How about, "Coachless in the Garden."

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Maaarty, The Good Guy

It's a chant usually said in derision at the guy with the red shirt on or Fatso, as my friend once called him. Had we been at MSG we might have heard it, the chant.  Chances are, if we were at MSG, he wouldn't have started. But we were on the road and we were coming off a debacle, and the King looked a little tired, so why not? Making his second appearance of the year, and his first start Martin Biron was brilliant.

Biron gave up the first goal of the game and the last goal of the game to the same guy, Steven Stamkos, His sixth and seventh of the season. In between he gave up nothing making thirty saves and bringing some sanity to this early season madness. Tampa Bay had a five game winning streak going. The Lightning had not scored fewer than three goals in a game this season. In fact they have scored more than five goals on five different occasions. They have scored 39 goals in 8 games. So this was no bum of the month club that Marty Biron was facing.

He brought law and order so the rest of his minions could reestablish themselves as a hockey team. On a scrum in front of the net, Derek Stepan scored his first goal of the year, tying the game. Then came the offensive play of the night. It was the Rick Nash show with Rick torching Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman, putting the puck past a startled Mathieu Garon, to put the Blueshirts up 2-1. Carl Hagelin's first of the year, off a beautiful pass by Taylor Pyatt closed out the Rangers scoring.

Pyatt, had two assists, and the line of Stepan, Hagelin and Pyatt was outstanding and got almost as much ice time as the trio of Richards, Gaborik and Nash. For a while it looked like a tag team wrestling match with the two lines alternating every other shift. Rupp, Bickel and Ferriero should have paid top dollar for their bench seats, considering how little ice time they got. But this also presents a problem which is a discussion for another time.

The Rangers now face two fan interested games. At the Devils, Tuesday and at home against the surprising Islanders on Thursday. We will see one Maaarty on Tuesday, will we see the other Maaarty, the good guy, in one of these games? I hope so.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Lifeless In Manhattan

No it's not a sequel to "Sleepless In Seattle", it's just another sloppy Ranger performance that lulled a MSG crowd to sleep. My attraction to hockey has always been drawn by the skill of the players. Yes, your team may lose, and the Rangers usually did, but there was always the thrill of the goal, to the goal rush, the hard hitting clean check, the beautiful goal, the nifty save and the pinpoint passing.

There was none of that last night. The only passing may have been gas from the blowhard on the bench. There was nothing last night that even gave a semblance that this was a hockey team. You knew the game was bad when Sam and Joe continually referenced "no flow," code words for, this game is sloppy, there is no life, this game stinks and so do the Rangers.

Much of the talk in the morning press is to lament the loss of Ryan Callahan. Well, I like Callahan and he is a great, feisty, team leader and player. But if the loss of Callahan caused last nights debacle then the Rangers are truly not a hockey team and are in worst shape than most of us think. Two weeks out will seem like an eternity and the team will probably never recover.

No it's more than the loss of Callahan. When offensive players like Gaborik, Richards and Nash suddenly become impotent, suddenly lose their offensive skills, suddenly miss wide open shots it's more than that. It's a mentality, a mind set that drains the offense at the expense of the so called defense. Defense, first last and always. And when that fails it's our super human goalie, Henrik Lundqvist.

But so far our super human goalie has been just human and for some reason, unless they change the rules, you don't win a hockey game unless you score goals and our mindset is defense, stop goals, and then try to score a goal. But what the hell do I know?

But what I do know is that; we have no depth, no bench; we have no offensive schemes; we can't score on the power play; Henrik Lundqvist is human; the coach is over rated. What I also know is that the GM and the coach are not on the same wavelength. The GM keeps signing high priced, high powered offensive players and the coach insists that they play defense, muck it up in the corners and block shots. Wayne Gretzky would never had made this team.

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ICINGS:

Remembering the Tomahawk Chop

Chief White Owl - master of the Tomahawk ChopThere was a professional wrestler named Chief White Owl, who used to have as a signature finishing move the tomahawk chop. He tomahawked adversaries for 32 years from the 1950s into the 1980's. Here is a Youtube of a bout the Chief had in 1966 versus Steve "Mr. America" Stanlee. Sadly, George Dahmer, known to a generation of pro-wrestling fans as the tomahawk-chopping chief was killed by a Florida nursing home in 2008.

However, Chief White Owl's great legacy the "Tomahawk Chop" lives on with Chief Evgeni Malkin.

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins tomahawks Marc Staal, NY Rangers
CBS Sports:
Video: Evgeni Malkin's stick meets Marc Staal's head --
Staal, who sat out 36 games last season with a concussion, was described as incredulous after the game.

While addressing the media after New York's 3-0 loss to the Pens, Staal said, “He tomahawked me right on top of the helmet. He dazed me. I don't know how that's not called. I understand we're battling in front of the net, but he's hitting down like he's chopping wood across my head."
Maybe Malkin was just testing the flex on his stick.

With no news coming out of the department of player safety in regard to this incident as of yet, it appears Malkin will escape any punishment. That is a bit of a surprise considering previous high-sticking incidents that have come under review.
related:
Pens Blog:
NHL may look at Malkin's tomahawk on Staal

NY Rangers Blog:
Malkin Chops Staal in the Head
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Back to Basics

A Marty Biron tweet, shows what he and Lundqvist will be spending a lot of time practicing:
AllCanadians.com / NHL-Style Goalie Drills (pt 3) --

Marty Biron powerplay goalie drills

New York Rangers goaltender Martin Biron's goalie drill series focuses on preparing yourself for power play situations. Marty demonstrates a great three-sequence-drill you can practice that gets your legs moving with lateral post-to-post movement to effectively block back door shots and follow your rebounds.