Tag Archives: John Tortorella

SPOTLIGHT: JAMES DOLAN SPEAKS

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

New York Rangers owner James Dolan made a rare, spontaneous visit to the Madison Square Garden media room after his team’s 3-0 victory over the Nashville Panthers on Tuesday night.

Dolan, the CEO of MSG, praised Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather for building a team from within with youth and good drafting that is close to winning its first Stanley Cup since 1994. Dolan didn’t mention Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller, but coach John Tortorella has often praised their work as the Rangers (29-11-4) have moved to the top of the NHL’s overall standings with 62 points in 44 games.

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SPOTLIGHT: DAN GIRARDI

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

One of the major tenets of sports writing is no rooting in the press box.

Well, it’s difficult not to stand up and cheer for New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi being named to the NHL All-Star team on Thursday.

While most of the 42 players who will be part of a fantasy-style draft Jan 27 to determine the teams for the All-Star Game two days later in Ottawa were high-priced high draft picks, Girardi never heard his name called at an entry draft. And while that’s a rarity, he’s unique in being the only one of those 42 players to have started his pro career in the ECHL.

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SPOTLIGHT: DAN GIRARDI

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

One of the great success stories in Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale history continued Thursday when defenseman Dan Girardi was one of three New York Rangers named to the NHL All-Star team.

Girardi, who earned his first All-Star selection, was joined by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and right wing Marian Gaborik, locks to be named for the third time among the 36 players chosen to play Jan. 29 in Ottawa. It’s the first time since 2002 that the All-Star selections included three Rangers, and another of the first-time selections was goalie Jonathan Quick, a Hamden native who starred at Hamden High, Avon Old Farms and UMass before joining the Los Angeles Kings, for whom he has a league-high six shutouts this season.

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SPOTLIGHT: CHRISTENSEN

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

The Connecticut Whale added a new player to their roster Wednesday, center Erik Christensen. And they could have a second new player, wing Wojtek Wolski, in the near future.

Christensen agreed to a two-week conditioning assignment request by the New York Rangers on Wednesday so he could get some playing time, starting Friday night at the Norfolk Admirals. He has one goal and four assists in 20 games with the Blueshirts but has been a healthy scratch for 18 of the last 22 games, including all of the last 10 since Dec. 17.

Christensen, 28, told the New York media that it was “never a question of saying ‘no,’ it was ‘yes’ all the way.”

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CHRISTENSEN “GETTING PHYSICAL” WITH WHALE

New York RangersThe Rangers are sending veteran Erik Christensen to the Whale on a two week conditioning stint. As of this particular moment the Whale are still at their veteran limit because Andre Deveaux is suspended for the next three games. In their meeting with Rangers head coach John Tortorella, the New York media reports that, Wojtek Wolski has been asked to come to the Whale as well. “We’ve had that conversation,” Tortorella said. “He’s still in discussion with his people.”  about giving his go-ahead.

Here’s the official release:

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SPOTLIGHT: DEVEAUX TO THE PRESS BOX

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

With first-line right wing Andre Deveaux suspended three games because of boarding incidents in two games against the Springfield Falcons last weekend, the Connecticut Whale could use some reinforcements.

They could be getting them from their parent club as New York Rangers coach John Tortorella said Tuesday that he’s considering asking wing Wojtek Wolski and center Erik Christensen to accept conditioning assignments to the Whale to get them playing time.

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FANFARE: AND IN NET, MARTY BIRON

220xBY: Adam Gavriel

Before the start of the off-season in 2010, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella and the Blueshirts’ management were seeking answers to the questions regarding the mystery surrounding why the the team had failed to win Lord Stanley’s Cup since 1994. Their analysis led them to take a look around the league and discovered a trend adopted by all Stanley Cup champions for the past several years prior.

The Red Wings had won the cup in 2007-2008 using a 1A, 1B goalie system. In the net were Chris Osgood and Dominick Hasek; with neither playing more than 43 games.

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LIVE CAM FROM PHILADELPHIA

New York RangersWant to see what’s going on in Philadelphia right up to the minute that they drop the puck? Check out this live cam of Citizen’s Bank Park.

Also, Rangers to have a John Tortorella press conference at 12:45… Want to make a gentlemen’s bet that the team will announce that Ryan McDonagh is under the weather and that Marc Staal is going to play?

http://nhl.cdn.neulion.net/u/videocenter/embed.swf

SPOTLIGHT: WEEKEND PREVIEW

Bruce Berlet 7

The Connecticut Whale has several objectives for the last weekend of 2011.

First, the Whale (18-9-1-3) would like to build on a seven-point lead over the Albany Devils in the Northeast Division in games at Worcester on Friday night and against Springfield at the XL Center in Hartford on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Secondly, two victories might give coach Ken Gernander his first job in the AHL All-Star Classic on Jan. 29-30 in Atlantic City, N.J. Gernander, an All-Star player in 1996, 1999 (captain of PlanetUSA in 5-4 victory in Philadelphia) and 2000, and the Whale are third in the Eastern Conference in points percentage (.645) behind Keith McCambridge of St. John’s (.683) and Hershey’s Mark French (.656). In the Western Conference, Todd Nelson of Oklahoma City is first at .719, followed by Milwaukee’s Ian Herbers (.696), Abbotsford’s Troy Ward (.677) and Houston’s John Torchetti (.672). Abbotsford hosts Texas on Thursday night.

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SPOTLIGHT: CARL HAGELIN

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

A month after his call-up from the Connecticut Whale to the parent New York Rangers, left wing Carl Hagelin continues to solidify his position with the big club.

The rookie speedster from Sweden had his second two-goal game in only 16 NHL starts on Monday night, as the Rangers beat the visiting New York Islanders 3-0 for their fifth straight victory, elevating them to first overall in the Eastern Conference standings.

“Obviously it was great to get two goals, and to be a plus-two; it’s always important to be a plus player,” Hagelin told the media after his third game on a top line with Brad Richards and captain and former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan. “There were just some great plays by my linemates and by (defenseman Michael) Del Zotto on the goals. I just had to get to the right spot.

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