Tag Archives: Nashville Tennessee

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Not surprisingly, the mother of Wade Belak said the former NHL player suffered from depression before committing suicide last Wednesday.

“I think he was taking control of that,” Lorraine Belak said in a phone interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company from Nashville, Tenn. “He didn’t talk about it all the time or a lot.”

The body of the 35-year-old Belak was found in a downtown luxury hotel and condominium in Toronto where he was staying as he prepared for the reality show “Battle of the Blades,” the CBC’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” A person familiar with his death said Belak, who had eight goals, 25 assists, 136 fights and 1,263 penalty minutes in 549 NHL games for five teams in 14 seasons, hanged himself just hours after joking with 2006 Olympic pairs silver medalist Tanith Belbin on a Twitter post.

Continue reading

NY RANGERS at NASHVILLE PREDATORS PREVIEW

New York RNEW YORK RANGERS at NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Saturday, Nov. 27, 8:00 p.m.
Bridgestone Arena • Nashville, TN
Rangers: 13-10-1 (27 pts)
Predators: 9-8-4 (22 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Nov. 26

TOMORROW’S GAME:
The Rangers will conclude their three-game road trip tomorrow, Nov. 27, when they face-off against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena (8:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 13-10-1 (27 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-0, earlier tonight at BankAtlantic Center, and have won three of their last four games. The Predators enter the contest with a 9-8-4 (22 pts) record to rank 13th in the Western Conference, and have lost each of their last three games (0-2-1). Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers will return home to face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, Nov. 29, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their fourth game in six nights.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
*      TV: MSG Network
        7:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
        8:00 p.m. – Rangers at Predators
        Broadcasters: John Giannone (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), Dave Maloney (In-Game Reporter)

*      Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio
        7:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game with Bob Galerstein
        8:00 p.m. – Rangers at Predators
        Broadcasters: Joe Tolleson (Play-By-Play), Pete Stemkowski (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. PREDATORS:
*       All-Time: The Rangers are 6-5-1-2 all-time against the Predators: 2-4-1-1 at home and 4-1-0-1 on the road

*       2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first and only meeting between the Rangers and Predators this season

*       Last Season: New York was 0-1-0 against Nashville in 2009-10, following a 2-1 loss vs. the Predators on Feb. 10 at Madison Square Garden

*       New York ranks fifth in the NHL on the road with a record of 8-4-0 (16 pts) in 12 games; Nashville has posted a record of 3-1-4 (10 pts) at home to rank 26th in the league

*       The Rangers have posted a record of 1-1-0 vs. Central Division opponents; the Predators are 0-0-1 vs. the Atlantic Division

*       Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 0-1-0 with a 2.07 goals against average and .944 save percentage in one game vs. Nashville last season, and is now 2-2-0 with a 2.03 goals against average in four career regular season games against the Predators; Martin Biron is 4-2-1-0 with a 2.24 goals against average in seven career regular season contests vs. the Predators

*       Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high, 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 26 career regular season contests vs. Nashville; Alex Frolov has registered 10 goals and 18 points in 27 career regular season games vs. the Predators

*       New York lists no former Predators on their roster

*       Nashville lists no former Rangers on their roster

SPECIAL TEAMS:                                                          
*       Power Play: The Rangers notched one goal in two power play opportunities (3:46) earlier tonight at Florida, and have now tallied a power play goal in four consecutive games (4-13, 30.8% over the span). New York ranks 14th in the NHL with a 17.0% (15-88) success rate, and ranks fifth on the road with a 20.0% (8-40) success rate. The Rangers notched one goal in one, five-on-three chance (0:30) on Wednesday at Tampa Bay, and are now 1-5 on five-on-three attempts (5:01). New York is 0-1 (1:05) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (1): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen).

*       Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Panthers scoreless in five shorthanded situations (8:00) and tallied one shorthanded goal earlier tonight at Florida, and are now 38-42 (90.5%) over the last 12 games. New York ranks 20th in the NHL with a 82.1% (78-95) success rate, and are 11th in the league on the road with a 83.0% (44-53) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:31) on Oct. 30 at Toronto, and are 4-6 on three-on-fives (5:08) this season. The Blueshirts held the Penguins scoreless in one, three-on-four situation on Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh, and are now 4-6 (2:41) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust).

*       Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one, four-on-four situation (2:00) earlier tonight at Florida, and are now plus-two in 20, four-on-four situations (28:08) this season. Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).

STARTING STRONG:
The Blueshirts have started games off strong this season, tallying the first goal of the game in 17 of their 24 games and posting a record of 12-4-1 in those contests. The Rangers own a record of 8-1-1 when leading after the first period, having out-scored their opponent, 18-10, in the opening frame. Brandon Dubinsky leads the team with four, first period goals on the season, followed by Brian Boyle with three goals.

BACK-TO-BACKS:
Tonight’s contest will conclude the Rangers’ sixth of 18 back-to-back sets this season. The Blueshirts are currently 5-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season having out-scored their opponent, 16-5, and are 4-0-0 when the second game is on the road. Over the last two seasons, New York is 14-2-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 9-1-1 mark away from MSG over the span.

JOHN TORTORELLA REACHES 300 WINS:
With a 5-2 win on Nov. 20 at Minnesota, Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella recorded his 300th career NHL victory to become the 40th head coach in league history to reach the mark. Tortorella has posted a record of 302-275-37-52 in 666 regular season games over 11 seasons with the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and ranks 12th among active NHL head coaches on the NHL’s all-time wins list and first among U.S.-born coaches with 302 career victories.

TEAM EFFORT:
The Rangers have had nine different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is tied for second most in the league. New York trails Washington (10) by one, and is tied with Detroit, Montreal and Tampa Bay entering tonight’s action.

A BROADWAY HIT:
The Rangers currently rank first in the NHL with 712 hits on the season, and lead the league with an average of 29.7 hits per contest. Ryan Callahan currently ranks second in the NHL with 95 hits.

BLOCK PARTY:
The Blueshirts currently rank second in the NHL with 397 blocked shots on the season, averaging 16.5 blocked shots per contest to rank second in the league. Dan Girardi leads the NHL with 69 blocked shots, and Ryan Callahan leads all NHL forwards with 31 blocked shots.

THE HOT LIST:
*       New York has won three of the last four games and have out-scored opponents, 13-8, during the stretch

*       The Blueshirts’ power play has tallied a goal in four consecutive games (4-13, 30.8% over the span)

*       The Rangers’ penalty kill has yielded just four goals in their last 12 games, registering a 90.5% success rate (38-42), and have notched four shorthanded goals over the span

*       Marian Gaborik has notched eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last eight games

*       Derek Stepan enters the contest with a career-high, six-game scoring streak (three goals, four assists over the span), and has now registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last eight games

*       Marc Staal has recorded three assists in the last two games

*       Brandon Prust has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games, including two shorthanded points (one goal, one assist) in the last two

*       Dan Girardi has tallied eight points in the last 12 games, including seven assists during the stretch

*       Ruslan Fedotenko has registered six points (three goals, three assists) in the last nine games

*       Matt Gilroy has recorded three assists and a plus-six rating in the last eight games

*       Ryan Callahan has registered 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in his last 19 games

*       Brandon Dubinsky has tallied 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in the last 19 games

YOUTH IS SERVED:
Based on opening day rosters, the Rangers have the ninth youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 27 years and 44 days, and the second youngest defensive corp in the league, trailing only Los Angeles with an average age of 25 years and 51 days.

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
*       Erik Christensen: 2 games from 300 NHL career
*       Dan Girardi: 7 points from 100 NHL career
*       Alex Frolov: 8 points from 400 NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
*       Michael Del Zotto: 100th career NHL game (11/19 at COL)
*       Dan Girardi: 300th career NHL game (11/19 at COL)
*       John Tortorella: 300th career NHL win (11/20 at MIN)
*       Ruslan Fedotenko: 700th career NHL game (11/24 at TBL)

INJURIES:                                  
*       Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 24
*       Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 21
*       Michal Rozsival (shoulder strain, 7-10 days) – 9
Total Man-Games Lost: 73

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:                                                       
*       Nov. 23: Acquired defenseman Stu Bickel from Anaheim in exchange for defenseman Nigel Williams