Tag Archives: Ray Bourque

SPOTLIGHT: STATE OF THE LEAGUE

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

The biggest news out of AHL president and CEO Dave Andrews’ State of the League Address during the All-Star Classic is video review of disputed goals is one step from becoming a reality.

Andrews said the AHL board of governors will vote on whether to adopt replay at its meeting in Chicago in May.

“It’s pretty hard to logically argue we shouldn’t have a system that gets it right more often than not or helps us get it right in those circumstances,” Andrews told the media in Atlantic City, N.J.

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ROUND ONE OF BATTLE OF THE BOURQUES GOES TO: RYAN AND THE WHALE

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb1      VERSUS     Hershey

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

The Bourque brothers, sons of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, did their different things Tuesday night while playing against each other for the first time.

With their parents and a dozen friends from Boxford, Mass., looking on at the XL Center, Chris Bourque scored the game’s first goal, his team-leading 11th for the Hershey Bears on a power play, and younger brother Ryan showed his speed and tenacity to provide some solid forechecking for the Connecticut Whale.

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SPOTLIGHT: BATTLE OF THE BOURQUES

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

When Bruce Boudreau was fired as Washington Capitals coach on Monday, it didn’t affect the coaching staff of the Hershey Bears, the team’s AHL affiliate.

But the departure of the man promoted from Hershey to replace Glen Hanlon on Thanksgiving 2007 did have an effect on several Bears players who had played for him during his two-plus seasons in Chocolatetown, and faced off against the Connecticut Whale on Tuesday night.

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SPOTLIGHT: BORQUES

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Ray Bourque, one of the greatest defensemen in hockey history, speaks as confidently as ever at age 50 while continuing to carry plenty of clout, especially when it comes to discussing his sons.

Chris Bourque, 25, a three-time Calder Cup winner with the Hershey Bears, is off to his best start as a pro, which comes as little surprise to his Hall of Fame father.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – A BOURQUE BY ANY OTHER NAME…

BY: Bruce Berlet

Connecticut Whale veteran defenseman Wade Redden offered a straight-on, right-on reason why rookie left wing Ryan Bourque appears to have a long, strong future in professional hockey.

“He’s got good DNA,” Redden said.

Good, indeed. How about great? Like in some of the best all-time from father Ray Bourque, the Hockey Hall of Famer and all-time leading scorer against the Hartford Whalers, the previous hockey inhabitants in the former Hartford Civic Center.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – YES, THEY GET HIS WHOLE NAME ON A SWEATER!

BY: Bruce Berlet

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault might be the smallest player in Connecticut Whale training camp, but he certainly has made some big-time plays and impressions the past few weeks.

It started when Dean Stork, coach of the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors, recommended Audy-Marchessault to the New York Rangers after the speedy forward had a standout season with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that was coached by Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy and included speedy, gritty left wing Ryan Bourque, son of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque and a top Rangers prospect.

“I knew Roy and talked to Audy-Marchessault’s mother,” Stork said Monday as he began a three-day stint watching the Connecticut Whale practice and scrimmage at Champions Skating Center. “I was hoping to sign him for my team.”

Well, barring something unforeseen, Stork can forget that idea. After the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder from Cap-Rouge, Quebec, showed well in the Rangers’ prospects camp after the NHL draft in late June, he was invited to participate in the prospects tournament two weeks ago in Traverse City, Mich. After starting on the fourth line, Audy-Marchessault advanced to one of the top lines and played on the power play and killed penalties. In four games, he tied for second in team scoring with two goals and two assists as most of the Rangers’ top young players finished runner-up in the tournament to the more experience Buffalo Sabres.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Dale Weise got a taste of the NHL last season and would love to have a permanent dose this year.

So to try to give himself the best possible chance to making the New York Rangers, the right wing changed his diet and worked with a trainer, Nate Rubin, for the first time this summer while home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and reported to training this week stronger, thanks largely to eight pounds of muscle mass.

“We set up our own thing and went one-on-one all summer, and I think it really helped me,” Weise said Tuesday while watching others scrimmage at the Madison Square Garden training facility. “Normally I work in a group, but this time I worked one-on-one with (Rubin). I’m leaner than ever. I’m stronger than ever. And I’m a little bit heavier, which I feel good about because I was getting stronger but not really losing my speed.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

On paper, the Connecticut Whale appears as if they’ll start the season strong in goal and on defense but could be offensively challenged after the loss of at least three of their top six scorers.

But as New York Rangers assistant general manager/assistant coach and Whale GM Jim Schoenfeld likes to say, “That’s why they have training camp.”

Schoenfeld believes six or seven forwards – “I don’t want to miss anybody,” he said in not naming names – will vie for the last one or two spots on Broadway starting Friday at the Madison Square Garden training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. And he said some decisions won’t be finalized until after the Rangers play two of their four exhibition games in Europe before opening the season in Stockholm, Sweden, against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 7 and 8.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

And on the third day, they rested – deservedly so.

Yes, Monday was an off day for the New York Rangers’ prospects team that moved to 2-0 in a tournament in Traverse City, Mich., with a 6-2 romp over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night. Left wing Ryan Bourque, son of NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, had two goals to increase his total to a team-high three in two games and a team record eight in three tournament appearances. The Rangers broke open the game with third-period goals by Jason Wilson, Andrew Yogan and Bourque.

J.T. Miller, the Rangers’ first-round pick (15th overall) in June, Shane McColgan and Bourque scored in the first period, when Scott Stajcer enabled the Blueshirts to enjoy a 3-1 lead by making 14 of his 26 saves. The Rangers allowed a power-play goal with only 17 seconds left in the second period that got the Stars to 3-2 and gave them a 25-20 shot advantage. But after a plea from coach Ken Gernander for better skating and pressure on Stars goalie Jack Campbell, the Rangers got the first 14 shots of the third period in amassing a 19-3 advantage in the final 20 minutes.

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RANGERS PROSPECTS KEEP ROLLING

BY: Bruce Berlet

It’s an day off for the New York Rangers’ prospect team that moved to a 2-0 record in a tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, with a 6-2 romp over the Stars on Sunday night. Ryan Bourque, son of NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, had two goals to increase his total to a team record eight in three tournament appearances. The Rangers broke open the game with three goals in the third period by Jason Wilson, Andrew Yogan and Bourque.

J.T. Miller, the Rangers’ first-round pick (15th overall) in June, and Shane McColgan scored in the first period for the Rangers, who got stout goaltending from Scott Stajcer, especially in the opening 20 minutes when he had 14 of his 26 saves.

The Rangers, who beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in their opener Saturday night, play the 0-2 Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at 3 p.m. on the MSG Network and NHL Network. A victory would put the Rangers in the championship game Wednesday at a time to be announced, when they would try to duplicate the 2007 team that won the tournament title. Staal, Dubinsky and former Wolf Pack center Artem Anisimov were members of that team.