Tiny Titans: The top scorers from small countries

Mason-Zuccarello

With a tally late in an Oct. 27 contest against the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello became the highest goal-scoring Norwegian NHLer of all-time.

His 31st career marker was one more than Espen Knutsen, who the 27-year-old Zuccarello trails by only 14 total points. Knutsen’s 111 points has been the high-water mark for Norwegian NHLers and has stood since he left the league in 2005.

With the young Ranger well on his way to surpassing Knutsen’s mark and becoming the most prolific Norwegian to play in the NHL, it’s time to look at some of the other great scorers from similar sized nations. Read more

Vladimir Tarasenko’s magnificent goal frame-by-frame in flipbook a must-see

Brian Costello
Vladimir Tarasenko (Getty Images)

Vladimir Tarasenko’s highlight-reel goal Monday against Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers inspired an artist to draw a frame-by-frame account of the play. The hand-drawn animated flipbook was created by an artist who admittedly doesn’t watch much hockey. “This goal hypnotized me into making a flipbook,” the artist wrote. “It’s just beautiful.”

Check it out.

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Cam Talbot channels Marshmallow Man with amazing Ghostbusters mask

Jared Clinton
TalbotMaskCover

He’s big, he’s well padded, and you can find him in goal for the New York Rangers. We’re not talking about Henrik Lundqvist or Cam Talbot, either. No, it’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

During last night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues, Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot debuted the fifth in his series of Ghostbusters themed masks: Read more

Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko scores a candidate for goal-of-the-year

Adam Proteau
Vladimir Tarasenko (Getty Images)

Congratulations to St. Louis right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, the new frontrunner to win goal of the year honors after his undressing of several New York Rangers, including goalie Cam Talbot, during the Blues’ game against the New York Rangers Monday.

The 22-year-old Tarasenko, whose NHL stock has been rising sharply in the past year, grabbed the puck at center ice early in the second period and proceeded to whip past and/or through four different Rangers skaters before saving the best for last: a terrific little bit of stickhandling that ended with him on one side of Talbot’s net and his stick (which was still in his right hand) and the puck on the other side before the latter crossed the goal line and evened the score at one goal apiece. If you draw breath, this play will take it: Read more

Ryan McDonagh separates shoulder, leaves Ranger blueline in shambles

Matt Larkin
The New York Rangers have lost their captain for at least three weeks.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Compare the Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers from five months ago to the group set to take the ice Monday night against the St. Louis Blues. If the 2014-15 Rangers want to replicate last spring’s deep run, they sure seem to be doing it with a hand tied behind their collective back.

First came free agency. The Rangers bought out Brad Richards and watched Benoit Pouliot and Brian Boyle find new teams. General manager Glen Sather replaced them with the likes of Lee Stempniak and Tanner Glass. Any way you sliced it, the Rangers’ forward depth took a hit. The off-season looks especially bad now that youngsters J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast are languishing in the American League instead of taking leaps forward in the Ranger lineup, which they were expected to do. On defense, New York lost Anton Stralman to the Lightning. They filled that void, albeit with a different type of player, via Dan Boyle.

Then first-line center Derek Stepan broke his leg during a pre-season practice. Then Boyle broke his hand in New York’s season opener Oct. 9. Then John Moore earned a five-game suspension for elbowing Erik Haula. Kevin Klein and Mats Zuccarello have minor injuries, too.

And, just for good measure, the hockey gods kicked the Rangers once more while they were already down. This happened to captain Ryan McDonagh Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets:

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Rumor Roundup: Hurricanes GM Francis looking for trade partners

Jordan & Eric Staal (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

After going winless in October, the Carolina Hurricanes opened November with their first two victories of the season, downing the hapless Arizona Coyotes and the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. This recent bout of success, however, won’t stem the growing tide of trade speculation dogging the Hurricanes this season.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is getting phone calls from other clubs interested in making deals with him. Francis claims none of them are willing to make a hockey trade which that makes sense for his club, as they’re attempting to dump bad contracts upon the Hurricanes. Read more

NHL suspends Rangers’ John Moore five games for headshot

Adam Proteau
Erik Haula and John Moore (Getty Images)

The NHL’s department of player safety suspended New York Rangers defenseman John Moore five games for his headshot on Minnesota Wild center Erik Haula Monday. Moore will lose $51,859.75 in salary for the hit, which occurred in the second period of Monday’s game. But really, he should be thankful he plays in a league and in a culture that doesn’t take harsher measures to curb concussions.

When Moore barrelled into Haula, who had just finished shooting the puck, he clearly had no fear of the consequences for what at best can be termed a borderline hit. But imagine if he did. Imagine if he knew that, as the repeat offender that he was, he could be suspended for a minimum of 20 games. Having that knowledge in the back of his head might not have stopped him from making the same split-second decision, but who’s to say it would have no effect? Players (and their families) would be acutely aware of the significant financial penalty they would pay, and there’s every possibility their behavior would be modified and the likelihood of a repeat offense would decrease. Read more