Dumb can’t win: Why the Russians are falling apart

Russia's Rinat Valiev (left) battles against the Czechs (Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

After his team surrendered 4-1 to the Czech Republic in its final game of the round robin, Russian coach Valeri Bragin was in no mood for chatter. Not only did his team blow the chance to finish second in its pool, which would have assured the Russians a much easier draw in the quarterfinal, but the squad looks to be falling apart at the seams.

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Year in Review: top 10 saves of 2014

Ward

Say what you will about an outstanding goal, but there are few things greater than a how-did-he-do-that save.

In 2014, the NHL spoiled us with some of the most incredible stops we’ve seen to date. All but one of the best saves from the calendar year come from the world’s best league, and rightfully so. Because when you’re facing the best shooters, the saves are made that much tougher.

And while the paddle save is frequent among the top 10 saves of the past year, there are a few glove stops mixed among them that will leave you shaking your head. If you like goal scoring, this may be nightmare fuel. Feast your eyes on the top 10 saves of 2014: Read more

No one took care of the garbage like Wally Hergesheimer

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After walking out on the Rangers coaching job for a similar stint with the Bruins in 1950, Boston coach Lynn Patrick never failed to zing his former team nor its stars.

One of Patrick’s favorite foes was an unobtrusive little guy who wore No. 18 for the Rangers and never caused trouble, except to enemy goaltenders. Wally Hergesheimer, who died at age 87 on Sept. 27, was that target. “Hergesheimer,” snapped Patrick after the diminutive right winger had potted a pair, “is nothing but a garbage collector.”

By contrast, Wally’s manager, Frank Boucher, smelled nothing but roses, laughing off Patrick’s rip during the 1952-53 campaign with the perfect squelch: “ ‘Hergy’ was my leading scorer (26 goals) last year and will do it again. I’ll take that ‘garbage.’ ” Read more

Rocket Rick? Nash keeping pace in Richard race by shooting out the lights

Jared Clinton
New York Rangers' Rick Nash

When Rick Nash scored 41 times in 2003-04, finishing tied for the league lead in his sophomore season, you couldn’t help but think maybe we were on the verge of seeing the NHL’s next great goal-scorer.

Since that performance, however, Nash has only hit the 40-goal plateau once more, in 2008-09, when he finished fifth in the Rocket Richard Trophy race. But even that was six seasons ago. However, with 22 goals in 32 games this season, Nash looks primed to make a serious push to pick up the second goal-scoring title of his career. Read more

Henrik Lundqvist stifles laughter after being asked about tough saves in shutout of Oilers

Jared Clinton
Henrik Lundqvist (Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Henrik Lundqvist posted the 55th shutout of his career with a 2-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. If that wasn’t enough to make Lundqvist smile, a post-game question made him break into laughter.

It’s difficult to blame the New York Rangers goaltender for cracking a smile during the interview that followed the game. After all, he’s coming off of a 1,800-plus save season, so the 16 shots the Oilers were able to muster were little in the way of a test for King Henrik. So, when asked if he had to make any “signature” saves, he cracked up a bit: Read more

Another NHLer with the mumps: Rangers’ Derick Brassard the latest to come down with a case

Derick Brassard (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just a few hours after Penguins star Sidney Crosby was confirmed to have come down with a case of the mumps, the NHL had another player linked to the virus when Rangers center Derick Brassard was sent from a road trip in Edmonton back to New York City with a suspected case.

Brassard, who was the Blueshirts’ second-leading point-getter (24 in 27 games), is the 14th player of the season to show symptoms of the mumps, which was contracted by teammate Tanner Glass in November. Other players affected include New Jersey’s Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson; Anaheim’s Corey Perry, Francois Beauchemin, Clayton Stoner and Emerson Etem; and Minnesota’s Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Keith Ballard, Marco Scandella and Christian Folin. Read more

Kevin Klein nearly loses his ear, comes back with OT winner

Jared Clinton
Kevin Klein (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It seems like a stroke of good luck that, in a season where players have missed time to the mumps, blood clots, and freak accidents, Kevin Klein didn’t have to leave last night’s game because he had lost his ear.

The New York Rangers blueliner took a high stick to the side of the head from Pittsburgh Penguins winger Zach Sill, fell to the ice, and the resulting damage was 13 stitches to reattach part of his ear. Luckily, in true sports fashion, Klein was back in time to pot the game-winning goal in overtime. Read more

Rangers make 15-year-old’s dream come true, sign him to one-day contract

Jared Clinton
Chris Falzone (via Blueshirts United)

Chris Falzone will have his dream come true on Monday night when he skates onto the ice as a member of the New York Rangers.

Falzone, 15, is a cancer survivor and, along with months of treatment and therapy, hockey is what kept him going.

“His skills were impeccable and we decided as an organization that we had to sign this young man,” said Rangers legend Adam Graves in a release. “He is a young man of great character and desire, we are proud and honored to have him as part of the Rangers organization.” Read more