Category Archives: NHL

CANTLON: PACK PREVIEW, ECF: GAME FOUR – WIN OR GO HOME

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CT –  The math is simple for the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-1= 5.

The Eastern Conference Final series stands at 3-0. The Pack must make the standings, 3-1 if they are to get to Game Five Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Manchester.

Game Four between the Pack and the Monarchs is at the XL Center with the puck dropping just after 7pm.

“It starts with one, right?” queried Pack head coach Ken Gernander. “Whatever transpired before now we have to chalk up to a learning experience. We have to be smarter and a better team moving forward, but certainly our focus is going to be the task at hand.”

That task is not a simple one. Hartford must dismantle and disrupt the Monarchs machine, that last night, maintained puck possession for most of the game and energized their offense and rendered the Wolf Pack offense inoperable.

The Monarchs balanced offensive attack with five different players scoring is a major threat. They seem not to be worried about line combinations as the AHL’s top regular season team started their second line, which has been incredibly successful, consisting of Sean Backman, Nic Dowd and Zach O’Brien who scored the game-winner Tuesday night.

Though the mountain may seem insurmountable given the circumstances, the Pack is not shying away from the challenge.

“It’s fun,” defenseman Michael Kostka said with a slight smile in an empty, silent hallway. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have gone through a lot of character building, experience and games and seasons with other teams.

“Those are fun to come back from. You could say your back is against the wall, but also it’s a situation when you’ve got nothing to lose. I think that is our mindset–leave it all out there,” Kostka, an eighth-year veteran defenseman on his seventh AHL team and started the season in New York with the Rangers, said.

The Pack must get more shots on the Manchester net. They’ve been held to twenty or less in all three games. They must also not allow Manchester to get off to as fast of a start as they’ve grown accustomed to doing. The Monarchs are 10-0 when scoring first in the post-season.

“They (have) executed really well and they’ve done a good job of getting off to a good start,” Kostka said. “We seem to have been playing from behind every game we’ve been in. I don’t think we have put together a sixty-minute game yet in this series and it has shown.”

Freeing themselves from those defensive chains requires the Pack to have the puck more and when they have it to challenge Jean-Sebastian Berube, the Monarchs’ netminder. Berube has shown that he is a susceptible goalie and make his life more miserable to get that first victory. Getting Chris Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, and Ryan Haggerty using their considerable offensive prowess will be the elixir that allows them to get the one they need…the math to play in Manchester again on Saturday night.

RANGERS: ONE MORE HILL TO CLIMB…

AND NOW… ANOTHER

seven

NEW YORK RANGERS -7 at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -3
Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL
Rangers: 11-7 (3-3)*
Lightning: 11-8 (3-3)*

*2015 Playoffs Record (Eastern Conference Final Record)

BY: The New York Rangers

TEAM NOTES:

PICK SIX – The Rangers won Game 6 of a playoff series on the road when facing elimination for the second consecutive playoff series, and for the fourth time in franchise history (1994 Eastern Conference Final against New Jersey; 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa; 2015 Second Round against Washington). New York has won Game 6 of a playoff series on the road eight times in franchise history. The Rangers are the first NHL team that has won Game 6 on the road when facing elimination in two consecutive playoff series since the Capitals did so in 2009. Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: May 26 – June 1, 2015

bob-crawfordWOLF PACK WEEKLY: May 26-June 1, 2015

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack dropped the first two games of their Eastern Conference Final series against the Manchester Monarchs on the road.  Oscar Lindberg and Mat Bodie scored for the Wolf Pack in Thursday’s Game One, and Chris Bourque had two assists, but the regular season champion Monarchs prevailed by a score of 3-2.  Then on Saturday night in Game Two, Lindberg struck for a four-point game (1-3-4) and Carl Klingberg scored twice, but the Manchester offense broke out for a seven-spot, as the Monarchs posted a 7-4 triumph. 

Full Speed Ahead

“Full Speed Ahead” is the official Wolf Pack playoff slogan.  This comes from the ship U.S.S Hartford, which served as Admiral David Farragut’s flagship during the Civil War. During the battle of Mobile Bay, while on the deck of the Hartford, Farragut famously said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”. Continue reading

RANGERS: FOUR WORDS – “WIN OR GO HOME”

Henrik Lundqvist    VERSUS    Ben Bishop

NEW YORK RANGERS at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL
Rangers: 10-7 (2-3)
Lightning: 11-7 (3-2)

*2015 Playoffs Record (Eastern Conference Final Record)

BY: The New York Rangers

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers play Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series, three games to two, following Tampa Bay’s 2-0 victory in Game 5 on Sunday, May 24 at Madison Square Garden.

Tonight’s contest is the Rangers’ 497th all-time playoff game. The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 236-252-8 all-time record in the playoffs. Continue reading

RANGERS: LOSS TO BOLTS AT MSG PUTS NYR IN WIN OR GO HOME AGAIN

rp_new-york-r.gif      VERSUS      Tampa Bay

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Sunday, May 24, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Lightning: 11-7 (3-2)*
Rangers: 10-7 (2-3)*

*2015 Playoffs Record (Eastern Conference Final Record)

BY: The New York Rangers

TEAM NOTES:

TWO GOOD – The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 17 playoff games this year, including 12 of the last 15 games. The Rangers rank third in the NHL – and lead all teams that have not been eliminated – in goals against per game (2.12) in the 2015 Playoffs.

SHUTTING THE DOOR – New York limited Tampa Bay to 22 shots on goal in the contest, which is tied for the fewest shots on goal the team has allowed in one game in the 2015 Playoffs. Continue reading

CANTLON: (A DAY LATE, BUT…) PACK CLOCKED IN GAME 2 OF ECF

Hartford Wolf Pack revised      VERSUS      Manchester Monarchs

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

MANCHESTER, NH – Mike Mersch’s hat trick powered the Manchester Monarchs to a 7-4 victory in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals over the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack at the Verizon Center in front 4,003 of Saturday night. The win gave the Eastern Conference’s top seed a two-game to nothing lead in their best-of-seven series.

“There are certain things we have to do (better) in managing the puck, maintaining checks,” said a downcast head coach Ken Gernander. “That’s where (improvement) will start.” Continue reading

RANGERS: CONTROL OF THE SERIES AT STAKE AT MSG

Henrik+Lundqvist+Philadelphia+Flyers+v+New+SD3v9GU7xAtl    VERSUS    Ben Bishop 2

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Sunday, May 24, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Lightning: 10-7 (2-2)
Rangers: 10-6 (2-2)

*2015 Playoffs Record (Eastern Conference Final Record)

BY: The New York Rangers

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece, following the Rangers’ 5-1 victory in Game 4 on Friday, May 22 in Tampa Bay.

Tonight’s contest is the Rangers’ 496th all-time playoff game. The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 236-251-8 all-time record in the playoffs. Continue reading