Derek Morris

No Help Last Night

The Rangers are finally back in action tonight, at home against the struggling Sabres (7:00pm – MSG2). There’s talk in Sabreland about the possibility that Buffalo might finally bid adieu to Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier, who’ve been with the team since 1997 – that’s 129 NHL level coaching changes ago for those wondering.

It’s an important game for the Rangers, who had to watch the Hurricanes, Flyers and Penguins all win. The two points by Carolina mean that New York is now in seventh spot and with both the fourth and fifth placed team picking up two points, the Rangers will have to win tonight just to keep pace.

With the race so tight, the team’s focus has turned to winning each period, something they’ll need to do against the next three teams, all outside the playoff window right now. At least the Rangers appear to be scoring more since Tortorella took over.

One thing’s for sure. Since rejoining the Rangers, there has probably been more press on Sean Avery than any other player. That’s got to be good for the league right? Oh…and here’s another one on him from the NY Post.

Derek Morris seems to be getting some press lately, including this story from the Post, where he talks about being traded for the third time in his career.

Pack beat Pirates 3-1
The veterans lead the Wolf Pack to a 3-1 victory over the Portland Pirates, and are now 1st in the Atlantic Division. Greg Moore had to sit out the game with what may be a mild concussion. Moore doesn’t expect to be out long.

Checkers lose in shootout
The Checkers forced OT thanks to a PP goal with 26 seconds, but fell again to the Florida Everblades, this time in a shootout. Michael Busto picked up a primary assist on the Checkers’ second goal, and Ryan Hillier had 5 shots, but failed to convert on his shootout attempt. You can read recaps in the Naple NewsFort Myers News-Press and Charlotte Observer.

QMJHL Playoffs
The Moncton Wildcats have plenty of playoff rookies not that it stopped them from winning 7-1 last night over Chris Doyle and the P.E.I. Rocket in Game 1 of their first round playoff match-up. Antoine LaFleur did not dress for the Huskies in their round one loss – still trying to find out why.

OHL Playoffs
The Otters may have been confident going into last night’s playoff opener against the London Knights, but a 5-2 loss likely dented that confidence a little. Michael Del Zotto had three assists for the Knights, while fellow Ranger prospect Mitch Gaulton did not register a point for Erie.

Evgeny Grachev contriubted to four of Brampton’s five goals (2G-2A) has he lead the way with a first star performance in Game 1 with the Peterborough Petes. Grachev also eclipsed Jason Spezza’s franchise mark of 72 points for a rookie – an impressive feat in and of itself.

NCAA Playoff
Denver University has ended the hopes of a WCHA championship for Derek Stepan and the Wisconsin Badgers. DU shut out Wisconsin 3-0, and the Badgers will have to be content to play for third spot today against North Dakota.

Carl Hagelin didn’t get a point, but the Michigan Wolverines moved onto the CCHA finals – to be played tonight – thanks to a 3-1 over Alaska. Michigan will face Notre Dame for the CCHA title, and will hope to avoid tripping up at the last post.

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