Lundqvist: “It felt like we needed to get this one”


The New York Rangers still need to win eight more playoff games to win a Stanley Cup this year, but Henrik Lundqvist already shook a monkey off his back. The Washington Capitals bounced his Rangers out of the playoffs twice before – once in a Game 7, then last year – so Lundqvist told Andrew Gross and others that it probably added a little extra urgency.

“Losing two series against them, it felt like we needed to get this one,” Lundqvist said.

(One cannot help but wonder if Lundqvist used the wrong pronoun and instead should have said “I needed to get this one.”)

With this win, the Rangers are now 5-0 in franchise history when they play Game 7 contests at Madison Square Garden. John Tortorella might have captured the vibe best – and as only he can – by calling home ice advantage “garbage” until that deciding contest comes along. Torts admitted that having those matches at MSG made a difference.

Brian Boyle described how it felt to play a Game 7 at MSG (and most importantly, win).

“It’s an accomplishment,” Boyle said. “We’re not satisfied yet. But it was a lot of fun to play in that one.”

If the Rangers keep winning, then the fun’s only about to begin.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.