New York Rangers

Don Cherry: NHL stars like Sidney Crosby ‘shouldn’t fight’

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Don Cherry has taken issue with the amount of fights NHL super stars are getting into these days, using the latest case of Sidney Crosby scrapping with Brandon Dubinsky as his example.

Crosby and Dubinsky dropped the gloves in a spirited but quick bout after getting tangled up together in the corner during a game between the Penguins and Blue Jackets this week.

“Crosby should never have to put up with stuff like this. This has been going on, he’s had concussions. He shouldn’t fight,” said Cherry during his Coach’s Corner segment on Saturday.

(Interesting to note that while Cherry brought up Crosby’s concussion history as a reason why Pittsburgh’s star shouldn’t fight, he later turned around and basically dismissed concussions and the connection they have to fighting in hockey.)

Cherry’s main issue was the lack of “protection” stars have now compared to the days of Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy during the 1980s. He then showed several clips of stars like Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Nash and others in fights.

“They should be protected all the time,” said Cherry. “That’s why they get injured all the time. They should never, ever be fighting.”

Video: Nash scores game winner, moves within one goal of Alex Ovechkin

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Rick Nash continues to close in on his career high for goals. He also happens to be nipping at the heels of Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in that department, too.

Nash scored the game winner for the New York Rangers, as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a final score of 3-1 on Friday.

Mackenzie Skapski, making his NHL debut in goal for the Rangers, gave up a goal 14 seconds into the first period, but that was it, as he stopped 24 of 25 shots and picked up his first career victory in the big league.

At the age of 30, Nash is up to 37 goals this season. That’s one back of Ovechkin, who was not in action on Friday, and four off his career best of 41, set back in 2003-04. The veteran Rangers’ winger finished off a pretty passing play less than a minute into the second period, giving his team a 2-1 lead.

Video: Sabres’ Moulson welcomes Rangers’ Skapski to NHL with goal 14 seconds in

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So, Mackenzie Skapski’s NHL debut didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.

In net for the New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, Skapski was beaten on a deflection from a wide open Matt Moulson just 14 seconds into the opening period, after a faceoff in the New York zone.

It did get better for Skapski. The Rangers tied the game almost six minutes later, and took the lead early in the second period.

 

Rangers’ Mackenzie Skapski to make NHL debut against Sabres

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Less than two full years after being selected by the New York Rangers, Mackenzie Skapski will make his National Hockey League debut in net against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

The decision, coming from head coach Alain Vigneault, comes after the Rangers lost to the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout on Thursday. Cam Talbot got the start in that game, allowing four goals on 28 shots in regulation, and two more goals in the deciding skills competition.

From the Rangers’ website:

Vigneault said he had come to a decision last night following his team’s overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden, but that he had no spoke to either Skapski or Cam Talbot, who had started eight games in a row following a vascular injury to Henrik Lundqvist late last month.

It’s been a whirlwind season for the 20-year-old Skapski, who started with Greenville in the ECHL, before being recalled to Hartford in the American Hockey League.

Skapski was taken by the Rangers in the sixth round, 170th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Larionov, Housley to play in Wings-Preds alumni game as Nashville honors Vokoun

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The winningest goalie in Predators franchise history will soon be honored in style.

Tomas Vokoun — set to appear in Nashville for the first time since announcing his retirement — will be celebrated at Bridgestone Arena during the Red Wings-Predators game on Feb. 28, then participate in an alumni game featuring Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov, Preds assistant coach Phil Housley and a host of others.

Vokoun was a member of the Predators from the expansion draft in 1998 through 2007 (recording a franchise-best 161 wins) and was in goal for some of the team’s finest moments, including its first-ever playoff appearance during the 2003-04 campaign.

The Czech netminder had his best season in 2005-06, recording a career-high 36 wins while posting a .919 save percentage and four shutouts. Vokoun finished fourth in Vezina voting that year — behind Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur and the eventual winner, Miikka Kiprusoff — and was one of only seven players to receive a first-place Hart vote as league MVP.

As for the alumni game, here is a list of expected participants from both teams, per The Tennessean:

Nashville: Stu Grimson, Jim McKenzie, Blake Geoffrion, Dan Keczmer, Jay More, Scott Nichol, Troy Vollhoffer, J.P. Dumont, Cliff Ronning, Housley and Vokoun.

Detroit: Eddie Mio, Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Joey Kocur, Mike Krushelnyski, Igor Larionov, Kirk Maltby, John Ogrodnick, Mickey Redmond, Tim Taylor, Sergei Samsonov, Jiri Fischer, Jason Woolley and George Bowman.