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#1 09-08-2018 03:11:55

liny195
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Date d'inscription: 27-04-2018
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hart deflected Rasmus Ristolain

Henrik Lundqvist got an early glimpse into the New York Rangers‘ rebuilding future.

It’s not pretty.

Lundqvist roiled with frustration after a rookie defensemen left an opponent wide open for a tying goal that led to New York’s 44th loss of a lost season. As Zen-like as he was earlier in the day about the new organizational direction toward youth and away from trying to win now Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey , the face of the franchise for more than a decade was bothered by a mistake caused by inexperience that’s sure to be repeated over the coming years.

”So frustrating,” Lundqvist said.

When general manager Jeff Gorton committed the Rangers to a roster refresh that laid waste to 2018 playoff hopes and set the stage for pain that could last longer than Lundqvist’s prime, the star goaltender battled his own internal conflict. The 36-year-old from Sweden had never played in an NHL game with no chance of making the playoffs.

”As a competitor, you want to win, and I never experienced that before where you’re like, `We can’t go for this,”’ Lundqvist said Wednesday, hours after the Rangers were eliminated from contention but several weeks since it became clear they wouldn’t make the postseason. ”It was definitely a new experience. But we’re all on board in this.”

Lundqvist and his veteran Rangers teammates have two choices: get on board or be tossed overboard. When it became apparent this team didn’t have the stuff to compete for the Stanley Cup, Gorton traded captain Ryan McDonagh and forwards Rick Nash, J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner before the deadline and set a course for the future.

With three years left on Lundqvist’s contract at $8.5 million per season Sam Darnold Jets Jersey , how far away that future is remains painfully unclear. After 11 playoff appearances and a trip to the final with Lundqvist as the backbone, the Rangers may not get within reach of the Cup in his prime or even his career – but even current players see the need for change.

”I think it’s good for this organization to get some fresh air and some new young players and go from there,” 30-year-old winger Mats Zuccarello said. ”But it’s going to be a process.”

The process began last summer with the trade of veteran center Derek Stepan to Arizona for the seventh overall pick that turned into Lias Andersson and the selection of Filip Chytil later in the first round. Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei are young building blocks already in place, and there’s hope that free agent addition Kevin Shattenkirk and trade acquisition Vladislav Namestnikov become part of the long-term solution.

When the Rangers played at Washington on Wednesday night in their first game with no hope of playoffs since 2004, they dressed 15 players age 26 and younger. New York’s future is its present, which can mean blunders like Neal Pionk’s missed assignment in front, along with the excitement and potential of prospects like the 22-year-old defenseman, Andersson and Chytil.

”When you see the progress of the group, especially the young players Darius Leonard Color Rush Jersey , that gives you hope for what’s ahead of us,” Lundqvist said.

With a full no-movement clause and the equity he has built up with the Rangers, Lundqvist can choose his future. Others, like Zuccarello and coach Alain Vigneault, aren’t so fortunate.

In February, when he announced plans to go young, Gorton didn’t want to answer a question about whether Vigneault would be back next season other than to praise his coaching and say, ”We’re all responsible in some way here for what we’re seeing.” This spring will be the first time in a decade Vigneault hasn’t coached in the playoffs, a tough turn for the 56-year-old who almost certainly will be behind an NHL bench somewhere next season.

”A tough decision was made for the long-term future of this organization and you have to respect it and you have to do your jobs,” Vigneault said Wednesday. ”That’s what I’m trying to do Brian O'Neill Color Rush Jersey , that’s what my staff is trying to do and that’s what the players are trying to do.”

Try as they might to focus on the final few games of the season, the Rangers feel the threat of drastic change that hangs over them. Lundqvist said ”now is not the time” to talk about the bumpy road ahead.

Describing one of the most successful runs in franchise history, Zuccarello used words like lucky, fortunate and even spoiled. In a sport with a salary cap, it’s difficult to remain among the top teams for even this long, and now everyone is bracing for the uncertainty of what’s next.

”This is a new situation for most of the guys that have been here for a while, but you have to buy in, you know?” Zuccarello said. ”It is what it is. It’s nothing you can do about it. … Hopefully I have some good years – five, six good years – left and can be part of the rebuild and come to the good times again.”



Auston Matthews kept his points streak going, and William Nylander was the main reason why.

The two each had two goals and an assist as the playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Monday night.

Andreas Johnsson also scored as Maple Leafs extended a franchise record with their 48th win and matched the team mark for points (103) set in 2003-04.

Matthews has five goals and 10 points during his seven-game streak to give him 60 points in 60 games. Meanwhile http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/a … son-jersey , Nylander is up to 59 points. They trail only Mitch Marner (69) in team scoring with two regular-season games remaining.

”I feel like we’ve had (chemistry) since we started playing with each other last year and especially with (Zach) Hyman as well,” Matthews said. ”The more you play with somebody, obviously, you build more chemistry and get to know them and have a feel for where they’re going to be in certain areas. We definitely showed that tonight.

Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney stopped 32 shots to help Toronto win for the 15th time in the last 17 at home while getting their 28th win at the Air Canada Centre.

”Home’s been pretty good to us and we feel we have an advantage when we step into the arena here,” Matthews said.

Sam Reinhart got his career-high 24th goal for the last-place Sabres, and Jason Pominville also scored. Chad Johnson finished with 31 saves.

Buffalo came into the game following a 7-4 win Saturday at Nashville.

”You think you’re heading in the right direction and then you take a step back,” Pominville said.

Matthews broke a 1-1 tie on the power play at 5:01 of the second period as he scored top shelf on Johnson from just inside the faceoff circle.

Nylander made it 3-1 on a breakaway at 7:39 after Matthews caught Buffalo on a bad line change and made a stretch pass ahead to the streaking Swede, who broke in alone to beat Johnson glove side.

Nylander added his second of the period for a three-goal lead, going backand-to-forehand before snapping it under the bar for his 19th a little less than three minutes later.

”I thought the first period was pretty good, then we tied it up with the power-play goal http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/aut … chu-jersey ,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. ”Then we didn’t manage the puck very well, get caught on a line change and game gets out of reach. (The Leafs) have a terrific rush game and can finish.”

The Sabres pulled to 4-2 with their second power-play goal 2:56 into the third when Pominville put home a rebound for his 14th.

Matthews made it 5-2 with his second power-play goal of the game, finishing off a Nylander pass for his 33rd goal and 60th point in 60 games.

Johnsson opened the scoring at 5:44 of the first when he deflected a pass from Tomas Plekanec past Johnson.

Buffalo had its opportunities to put a goal on the board before the period was through with Toronto defenseman Roman Polak taking back-to-back high sticking penalties – including a double minor – but the Sabres couldn’t get much going.

Polak had 5:37 of ice time in the first, a secondary assist on Johnsson’s goal and six minutes in high-sticking penalties.

The Sabres began the second period with more than three minutes remaining in Polak’s double minor and finally took advantage when Reinhart deflected Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot past McElhinney to tie it at 2:27.

NOTES: Toronto’s 103 points 14 years ago came before the NHL started using shootouts to decide games tied after overtime. The Maple Leafs have seven shootout wins this season. … McElhinney made rare back-to-back starts, with coach Mike Babcock choosing to give starter Frederik Andersen some extra rest. Andersen has faced the most shots of any goalie this season and is third in minutes played. … Toronto F Leo Komarov was out of the lineup for personal reasons. He was replaced by Matt Martin.

UP NEXT

Sabres: Host Ottawa on Wednesday night in their final home game before finishing with two on the road.

Maple Leafs: At New Jersey on Thursday night before returning home to close the regular season.

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