Newbury Gets the Call

Last night Kris Newbury became the first Whale player to be summoned by the Rangers since the end of Connecticut’s season.

Action Shot for Blog - 04-26-13Ryane Clowe got hurt in Thursday’s playoff-clinching, 4-3 Ranger overtime win at Carolina, and the Rangers were already short a forward, having to dress Matt Gilroy as a seventh defenseman last night with Arron Asham away from the team to be on hand for the birth of his new baby.

So Newbury goes up, after having led the Whale in points for a third straight season.  He is the second player in franchise history to top team scorers three consecutive years, duplicating Derek Armstrong’s feat doing so from 1998-99 through 2000-01.  Newbury’s point total of 62 this season was the second-highest of his pro career, surpassed only by the 64 he had for the Whale last year.

Sounds like Newbury will have a pretty good chance of getting into the lineup in Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale for the Rangers, who host New Jersey on Saturday after pulling out two points in rousing fashion last night in Raleigh.

It was a real rollercoaster ride for the Blueshirts in the clincher, as New York blew a 2-0 second-period lead and committed a horrible defensive breakdown 49 seconds into the third period to allow the Hurricanes to take the lead, and then got a huge break to tie it back up with under three minutes left.

Carolina goaltender Dan Ellis actually kicked the puck into his own net on the tying score, after a power-play shot by Brad Richards went wide of the goal and richocheted off the end boards and back toward the front.

The Rangers then went on to win in overtime, with Captain Ryan Callahan beating Ellis with a shot, from almost the bottom of the left circle, to the far side.

As it turns out, the outcome would not have mattered anyway, as Winnipeg’s 4-2 home loss to Montreal would have put New York in the playoffs even if the Rangers hadn’t won.  Make no mistake about it, though, to go in the front door, so to speak, and not have to worry about what any other teams were doing, had the Rangers over the top with elation, as the photo of Callahan immediately after scoring the goal clearly illustrates.

Callahan said to the media after the game, “That’s one of the most exciting goals I’ve scored in my career,” and Henrik Lundqvist characterized the team’s feeling as, “Excitement, joy, relief. You’re proud. We’ve been working really hard to get in. It’s not easy to make the playoffs. Of course, your expectations are high. You see around the league. You have to work hard to get in. We should be proud of how we came together, especially the last three or four weeks.”

The Rangers still have plenty to play for Saturday, as they could finish as high as sixth or as low as eighth, but at least they can approach it without the sword of playing for their playoff lives dangling over their heads.

I would expect that a further group of Whale players will be tabbed to join Newbury on the Ranger roster as soon as the NHL regular season concludes.  Several guys have been continuing to practice on an informal basis hereabouts in anticipation of that.


One Response to “Newbury Gets the Call”

  1. chris Says:

    ata boy newbury.

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