New York Weekend Roundup: Knicks and Rangers win, Amare Stoudemire Is Perfect, and Mike Rupp is Traded

stepangoallight
It was a positive weekend for Madison Square Garden tenants this weekend as both the Knicks and Rangers came out on top this weekend.

But before we look at the weekend, a trade has occurred that will change the Rangers main roster going forward.


It was announced earlier today that the Rangers traded center Mike Rupp to the Minnesota Wild for forwards Darroll Powe and minor-leaguer Nick Palmieri.

Like Rupp, Darroll Powe has not scored this year.  Unlike Rupp, Powe possesses a major skill that fits in perfectly with his new coach John Tortorella’s defensive strategy.

According to NHL.com’s Dave Lozo, Powe blocked 91 shots last season – more than Blueshirts Captain Ryan Callahan did last year.

He also is a major player on the penalty kill, where the Rangers were once elite, but rank only 19th this year.

The addition of Palmieri, if he is brought up to the main roster, will also allow the Rangers to move Stu Bickel out of the forward position, where he has been playing since the injuries to the much more equipped Callahan and Chris Kreider.

Goodbye Rupper, we’ll always have this memory from last year’s Winter Classic:

 

Update: The Rangers have recalled 19-year-old forward prospect J.T. Miller.  Miller has 8 goals for the Connecticut Whale this year.  He will see his first action Tuesday, against the rival New Jersey Devils.

Rangers of course, won over the weekend in Tampa Bay.  It came a night after the Lightning put up six goals in the first period against the Winnipeg Jets.  Martin Biron was in net and did his job, leading the Rangers to a 3-2 win.

Important goals came from Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, two on the Rangers’ top lines, who had been scoreless thus far.  New Ranger, Rick Nash, also struggling offensively a bit, put up his 2nd goal of the year.

The top Rangers lines are heating up a bit.  Once Henrik Lundqvist gets going for good, this will be the dangerous team most imagined in the preseason.

 

amaredunk
On the other end of the Garden, the Knicks had a powerful weekend, pounding on the Kings, 120-81.

It was a revenge game for the Knicks, as back in December at Sacramento, they lost to a last second, buzzer-beating 3 by James Johnson, that negated a 27 point comeback.

This time, the comeback was too much for the Kings.

The Knicks trailed early again, this time by 10, but went on a 38-4 run and kept the Kings off the board for most of the 2nd quarter.   The Kings had nothing to counter with and the rout was on.

Carmelo Anthony’s record streak of 20 point games came to an end, but the Knicks’ bench was able to outscore the entire Kings team 82-81.

Steve Novak had his strongest game from three-point land in a while, but this comeback was led by two men.

J.R. Smith had an efficient 25 off the bench and had seven of the Knicks’ 19 three-point shots hit.

More importantly, Amare Stoudemire showed he is finally healthy and back as a force in the NBA.  He was one shy of the Knicks record by going 10-10 from the field, scoring his season-high 21 points, off the bench.  He also added six rebounds that went along well with another dominant Tyson Chandler game on the boards (he had 20).

Stoudemire has scored at least 14 in his last eight games, averaging 18 per game over his last five.  His rebounding has been back to his usual over his Knicks years, with 6.3 per game over his last six.

Just as notable as anything else: Chandler, Melo, and Amare are showing they can play well together, and if that is true, this Knicks team will be a tough game for anyone in the NBA.

The only downside of the entire weekend was the Heat winning yesterday, ruining Mike Woodson’s chance at coaching the All-Star Game for the East.  Nonetheless, the championship is all that matters to the Knicks and their fans; they are well on their way to contending for that this year.

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Filed under Devils, NHL, Rangers

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