When starting my page, I mostly wanted it to be a fun fan page, with pictures, quotes, trivia, and fan participation. It's probably important to keep up with a team's schedule, stats, and overall performance though as well. However, this page will be the hardest for me to keep up. I'll try my best, but I have close to no time to update things like stats every day (I am in school, after all). However, I encourage comments by fans about the team and their play...what they like, what they don't like, what they expect to happen in upsoming games. So I will pass some of the burden (well, by that I mean the fun, of course) of this page onto you. Email me the things you'd like to say (or vent, whatever the case may be) and I will allow my fellow fans to contribute greatly to this page. Thanks and enjoy!
NEW YORK New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter will miss the rest of the season after tearing a knee ligament Monday during a 4-2 victory over Chicago. An MRI exam revealed a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee, an injury that will require surgery once the swelling goes down in two to three weeks.
"It probably hasn't sunk in yet and it probably won't for a few days," said Richter, who stopped six of seven shots before he was hurt. "I guess it's easy to feel sorry for yourself but this is a part of sports. You're going to have injuries, you're going to have setbacks and you're going to have things to overcome."
With 1:37 left in the first period and the game tied at 1, Richter slid hard to his right in reaction to a wide shot, and his right skate slammed into the left goal post.
"You throw your leg out 100 times like that and you can hit the post 100 times, but if it's just in the right spot and your weight's going one way and you have no real place to go, something has to give," Richter said. "The post wasn't moving and my knee took the force."
Richter, on his knees, brought his legs together and fell flat on his stomach in front of the goal. He then curled up, placing his head against the ice. Richter was attended to on the ice and was then led off between the players' benches. As he stepped off the rink with little assistance, he took another step and crumpled. He then appeared to be unable to put any weight on the leg.
"There's not a lot of pain involved, but there's a little bit," he said. "You just feel unstable. I tried to put weight on it and it wasn't working too well."
The 34-year-old veteran, in his 13th NHL season, had reconstructive surgery of his left knee in the offseason to repair a torn ligament sustained last year in the All-Star skills competition. That injury occurred as he tried to make a similar save, hitting his left skate against the post.
"I haven't had a problem with my knee my whole life and then basically almost in a calendar year both knees obviously have severe problems to overcome," Richter said.
"The up side is I know the routine and I'll get this one back and be ready for camp next year.
"It seems really bizarre to be saying that right now but that's what I'm left with."
Richter, who became the Rangers' career leader in victories on Jan. 18, missed 10 games this season because of his left knee, including the first five as he recovered from the surgery.
Richter had a strong start to the season, winning five straight after two losses. He appeared to wear down in December and was placed on the injured list for five days to rest.
In 44 games before Monday, Richter was 20-21-3 with a 3.28 goals-against average. Richter, the subject of recent trade rumors, has been on top of his game lately.
"You do get frustrated," Richter said. "I do feel my game is coming back together now and the team is playing great. I'm truly convinced we're going to make the playoffs, and I still think we are, but you want to be part of it and that's the frustrating thing."
The 10th-place Rangers, who closed within six points of Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, already have started their search for a new goalie.
General manager Glen Sather said he spoke to new Phoenix general manager Cliff Fletcher during Monday's game about the availability of holdout Nikolai Khabibulin.
"You're not going to pick up the phone and make a deal the first conversation you have," said Sather, who denied Richter was ever offered in trade talks.
Richter was unbeaten in his last four games, stopping 117 of 127 shots, and made starts on consecutive days on Feb. 11-12 after not doing so since Dec. 8-9.
Kirk McLean stopped 21 of 22 shots in place of Richter, who faced six.
"I suppose people now know we're going to be looking for a goaltender," Sather said.
In 598 career games, Richter has a mark of 272-226-68.
New York recalled Vitali Yeremeyev from Hartford of the AHL to fill the roster spot. He was 0-2 with the Rangers earlier this season.
Contributed by: Ally Johnson