Struck up a conversation with Mark, who sort of runs things at Kabooz. Kabooz sits on the upper level of Penn Station, the Jersey train so to speak. That's how the place got its name, a combination of the train and the bar. So it's, the caboose, for the trains, and the booze from the bar. It's a friendly place with some outside tables on the concourse, a noisy and active bar and a restaurant with good food, reasonable prices and friendly help. And then there is Mark.
We've known each other for years but it was always brief encounters like, how you doing and Ranger talk. Last night was a little different as the place was half empty and I opened it up with, "where's everybody?"
The Rangers killed me," he replied. He then went on, "We all knew the Knicks stunk but the Rangers killed us." "I thought the Rangers would do better but I was disappointed with Captain Perimeter."
Hey, that's my line. Even though I have never referred to Jagr as Captain Perimeter I always referred to his play on the perimeter. I said to him that he must be reading my blog, but he said no, he doesn't read blogs. All you have to do is watch the games and you know how Jagr plays.
He went on and I'm paraphrasing. We challenged Buffalo last year and nearly beat them but this year we didn't put up much of a fight against the Pens and I blame Captain Perimeter for that.
I told him that the coach wasn't that hot either and he agreed and said that coach clueless (my words) reminded him of Roger Nielsen. Mark didn't think that he could take the Rangers any further in the playoffs. He can't take us to the top, he stated.
I told him that we ran a poll and 85% of the respondents said that the Ranger coach was clueless. Mark agreed with that. He said he was happy that Jagr would not re-up with the Rangers and when I mentioned that they might sign him because of the opening of the season in the Czech Republic. And with Jagr being the nation's hero it was almost a given that he would be signed. Mark was not happy to hear that.
Why is Mark against the signing of Jagr?
It stifles the young guys, he said. He loves Callahan. He believes that Callahan along with Dawes gets too little ice time and he can't understand the Prucha benchings. He then took a swipe at the MSG crew and their jaded analysis. They are house men, he replied. They all work for the same guy, Dolan, and look what he did to the Knicks. While he agreed that Straka should go he thought that Rozsival would be a much better player without Captain Perimeter and the Rangers should keep him.
He left early to go home wearing a Yankee hat. His comment was that he was going to watch his other team that gives him agita. This got him going again on the Yankees and Derek Jeter. He was annoyed that Jeter threw the game away the other night with a two out error that led to six unearned runs scored off of Mike Mussina. Had A-Rod done that he would have been vilified in the press, but Jeter gets a pass.
So it was not a good night for Mark. Two New York media icons, Captain Perimeter and Captain Teflon were getting a free ride for letting their respective teams down and Mark was not happy with that. The New York drive-by sports media have circled the wagons around their favorites and the ordinary fan, Mark is their symbol, is not happy with their favorites and not happy with the drive-by's coverage. Interesting night.