Friday, May 11, 2012

The Acela Express Classic

Every big sporting event, or game, has a 'Classic" tag attached. Tomorrow night's showdown between the Rangers and the Capitals is as big as it gets with the winner moving on and the loser going home and thinking and planning for next year. So I hereby dub the game, The Acela Express Classic. Acela Express is the name given the Amtrak train that runs express service from New York to Washington D.C.

After tomorrow's game we will have either The Miracle on 33rd Street or The Slaughter on 7th Ave. We either have a spirited, smiling, and jovial press conference or we will have a one and done press conference. It will either last about 30 minutes or about 16 seconds. The man holding that press conference will have a big part in determining the fate of his team. He, coach disagreeable, cannot be outcoached again. I say again because that is what is happening in this series. The Stanley Cup Championship coach is being outcoached by the neophyte former "Lady Binger," Dale Hunter, who is doing just that.

Hunter is using his entire team. It is rare that more than one player on the Caps gets less than 10 minutes a game. The Rangers regularly have 5-6 players under ten minutes a game. Is it any wonder that the team tires early? Of course the coach lovers will talk about the late comebacks that have produced miracles as proof that the team is fully rested to go a full sixty minutes. The big comeback win was fueled by a double minor penalty.

The Rangers were also fueled by the play of college callup Chris Kreider and second year kid Derek Stepan, who played brilliantly in games where Hagelin was suspended. They pulled a couple of goofs and their ice time is in the 5-7 minute time and they are regulated to third and fourth lines. Has anyone kept track of Del Zotto's goofs and how that effects his ice time?

BTW, no way do I believe that if we win will the press conference be truly jovial. This coach is at war with the press. The blame stream media is coming alive on this issue. Even Iron Mike Keenan criticized the coach for not giving out important info to the press and thereby to the fans. So tomorrow is a big game and a big test for our coach and his methods and his demeanor, before, during and after the game

So will it be, The Miracle on 33rd Street or The Slaughter on 7th Ave? Will it be an explosion of team emotions or an implosion of the coach? Will the handshakes be a smiling Ranger team or a downtrodden Blueshirt team? I picked the Rangers in seven and barring some unforeseen events I am sticking with that prediction. Hopefully we won't lose the game from the bench.


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