Friday, September 20, 2013

Hockey's Back!

I have been debating with myself, no comments, please, about whether I should hang it up as a blogger. Basically, mothball The Ranger Pundit. And the peasants cheered! Really, the last five or six years have been exhausting and frustrating. Then the other day I heard the new coach, AV, for simplicity, news conference and I was impressed.

He told a reporter, that his question, was a good question. Imagine that? A Ranger coach actually acknowledging a question from a reporter and saying, "that's a good question". Wow! No growls, frowns or nasty retorts. No, "that's a stupid question", no, "what kind of a question is that" and no, "I'm not going to answer that question." What a novel thought. "That's a good question".

So speaking of questions, what kind of team are the Rangers going to be this year? Don't know and neither does the coach. However, what seems to be the M.O. is that it is going to be an open training camp where some young guys might actually have a shot at making the team. There are three key missing ingredients so far. Derek Stepan is holding out and what I have been able to gather its for about 1 mil a year difference. I know there is a cap problem, but we should get around it. Dumping Boyle and Del Zotto should more than close the cap issue.

The other missing pieces are Callahan and Hagelin. Both are key players, but hey, who knows, some young ones may come along and fill in nicely. So well see. However, early signs are encouraging. AV, has assigned his assistants to cover the power play and the penalty kill. But he was emphatic that the power play was on him to fix. Wow!

A coach who answers questions and takes responsibility. I gotta hang around to see this. Is Emile Francis back, reincarnated? So we are off to a good start. Don't know about you but I am going to keep my eye on the young guys, the coach looks like he can handle things. Isn't it a shame that youth has to be wasted on the young. Go get 'em AV.

ICINGS: High fashion ad agency Lipman, whose roots go back to 1927, has folded and closed its doors. So why is this news on a hockey blog? It's news because one of Lipman's partners is a person named Sean Avery. Do you think those skates can be fished out of the Hudson River and are usable? Stay tuned.

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  • jb said...

    I see that Pat Leonard at the Daily News is using Viggy when referring to Alain Vigneault. What do you think about using that handle for the coach this year instead of the nondescript "AV"? At least until he does something to earn an other moniker.

  • Jen9400 said...

    GASP! Don't leave us now Pundit! I'm glad you decided to give it another shot. There is no question the last few seasons have been exhausting to watch but there is a new feeling around the team and no matter how this season plays out, that is a positive.

    For me, personally, I have also given every player the "clean slate" because as I have commented many times, it is hard to judge players when their coach is trying to make them all fit into the same mold. Therefore, players like Del Zotto and Boyle whom Ranger fans love to bash, may just have a few surprises in them. I never felt as though we ever got to see the full potential of most of our players and those are two players that have potential to meet in my eyes. Speaking of which, after the Calgary game last night Vigneault said that the defensive lapses were a matter of reads (getting used to new system) and also a matter of the players not using their instincts. This is something I have been complaining about for a long time and something that will be a battle for him because the players have been taught not to use their instincts for the last 4 years or it will lead to less ice time in the event the player turns out to be a human being and makes a bad call once in a while. This has taught our players not to trust themselves and that will be a problem mainly for our D since our D has had the same basic core for a while. Eventually, they will get used to it.

    All in all- I'm so excited! I really am. It is so nice to watch games and have the games be about the team and the players again. Its so much less stressful for me and Jeanine. I'm not siting there talking about all the stupid crap the coach is doing or saying and I don't have to get worked up over knee jerk line changes or wonder if a player will be benched simply for making a mistake or being called for a penalty. Its like a Rangers vacations. I feel like a 10,000 lb. weight has been lifted -AND I'M JUST WATCHING. The players must feel like a 100,000 lb. weight is gone!

    Another thing I used to say all the time is the players never have any fun anymore so I was so excited when they went to Banff! Team building and bonding is what Stanley Cup teams are built on. That bond is what they play for in the end when the long grueling playoff road has taken everything else. In my book, AV is off to a good start.

    BTW-JB, I don't like the "Viggy." Something is just off about that to me. We will have to come up with something or maybe we should just call him Alain?