Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Streak Ends With A whimper

I guess the Rangers thought all they had to do was show up and the Stars would give them their ninth straight win. Didn't happen. The Rangers didn't bring their A game. In fact it's debatable what game they brought. The Stars, even though they are in 11th place in the West were on a streak of their own, five out of six. Now we go to Florida to play a team that is also hot and only has two points less than us.

The coach brought no game at all.  It's bad enough  he keeps playing with J.T. Miller's play and ice time. Last night he played, on the fourth line, got 9:09 of ice time, scored a power play goal and watched most of the time. In 14 games Miller has 5 goals and an assist. Lee Stempniak got 11:18 of ice time on the third line. He has played in 28 games, has 5 goals and an assist.

The previous game saw Miller sitting and that brought a discussion from Sam and Joe, the homer boys. Sam insisted that Miller sitting had to do with the Rangers great depth. Joe debunked that basically saying that Miller should be in the lineup. period. Joe was spot on, Sam honored his Ranger roots.

Then there is Kevin Klein, 7 goals, 4 assists and a plus 11, third on the team. He got 18:37 of ice time and no power play time. Meanwhile, Dan Boyle racked up 21:11, 2:57 on the power play, got off all of one shot, and that at the goalie who was waiting to be beat. Klein with the best shot of the defensive group sits while Boyle struggles. And struggle he did. A few times he had trouble bringing out the puck in the defensive zone. So we are honoring contracts, not playing capabilities. Nothing changes. It starts in the little leagues with favorites and continues right up to the pros.

I have an idea, stolen from the Devils and their GM. The Stealth should come out of retirement and go behind the bench. On his right should be Mark Messier to coach the forwards and on his left should be Jeff Beukeboom to coach the D. At least then we would have expert opinions why certain guys play or don't not this touchy feeling BS we get from this coach. Two points lost in December will be sorely missed in April.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stepan Tricks Devils

it was a night of tricks in a game devoid of any passion. The first trick was when Devil GM Lou Lamoriello decided to sit behind the Devil bench after firing coach Pete DeBoer. He then assigned two "co-coaches", Adam Oates for the forwards and Scott Steven for the defensemen. What, no goalie coach. Didn't work. The Devils got all of 20 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

The second trick was Derek Stepan with a hat trick, giving him six goals.To make sure the crowd didn't fall asleep Stepan had a goal a period. Short handed in the first, power play in the second and an empty netter in the third. The Rangers got 27 shots on goal.

The coach gave us the third trick by benching JT Miller for Lee Stempniak who got over the mumps. So Stempniak got over the mumps and Miller got the bumps. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of our coaches. Me thinks they over coach and over react. Any how it was the Rangers eight straight, win and the team record is ten accomplished twice, 1972-73 and 1939-40. Aaah 1940!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Festival

For two periods it looked like the Caps were giving the Rangers an early Christmas present. They were down 2-0 after two and had all of eleven shots on goal. When Nash scored early in the third it surely looked over. Then the Caps remembered who they were and turned it on.

The Caps came in on a 7-0-2 run having won the previous night and woke up in the third. They pored 21 shots on goal, scored two in five minutes and suddenly it was a hockey game. But they self destructed. A Backstrom double minor followed by a face off violation gave the Rangers a five on three. A power play goal by St. Louis sealed the win and the Rangers are tied with the Caps for third with the Rangers having two games in hand.

Nash had two three goals and St. Louis had two one, on the power play.* The Rangers were 2-7 on the power play and Dan Boyle got his first assist of the year. Lundqvist made 30 saves, 19 in the third period to seal his 15th win of the year.

It was a preview of two teams who will be battling each other and the leaders of the Metro for the top spot. It was an outstanding third period of a very good game by the Rangers. It was truly a Holiday Festival.

Merry Christmas everyone in hockey land.

*Update: NHL gave Rick Nash credit for the hat trick after reviewing the video.

Rick Nash was given credit for a hat trick vs. Caps on Dec 23rd, 201
Rick Nash got belated credit for hat trick vs. Caps

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cam Cools Canes

It was a fitting end to my birthday. A great brunch at Rothmann's Steak House in East Norwich with the family and then another Ranger win, the sixth in a row. The team is hot. It sets up a big holiday game against the Caps at the Garden, The teams are tied at 38 points battling for the third spot in the Metro. It's Alex the Great vs The King. Should be a dandy.

One day after signing a one year extension, Cam Talbot won his third game of the season and his third shutout of the season. He only needed 18 saves to do it and his counterpart, Anton Khudobin, was outstanding with 30 saves. Ryan McDonagh scored the only goal early, 4:10, in the game on a beautiful feed by Stepan.

Once again the Rangers lost a goal by Matt Hunwick, when the Toronto TV watchers declared his shot no goal when the Garden replay showed a goal. The Rangers were once again 0-3 on the power play, but Boyle continues to get power play time. He has no assists this year. Meanwhile Klein, the leading D-man scorer watches the power play go further south.

But, we move on to the big game Tuesday night. Rangers versus Caps. Alex the Great versus The King. As I stated before, it should be a dandy. Let's Go Rangers!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Birthday Bliss

My birthday has a habit of intertwining with Ranger hockey with mixed feelings. This year the feelings are good, so far. Remember, there is another game tonight. So in 84 years there has been about 77 of Ranger hockey. A lot of years. A lot of tears.

The Rangers won their fifth straight last night, 3-2, over Carolina in a shootout. It was their fourth straight road win. Always a good sign for a team, road wins. Good signs, bad sign. The worst was Lundqvist flubbing on a soft shot by Skinner, which gave the Canes a one goal lead about 20 seconds after JT Miller had tied it at one. Good signs. Miller playing strong again and that Bargain Basement Beauty, Kevin Klein, scoring his 7th of the year tying the game with about two minutes left. Lundqvist recovered in the shootout, stopping three Canes as Zuccarello was the lone scorer in the shootout.

The three stars, for me, were Klein, Lundqvist and Miller. The team seems to have found its stride. The early injuries and sickness, i.e. mumps, has given everyone on the roster to get ice time, hence we have a deeper squad with a lot of depth. Should help down the stretch.
Now to put icing on that cake, a win tonight.

ICINGS: The T/Birds won their second straight, a 8-0 win over Half Hollow Hills, that put their record at 5-6-1 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. Nicholas was given a game puck, symbolic of being one of the players of the game. The league is off 'til after January 1st.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ranger's Roll Thru Western Canada

It wasn't like Sherman rolling through the south but it was very productive all the same. The Rangers ran off three straight in western Canada, and have now won four in a row heading to Carolina for the start of a home and home. The Rangers are clicking on all cylinders. Coming off player of the week last week, Lundqvist continued his fine play. He made 29 saves as the Flames used two goalies, Ramo and Hiller. All four goals were scored off Ramo, Hagelin had an empty netter.

Nash is stoking the Ranger resurgence. He had two goals, one a short handed, and now has 20 goals as he heads for the magical 50 goal mark. Also encouraging was that two scoreless streaks were ended. Kreider snapped a 13 game scoreless streak and Stepan snapped an 8 game streak.

This was no crème puff streak. Vancouver sits in the number two spot in the Pacific and Calgary is fourth. However, Calgary lost its sixth straight, but do have 36 pts in 32 games. They are young, fast but undisciplined right now. Bob Hartley seems to be safe for now.

So now on to a weekend clash with Carolina, last in the entire East. Beware of the trap game. Beware.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lundqvist Blanks Oilers

I missed last night's game due to a family function, it's that time of the year, but the Rangers seem to be getting it together in western Canada. Lundqvist won back to back nights with an easy shutout. The defense stepped up again with a goal by Dan Giradi. And another Ranger got the mumps.

What is this with the mumps? I had the mumps as a kid and it's strange to hear grownups getting the mumps. Sydney Crosby got the mumps and now Brassard got the mumps. I thought all these diseases were eradicated but they seem to be making a comeback. Why? Who knows. I only hope that Santa doesn't get the mumps. The kids would be disappointed.

Back to the Rangers. The defense looks like it's got its act together, now to get the offense rolling. Next stop is tomorrow night in Calgary. Promise not to miss that one. Recollection is that we usually have problems in Calgary. Hopefully, that's a wrong recollection. But we seem to be going in the right direction and let's keep going. Also, no more mumps.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rangers Blitz Canucks

The sermon at mass today was about suffering and pain leading to joy and redemption. Case studies were St. Paul and St. Francis of Assisi. Both suffered greatly from persecution and illness and both received great joy and sainthood. So there is good news for Ranger fans. Who has suffered more in sports over the years? Okay, Jet fans, get in line. So the question is. Continue the suffering and then-Sainthood? Stop the suffering, forget Sainthood, and win a Cup?

Last night was one of those head scratching games. How, all of a sudden, could we be so good, no, so great? A three goal blitz in the first period, covering all of 4 minutes and ten seconds, and suddenly the Rangers were up 3-0. Bam! Bam! Bam! McDonagh, his first of the year. JT Miller, his third, and Zuccarello, his 5th. The onslaught continued in the second with Staal, his first, and then Zuccarello on as beautiful play one could see. Brassard to Nash, back to a speeding Brassard, and then a beauty to Zuccarello, in front of the net for his second of the game and sixth of the year. 5-0 going into the third. Nick Bonino ended the shut out for Lundqvist who made 29 saves. Ryan Miller, the ex-Sabre made 19. Nash and Brassard had two assists each. The three stars were McDonagh (1), Nash (2) and Zuccarello (3).

Good start to the western Canada  trip. Next stop, Edmonton, and then Calgary. Good to see the defense getting offensive. JT Miller has played great since coming back from Hartford, with three goals. Unfortunately, that leaves Kreider out of the top six, but if he finds his game that would give us a potent fourth line. But that's not a negative that's a positive. Miller and Kreider are both young, fast, strong and tough.

Let's get this suffering off of our backs. It was okay for St. Paul and St. Francis of Assisi. They were Saints, who suffered long and hard. Us? Mere mortals who have suffered long and hard being Ranger fans.  Let us pray.

ICINGS: The T/Birds pulled off their biggest win of the season Friday night beating a good Sachem team 7-3. The T/Birds are now 4-7. Sachem dropped to 6-5. Nicholas was a plus three.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kool Hand, er Ear, Klein

In the Ranger win over the Pens in OT, the lame stream media gave the number one star to Rick Nash. Nash scored his 18th goal of the year and may well be on his way to join Vic Hadfield, Adam Graves and Jaromir Jagr in the Ranger 50 goal club. Not bad, but me thinks they picked the wrong guy.

Kevin Klein scored the game winner in OT with a blast from the blue line to give the Rangers a 4-3 win after blowing a 3-1 lead in the third period as the Pens scored two goals in 24 seconds to tie it. Boy that's getting to be a bad habit. The previous game saw the Red Wings score two in 61 seconds. The players gave the Broadway black hat to Klein as the player of the game. They got it right.

If you remember, Klein is the guy we got for Del Zotto. Heck, two tickets to the Circus would have been a bargain for Del Zotto. Klein was kinda a throw in. Some throw in. Klein's winning goal was his sixth of the year, tops among Ranger D-men. His ten points are tops among Ranger D-men. His plus nine rating is tied with Nash for the team lead. When he is not racking up game winning goals he also protects his mates. His willingness to drop the gloves and defend his team is secondary to none on the Rangers.

Tough? He almost lost an ear on a high stick in the first period. Stop him? Are you kidding? They stitched him up, thirteen stitches, and he came back to play, star and eventually win the game. Imagine, thirteen stitches to reattach part of an ear and he comes back on the ice to play. I think of all the baseball players taking days off with upset stomachs and sprained pinkys. And to think, we had to give up Michael Del Zotto for Klein. I'm almost ready to forgive The Stealth for his past transgressions. Almost.

Icings: Late condolences to the Beliveau family on the death of one of the greatest players ever. He won 10 Stanley Cups, topped only by Maurice "The Rocket" Richard who had 11. The top player winning Championships in sports was Bill Russell of the Celtics with 13, followed by Sam Jones with 12. Baseball's top winners were Yogi Berra with 10 and Joltin Joe DiMaggio with 9. Mean Joe Greene was tops in the NFL with 4. All great Hall of Famers.

R.I.P. Jean Beliveau.

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A little blood on the Broadway Hat...

Kevin Klein got his ear put back together then beat Pens

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Motown Meltdown

The coach blamed the loss on lazy back checks. Amazing. You score two goals in the first period and you go zippo the rest of the game and it's blamed on "lazy." You go 0-7 on the power play, what else is new, and you blame it on "lazy." You have a five on three power play time of 2:36 and you don't score and you blame it on "lazy." You bring in a "power play expert" like Dan Boyle, who gets 23:34 of ice time, 8:36 of power play time and manages to get off all of one shot the entire game, and you blame it on "lazy."

Amazing. You bring in a Dan Boyle, he of the boomimg shot and he plays the point like he is Michael Nylander. One shot! One shot! He could have gotten more in the local bar. Of course there was some rotten luck. I counted at least four crossbars and posts. But this is Detroit. There are always crossbars and posts. It's part of the Detroit scene. It's in the genes.

Anyway, another loss that could have been averted. Detroit got two goals in 61 seconds when our forwards played "lazy." The Rangers two scorers were Nash, (17) and the ever surprising Klein, (5). St. Louis shot in hard luck, Kreider seems to be lost and Duclair sat again. Maybe he should play, he might not be that "lazy." Cam Talbot played okay and I will not join the chorus of critics who wonder why Lundqvist didn't play. No problem with Talbot playing.

So now the Rangers have played 25 games. 11-10-4. 26 points, 4th in the Metro. The inept Devils have 24 points. The high flying Islanders have 38 points, 19-8-0. The Islanders are energetic. The Rangers are "lazy."

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

After watching the latest debacle against the Lightning I have come to the conclusion that the Rangers are not ready for prime time. That is, they are not contenders for the big prize, at least right now. In the old days of baseball when they had two leagues of eight teams each, the top four in each league were called the first division, the bottom four were called the second division. The Rangers right now are a second division team. They are eight points behind the second place Islanders and rank eight in the East.

Sure we have beaten Montreal and Pittsburgh, but look at our record against Tampa Bay. We were outscored 15-7 and our goaltending, Lundqvist, was awful. In fifteen days they beat us three times. Lundqvist now has a GAA of 2.70 and a save % of .905. But he isn't the only culprit. Tampa's goalie, Bishop, is now 9-0-0 against the Rangers. He says he is inspired by seeing Lundqvist in the nets for the Rangers. Maybe we should bring up the Hartford goalie and put him opposite Bishop.

Nash and St.Louis are performing well. However, the players coming back from injuries: Stepan, Boyle, McDonagh have taken a while to return to form, and Boyle is out again as is Tanner. Also, the young players, Miller, Hayes, Fast and Duclair have not played to their potential. And why not? They are in the lineup, they are out of the lineup. They are recalled from Hartford, they are sent to Hartford. They play on different lines every night. They get short sifted. They spend too much time during the game sitting on the pine.

So it's win one, lose one. We are now at 11-9-4. We are inconsistent and with 25% of the season gone its getting late early. The players seem to be there. The talent seems to be there. Who knows? Maybe it's the coach that's not ready for prime time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Philly Cheese Steaks

It's hard to believe that the Flyers actually led this game. That was when Voracek scored his 9th of the year, a power play goal, at 8:45 of the second period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. Less than three minutes later Jasper Fast scored his first of the year and then it became all Rangers.

JT Miller, back from purgatory, scored his first of the year and both Miller and Fast picked up assists on each others goals.  The Rangers have now won four of five and three of these have been against the Flyers. The cup cake schedule ends Monday against the Lightning who have beaten us twice. Could it be that we are Tampa Bay's cup cakes?

Tampa Bay is tied with Montreal for first in the Atlantic with 34 points. The Pens and the Isles are atop the Metro at 34 points also. The Rangers sit at 26 points, two ahead of the Caps in the Metro and 8th overall in the East.  The game was a nondescript type game and if not for the play of the two rookies and D-man Klein might have turned into an embarrassing loss. It's good to see Miller back and playing on the wing. Also, good to see Fast light the bulb. Along with Dominic Moore they make up a potent fourth line. Klein continues to be a revelation with his solid play. That was one helluva trade  The Stealth pulled off. So now back to the serious part of the schedule. Time to make a move now otherwise it is spending the winter in a dog fight with the dregs and bottom feeders. The December points are just as crucial as February and March.

Friday, November 28, 2014

ST. Louis Hits Milestone vs Flyers

Marty St. Louis may have bombed in Tampa but he sure soared today in Philly. And what better place to soar and get the 1,000 point of his Hall of Fame career against Flyer fans, perhaps the most anti-Ranger fans in the NHL.

It's always good to beat the Flyers and especially good to beat them in Philly. My old buddy "The Dark Ranger" would have enjoyed this one. I can see him sitting in the midst of a throng of Flyer fans jumping up from his seat with each Ranger goal. But I digress. St. Louis was the star, the hero. Oh, he had help. Cam Talbot pitched another shut out against the Flyers and its 8-5 that he starts against them tomorrow afternoon at the Garden. St. Louis set up Boyle for the first, a PP goal and scored the second to get the 1,000 point of his career. His goal, the 8th in 12 games continues his hot streak that was temporarily disrupted in Tampa Bay. Rick Nash put in his 16th, on a short handed three on one by the Rangers. Flyer goalie Steve Mason seemed confused by it all.

In fact, the Broad Street bullies seemed quite docile. They are a far cry from their management. Their coach, Craig Berube, has the most fighting majors of any player in the NHL and their GM, Hextall, was the most penalized goalie in the NHL. Bullies? Pussycats. These guys can't even score.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cally Zaps Rangers-Again!

Well, I was wrong. I should know better after all these years. I honestly thought the Rangers would have a banner game after their two wins against a so-so Flyers team and a very good Montreal team. You would think that after close to 80 years of mostly frustrating, inconsistent hockey that I would smarten up. But I had hopes. I thought I had seen something in the last two games that would bode well for the rest of the year. But I was wrong.

The game was supposed to be a coronation of a legend returning to his former home and skating around the ice at the end of the game a hero. Instead he skated out early to acknowledge a video, wave to the crowd and greeted by an ovation and a scattering of boos. The hero, number one star, turned out to be old friend, new nemeses, Ryan Callahan, who scored two goals, again, to beat the Rangers. again. St. Louis didn't even get off a shot. Dan Boyle, the other returnee did better. In 24:49, team high, of ice team he scored his first goal of the year and was a plus two.

The other Ranger scorers were Zuccarrelo, (4) and Nash, (15). Unfortunately, both took stupid penalties in the first period which led to Tampa Bay power play goals . Instead of a Ranger 2-0 lead after one, it was tied 2-2. It was all downhill after that. So the win one, lose one Rangers are now at 9-8-4. That's about .500 to me. But what the hell do I know. I actually thought they were going to win and start rolling.

Anyhow it's Thanksgiving. Forget hockey and the Rangers for a while. This is a day for family, friends and a lot of good food. Enjoy the day and try to make someone else's day better. God bless you and your families. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Can Lightning Strike Twice?

There were no passengers against the Canadiens,, everyone was pulling an oar. My previous article stated that someone had to step up. Well just about everyone stepped up. Nash got his 14th goal. St.Louis scored his seventh in the last ten games, a high light film goal, stripping the puck from a D-man and beating the goalie. Dom Moore, Stepan and Hagelin joined the goal scoring party. Duclair had a beautiful assist and Lundqvist pitched a shutout.


This is a big game. The Rangers have won two straight shutouts and are primed to take revenge against Tampa Bay for last weeks debacle at MSG. Its time for the Rangers to make their move. Right now, all hands are on deck. The defense has been crisp and tough. McDonagh is about a game or two away from showing up. Klein's surprising offense, four goals, and his ability to drop the gloves when needed has been a revelation. A rarity for Ranger defensemen.


But the story tonight will be Marty St. Louis who was a big part of Tampa Bay for many years, including a Stanley Cup Championship. St. Louis has 998 career points and what a better way to go home and rack up a goal and an assist. to reach the magic 1,000 points. Who says you can't go home again?


So, its a big one. Lets hope the coach is as steady as the players and stays consistently with the lines. Can Lightning strike twice? It says here, no. The Rangers will bounce back and win and reestablish themselves as bona fide contenders. The Turkeys are for Thursday, not tonight.


Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cam Steps Up To Rescue Rangers

The other day I mentioned that it was time for someone on the Rangers to step up and I mentioned two in particular, St. Louis and Nash. Well Nash scored a goal off a beautiful feed by St. Louis as the Rangers won 2-0 over the Flyers last night at the Garden. However, the guy who truly stepped up was sub goalie Cam Talbot who posted his first win and shutout of the year. Talbot made 31 saves in outdueling Flyer goalie Steve Mason who had 32 saves. The goalies put on a good show with several big saves.

The Flyers, another poor Metro team, were the perfect remedy for a drifting Ranger team. This was the Rangers ninth straight win over the Flyers at MSG. The Rangers are now in third place in the Metro one point ahead of Washington and seven in front of last place Columbus. It should be a thriller the rest of the way.

This was Talbot's fourth start, (1-2-1), which is about one fourth of the games played. It might be a good idea  to give him more net time early in the season so as to have a rested Lundqvist down the stretch. Chances are Lundqvist will be in the nets Sunday against Montreal at MSG as tomorrows night game at Buffalo has been cancelled due to the massive storm that hit upstate New York.  Global warming will do that.

Anyhow, a win is a win. As the coach says, "don't critique a win."  We need a few more guys to step up. Right now the Rangers have too many passengers. We need more workers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Really Getting Late Early For Rangers

Tonight at the Garden the struggling Rangers try to retain to form, whatever that is these days, against the struggling Flyers. The Rangers (7-7-4) and the Flyers (7-7-2)  are both mired in a funk, playing listless, unexciting hockey. In fact if you watched the latest debacle against the Lightning you wonder if the Rangers have any idea what consistent, sixty minute hockey is. If you were brave enough and rich enough to go to the Lightning game you probably saw the Rangers play less than five minutes of any hockey.

The telling thing to me was the interview Martin St. Louis had with a reporter. Marty was totally embarrassed by the Ranger performance and it showed. Something is wrong here and it lies with the coaching staff and especially head coach, Vigneault to straighten the ship out. With one fifth of the season gone the Rangers are in a dogfight with five other teams in the Metro. Sure it's early, but bad habits are formed early and are hard to repair.

Yes, the Lightning are good but did anyone notice how the Islanders completely out played them last night?  The Rangers are inconsistent. Lundqvist has mentioned this many times about how the Rangers play. Right now the team is leaderless. The coach can't get the team to play sixty minute hockey. Also, there is no leader on the ice. When Callahan left, Richards took over the reins. Now, no one has stepped up.

It's time for St. Louis or Nash to take over the team. Maybe when McDonagh comes back it will be him but he has shown little leadership so far. Maybe it's time to make a change and make Lundqqvist the Captain, He surely is the leader but doesn't a goalie have enough to do without adding further burdens to his duties? Let's see what the response is tonight.

ICINGS: Now they tell us. Take a look at the blog Blue Line Station where the NHL admits a goof in the Rangers-Kings finals. No kidding.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lou Costello Was Right

Lou Costello would have loved last nights game. You remember his comment while shooting craps in the movie, "Buck Privates." "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose." Well last night the Rangers did both. In another shootout loss, their fourth straight, the Rangers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. After Dan Boyle scored the "winner" the refs called everyone back from the locker rooms because Dan had hit a "double", two shots to get the goal. A no, no.

The Pens won it when Brandon Sutter put one past Lundqvist to give the Pens the two points. There was a time when the Rangers relished a shootout. Lundqvist was unstoppable. Now the shooters have figured him out and the shootout is not a Ranger strength. You know what I think of shootouts so don't get me started.

It was a feisty game as these two teams clearly do not like each other. Malkin put a thunderous check, legal, into Giradi with a little over six minutes left in the third period. Girardi left the ice but Dandy Dan, the Iron Man, returned to play in the OT. So the Rangers are now (3-3-4), losers of seven of their last ten.

For the third straight game Anthony Duclair sat. Pray tell me what is this 19 year old learning sitting on the bench, watching the Rangers floundering? He sat in favor of Jesper Fast, a nice kid, but all defense. Just what the Rangers need, another defensive specialist. On to the next shootout!

ICINGS: The T/Birds had a rough week. Two games, two losses. A 9-1 drubbing by Smithtown and a more competitive loss, 8-5 to St. John's. Still time to turn it around.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shootout Loss to Lowly Avs

Alain Vigneault has some serious problems. No, it's not that he chose to go second in the shootout. Doesn't matter, first or second, it's still stupid. Shootouts have nothing to do with hockey, it's a skill event. How good is the shooter, how good is the goalie. No impediments, no obstacles, maybe the pipes. No, AV's problem is how to get his team, the Rangers, to play consistent hockey. Right now the Rangers are a boring, listless team to watch. They are 7-6-3. Seventeen points in sixteen games. Wow!

The Rangers have no leader on the ice. No guy to grab his teammates by their collective throats and say let's go. Oh, you might say that the leader is Lundqvist. I might agree but Henrik is the goalie and the goalie has his mind on other things while the game is going on. Like stopping the puck. You would think that guys like Nash and St. Louis or Staal would step up. But no one has. Maybe one of the young guys like Kreider or Brassard. Maybe.

Dan Boyle came back and as expected played a so so game. His power play prowess didn't come into play as the Rangers were 0-3 on the power play. Another problem AV hasn't fixed. So what else is new. Another thing. He sat Anthony Duclair, again and played Jesper Fast. Now Fast is a nice young kid, but he basically is a defensive type player. Duclair has a big potential. Shouldn't he be playing now in these early season games? Who knows, he may become the leader the Rangers so desperately need. "And a child shall lead them."

The game? Oh yes. The Rangers blew another third period lead, their fourth in the last six games, to lose to the lowly Av's 4-3. These are the same AV's who lost to the Islanders 6-0 on Tuesday. They beat the Rangers. The same Rangers who blew out the Pens 5-0 on Tuesday. Hockey! Go figure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rangers Stun Penguins

Hockey! Go figure. Here were the Rangers coming off a lost weekend, floundering at 2-3-2, completely disorganized, missing key players and what happens? They stun the Perns 5-0. The Pens! Coming in, the Penguins had seven straight wins, outscoring their opponents 32-8, having not allowed a power play goal against them in 17 chances 5-0-1 on the road, first in the Metro with 21 points, looking for revenge from last years playoff and brimming with confidence and heading for a fall.

The Garden brass put on quite a pre-game show honoring our heroic veterans, past and present. It was truly inspiring. The Rangers out did them. They put on a show that was completely stunning. Can't use that word enough. In a span of 6:24 of the first period the Rangers scored three goals to take a 3-0 lead. Bam! Bam! Bam! Zuccarello, (3), St. Louis, (5), and Klein, (3). Talk about Shock and Awe. Brassard, (6), then added a power play goal and Nash, (12) closed it out with a short handed goal. The only thing missing was a good old fashioned fight.

Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves in getting his 3rd shutout of the season and the 53rd of his career. He has a 1.74 and a save % of .950 in his last nine games. He owes part of his shutout to Tanner Glass for saving a puck on the goal line. The coach even chipped in, basically staying with the four line combinations throughout. Low ice man was Kevin Hayes 12:08. High man was Derek Stepan, 16:37. Good job coach.

At the end, Lundqvist summed it up best. "In this league it's not about being great all the time. It's about being consistent."  Last night the coach was consistent, the players were consistent and it showed in a great win and a great night honoring our veterans. Shock and Awe!

ICINGS: This Veterans Day was a reminder for me that in January I will have celebrated sixty years since my discharge from the USAF. So allow me a moment to reflect and God Bless all the Veterans, past and present, deceased and living and God Bless America!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Five Hundred and Sinking

It was hard to imagine the Rangers playing a worse game Sunday than they did Saturday , but they did. After a poor defensive performance against the Leafs, they didn't even show up against the Oilers. The Oilers are at the bottom of the Pacific, so the loss was inexcusable. However, the way the Rangers are playing they would be in trouble against any AHL team.

So what is going on here? Can anybody play this game? All along I have been optimistic about the team but optimism goes only so far. Sure, key pieces are missing and as they come back it takes a while to fit in. But what are the other twenty guys doing? Here we are fourteen games into the season and what are we? 6-6-2. And sinking. The last four games have been dreadful. The last seven is 2-3-2. Not good.

Last night's game was simple. No one showed up. The Oilers out shot us 33-21. Twenty one shots against the team that has the worst GAA in the Western Conference. In fact it's the second worse in the whole NHL. The worst is the Sabres.

This week is three games, two against the Penguins. It's time to wake up. It's time for the coaches to step it up a bit also. I know its too early to think about the standings. But think of this. The Islanders are second in the Metro with 18 points. We are tied for fifth with the Devils. Both outside the playoffs. Now that alone should wake this team up. It's never too early to get excited about a playoff position. Yogi was right.



Sunday, November 09, 2014

Giveaway Night In Canada

It was exciting to see Stepan come back and with Kreider and Zuccarrello spark the Rangers, but it wasn't exciting to see the Rangers give the game away. Actually, despite the loss, I liked the game, it was entertaining. It did keep me away from the football games, which are outstanding. However, and why is there always a however, the Rangers were a little sloppy, hence the loss. The Rangers were headed for their fourth straight OT until a soft pass, this is a family blog so I won't say what I really want to say.

We have a thing, my grandson and me. Usually before his games I text, "Remember, skate hard and have fun." He usually does. However, there we go again, there were other instructions and they were from the great Ray Bourque. "Skate hard, pass hard and shoot hard." Matt Hunwick threw a pass that a little leaguer would not attempt. I won't get on Hunwick's case because other Rangers weren't too good either. Cam Talbot, in goal, could have been a little sharper, crisper, but the kid needs more work and with Lundqvist going good it's doubtful he will get more time.

So now, all of a sudden, we are seven points behind the Pens and the two games against them next week, Tuesday at MSG, and Saturday at Pittsburgh loom large. You are right Yogi. "It's getting late early."  However, the Rangers are slowly getting whole. Stepan is back, Boyle is coming soon and so is John Moore. So why are the Rangers toying with the idea of signing Tomas Kaberle? The guy is 36 and was a so so D-man, so why the interest? Go back to sleep Stealth and leave the team alone.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Brassard Breaks the Streak

The Rangers looked like they were headed toward their third straight shootout and quite possibly their third straight loss until Derek Brassard banged in a gimmee rebound on a power play 1:50 into the OT and the Rangers beat the Red Wings 4-3. Power play goals were the thing last night as the Red Wings were 2-5, including the game tying goal with 7.7 seconds left in the game. The Rangers were 2-3, a reversal of their misfortunes.

Other Rangers scorers were Nash, 10, St. Louis, 4, and Stempniak, 3. Three stars were Nash, Hunwick and Brassard. How about Matt Hunwick, number two star? He had two assists and played a strong game. As I stated recently the defense injuries have given new guys a chance and Matt Hunwick has taken advantage and played well. It bodes well as the season progresses.

The injury situation improved as Kevin Klein and Mats Zuccarrello returned. It's reported that Dan Boyle is skating and starting to use his hand with passing and shooting, The season is still young and the Rangers are only three points behind first place Pittsburgh in the Metro.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Blanked!!

The Rangers lost a game last night, gained a point but more importantly lost two D-men to injuries, one of which could be catastrophic. First, the Rangers went to a shootout and lost it in the fourth round 2-1, thereby losing the game 1-0. Lundqvist was credited with his 52nd career shutout. Ondrej Pavelec made 38 saves to pick up the win for the Jets. The Rangers power play woes continued going 0-5. Do you really believe one guy, Dan Boyle, could fix this?

First Klein went out in the first after being hit in the foot by a Jacob Trouba shot off his foot. He is listed as day to day. Then it was McDonagh hit by a clean, but hard check by Evander Kane and suffering a shoulder separation. He's out indefinitely. The good news on all this was that the remaining four defensemen played very well. Matt Hunwick logged 27:58 and Mike Kostka 21:56. Dan Girardi logged a season high 34:50. So the good news is that the Rangers will have great depth on defense when all will be healthy.

I'll be honest, I struggled to stay with the game. It wasn't exciting and there were two big SEC football games going on. I did catch the end of both, thrillers won by Mississippi State and Auburn. There are many sports going on right now and you look for the most entertaining. Except for a few bursts there are not too many enjoyable Ranger games. How do you score five goals in one period one night and come back the next game totally powerless?

So it's St. Louis tomorrow night and it will be interesting to see who the Rangers bring up for the defense. For now, we know that Hunwick and Kostka can do their job when called on.

ICINGS: Say a prayer for Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe who suffered a stroke this past week. He is legendary, was always a fighter and now at 86 years old is putting up the biggest fight of his life. Let's give him a hand with our prayers. Get well Gordie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another Great Comeback Win

By now you have read all the stories about the big win last night. This is two big comebacks in the last three games. The first one was great, this one is unbelievable. Amazing when you think about it. Minnesota was 4-2-0 and had given up six goals in six games. Here they gave up five in one period. Actually five in 17'08. Poor Wild goalie, Darcy Kuemper, still don't know what hit. However, he knows his GAA has ballooned.

The pluses were many. Anthony Duclair, first goal of career, tying the game at 4-4. Mats Zuccarrello, his first of the year, and the game winner. Rick Nash, rolling along, with his ninth of the year. Kevin Klein, continuing his offensive surprise, his second, opening the Ranger scoring. Derick Brassard, scored his fourth, also continuing his fine offensive play.

The minuses were many also. John Moore faces a suspension for his high hit on Eric Haula. He deserves a suspension. Chris Kreider received a game suspension for his forecheck on Jonas Brodin, and may be spared a longer suspension. And how to explain the poor play for the first two periods? There have been too many poor starts. Are the coaches on their game? Can the coaches get this team up for a sixty minute game?

So now it is four days off before Winnipeg on Saturday and we still lack consistency on offense and defense. And that lack of consistency also affects the goaltending which has also lacked consistency. Plus, decisions are looming. Hold on to Duclair or send him back to Juniors? Resign Staal now or go to the end of the year with a guy whose head is not 100% in the game. It's early yet we don't want these issues to simmer. Fix them now and get this machine moving.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Revisiting The House of Horrors

I thought last year's big series win over the Canadiens would expel the demons from the House of Horrors, but I was wrong. So what else is new? Maybe it was the emotion of the moving ceremony before the game? Maybe it was the presence of Carey Price between the pipes? He is now 6-1-0 on the season and I believe 8-1 against thee Rangers. Maybe it is the fact that the Rangers are not there yet and that the loss of Stepan and Boyle are big factors in that. Whatever it is, the Rangers are not playing good hockey.

The crowd was big, as usual, and festive. They can be otherwise in defeat. Number two son was there, with three friends, courtesy of the Moulson's. He makes a couple of trips a year up there and I hesitate to blame him for the losses he seems to incur while up there. However, the Rangers did not play a very good game. Sure they outshot Montreal 35-30 but most of the meaningful play was in the Rangers zone, around Lundqvist.

The Rangers had no fore check, no sense of urgency and the coach reverted to that old bromide of constantly changing lines looking for the right combination. To get chemistry you need consistency. To get consistency you need familiarity. Stick with it. Stick with what worked before. Don't get helter skelter, change on the fly, pond hockey.

Much has been made of the poor play of Marc Staal. Solution. Sign him up to an extension before this season gets a day older. I've seen it before, players playing with other things on their mind. He is too important to the team to have him dangling. Wake up Stealth. You have all year to hibernate. Sign Staal now. Its still early, so lets clean up these little issues so we can concentrate on the big picture. The Stanley Cup.

ICINGS: The T/Birds won their second game of the season, 5-4, over E, Islip. Nicholas scored his first goal of the season on a blast from the point. The T/Birds are now 2-3. More good news. My eleven year old grand daughter, Allessandra, qualified for the junior Olympics in swimming. So Ole Gramps had a good week, despite the Rangers loss. But hang in there, it's still early.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rangers Comeback Win

Hockey is a long season, not as long as baseball, but still long. Baseball is so long a season it makes growing old seem like a cake walk. So in a long season you have some great games, good games, poor games, well, you get the idea. Sometimes you have it all in one game. Last night was one of those games. Heck, this could be a great year with more games like last night with the same results.

Krash Kreider got us on he board first with a power play goal, no less, the Rangers first in 18 attempts. Then that Old Devil, and I do mean old, Jaromir Jagr, tied it with his first of the year on a power play. The Devils liked this so much that they then scored the next two goals, Henrique and Merrill, on power plays, to take a 3-1 in the third.

The Rangers woke up with a little over ten minutes left in the game. If you don't wake up by then you are actually dead. It came with the help of the coach. Normally I don't like line changes in a game. Not excessive ones. But the coach made a big and game changing one. Chris Mueller, called up from Hartford  and playing on the fourth line was moved up to center Nash and Kreider. It paid off later with a power play goal, wow that's two, by Mueller to bring the Rangers within one. Five and a half minutes later, Nash tied it on a rebound off of Kevin Hayes. Nash's goal was his NHL leading 8th of the year. If Nash had been playing like this last year, the Cup banner would be in the Garden rafters. It's amazing what being a father can do to a man.

The game winner was a thing of joy, beauty, and grit. Kreider and Mueller sped out of the Rangers zone and caught the Devils, napping and confused. Kreider cut to the center, took two Devils with him, and fed Kevin Klein, who buried the game winner past Cory Schneider, no it's not Maaarty anymore. Klein's goal was the first goal scored by a Ranger D-man this year. So for the second game in a row a D-man has worn the Broadway Hat.

The Rangers are now off 'til Saturday when they play Le Habs in The House of Horrors. However, it is a long season and there will be many great, good, poor games. As Lou Costello said to Bud Abbot, 'sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.' The Rangers have now won three in a row. As our coach has stated, "never critique a win."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Close To Perfection

It would be hard to imagine the Rangers playing a more complete and satisfying game that they played yesterday afternoon, than the 4-0 win over a very good Sharks team. The Sharks came in tied for first in the Pacific with nine points and had shellacked the Devils the previous game and are considered a strong Stanley Cup contender. So what went right?

Everything. Lundqvist got his first shutout of the year, 51st of his career, and made 33 saves. The one he almost missed was saved by D-man Matt Hunwick, who cleared a teetering puck from the goal line early in the match that would have given the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Lundqvist was so impressed with Hunwick's effort he awarded him the Broadway Hat after the game.

It was a big night for firsts. First goal scorers were, Hagelin, St. Louis and rookie Kevin Hayes, who looks like he may blossom into a big contributor. The Rangers also set a franchise record by scoring two goals, St. Louis and Nash, in four seconds. Nash's goal was his 7th, becoming the first Ranger to score 5 goals in the season's first six games. Also, the Rangers have won 66 straight games when getting at least 4 goals. The last time the Rangers scored four goals and lost was 10/29/2011 in a 5-4 shootout loss to Ottawa.

Other good news. The Rangers were 41-21 on faceoffs. And guess what else? The coach basically stayed with the four line structure. Hayes centered Nash and Kreider. Brassard centered Zucarrello and St. Louis. Moore was moved up to the third line between Hagelin and the surprising Stempniak and Chris Mueller, promoted from Hartford centered the battering rams of Malone and Glass. Glass had six hits and Malone had five.

Anything go wrong? Yes, but minor. The power play was 0-1 and now is 0-17, the longest drought since 2003-04 that went 0-32. So we have a way to go, but as the coach is fond of saying, don't critique a win. Two big road games coming up at New Jersey and Montreal. Let's Go Rangers!

ICINGS: T/Birds were trounced 7-1 in their last game dropping them to 1-3. Still time to turn it around.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rangers Edge Canes in Shootout

I gave a sigh of relief when Nash scored the game winner in the shootout. Yeah, we won but now I could go to sleep and stop fighting it, watching a bad game between two mediocre teams. The Canes have not won a game this year and are 0-2-2. Of course they are playing without the Staal brothers, Eric and Jordan, plus Jeff Skinner, Patrick Dwyer and D-man Andrej Sekera, so their team is depleted. So what's the Rangers excuse?

The Ranger coach reverted to the tactics of his predecessors, with many line changes, some even on the fly, so it was difficult to tell who was playing with whom. Sam and Joe did a good job keeping us updated. They also did an admirable job making a poor game sound interesting. Reminded me of the 'old days' when Yankee announcer Mel Allen had the Yankees making all those great catches and hitting all those bullets, all on the radio. Then we went to TV and saw that most of the stuff was ordinary. But I digress.

However, both goalies were good. Lundqvist made 29 saves and the Cane goalie, Anton Khudobin made 33. Carolina was 0-3 on the power play, the Rangers were 0-5. For the season the Rangers are 0-16. The crowd booed the Rangers after the second period. Sam and Joe didn't mention that. Only good news folks.

But we have seen this act before. Last year we started 3-6 before turning it around. So we keep the faith and wait for the turnaround. However, it would be good to play a good game. We have had one this year and one of five is not good. Let's get it together boys. Maybe the coach had it right after the game, "Don't critique a win."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Really Going On In Rangerland?

First, an apology for posting so late after a big rivalry game. At least it used to be called a big rivalry game. So a close 2-2 game after two periods explodes into a 6-3 Islander win as they scored four goals in the third period. This is the second straight game in which the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist have given up six goals in a game.

The reason for the lateness is that I had a colonoscopy this morning. After seeing the third period last night, I vote for the colonoscopy. Yes, the defense was bad. Two huge turnovers by D-man Mike Kostka didn't help, but you usually expect Lundqvist to save the D-men from harm.

Now the Rangers have some serious problems. Number one center Stepan is out with a broken leg for at least another 8-10 games. Dan Boyle, number two pair with Staal, and hope for the power play point is out for 4-6 weeks. And Staal who is playing under par also has issues, fortunately not physical. Staal is playing with a new partner every night. Also, he is a free agent after this year and the Rangers should sign him up now and not wait til the end of the year when he will surely bolt to his brothers in Carolina. Sign him up and relieve his anxiety.

While the Rangers have found a replacement for Stepan, Martin St. Louis, they still have a hole at center. So far, they have found no replacement for Dan Boyle. Without a Boyle replacement the pressure is on Staal and Girardi and McDonagh. More ice time, more tired, more mistakes.

As for Lundqvist, I recommended in my last post that he sits against the Islanders. This was no stab in the dark. Records show that Henrik endures these slumps a couple times of the year. He bounces back best when given a game off to watch, reflect and calm down. The guy puts too much pressure on himself and sometimes over reacts.

There was some good news, however small. Nash scored two goals, (5) and (6) and Ryan Malone was finally inserted into a game and showed the coach, team and fans what he could do. In 11:39 of ice time he had two shots, five hits, was a force on the power play which was 0=3. As I have said previously, it's too early to panic, but it's not too early not to be concerned.

ICINGS: I didn't mean to make light of the colonoscopy, but if you are 40 or over I recommend you make an appointment with your gastro doctor and get a checkup. Colon cancer is the largest killer in men. However, get it checked early and it will be corrected. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's Going On?

So it was a banner raising night. A new Captain. An SRO crowd with celebrities like Tom Hanks and number two son and poof, we lay a giant egg, embarrassing ourselves and the fans, What went wrong? Everything. After a fairly even first period that ended 1-1 with a beautiful tying goal by Nash (4), off a great feed by St. Louis, it all went south.

The second period was about as bad a period the Rangers have had in moons. Outscored 5-1, out shot 19-12, and out hustled by miles, the team looked disinterested and disoriented. The five goal out burst was interrupted by Stempniak's unassisted goal. Before the period ended we were treated to the ultimate indignity. Henrik Lundqvist, the King, was pulled at the 15:31 mark. He faced 24 shots and gave up six goals. Cam Talbot came in faced 12 shots and made 12 saves. The only positive thing of the night.

It was a complete debacle and I am at a loss to explain it and would like to just write it off as a bad game and let it go. However, Saturday night was also a bad game and that raises the prospect of maybe we are not as good as I thought we would be. The old bugaboo, the power play, was 0-2. The penalty kill that was 9-9 in the first two games was 2-4. Not a good sign.

The Islanders, 2-0, and red hot, are coming in Tuesday and maybe another critical test this early in the season. Go with Talbot after a hot third period and give Lundqvist the night off to clear his head? Or come back with the King who will be looking for redemption? I say go with Talbot and rest Lundqvist. However, if we don't improve our play it wouldn't matter who is in the nets. So let's give it another day and see if it gets better. It's too early to panic.

ICINGS:

Congratulations!

Tweet from Larry Brooks...
 ·  1:45pm

It's a boy for Jessica and Rick Nash!

Now where can you find toughness and intensity?

 retweeted

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blue Jackets Wack Rangers

The bad news was the Rangers got clobbered, 5-2, by the Blue Jackets. The good news. It's only the second game of the season. The game brought up the Rangers team biggest weakness. Toughness. Actually the lack of toughness. The goaltending is good, despite Cam Talbot's off night. The defense is good but it lacks a tough D-man, ala, Jeff Beukaboom, who kept the opposing forwards honest. Even a Bill Moe would help, but I'm biased.

I saw an article that said the coach, Vigneault, didn't know what to do with Ryan Malone. I have an idea for him, Play him. Play him on one of the top three lines. Play him to protect our skill players. Don't play him on the fourth line for 5-7 minutes, get into a fabricated fight and sit on the bench for most of the game. Put him on with Brassard and Zuccarello. Send a message that our skill players will be protected.

Defense is another story. There is no tough D-man in the Ranger system unless we have one in Jackass Flats, Utah. So go out and get one. Any ideas? The Blue Jackets manhandled the Rangers. The box score says they out hit us 29-28. Huh? Some of our hits most have been on the babes in the rows behind the bench.

There was good news. Anthony "Duke" Duclair picked up two assists and Nash scored his third goal in two games. Supposedly we out shot Columbus 26-24, but they must have counted the shots the Rangers had in the bar before the game.

Like I said before it was only the second game. Tonight it's the Garden opener against fellow original six foe, Toronto Maple Leafs. They will raise the Eastern Conference Banner and then we will see if the "toughness" issue gets worse, improves or we need help. One way or another it should be a good night

Let's go Rangers!

ICINGS: T/Birds won their first game of the year, 6-3. They have played three straight tough games and are now 1-2. Keep plugging guys.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Nash And Krash

My mother had a saying, actually she had many, and one of them was, "When one door closes, another door opens." The closed door was Derek Stepan's injury. No problem. The door opened and in skated ole vet, Martin St. Louis, and flanked by Rick Nash and Chris Kreider, led the Rangers to an opening night win, 3-2, over a tough St. Louis Blues team. St. Louis had two assists, Nash, two goals and one assist and Kreider had a goal and an assist. Not bad for a patchwork line.

Meanwhile, another door closed with the loss of Dan Boyle due to a broken hand, blocking a shot, and he will miss 4-6 weeks. The Rangers recalled Michael Kostka from Hartford and he will compete with Matt Hunwick for the sixth spot. "One door closes, another door opens."

Nash scored the opening goal to give the Rangers the lead and then scored the last with 1:50 to play in the game. Sandwiched in between was Kreider's breakaway goal on a nifty feed from Nash. Prior to Nash's game winner, Zuccarrello was called for tripping with 5:34 left to play. Here is where Lundqvist shone, stopping three power play shots.

So now it's on to Columbus where Nash will meet up with old friends and hopefully keep it going. Cam Talbot might be in the nets and we will see how wide open that door gets with Dan Boyle's replacement. "One door closes, another door opens."

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Rangers celebrate goal score versus St. Louis

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Rangers Ready to Rock n Roll

The Rangers prepare to open their 89th season with more optimism than any season since 1995-96, following their first Cup in 54 years. Buoyed by their strong run last year, the Rangers are poised to take it all the way this year and hoist the coveted Cup at the Garden.

A combination of veterans and young prospects are the reasons for the great optimism. The Rangers have never had quite the number of young guns that are primed to make the Rangers a quicker, more explosive team. Anthony "Duke" Duclair, Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller, plus Kreider, Hagelin and Zuccarrelo add speed and juice to the veterans. St. Louis should profit from a full season and hope springs eternal that Rick Nash will resurrect himself.

Of course we have the biggest money goalie in the NHL, Henrik Lundqvist, and a great backup in Cam Talbot. The defense is solid and while Stralman is a loss I believe Dan Boyle would add offense to the power play and as Marc Staal's partner. Staal becomes a free agent after this year and we should sign him before he jumps to his brothers in Carolina.

Congrats to Ryan McDonagh on his Captaincy as he anchors a solid defense that could well be the best in the NHL. I look for the Rangers to make strong runs at the top spot in the Metro and the Stanley Cup.

Let's Go Rangers!

ICINGS: The T/Birds have lost their first two games of the season by 4-3 scores. Nicholas is now firmly entrenched as a defenseman and his play has been solid. Its a long season and we look for a rebound. Lets Go T/Birds!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hey, Hockey's Back

It's official, the summer is over. We closed our pool last week. We don't have to worry about baseball postseason. The Mets took care of that in May, the Yanks made us suffer a little bit longer in a very mediocre AL. Now its time to concentrate on hockey. What do you know? When it looked like everything was going to be cool, Derek Stepan breaks a leg. He had a bad foot and you wonder why a guy with a bad foot would do a workout drill and lo and behold, snap, crackle pop. But whatever.

This would be a good time for a guy like JT Miller to step up and show what he can do. I think the Rangers have a good chance to make another strong run. We lost a couple of good guys like Stralman and a good leader in Richards. However, it looks like Dan Boyle will fit in very nicely along side Marc Staal and Ryan Malone may surprise us all by being that tough big forward we're always looking for.

The defense is solid, the goaltending is golden and look for a revitalized offense from Nash and St. Louis. I had a very good summer. Anyhow, look for another strong run. Should be a good 2014-2015 season. Let's Go Rangers!

ICINGS: The T/Birds open their season tonight. Nicholas, who missed most of last year with a shoulder separation is back with the JV. The coaches are upbeat about the season, which opens tonight. Nicholas will play at his normal defense this year. Go T/Birds

Friday, August 15, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge



CBS Sports: Henrik Lundqvist executes best-dressed Ice Bucket Challenge
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ICINGS:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rangers – Comings and Goings

When you look at the Rangers off season moves it may look a little jaded in the fact that more have left and few have replaced. Gone are Pouliot, Stralman, Boyle, Dorsett and Richards. New are Dan Boyle, some tough guy named Tanner Glass and a few players that seem to fit in well in Hartford.

Don't sweat it. Stralman may be a loss but a healthy Dan Boyle will more than make up for it. Brian Boyle and Dorsett leave the fourth line but Dominic Moore is signed, Dan Cartcillo could fill in and who knows what this Tanner Glass will bring. Richards was destined for somewhere else and Pouliot was the ultimate enigma, either strong offensively or stupid defensively. $4 mil per seems like an awful lot of money for Pouliot, but good luck with it and enjoy.

Arbitration wise the Rangers have to close the deals on Brassard, Zuccarello, Kreider and John Moore, all crucial to the Rangers success. Rememberr, that a young, eager JT Miller is ready to sprout his wings this year and young Swede, Oscar Lindberg could be a big surprise. So I am optimistic that the Rangers led by Henrik Lundqvist will do quite well this year and make another run for the Cup.

ICINGS:

Number two son, aided by his friends will host the Fourth Annual Cocktails With A Cause on Tuesday July 15th from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the STK Rooftop Downtown in Manhattan. The fundraiser is to support cancer treatment programs at St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children in Queens. In its first three years the program has raised more than $600,000 for St. Mary's Hospital for Children.

The event will feature celebrity guest appearances by actor Steve Baldwin, former Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether and ABC 7 Eyewitness News entertainer reporter Sandy Kenyon. Also noted brain specialist, Philip DeFina, the founder, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of the International Brain Research Foundation Inc, will deliver the evenings keynote address which will focus on brain injuries.

Tickets are $200 for the event which includes open bar, food and a DJ and a chance to bid on a variety of prizes. $175 of the fee is tax deductible. If you are in the area, try to make it. If you can't make it and wish to support it, any donation, none too small will be appreciated.

Send whatever you can, nothing too small to:

Gail Fass
Director, Income Development
St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children
S. Dakota Drive, Suite 200
New Hyde Park, NY 11042
718-281-8816
www.StMarysCocktails.org

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Refs Rob Rangers

For the second time in three games at Staples Center the NHL officials lived up to their reputation as the worst officiating in all sports and determined the outcome of a game. With the Rangers up 2-1 in the third, in pivotal game five, there was a collision near the boards where the King skater clearly put his leg out and tripped Zuccarello. The cross eyed ref called the penalty on Zuccs and lo and behold Gaborik scored the tying goal which eventually forced the game into two OT's and a Ranger loss when Martinez scored the game winner.

Needless to say the NHL highlights this am are glossing over the incident. Bettman's boys, and girls, know who pays them. You remember the first bad call. Brown sitting on Lundqvist while the Kings score a goal. No other sport would tolerate these missed and bad calls. This series should be back in New York for game six with the Rangers up 3-2.

But congratulations to the Kings. They are a big, tough, hard skating team. I'ts not their fault they had some help on the ice. It's the breaks. For the Rangers, the breaks were all bad.

The Rangers also should be congratulated. They gave it their all. Lundqvist was heroic. The defense, tired and battered, left it all on the ice. The offense, with a little bit of luck, might have won it with excellent chances by Kreider, Nash and McDonagh. But playing a tough team with aid from the officials was just too much for the Rangers to overcome. Maybe the Kings should have gotten a penalty for too many men on the ice.

More to come. In the meantime, great job Rangers. We are proud of you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

LUNDQVIST!!!

I said the other day that the Rangers needed to win one for the King and last night they produced with two big plays. No, it wasn't Benoit Pouliot's opening goal off a point shot by John Moore on an expiring power play and it wasn't Marty St. Louis's game winner off some gritty work by Chris Kreider. It was two defensive gems that will live in the lore of Ranger history as this team moves further into the playoffs.

First it was Anton Stralman who stopped and cleared a puck that was dancing along the goal line with Jeff Carter ready to bury it. Then it was Derek Stepan, with the aid of snow, that was generated by the acrobatics of Lundqvist, that hand passed a puck, sitting on the goal line, back to the King. To add another element the coach 'tweaked' his lines a bit. He moved Brad Richards to the fourth line and promoted the dynamic Dominic Moore to center Kreider and St. Louis. That move paid off big with the game winning goal. Nice job coach.

But it was Lundqvist who was the star of the game. Forty saves, count them, forty. The only goal was on a breakaway by Dustin Brown when Dan Girardi broke his stick. After that, it was, thou shall not score on my team. The Rangers were out shot 41-19 and 15-1 in the third period. So if you thought the ice was tilted it was. It was one hell of a game. I saw it at home with number one son, grandson and wife. Number two son was at his usual seat in section 210.

This game was a classic for the ages courtesy of Lundqvist and friends. Is it the start of something big with a big comeback or just a bump in the road for Los Angeles? It says here it's the start of something big and the new revamped lineup will bring us back for game six. No long predictions, one game at a time.

Let's go Rangers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Win One For The King

No, its not like "win one for the Gipper," our guy is alive and well and he needs help. Let's stop talking about being on the brink and start talking about winning one game. Yes to be down 3-0 is daunting but the Kings in this playoff series came off the floor, 0-3, in the opening round, and won four straight. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs came back from 0-3 in the finals and won four straight. That's the key. Forget the past and just win four straight, one at a time. And Lundqvist is owed this.

After a slow start to the season, the King has carried the Rangers into the playoffs and into the finals. Without Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers do not make the playoffs. So now it's time for the Rangers to show up and win it for the King. This has been a rough series for Lundqvist. The refs blew game two with the non-call of interference of King on the King. The NBC so called analysts have inferred all along that Lundqvist was being out played by Jonathan Quick. The height of absurdity was reached in game one when Lundqvist made 20 saves in the third period, Quick made three, and all Milbury and Jones talked about was the game saver from Quick. So, no respect for the King.

But, the worst is the so called fans. Are they jumping off the bandwagon? All around me Monday night there were rumblings on the three goals scored by the Kings. Well the first was redirected by Girardi past Lundqvist. The second was redirected by St. Louis by Lundqvist. The third was a two on one by the Kings and the pass went off a Rangers skate back to the passer who put it in a wide open net. I've said it before, most of Lundqvist's problems are the guys in front of him wearing Ranger Blue.

So let's get back on the bandwagon. Let's back this team to the hilt. Look at the thrills they have given us. Beat the hated Flyers in seven. Came back from a 1-3 hole to beat the whiney Pens. And finally eliminating the haughty and verbose Canadiens in six. So hold our heads up. This is a great run and its not over yet. Get back on the bandwagon before it passes you by. Let's Go Ranger fans. Lets Go Rangers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vigneault, Richards Doom Rangers

You could sense it in the reaction of the crowd. It was loud prior to the game, but when the game started the crowd became eerily subdued waiting for something. At first we thought we were waiting for a Ranger explosion, but soon discovered it was the implosion we were awaiting. Near the end of the first period the Rangers went on a power play and guess what? Out came Brad Richards. The PP sputtered and at the end Carter rifled a shot off Giradi past Lundqvist and it was 1-0 at the buzzer. The crowd surrendered.

The Kings were to score two more goals, one off of Marty St. Louis and the Rangers continued to sputter on the power play five more times, all lead by Richards, going 0-6 and sealing their fate. Richards didn't miss a shift and in his ineptitude he continued the malaise of St. Louis and Carl Hagelin who looked like spectators.

Don't let the Ranger shot total fool you, Quick made 32 saves. The Rangers were outplayed and Richards and others talking about lucky and bad bounces was an effort to mute their inferior play. The coach, Vigneault, added to the defeat. Not once in the sixty minutes did he make one line change. Not once. You think maybe moving St. Louis and Hagelin, two of the biggest producers in the playoffs, might have changed something. Nada. Zilch. Also, not once during the power play did he not start Richards at center for the faceoff and then move to the point. I don't believe he won a single faceoff and was totally useless on the power play.

I mentioned in the previous blog of the ineffectiveness of Richards on the power play and how his play was hurting his linemates St. Louis and Hagelin. Well last night is was all there to see. But its more than that. The team did not come out with fire or passion. I believe we got four shots in the first period. They took the crowd out of the game. I can say with all honesty that in all my years of going to playoff games this is the worst I have ever see a Ranger team play. It surely was the worst since the 1994 playoffs.

But what's surprising about missing fire and passion? Game two was lost when the refs blew an interference call against Lundqvist. The coach's comment was something akin to asking the NHL. No outrage. Pierre Maguire, the NBC analyst, in between the benches ranted that the no call was bad and cost the Rangers the game. But no comment from our coach. Maguire's job may well be in jeopardy next season. So now we are down 3-0 and we will hear the usual crap, about winning one at a time and going shift by shift. The Rangers are in a deep hole, partly their fault, partly the officials.

I would say, and last night added to the confirmation, is that the NHL is the worst officiated sport of all the major sports. The NHL officials influence the outcome of NHL games more than any other official in any other sport. I dare say the World Wrestlng Association referees have as much credibility as the NHL officials. The best, most exciting sport in the world, has the worst officials in the world. So game four, and maybe the last one, will be Wednesday. What do you want to bet that our fearless coach comes out with the same lineups and uses Richards on the power play. Brad Richards is considered the de facto Captain of the Rangers. Last night the de facto Captain and the coach showed no leadership and no ability to change things when they are going right.

Let's see what kind of a crowd shows up Wednesday, if even a crowd shows up. One more thing. Rumblings around us of how Lundqvist should have made the saves on the King's goals especially the first one. Well two of the three went off Rangers and the third was no shot to stop. Let's understand one thing. This Ranger team has picked up its game in the playoffs, but Lundqvist after an early slump, has been solid all year. If not for Lundqvist the Rangers would not have been in the playoffs. Its as simple as that. Fans should remember that and not get caught in the moments of any particular game. He is the true leader of this team. In fact he is the de facto Captain.

ICINGS: The Pundit does not get around as good as he used to, so I have to rely on the disability facilities that an arena offers. Last night the Garden failed. The elevators that were highlighted to be used for disabled persons had a line a mile long and we had to keep trying other elevators. Well it seemed that the reasons the lines were long was that the elevators had to be used for the press. That's a good move. Take care of the press and that guarantees a good story about your team even when it falls flat on its face as it did last night.

Monday, June 09, 2014

The Rangers Need A Little Tweak

Looking forward to tonight's game, and I surely am, the Rangers all have to show up and give it their all for no matter how long it takes. So far they have, but unfortunately, and whatever the reasons, they have missed out at the end. It's fair to say while the Rangers have gone toe to toe with the Kings they weren't clicking on all cylinders. So hence, some changes, minor, but needed.

The number one concern is the Richards-St. Louis-Hagelin line. Richards has this line bogged down. Hagelin has scored on breakaways and St. Louis on the power play, but for most of the games the line has trouble getting out of its own zone. Reader 'unknown' makes a good point and suggestion. Shift Nash to this line and put St. Louis on with Stepan and Kreider. Kreider is a crasher and Nash while not scoring has been physical. Hence, one physical player on each line. One scorer, St.Louis with Stepan and Hagelin with Richards.

Also, take Richards off the power play. He is the supposed quarterback. Use two defensemen on the power play. Girardi and McDonagh, with McDonagh the quarterback. Stralman and Staal with Staal the quarterback. Two D-men on the power play also lessens the chance of a shorthanded goal by the Kings. And by the way, shoot the puck from the point.

The last two games have been blown in the OT's by D-Men having costly turnovers that have led to the Kings game winners. Both Girardi and McDonagh logged over thirty minutes in the games. Now with the games going into OT that seems normal however maybe better utilization early might alleviate the problems at the end. Both John Moore and Klein have gotten less than twenty minutes in these long games. They both are capable and make a decent combo. How about jacking up their ice time early so that the McDonagh's. Giradis and Staals are more rested at the end. Just a thought. One more thing. We have to be tougher and more effective in the neutral zone. We can't allow the Kings to come unimpeded through center ice and then having a battle royal in our defensive zone. They shoot from any and all angles, cause havoc in front of the net and cause undue stress upon Lundqvist. We have to counter that and counter it witha vengence. The best defense is a good offense.

So tonight we find out if we are truly a contender or was this just a nice run by a team that over achieved. I like to think that we are truly a contender and tonight starts the road back. But let's make these small changes that will erase the Kings advantages so far.

Let's Go Rangers!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Rangers Blow It in OT, Again

Before we go into panic mode here, after the Rangers blew two goal leads, three times, remember this. The only thing the LA Kings have done is hold serve. Yes, they are up two games to none. Yes, it's the third straight game they have wiped out two goal deficits. Yes. its the third straight OT win they have in these playoffs. But now the venue changes. Now it moves to the Garden. I know, the Kings are a great road team but they will be playing in front of a hostile crowd including the Pundit and number two son.

This was a great game and to be honest, the Rangers had no luck in this one. The opening King goal, which revived them was off of a turnover by Brad Richards, who was awful all night. He put a damper on his line all night. Martin St. Louis scored on a power play on a shot that was the goal of the night. In the end, Richards was on the ice losing key faceoffs. It definitely was not his night. He made his line ineffective. The other big turnover was by Ryan McDonagh which led to Gaborik's tying goal which sent the game into the first OT. McDonagh did score the opening goal, put up a ton of ice time, and generally played well.

 As so often happens in these big games the officials decided the outcome. King's goal early in the third was scored with Greene laying atop Lundqvist, making the score 4-3. Lundqvist argued to no avail. At the least the goal should have been waved off. Maybe in New York we get the call. Maybe.

The game was fairly even. The Kings out shot the Rangers 44-38. Hits were Rangers 51-50. Faceoffs was Kings 51%-49%. The stat with the biggest discrepancy was giveaways. The Kings gave it up 33 times and the Rangers 15 times. You would have thought the Rangers would take advantage of that but they didn't. Power plays were Rangers 1-5, Kings were `1-4. So close stats like that make it a fairly even game but then the refs blow one, at least, and it effects the game. And I think of all the commotion when Kreider 'accdently on purpose' hit Price. Back to the Garden. Time for the Rangers to step up and hold serve.

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Gangs Gotta Be All Here

Number two son just checked in from LA and informed me that the champagne is on ice in California. Its all over. Across the hockey world an assundry of so called experts. i.e. analysts, reporters, ex coaches, Pundits, not me guys, are all predicting doom and gloom. The LA Kings are officially anointed the greatest team that hockey has ever seen. They have size. Not since Goliath has there been such size. They have strength. Coimbination of Superman and Hercules. They have intelligence. Combination of Edison and Einstein. They can score goals. Only the combination of Wayne Gretsky and Gordie Howe have come close. And if you listen to the NBC analysts after Lundqvist had stopped 20 shots and his team put only three on LA in the third period, the LA goaltending surpasses the antics of Plante, Dryden and Roy by just showing up. So its all over. Call in the French to help us raise the white flag of surrender. But is it over? Those experts that I listed above all have ideas, which we have heard a couple of hundred times. Nash has to get going. St. Louis has to shoot more. Nash has to get going. Stepan has to hold on to the puck more and shoot. Nash has to get going. Pouliot has to stop taking stupid penalties. Nash has to get going. McDonagh has to get involved in the offense. Nash has to get going. Lundqvist has to step it up and stop being outplayed by his rival goaltender. That one was sent in by someone at Pilgrim State Hospital. And oh yes. Nash has to get going. My post's title refers to a great 20th Century Fox film in the 40's about a group of people involved in a couple of love triangles that get more complicated every minute in an hour and a half movie and then with the grace of Hollywood everyone pulls together in the last ten minutes, everyone finds the right partner and live happily ever after. The film stars the beautiful Alice Faye singing torch songs. She is aided by the dynamic Carmen Miranda with her tutti frutti hats rolls everyone over. Three great character actors, Edward Evert Horton, Eugene Pallette and Charlotte Greenwood are in the supporting cast and keep it light and lively. To top it off the number one band in the land Benny Goodman, knocks them out, as they say. So whats the point Pundit? Another trip down memory lane. Well, sorta. It goes back to what I have written many a time. The Rangers have to play a sixty minute hockey game. The gangs gotta pull together. The Gang is gotta show up. The Gangs All Here. While its sixty or 75 or 90 show up. Maybe you only get ten, ala Dorsett, then give it the best ten you have in you. Maybe its 27, Girardi. Then give it the best 27 you have in you. Whatever it is give it the full allotment of time. The Gangs All Here. Remember Dewey beat President Truman in the 1948 election. The USA hockey team was "steamrolled" by the Russian Army team in 1980. The Yankees had champaigne turn into seltzer water as the Red Sox won four straight after being down 0-3. Its only 0-1 folks. This is LA we are playing not the Canadiens of the 40's and 50's. We have a heck of a hockey team. We have the greatest goalie in the game. So show up Rangers. Show up as a team for 60 minutes. So maybe, maybe, we can get Nash going. See what happens when you get too much time on your hands. Lets Go Rangers. Usurp the Kings.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Rangers Give It Away

It was not a good night and a worse later night. First, the Rangers gave the LA Kings the opening game and then the computer was giving me fits. But computers get fixed and hopefully so do the Rangers. After all you only have seven games, now six, to win four games and the elusive Cup.

The Rangers started out like a house on fire scoring two goals in 1:43 on breakaways by Pouliot and Hagelin, Hagelin a shorthanded. Then they flamed out and did mostly nothing else. Oh, there was Boyle alone in front, but no cigar and it was all downhill from then. St. Louis was stopped on a breakaway and so was Hagelin. It seemed the only way the Rangers would score was on breakaways.

The Rangers were out shot 43-27 and out hit 45-33. So how come it was so close and I am saying we gave it away. Simple. Lundqvist. Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves. In the third period the Rangers were out shot 20-3. Yes, no typo, 20-3. And there were the idiots on NBC extolling the great saves of Jonathan Quick, who made all of 25 saves. Lundqvist didn't even get an honorable mention in the stars of the game.

It was Dan Girardi who made the final gaffe that led to the winning goal. Maybe too much ice time, 27:25, maybe. Maybe it was Derek Stepan who insisted on not shooting the puck, one shot, no matter how close to the net he was. Maybe it was Rick Nash, again, who in big games continues to come up small. Maybe it was the power play with another 0-3 blanking.

Whatever it was it has to be fixed and fixed now. We can't go home down 2-0 with the hopes of rallying. The Kings are too good a team. They are good, big, tough and tonight lucky. So back to the drawing board, back to basics. Let's get that forecheck going and let's use our speed to our advantage.

ICINGS: Saddened by the death of a great sports person, Don Zimmer. Many years part of the Yankee success. Don was 83. Condolences and prayers to the Zimmer family.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Climbing Aboard the Rangers' Bandwagon

Nice job out of the Wall Street Journal and Melanie West for doing some investigative reporting and finding some true blue Rangers fans to help put this Stanley Cup Finals in perspective.


Rangers' Bandwagon Gets Crowded as Stanley Cup Finals Approaches -- Team's Unlikely March to Finals Has Swept Up a Crush of New Fans

"New York has taken on the aura of a small-town city, getting really wrapped up in their team," said Michael Savino, 83, of West Islip, N.Y. He has been a Rangers fan since 1938 and writes the Ranger Pundit blog.

He welcomes all the Johnny-come-lately fans. "The more, the merrier," he said.

The Rangers, Mr. Savino said, have always been one of the city's scrappiest teams in their 88 years.

"The rascals," he called them, "fighting their way to respectability." ...
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Rangerstown Hockey House - 33rd Street and 7th Ave
The Rangerstown Hockey House at MSG pulling in the fans
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Time to hurry up and play, before Hank's playoff beard turns full white and he starts looking like a Norse god instead of his normal Viking Kingship.

Newsday:
Watch Henrik Lundqvist's beard grow throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs

Henrik Lundqvist grows a playoff beard

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However, the bandwagon in Las Vegas is for the LA Kings, the bookies are all climbing aboard.

Sporting News:
Stanley Cup Finals odds – Vegas believes in Kings -- Bookmaker explains his pricing
With home-ice advantage when the series begins on Wednesday, the Kings are solid favorites to take home the Cup, priced at -165 at the LVH SuperBook. The Rangers are the +145 underdog.

“If the teams were equal, the home team would be about -130,” LVH manager Ed Salmons told The Linemakers on Sporting News, when asked to explain why he priced the series the way he did. “The Kings are going to be around -155 or -150 for Game 1. So the thought is the Kings are a bit better than the Rangers.”
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Kings -165
Rangers +145

What the above odds mean is that L.A. Kings bettors have to risk $165 to win $100, while NY Rangers bettors risk $100 to win $145.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Rangers To Lord It Over Kings

Well my prognosis went awry when the Kings stormed back to beat the Black Hawks in OT. I had it set up for an original six showdown for the Cup. So instead of the stock market vs the stock yards we have affable Alain Vigneault vs sad sack looking Darryl Sutter. OMG, does this guy ever smile? Granted he is no disagreeable, but the guy always looks like he is constipated.

This is the powerhouse LA Kings vs those Eastern Conference rascals, the New York Rangers. The Kings have the top point scorer in the playoffs, Anze Kopitar with 24 points. Then they have Gaborik, Williams and Doughty with 19, 18 and 16 before St. Louis and Stepan show up with 13 points each. Same thing with goals. Gaborik is the leader with 12, followed by Carter, Williams and Toffoli with 9, 7 and 7. St. Louis and Carl Hagelin have 6 goals each. So the power goes to the Kings.

Goalies is a different story. Lundqvist leads the playoff pack with .928 save %, has a 2.03 GAA and one shutout. Jonathan Quick, the Kings goalie has a .906 save % and a 2.86 GAA and one shutout. And therein lies the biggest difference. The King will lord it over the Kings.

Both teams have had dramatic wins in this playoff. The Kings came back from a 0-3 hole to sweep the Ducks in the opening round. The Rangers came back from a 1-3 hole to sweep the Pens out of the playoffs. The Kings last won the Cup in 2012. The Rangers last Cup was twenty years ago, 1994. The teams split two regular season games so the match should be a tossup.

I'm picking the Rangers in six, to hoist the Cup at the Garden before the faithful. Reader McPhilly wants to know if it is going to be Lambrusco or Chablis? Well, I am kind of a Cabernet type of guy, but I think for this occasion a nice cold brewski will do better. My favorite has always been a Bass Ale. However, for this occasion an American brew would be more appropriate. I like the Pennsylvania beer, Yuengling.  The local Brooklyn Ale might do it.

The Rangers have strong chemistry with this team. The St. Louis tragedy has united the team and after sitting out all of last year because of his wife's death, Dominic Moore is playing with a passion and a purpose not seen around here in a decade. I definitely see a resurgence in guys like Kaiser and Nash. So get it ready. Chill a couple of bottles of wine or cool a keg, either way the Rangers will hoist the Cup.

It says here, the Rangers in six. The Broadway parade will be headed by King Henrik and his entire crew before their adoring fans. And the peasants cheered. Go Rangers, beat the Kings.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We Want The Cup!

It was about as tense and nerve wracking a game could be and in the end the Rangers speed and defense and goal tending were much too much for Le Habs. Lundqvist made 18 saves and now is the franchise leader in playoff games won with 42. Yes, it was only 1-0 but the Rangers did have control of the game and would have broken it open if not for the heroics of Canadien goalie Dustin Tokarski, who made 31 saves, many spectacular. What a bounce back win after the debacle in Montreal.

The game winner was scored by 4th line center Dominic Moore, like St. Louis, going through a range of emotions this playoff season. The philosophy of coach Alain Vigneault to play four lines, paid off. Tonight the Rangers four lines pressured the Canadien D and you could see the D-men tiring in the third period. It was interesting that AV started the 4th line to open the game and they applied immediate pressure.

Subban was brilliant, playing 27:04 and leading his team with four shots on goal. Near the end it looked like he was out of gas. Dustin Tokarski, the rookie replacement, kept his team in the game. Brandon Prust and Derek Stepan hugged in the line shake, which was good. It was interesting that the Rangers posed with The Prince Of Wales Trophy and would you believe not one of them touched it. It's the next one they want and everyone will touch and kiss and proudly display it.

So the team that was down 1-3 to Pittsburgh when tragedy struck as ST. Louis lost his mother at the young age of 63 looked finished. However, it seemed to rally around that heart ache and swept Pittsburgh and then Montreal winning seven of the last nine. We await the winner of Los Angeles and Chicago. It is the Rangers first Stanley Cup appearance since the 1994 Champs.

We want the Cup. Let's go get it. Let's Go Rangers!