Friday, November 13, 2009

"Hi. This is Adam Graves."

That is the way the conversation started. I picked up the phone and lo and behold it was Adam Graves calling to find out how I was doing and would I be visiting the Garden soon. He had found out that I was ill and on behalf of the entire Ranger crew he was wishing me well. I forgot to ask if that included The Stealth, but Adam is too nice a guy for me to hit him with that. We talked Rangers for about 10 to 15 minutes and while we were kind of optimistic we both agreed the Rangers needed to get tougher, especially on the defense. We parted making a tentative date for dinner at the Garden Club. Having met Adam at the Ranger facility upstate at my Grandson's camp, the phone call solidified my opinion of Adam Graves as one of the nicest guys in sports. The phone call was followed up two days later by a basket of cookies designed as a floral piece. The cookies were in the shapes of pucks, players, nets, etc.

The Rangers? They continue to flounder after getting off to a fast start. It's obvious that one player cannot carry a hockey team. Gaborik is a wonderful hockey player, but the only thing he ensures right now is that the Rangers don't get shut out. And while they need another scorer, there are too many playing poorly and Sean Avery is completely out of whack. He has no spark, no bite, no chip on the shoulder attitude. Tortorella has succeeded in neutering Sean Avery. The defense? Good news is that it's a young defense, except for the R & R duo. The bad news. They are, as a unit, soft, and they give up the puck too easily, especially in the neutral zone. They should get younger by bringing up Sanguinetti and find a way to jettison Rozsival. Enough is enough.

Finally, their rock, Henrik Lundqvist, has shown signs of cracking. He seems to be tired, suffering some minor injuries, and has let in too many soft goals. However, if he is tired now what is going to happen when he goes to the Olympics and returns for the home stretch? Tortorella looks safe regardless of the Rangers finish, which right now looks like no playoffs. Right now the Rangers are the worst team in the East division and the attendance, or lack of it, shows. You have the spectacle of Sam Rosen hawking tickets for future games and the Garden claiming capacity crowds. My sources tell me about the thousands of empty seats at the Garden. Another long season as my summer of discontent turns into a winter full of disappointments and disasters.

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  • jb said...

    Great to have you back, Mike. The team needs a lift. They're struggling and Gaborik is carrying them on his back.

  • Scotty Hockey said...

    What a nice thing for Adam to do, but it seems like par for the course. Even nicer is that you are doing better Mike!!!

  • mike said...

    Scotty Hockey-Thanks for your warm thoughts Scotty.

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