Sunday, January 31, 2010

Part Time Players

Want to know why the Rangers are Dregs? Because, they can't play sixty minutes of hockey. Maybe a few can. Maybe Avery, Staal, Callahan, Dubinsky, Lundqvist and Gaborik. Maybe. Last night they did their usual and came out flat in the first period and allowed the young Yotes to swarm all over the young goalie, Chad Johnson, for three quick goals. Maybe he let one easy one in. Maybe. Girardi and Del Zotto were on for all three goals.

They took seven penalties. Seven stupid penalties. Michal Rozsival was the leader with three, a hat trick you might say. Why is this guy still on this team? Of course you could ask that question of quite a few of the players. You could ask why is Chris Drury still the captain of this team? Fortunately, the penalty killers were perfect killing all seven Coyote power plays. But seven is seven too many and disrupts the flow of the offense. You might say what offense, since they 'generated' all of 26 shots on goal, including all of four in the first period.

They closed the gap in the third with goals by Gaborik (30) and Avery (6) but as usual, too little, too late. Their last chance came with a little over a minute to go when Gabby almost scored a shorthanded goal but his shot kissed off the post. But Rangers have been hitting posts and crossbars since Bones Raleigh made in fashionable back in the 1950 playoffs. It is the Rangers lot in life to hit posts and crossbars when games are on the line.

I firmly believe that 1994 was an aberration. That Cup was solely won on the grit and determination of one man, Mark Messier. He willed it. He demanded it. He made it happen. What we are watching today is a normal Ranger team of fat cats, making too much money with no loyalty to the team or its fans. They are following the lead of their coach who disrespects sports writers and has disdain for the fans. Too bad he doesn't vent that anger toward the Stealth GM but he can't because they are two peas in a pod.

I am sick and tired of this team and their lackadaisical approach to every game they play and how they play it. They are cheating the fans who are paying top dollar to see sub par efforts and results. It has never changed over the years except for that one magical year when The Messiah arrived. All the rest of the years have been the same from Frankie Boucher's Ice Follies to this collection of misfits.

Want another stat to convince you of the futility of this team. The power play was 0-3. In the last five games, all losses, the PP is 0-16. In the last 17 games the PP is 6-67. The defense rests. I should have stayed in bed this morning.

The Dolan Touch

James Dolan and the Dolan TouchJames Dolan is clueless. Sure, you knew that already. But if you needed any more evidence just look at the debacle that is Newsday. A languishing newspaper that Dolan paid $650 million for in 2008.

Poor Ranger beat writer Steve Zipay, for example, has been ignored and in lock down mode for months. Steve who? That guy we used to read almost every day, but since last October he disappeared behind Newsday's worthless subscription service. A subscription service that through its first three months, only 35 non-Optimum, non-Newsday subscribers have signed up for.

The Dolan touch is lethal. Remember that Cablevision once purchased the New York-area electronics chain The Wiz, before closing it.

The Rangers only real long term hope seems to be if Dolan and Cablevision sell the MSG properties, including the Rangers, and they escape the miserable clutches of the Dolans.

NY Observer:
After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions for Newsday's Web Site -- In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site,, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a pay wall, so in media circles it has been followed with interest. Could its fate be a sign of what others, including The New York Times, might expect?

So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to

The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.

That astoundingly low figure was revealed in a newsroom-wide meeting last week by publisher Terry Jimenez...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Dregs

I have been referring to the weak teams that we were beating as the dregs. Guess what folks? We, the New York Rangers, are the dregs. How else to explain the last four losses. We are now one point ahead of 13th place Tampa Bay and with a tough three game road trip coming up there seems to be no end in sight. Right now the Dregs, er the Rangers, would be hardpressed to beat a good AHL team.

What we all feared has happened. Henrik Lundqvist is a human and he is starting to collapse. We have a backup goalie but he is in Hartford. We got a replacement for him and then we sent him back and got another backup. What difference does it make to have these backups if they are going to spend their time shuttling back and forth to Hartford or sitting on the bench?

Of course our coach has as much love for the bench as he has hate for the sports writers and the fans. He needs a Dale Carnegie course. Last night it was Redden, again, who spent most of the game on the bench. Now I have no love for Redden, but if making mistakes that lead to goals is a criteria for the bench then it is hard for me to fathom any Ranger playing more than a few minutes a game.

However, the main and most serious problem lies with my buddy, the Stealth GM. It is he who put together this monstrocity of a team. It is he who continues to draft Lady Byngers for the future. It is he who has constantly spent free agency money on the wrong guy. Remember, signing Marek Malik when Brendan Witt was available? It is he who shies away from the press and in essence, the fans. Yes sir. It's time for the Stealth to go back to Edmonton on a one way ticket.

We are the Dregs!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

76 Second Meltdown

No it's not the name of a new horror movie, though where and how it happened was a horror. This was the amount of time our heroes needed to implode last night in handing the Penguins a win. After the second goal by Artem Anisimov, who has now fulfilled his monthly quota, the Rangers folded like an accordion. The loss was the fourth straight to the Pens this year and the seventh in a row to the Stanley Cup Champs.

Just fifteen seconds after Anisimov's goal gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead, Marian Gaborik took a stupid slashing penalty. Aren't all penalties stupid, you might ask? Yes! But this one so quickly after a highlight goal was a game killer. Sixteen seconds later, Malkin tied the game on a deflection by Chris Drury. BTW, the ace announcers on VS never mentioned that fact. But the nightmare was just starting because exactly 60 seconds after Malkin's goal a guy by the name of Chris Conner, who was just brought up from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., got the game winner. Conner also got the games first goal. Connor was up to replace Billy Guerin. I might be having a memory lapse but I never remember Billy Guerin scoring two goals in a game against the Rangers.

So the losing streak is now three games. Fortunately, we play one of the dregs Wednesday night when me meet Carolina. All that talk about finishing in a high playoff spot is disappearing. Playoffs? Tampa Bay, in 13th place, is only three points behind the Rangers. Tortorella doesn't want to talk to Larry Brooks? Fine. However, he better start talking to the Stealth GM, if he can find him. This ship is sinking fast and the lifeboat only has room for a few. Tortorella should act soon or he find himself tossed overboard.

Ooh La La, we truly Suck!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sing-Along At Bell Centre

For a while I thought I had fallen asleep and woke up in the 60's and was listening to "Sing Along With Mitch" as the Canadien fans kept serenading the Rangers. Those of you a little younger than me probably don't recollect the show. Mitch Miller was an orchestra leader who became a choral director and made a lot of money with a series of sing-alongs. It was a hit on TV in the 60's. Anyhow, the Habs fans were having a ball at the expense of the Rangers.

However, there is nothing new in that, Ranger fans have been serenading their team for years. Back in the 40's when Frankie Boucher was the coach the song was "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", which was sung in a waltz tempo. Boucher was a great player but as a perennial Lady Byng winner he imposed the same style on his team. Then there was the late 70's and 80's when the serenade from the Ranger fans was "Ooh La La, We Suck". This was to mock the players who were doing a Sasson commercial. So you see there is tradition in serenading our heroes. Unfortunately it is a tradition steeped in failure and most often a tradition that implies a softness, an unwillingness to battle, a failure to compete.

No where were these traits more visible than they were last night. For the second straight night, and for the fourth night in seven, the Rangers were shutout. The opposition has it figured out how to beat the Rangers. It's simple. Crash the nets and Lundqvist, and put a clamp on Gaborik. Gaborik has one goal in the last nine games. So, no goals from Gabby and a Swiss cheese defense add up to losses. Add in the overall softness of the team, with minor exceptions, and you have the prescription for disaster which we see in its early stages.

We see it in a coach, Tortorella, who becomes testier with each loss and is not on speaking terms with the top hockey writer in the New York area, Larry Brooks. We see it in the unwillingness of players to come to the aid of their team mates. We see it every time Lundqvist is crashed and the response is no more than a glare. We see it in an invisible, isolated GM, who is beholden to no one and disrespects the fans of this franchise. Every other GM in New York is visible and communicates often with the press, but one. That one is our fearless Stealth GM.

Ooh La La, We Suck!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flyers Stymie Rangers

The Rangers high powered scoring came to a screeching halt last night as they were shutout and bullied by the Flyers, who recreated their Broad Street Bullies days. The lowlight of the game was when that old Lady Bynger, Daniel Carcillo, 'fought' with Ranger 'brawler' Marian Gaborik. Wonderful. Dan Girardi was so impressed with Gaborik's fistic skills that he watched the whole brawl without moving a muscle. But why blast Girardi for doing what most of the Rangers would have done, save possibly Avery, Voros, Callahan and Dubinsky. Avery later tangled with Carcillo but it was too little too late.

The Rangers offense went south. Ray Emery picked up as easy a shutout as an NHL goalie can get. The last two games against the Flyers have produced no goals, while giving up eight. While the Rangers soared against Montreal and Tamp Bay they come up woefully short against the tougher teams. The Rangers have a glaring weakness and it is in the 'overall team toughness'. The Rangers don't have the players with build and the will to win the tough games.

Last post we remarked on how long would it take for Tortorella to break up the Avery, Voros, Boyle line, the Crash Line. Well, it lasted into the second period. Also, Tortorella and NY Post writer Larry Brooks went at in the press conference with Torts refusing to answer Brooks question. Is the coach losing it? Who will crack first? The Rangers or Tortorella?

ICINGS: Tortorella/Brooks Spat

Larry Brooks / NY Post:
Rangers show little fight in loss to Flyers --
PHILADELPHIA -- John Tortorella's sense of honor, an amorphous concept to begin with, was offended last night when Flyers' thug Daniel Carcillo dropped his gloves to throw punches at the Rangers' elegant pacifist, Marian Gaborik, at 5:43 of the second period of the Flyers' 2-0 victory.

Perhaps the head coach should have directed his ire at Dan Girardi and the rest of the Blueshirts on the ice at the time who were bystanders (though hardly innocent ones) to the bout during which their best player was in jeopardy.

Or maybe Tortorella already had done so, because Girardi, who watched from just a few feet away as the unfair fight unfolded in the Rangers' attacking left corner and circle, told The Post that he regretted his decision not to engage on behalf of his teammate...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fighting Juggernaut!

Maybe it was the political earthquake in Massachusetts that stirred them up because there must be something stirring these guys. Eight goals after scoring six against Montreal. In five periods the Rangers have scored a month of goals. Add in three more fights and you have a team that has finally discovered how to play hockey. You play rough and tough and you get the benefits. Goals.

Granted, we still have some large holes but right now the Rangers are catching the right teams at the right time. What seems to be helping is the extra playing time given to the fourth line. The Crash Line, as Larry Brooks calls them, have been rocking and socking. Avery, Voros and Boyle. Voros finally scored a goal, on the power play no less. The question is, with Tortorella's penchant for tinkering with lines, how long will they stay together? Knowing Tortorella's thinking, he'll break them up after their first bad shift.

Right now the fourth line is clicking and so are the Rangers. As I stated in my last post, lets take these games one at a time and not to project into the future. Forget standings and playoffs. Coming up, the hateful Flyers, who pasted us pretty good at the Garden. Now we have a chance to get revenge at Wachovia. Let's see if the streak continues. Let's see if we continue to score goals. Let's see if we continue to rock and sock. Let's see how long the fourth line of Avery, Voros and Boyle stay together. Let's see!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eruption At The Garden

I figured it out in the locker between periods that the Rangers saw the miracle comeback of the Jets and it inspired them. How else? It couldn't be the coach. He hasn't said anything inspiring all year. Or maybe it was Avery, who took two penalties in the first period, one leading to a Canadien goal, had a shouting match with his coach on the bench and then took out his angst on John Gorges. While playing only about ten minutes, he spent nine in the penalty box, Avery was a force throughout on the fourth line with Boyle and Voros.

Maybe it was the spectacle of Wade Redden dropping the gloves and giving a pretty good account of himself against Benoit Pouliot. It was one weird night. And the the Rangers scored three goals in the second period and three goals in the third. The Rangers scored six goals? Yes, the New York Rangers scored six goals. Count them.

Callahan had four points, two goals plus two assists. Dubinsky had two goals and an assist. Gaborik broke out of his mini slump, five games, with a goal and two assists. Drury added the sixth goal. An unusual night with a more unusual outcome. Its always good beating Montreal. I've seen too many games where the Rangers were on the short end of the count against the Canadiens.

So thanks to the New York Jets, Sean Avery and Wade Redden for one of the biggest wins of the year. I won't even mention the next game. Its too far away and besides with the Rangers that next game is always a mystery so lets enjoy the moment. Rangers 6, Canadiens 2.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Goal But No Cigar

The Rangers scored a goal. Actually it was Brian Boyle who scored it. To no avail as the Rangers could only muster 20 shots and lost their third straight game to the revamped Blues who won their fourth straight. The only thing keeping the Rangers in the hunt right now is that the conference is loaded with mediocre teams who take turns beating each other and running off three and four game streaks.

The Rangers look completely out of sync. The fourth line played rather well especially Lisin. Unfortunately they don't get much ice time as Tortorella goes to the 'go to guys' who lately haven't been going anywhere. But stick with them Torts, sooner or later they will produce. Probably after they are hopelessly out of the playoffs and then they will put on the proverbial 'salary drive'.

One thing that caught my attention last night, believe me, it was tough paying attention, were the comments by Joe and Sam about the size and toughness of the Blue's defenders. When was the last time you heard them talk about a Ranger like that? Let me ask the question. Who on the Rangers is big and tough? This team looks like the reincarnation of the famous Smurfs.

So tonight its Les Habs and Scotty Gomez who will vie with Rozsival and Redden to see who will get booed the loudest. Torts will round up the usual suspects, Lundqvist will stand on his head, the Rangers will score a goal and may win or lose depending on how inept the Canadiens are. Cheers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Brodeur (Michael) Shuts Out Rangers

Its one thing to get shut out by Marty Brodeur and the Devils but to follow it up with a goalless 60 minutes against Michael Brodeur and the Senators is unimaginable. However, it happened and it was dredful. The Rangers scored no goals against a team that had given up 22 goals in five games. The Rangers scored no goals against a team that had lost five straight games. The Rangers scored no goals against a team that was playing without two of its stars, Alfredsson and Spezza. The Rangers scored no goals against a team that was playing a rookie goalie in only his second game of the season.

It was so bad a performance that Tortorella called a timeout after only 4:46 of playing time. It didn't work. Nothing changed. This team needs a drastic over haul. I would start by stripping the captaincy from Drury and turning it over to Lundqvist. Lundqvist is the only player on the team that night after night, game after game, puts out 100%. Maybe Avery is the other. Make him an alternate. Send some people to Hartford. Bring up more kids from Hartford. Trade for some bruisers and guys not afraid to go to the net.

Speaking of bruisers, when is the Brashear experiment going to end? He had two so called fights last night against Matt Carkner and in the second fight Carkner decked Brashear with a right that sent Brashear to the ice. If Brashear can't fight, why keep him? So the scoring malaise continues and is now stretched to 144 minutes and 23 seconds. That is over seven periods without a goal. Also the power play is now a pathetic 3-38 after going 0-2.

So the apolagists keep bragging that the Rangers have gotten a point in seven of their last eight games, (4-1-3). Thats also four losses in the last eight games. Now the toughest part of the schedule is coming and this team cannot score goals. I said it then and I repeat it now. That is fools gold and the day of reckoning is coming soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marty Out Duels Henrik, Sort Of

It was a great goaltending show but while Marty and the Devils won, I for one, would be hardpressed to admit that Marty outdueled Henrik. Honestly he didn't. Marty won the game and made 51 saves. Henrik, with 45 saves, lost in the fourth round of the shootout to that other Devil nemesis, Petrik Elias.

The Rangers got more shots but the Devils had the better scoring chances. In the shootout it was Parise, Langenbrunner, Zajac and Elias against Christensen, Kotalik, Gaborik and Dubinsky. You tell me who you would rather face.

However, it was a classic game and as good as it gets for a 0-0 game for 65 minutes. Don't tell me that a shootout is the way to end a game like this. I fear for the day when the exalted czar of hockey decides that we need shootouts in the playoffs, starting with the opening rounds. Trust me, its coming.

For the Rangers, the good news is that Lundqvist is on top of his game. It was only the eighth time in twenty three meetings that Brodeur has beaten Lundqvist and this was the 16th game in the last 19 that Lundqvist has given up two or less goals in a game. So the future bodes well for the Rangers and also for the Swedish Olympic team.

ICINGS: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding job that Mike Emerick did in announcing the game on VS. I know of no other hockey announcer who would bring such excitement to a 0-0 hockey game. Mike is truly the greatest.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Highlight Roundup

Michael Del Zotto takes it to the net!

Scotty Hockey: MDZ's goal was Orr-esque. Simply incredible.

Hockey Rodent: Michael Del Zotto reminded us of the scoring talent we saw with frequency in early October.

Jaromir Jagr living the good life in Russia. Brawl KHL Vityaz Tsehov - Avangard Omsk (full version, 7:34m) Yityaz Chekhov in red and Avangard Omsk in white.

update: Jagr wears white #68 and it looks like he gets sucker punched at around the 1:29-1:30 mark by Yityaz player #7, Darcy Verot, a Canadian minor leaguer. JJ then goes down to the ice. He's then at the bottom of a four man scrum that the camera zooms into at the 1:31 mark. JJ's teammate #44 holds his man at bay and helps pull Verot off a downed Jagr, who then gets Verot in a headlock. Looks like a good cage fight on ice.

2nd update on what happened,
via Hockey blog in Canada:
According to reports, Darcy Verot of Vityaz fired a puck at Avangard's Lasse Kukkonen during the pre-game warm-up. Because of Verot's stupid decision, tension escalated quickly. Vityaz, having a number of pugilistic pros, began the chirping across the red line to the Avangard players. It is reported that Brandon Sugden, recently signed by Vityaz to replace Chris Simon, tackled Alexander Svitov and threw punches during the warm-up after a couple of players met at center ice.

According to Jaromir Jagr, the entire ordeal was started by Verot. "Their tough guy Darcy Verot threw the puck at one of our players," Jagr told "Then he skated to another of our players at the red line and speared him."

The teams finally separated, and it appeared that things might be over. However, the Vityaz players were only getting started. Just 3:39 into the first period, the entire game fell apart, resulting in the video above.

Somehow, Jagr was paired up with Verot through the ordeal, and it seems that Verot decided to play by his own rules in this fight. "If you're a tough guy you should respect the honor code," Jagr continued. "There were people fighting around us and I was holding Verot. Then he told me: 'Ok, we are done. No fighting'. I released his hand and in a second he punched me in the face. I didn't see that coming and that's why I fell down." ...

NHL Fanhouse: Instigating KHL Hockey Brawl Costs Russian Team

Slap Shot: Brawls Cut Short K.H.L. Game

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kings Of The Dregs

The Bruins must have left their game on the frozen tundra of Fenway Park because they had nothing in the tank against the Rangers yesterday and lost 3-1. Granted they were missing Bergeron and Savard, but the rest of the crew seemed to be going through the motions. Even Zdeno Charo was below par as he did nothing but wave at Michael Del Zotto as he skated in alone to score the games first goal.

Lundqvist sparkled again. What else is new. He made 29 saves and stopped Marco Strum on a penalty shot in the first period. This is something like 16 of 18 games where he has allowed two or fewer goals in a game. Tim Thomas. the Bruin goalie, also played well making 31 saves. He was particularly good in the second period when the Rangers put 21 shots on goal scoring only on Dubinsky's 8th of the year. Eric Christensen continued his surprising play with a goal, his 3rd, plus an assist. Only the power play remains a downer for the Rangers going 0-4 and now is only 3-34 in the last eight games.

However, that may not matter as long as the Rangers continue to play the dregs. The Devils, Capitals and possibly Buffalo are the elite teams in the East and the rest of the conference is loaded with dregs. Right now our heroes are the Kings of the dregs. How long will that last? Maybe until Tuesday.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Chad Is Had By Rangers

Chad Johnson put on quite a show last night. Too bad he didn't get the support he deserved. He made 31 saves in 65 minutes and stopped three out of five in the shootout but it wasn't good enough as the Rangers couldn't beat their nemisis, Johan Hedberg, and fell 2-1 to a woeful Atlanta Thrasher team that hasn't won a regulation game in 19 tries. The win for Atlanta ended a nine game losing streak. The Rangers have lost three straight to Atlanta and Hedberg this year. So if Atlanta is woeful what does that say about the Rangers?

Of couse Tortorella is busting his buttons because the Rangers are 7-1-3 in their last eleven. It's fool's gold. After a good showing against Dallas the Rangers barely showed up. They should have been fired up with the rookie in goal but to no avail. The Rangers have no spark, no life unless Sean Avery decides to unleash himself. But we are making strides. Before all we had were Lundqvist and Gaborik. Now we can add Avery, if Tortorella will leave him alone.

Too bad about last night. The kid put on quite a show. Too bad the supporting cast was AWOL.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Avery Does Dallas

It was about as fine an individual peformance by a Ranger since Mark Messier's, "We will win", hat trick performance against the Devils. He used finesse, guile, brute force, intimidation and class to totally and almost single handily dismantle and destroy a hockey team. The Stars were shutout the night before by the Devils. Last night they were neutered by a devil, Sean Avery.

He scored on a beautiful shot past an outclassed Marty Turco who was quite "delinquent" on the shot. He fed a blind pass to Gaborik for a goal and he was Gretzkyesque on a beautiful 180 and a feed to Drury. He picked up another assist on a cannon from Ales Kotalik. He not only broke his scoring slump but helped Kotalik and Drury continue to climb out of their slumps.

He displayed the kind of performance us 'Averyites' have been hoping for. He was finally unleashed. Hopefully the John Tortorella reign of terror against Avery is over. This kind of Avery will overcome a lot of Ranger sins, like the continued poor play of Rozsival and Redden and the lack of scoring.

Of course there was Henrik Lundqvist. It seems there is always going to be Henrik Lundqvist. Henceforth, we shall call him Henrik the Horse. A while back I posted a story about how Gaborik was the Lone Ranger and there was no Tonto. Last night, at least for one game, Sean Avery was Tonto.

Sean Avery: Wild Card

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Higgins Lifts Rangers Over "Pathetic" Bruins.

Those were the words of VS analyist Keith Jones to describe the performance of the Bruins after the first two periods last night. No words to describe the Rangers who were hanging on to a 2-0 lead. The Bruins came back in the third period to score two goals in about a minute and a half to tie the game and it looked like curtains for the Rangers until an unlikely hero by the name of Chris Higgins scored his fifth goal of the season and his first at MSG as a Ranger. Actually Higgins has scored only two goals at MSG, counting this one. That other goal came as a Canadien back in October 2005.

There were other notable events last night. Ales Kotalik scored a PP goal, the goal being his first in 21 games. Eric Christensen also scored for the Rangers continuing his surprisingly good play. Yes, the Rangers scored three goals and Marian Gaborik did not participate in any of them. Yes, the Rangers beat a team above them in the standings even though Keith Jones wasn't impressed with their effort through the first two periods.

What is amazing that the Rangers who are 2-5-3 in their last ten home games are now 6-1-2 overall despite playing some poor hockey. Of course last night they got a break by getting Tuukka Rask in goal and not Thomas. The Rangers need all the breaks they can get.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Rangers Lose To The Dregs In OT

The Rangers continued their terrible play at MSG with another loss, this one to the worst team in hockey, the Carolina Hurricanes. The lone Ranger goal was scored by, you guessed it, Marian Gaborik, his 27th. Cam Ward, the Carolina goalie, came in with a save percentage of under .900, but the Rangers made him look like the second coming of Ken Dryden.

After winning two straight at Carolina this one, at home, looked like a gimmee. However, there are no gimmees for this team, just a lot of gotcha's. Lundqvist who made 17 saves looked less than stellar on the two Carolina goals. Somehow the announcers voted him the Ranger star of the game. When you lose to the worst team in hockey and you only score one goal, there are no stars of the game.

It's going to get worse for the Blueshirts before it gets better. There are not too many dregs on the January schedule and many of the former dregs are playing better hockey. Alas, the Rangers are playing up to their potential, which is Ranger hockey. That is not going to be good enough to win too many hockey games.

Friday, January 01, 2010


So I tried to watch the game last night and fell asleep twice missing both Ranger goals. It wasn't much of a game and before you pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly I would remind you that the Carolina Hurricanes are the worst team in hockey and a waved off goal prevented us from going into OT and a possible loss. So the Rangers ended the year and the decade with a win. Wow!

The good news is that after the game I was fully awake and went to bed after one am after watching a Jackie Gleason Honeymooners tape. It was the New Years Eve one with Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey and their band. Gleason and crew are always good for a few laughs, just like the Rangers.

I was happy to greet the new year after the problems of 2009. Four heart attacks and finally the triple bypass. Now it's three times a week for dialysis but let's face it, it beats the alternative. Why all this reflection? Probably to put things in perspective. Life is short and we need to enjoy ourselves and we need diversions.

I've struggled with the Rangers diversion for 70 plus years. The good news is that I am also a Yankee fan for some 70 plus years so that has been a good counter balance. I've seen most of the Yankees 27 Championships. Unfortunately I've seen most of the Rangers non-championships and in most cases non-competitiveness. Earlier in the year I compared this team to the 1945 Ranger team. I offer my sincere apologies to anyone around who was affiliated with the 1945 team. At least they tried.

Happy New Year from jb and The Pundit.

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