Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rangers Rolling

The Rangers pre-season continued perfect as the Blueshirts won another OT thriller over the Devils. Let's face it, The Devils are loaded. The Rangers are not. However the Rangers have the opportunity to give its fans an exciting year if they make the proper personnel decisions. To that end they started out with a great move, waiving Wade Redden. There are two other players they should think about moving, Michal Rozsival and Chris Drury. Moving them would give an opportunity to two young players.

Discounting the quality of play the game had a playoff atmosphere thanks to The Grate One, Sean Avery. He was his irritating, agitating self, throwing Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson and Johan Hedberg, that old Ranger nemisis, off their games. Avery screened Hedberg on two power play goals, one by Gilroy and the other by Fedotenko. He also drew Clarkson into taking a penalty and his jawing with Kovalchuk from their respective benches was pure entertainmernt clearly outshining the Obama/McCain so called debates. It's hard to imagine Avery not being a top six forward.

Speaking of youth, Del Zotto scored the winner in OT. His goal reminded me of the goal Leetch scored against Vancouver in game seven of the 1994 finals. However, as great as Del Zotto is on offense, his defense is atrocious. I would consider moving Giradi along side Del Zotto and Rozsival, while he is still with us, with Staal. However, it's early. Let's see if Avery can put on another show against the Red Wings. Let's see if he plays.


Nothing surprising here. We know there is a double standard when it comes to officiating and Avery.

Arthur Staple / Newsday / Twitter:

Here's Avery on misconduct for messing with Kovalchuk: "I'm specifically told it's because he's a superstar, and I can't go after a star."
Kevin Weeks / former Goaltender / Hockey Night Canada / Twitter:
Rangers had stunning comeback vs. Devs @ The Rock last night ! Amazing crowd at he United Center for Wings @ Hawks too.
The Hockey News / Puck Panel / Video:
Bobby Orr is best; who is the No. 2 all-time defensemen? -- In 1997, The Hockey News ranked the top 50 players of all time. Of course, the great Bobby Orr was the top blueliner.

This fall, THN will release a special edition magazine that lists the top 20 players at each position and Orr is still the No. 1 defenseman. But who is No. 2?
Don Brennan / Ottawa Sun:
The mighty have fallen -- Redden just isn’t the same guy who was selected second overall in the 1995 entry draft and, over 11 seasons with the Senators, established himself as one of the best blue liners in the league.

Meanwhile, Rangers GM Glen Sather said the move had to be made for the good of the organization. So does the firing of Sather, if only for signing Redden to such an outlandish deal in the first place.
UFC President Dana White is also on Twitter and he's pretty funny and straightforward, unlike a certain hockey commissioner. Regarding his UFC fight card last night, Dana had this back and forth with various UFC fans:
@don_from_vegas: @danawhite need a ride from the airport?
@danawhite: @don_from_vegas I'm good but thanks

: @Mrs_Mir whatever. @thefrankmir is a bad man. more motivation yet for him to tear through that division and make @danawhite choke on it
@danawhite: @mirfanz sounds good to me

@etrizzle: @danawhite What happened last night. Such a great card on paper. Cro Cop's done. Have him fight Liddell, then they can both retire.
@danawhite: @etrizzle I agree, but there were some awesome fights last nite

@RickeyRossManzo: @danawhite your a thief you shoulda gave this card for free charging 44 dollars for this sh*t u crazy
@danawhite: @RickeyRossManzo f**k u rickey martin

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hockey's Back

It actually started for me two weeks ago at one of those camps the Rangers run for the kids. This one was at Freeport, LI and featured Brian Mullin. The picture above is from the camp run by Adam Graves. That's grandson Nicholas on the left, digging hard. God grant me the years that I could see him skate in the NHL.

However, last night the Rangers and Devils played an exhibition game at MSG and it turned out to be an OK game. Hockey, unfortunately shows up as baseball heats up toward the playoffs and college football is saturating the TV waves. Nonetheless, they played a nice game at the Garden last night.

Marian Gaborik was in mid season form with two PP goals and newcomer Alex Frolov showed that he may be a force as he rediscovers his skills. To me though, the big story is the performance of the kids, namely Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh and a belated kid, Brian Boyle who played up to his body.

The Rangers should forget the hunt for a number one center and go with Stepan and it looks like Boyle could be the number four center or quite possibly number three if he remembers to use his physical skills. Anyway, a good start, in a crowded sports arena.


If you don’t like Sean Avery, you just don’t get it… Sean Avery is the NHL's version of Alex from Clockwork Orange. Raised by seemingly mild mannered people, and yet is insane.

How will our Prince do this year? Biron is the BUG-MAN on campus, "Back-Up Goalie Must-ANswer" questions.

Jesse Spector / NY Post:
Martin Biron may be most important New York Rangers acquisition as backup goalie to Henrik Lundqvist
Lots of folks getting worked-up over Derek Stepan.

The Hockey Writers:
Derek Stepan, American Hero -- Derek Stepan is to the Rangers as Heath Ledger is to the Dark Knight. Without Heath, the movie would just be Christian Bale screaming at camera men and ramming his motorcycle into buildings just to watch it shapeshift. Without Derek, the Rangers would just be another team spiraling further and further into the abyss of its perpetual tryout for a number one center...
Devils fans try to talk hockey, but it quickly goes downhill in this new podcast.

Puck Nuts -- In this all-new sports themed show, Walt, Ming, Bry, and Sunday Jeff discuss the Devil's turbulent Kovalchuk acquisition...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stanley goes to the Shore

Nice story in the Asbury Park Press about the Stanley Cup's visit to a Jersey Shore hospital.

Stanley Cup visits Jersey Shore hospital
Kelsey Fowler, 13, of Barnegat is visited by Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland and the Stanley Cup on Monday at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. (Tanya Breen, APP)

Stanley Cup at Neptune hospital -- Mike Haviland, an assistant coach of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, said the biggest rush he has had while toting a 35-pound, 117-year-old trophy for the past two days is the way people react to it.

They light up, he said. And that's fun to watch.

As he toured the pediatric unit of Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Monday, perhaps no one lit up more than Kelsey Fowler, a 13-year-old girl being wheeled in for surgery.

Kelsey, unaware that the cup was in the building, spotted the 3-foot-tall, silver and nickel alloy trophy at some distance down a hallway, and before she was wheeled away with only a fleeting glimpse, she implored her attendant to please wait for just a couple of minutes. Surgery could wait. The Stanley Cup was here...

related: more photos
NHL FanHouse's Assistant Coach of the Year: Mike Haviland

Friday, September 03, 2010

Rangers Roundup - Sept. 3, 2010

Things that caught our eye.

Sean Avery is looking to find his groove and prove he still belongs.
Avery putting disappointing season behind him --

Sticking with his philosophy of letting last season go, Avery wasn't in the mood Thursday to talk about what was missing from his game last season.

"Lots," is all he would say.

Was it a matter of consistency?

"That's your job as a pro to find that consistent level on an individual basis," Avery said.

Avery went through several long stretches last season without registering a point, but he doesn't care too much about that, or the fact that he finished with only 31 points, because he is not a self-proclaimed stat man. Those 31 points fell only eight shy of his career high...
The Hockey Rodent scrutinizes the hanky panky going on with the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and comes to some interesting conclusions.

For those of you who are impatient, here's the conclusion of today's rant: The NHLPA will gladly allow The League to modify the current CBA in exchange of gaining approval for all the long-term deals being scrutinized. To understand how I arrive at this position, you're going to have to read every last column-inch that I'm paid for...

So what's the bottom line?

At 5:01 PM Friday, both Kovalchuk and Hossa will become unrestricted free agents.

That means both will be signed by Glen Sather by 5:02 PM.

How can I be so sure?

I read it in The Post

Tom Renney's doppelgänger, "niceguytom" on Twitter, still carries a grudge against Slats, and has these summer notes:
I'm already making a care package for Khabs...

My daughter told me she wants an arbitration regarding her allowance. LULz!...

been busy with my new responsibilities, doing some handshake-cross-training...
Seeing niceguytom's Slats player card reminds us of why one of Sather's nicknames was "Tomato Face."
Our friend the Dark Ranger likes the toughness he sees on this year's team. Here! Here! But still has worries.

Dark Ranger:
In addition to "The Boogeyman" the Rangers have kept Brandon Prust and rabble-rouser Sean Avery will continue to agitate everyone in the NHL, providing Coach Torts allows him to do his thing. Regardless, opponents will not enjoy playing against the Rangers this season. I like that.

The elephant in the room is the absence of a Marc Staal contract...
Scotty Hockey shows off the 85th Anniversary Logo:

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Know Your Old-Time NY Rangers

Who is this Rangers legend?

answer in the comments

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