Sunday, October 29, 2017

We Are Now Bottom Feeders

The New York Rangers have now sunk to the bottom of the NHL's food chain, and have become the lowest of the low: bottom feeders.

New Jersey 10820164031+98-2-0Won 2
Pittsburgh 12741153543-87-3-0Lost 1
Columbus 11740143327+66-4-0Lost 1
NY Islanders 11641133935+46-3-1Won 1
Philadelphia 11650123831+75-5-0Won 1
Carolina 9441112526-14-4-1Lost 1
Washington 1045193037-74-5-1Lost 2
NY Rangers 1237283443-93-5-2Lost 1

Following Saturday's 4-5 loss to the other Eastern Conference cellar dwellers, the Montreal Canadiens, Rangerland must face the sad reality that the Blueshirts have now officially crossed the event horizon into bottom feeder status. Once a team gets sucked into the black hole of bottom feeder status this deep into a season, powerful gravitation forces will work to keep them there. The forces of nature and sports psychology will now crush not just the hopes of the fans, but the confidence of the team. Things could get very ugly.

Alain Vigneault said: "We’re 3-7-2, that’s alarming to me right now." It's good that Vigneault is alarmed, but what buttons can he really push now to kick in some warp drives to lift the team out of the abyss. Keeping Lundqvist on the bench in Montreal certainly was the most significant button V. could have pressed. But, it didn't work. The defense with or without Lundqvist looks horrible.

No matter how much you've won, no matter how many games, no matter how many championships, no matter how many Super Bowls, you're not winning now, so you stink. – Bill Parcells

Going 1-1, with the other basement dwellers, the Habs and Yotes, this week, without Henrik Lundqvist in net, might mark the end of an era. It's painfully hard to imagine that the Age of King Henrik is ending. Just like it's hard to imagine this team making any sort of run at the playoffs, much less the Cup.

Reality bites, but that's the cycle of life and of our sports heroes.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Fright Night in Toronto

Halloween horrors are here before there is any frost on the pumpkins. This new edition of the NY Rangers is starting off the 2017-18 season by scaring the bejesus out of their fans. Twelve goals allowed in two games is horrible hockey. The Toronto game, an 8-5 loss, was a massive scream fest, for anyone, who could stomach the entire debacle. Who was that guy wearing the Lundqvist git-up?

Sean over at the Blue Collar Blueshirts blog pounces on the debate that looks to rage on all season: is the 35-year-old Lundqvist finished? Has the King fallen off his throne as hockey royalty, are the Rangers now crippled by carrying an expensive has-been goalie? Forget the sorry defense guarding the King. Lundqvist looks to be out there all by himself this year, and sadly the King has no clothes. Where are you, Dan Girardi?

Sean at BlueCollarBlueShirts writes:

By now, many of you know me as the guy who predicted the demise of Lundswiss. I’ve been saying it for the last three years. I wanted to keep Talbot. I wanted to keep Raanta. However, the Rangers have this insane idea, that no matter what they do, this will be the year that the “bedrock” of the franchise, in Henrik Lundwiss, will take this team to a Cup. That is fantasy and not reality.

Listen, many young fans will argue with me all day long, even after Lundswiss gets pulled after giving up five goals in one period (not the first time) like he did tonight. I was young once too. I remember how heartbroken I was when Don Mattingly was at the end. I have also told you my stories of being absolutely furious when Graves and Leetch were jettisoned out of NY. However, you need to leave the Lundswiss bubble and try to think what’s the best for the front of the jersey and not about an overrated and overpaid goalie.

The name calling is a little extreme, Lundqvist has earned a little respect, but all our hockey heroes are human. And right now we are very afraid for our hero, Hank. Can Lundqvist remain a top goaltender, and can he carry the team up Mount Stanley? The Shakespearean-like drama of King Henrik is going into its final act and it will be fascinating to watch.

King Henrik - a tragedy?


Speaking of great literature, one of our other hockey heroes will be coming out with a tell-all book later this month. Sean Avery teamed up with writer Michael McKinley for Ice Capades - A Memoir of Fast Living and Tough Hockey. Plus, he's fired up the old Owen Sound bus for a grand little book tour.

Sean Avery - Ice Capades
Sean Avery book tour for "Ice Capades"

Puck Daddy provided a snippet from an early copy of Sean's book regarding John Tortorella:
“Tortorella has a reputation as a hard-ass, but not if you know him as a player. We used to laugh at him all the time. There was always someone in the dressing room who wanted to take their skate and decapitate him or take their stick and whack him over the head with it. Marion Gaborik despised him with every bone in his body. Even Hank Lundqvist, an even-keeled Swede who was usually in his own world, thought Tortorella was a terrible manager of pro athletes. And he can’t skate and stickhandle a puck at the same time, and he doesn’t realize we don’t take him seriously because of that.”

Tortorella was a real drama queen, calling him 'Johnny Drama' seemed totally appropriate. How did that guy stay in the NHL and a talent like Sean Avery has his career cut short? 

Sean Avery may live life in the fast lane, but he took time to pull over to the side and make a surprise visit to the Ranger Pundit's 80th birthday party, back in December 2010. Talk about a surprise, it was having your favorite Ranger on that team walk through the door to say Happy Birthday, to a life long Rangers fan. And then hang around to talk and take pictures with everyone. Unforgettable!

Sean Avery was a fantastic hockey player and a super nice guy. Can't wait to read his book.

Sean Avery and Mike Savino at the Ranger Pundit's 80th Birthday Party December 2010

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