Monday, April 30, 2007

it's good to be back home again

Quotes From The Game (Or Why MSG Is My Home ... Even Though They Won't Post My Text Messages On GardenVision)

"I wanted to stab Malik." — 343 neighbor on Friday's big mistake.

Woman in line for the bathroom, on the phone: Oh no, I'm going to get in a fight. ... Well, I just told a woman in a pink Buffalo jersey that she's a cunt.

Sabres fan, in MSG hallway: Let's Go Buffalo!
Rangers fan: Your mother's a toothless whore.

Guy grabbing the back of my Beukeboom jersey: Who the hell is that?
Me: Why would you admit that you don't know? Seriously? That's embarrassing.
Me to Dollie, the guy, anyone within stage whisper distance: Can you believe this guy? "Who the hell is that?" Dude's a Cup-winning defenseman. "Who the hell is that?" Who the hell are you? ... etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Best win yet!

I still can't get over today game. We've seen some amazing moments this season, a bunch of shutouts, Shanahan v. Brashear, Avery v. Tucker, shootout wins, sweeping Atlanta but nothing beats today for the amount of tension, intensity, and ultimately elation. My whole body was vibrating after the game winning goal at 16:43 of the 2OT. Even though the team had been working hard for over 96 minutes, it seemed like the goal came out of nowhere, but that right light was the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. It capped off a game that exemplified all that I love about my team, their group play, their determination, their resiliency. Henrik was brilliant. Rozsival spun gold despite his pain. Jagr, Shanny, SAvery - everybody was awesome. Renney gave every player a "Let's get 'em" hug before the game. He's the shit. I'm very proud of our boys in blue. 3 more to go!

we've only just begun

Every call that could possibly have gone the wrong way did. (Insert my 700 "Buffalo is blowing the refs" comments here.)

And we still won.

Buffalo fans who brought brooms to MSG, you know what to do with them.

Oh Rozy, thank you so much for proving me wrong, (after I criticized your slowness today and said, "Prove me wrong, Rozsival" -- that one has a great rate of success)

More later ...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

oh no, not again

Before the game started, I thought we were going to win this one. I was super excited. I felt confident.

As the game started, I really thought we were going to win this one. We were keeping the puck and working it. We created some excellent chances. I thought we had it.

So when we didn't win, I was scared. "If we play that well and can't win, we can't win."

But this morning, all the reporters and online comments say Malik made a huge mistake, Prucha took an stupid penalty -- things we did wrong, things we can fix. This I can work with. It's not great news that every time we make a mistake they capitalize, but at least there's a solution: Stop making mistakes.

Oh, and if Ryan Miller thinks Sean Avery punched him in the face (ANOTHER BIG WHINER! -- also, how is he getting punched in the face? Dude has a FENCE over his face!) he should just wait until he gets to NY. There are thousands who really will punch him in the face, and there won't be an official there to call anything.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

no favorite moments

Hi all, the game was so disappointing last night that I was contemplating writing a post discussing my theory that director John Hughes is possibly a pedophile, but that has little to no hockey content.

So the first period was pretty promising. No goals and penalty after penalty killed but then it all fell apart. Very painful to watch. After the first goal I thought, "It's OK, Henrik made over 20 saves until now, he'll make as many more before the next one." Well I was wrong 2x over. I did find a little relief for my bruised fanhood when we scored. A shutout may have ruined our blueshirts' psyche and confidence. As it stands I hope they come out sizzling tomorrow night. I worry a little that they'll play too passively trying to avoid bad plays and end up losing from a lack of intensity. Now that it's in print it can't happen right?

i think it's gonna be a good show

I hate losing.

I really really really hate losing.

And I'm kind of out of practice at it, seeing as how we've been winning so much, so last night's game was a little devastating for me, but by this morning, I'd mostly recovered.

It's only game one. We held our own in the first and third periods.

But here's what scares me about the second period: after that goal, you could just see all the wind knocked out of their sails. They react to the goal the way I do at home, except I'M HOME, not playing a game.

Loves, I need you to get better at shaking these off right quick. You get caught sulking, you turn one goal into three. And that's not good when it's goals for the other team, dig?

Be better tomorrow. I know you can.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Truckin', up to Buffalo

Only by tv, but I barely have the energy to go to the deli, let alone make a road trip to Buffalo. So I've said it before, I like Buffalo. I like the city. I like the team. But I want to take them out. I want it a lot. So does Sean Avery. The Daily News quoted him as saying this about the Sabres:

He played in a league-high 84 games - 55 with Los Angeles before being dealt to the Rangers. None of those 84 was against Buffalo. But that doesn't matter - Avery already has worked up a healthy dislike for the Sabres.

"I've already decided I hate all of those guys," Avery said. "So I don't think we're going to have much of a problem with that."

I'm gonna leave the hate to sAvery, because he hates so divinely, and leave the rooting for myself. I'm gonna hope, pray, exercise, basically whatever it takes to put the Rangers over in this series. It all starts tomorrow night and as with Atlanta I wanna take at least one of two on the road, but a sweep would be most welcome.

"I'm going to hurt them, I'm going to hit them, I'm going to be in their face as much as I can

I'm living for Sean Avery right now. Not only did he say that about Buffalo, but when he's predicting how we win, he does it with such style.

"I'm sure there's going to be a little bit of adversity. I don't necessarily foresee us winning in four. I anticipate a long series. It could go six games or five." — hells yeah, my friend.

Oh, and someone posted on YouTube Matt Cullen saying a bad word. I live for it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

12 to Go!

How proud am I of our team? The Hockey Central dudes on Versus claimed that our sweep came without adversity. I will admit that we were in control for the majority of this series and we were able to prevail in every game, but there were many moments that could have tipped the other way. What if Shanny didn't score the game winning goal in Game 2? What if Toronto ignored the replay of Cullen series winning goal last night or we became too tired to rally back? Well it didn't happen because our Blueshirts were (and are) hungry and dug in to get the wins.

Hunger leads me to my next topic. Firstly, why is "Hunger Strike" my good luck Rangers song? Because it is and I take it as a good omen if it randomly comes up on my shuffle on game days. And secondly, how do I get the MSG DJ to play it at games? You have to give a good reason why the song applies to the Rangers (which still doesn't account for the DJ playing Fergie's "London Bridge" whenever Henrik stops a lethal shot). Now I love the song for many reasons, foremost being that it rocks, but also because I sing both parts (not well) and there's plenty of hard guitars for me to sing along with too. The lyrics are where I have trouble justifying it as Rangers appropriate. Do you think they'd buy that the Rangers are hungry for the Stanley Cup and they're willing to strike down their opponents?

I know it's growing strong ...

"We have a team made up of players from diverse cultures, of hard workers, of little guys who play bigger than they are. We want to be a reflection of New York, and we are." — Brendan Shanahan

He's absolutely right. That is it exactly. I have a really good feeling about this team.

Also, you heard it second (Dollie heard it first): If we get the Cup, I get my very first (and likely my only) tattoo. They will have earned it.

Text Messages I Tried To Post On GardenVision Last Night

Except they kept cycling the same 12. Grr.

So I started with

Hi Dollie!


MC Pee Pants!

on Tuesday, and we thought maybe I wasn't getting posted because it didn't have specific Rangers content (oh, but it did).

So then I tried:

j and d LOVE the Rangers
Simple, yes? No.

It's your 5th birthday, Scottie, and grandma loves you (And Matt Cullen.)
If you get this (there is no way you ever would), you win a prize.

We thought that might be too long, so I settled on:
Grandma Loves You (And Matt Cullen.)

And, finally:

Let's Go Rangers -- Let's Go To My House xo j

Also an inside joke. Though it's pretty easy to get this one, which was stolen from a lady at the marathon.

Not one was posted. Though I did see a couple of other Matt Cullen notes. Which reminds me: Hands off. I graciously accept losing him to his wife, but not some wench sending text messages at MSG.

PS: WE WON! and then --- WE WON! Much more on that later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is it karma or destiny?

7-0 rout, not too bad for game 3. Everybody showed up last night. I don't talk about Nylander that much, partly because I think it's a given that I love him (c'mon he looks like Buddy Ian/Ian McGettigan) And I do, and I do, and I do. I'm very proud of him and our team. Henrik's first postseason shutout! One of many I hope. Stan Fischler said last night on MSG that the Rangers looked like a Stanley Cup winning team. I hope Stan's conviction is as strong as his regular season stance that we were playoff bound, even when the standings looked bleak. And as Renney said post-game, he's certainly not expecting the same result tonight, but he hopes to see the same effort. So do I Tom! Let's go Rangers!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blueshirt Fever!

Kim's got it (Hi Kim!), El Fano's catching it (Hi El Fano!) and J and I definitely have it. We're taking our fever to site of infection tomorrow night. MSG here we come! They way I'm looking at it, I'm there to root for my team win or lose, but I'd much prefer a win. And I hope we score because I want to clap and stomp and roar out the goal song.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post thinks that Tom Renney has imbued the team with class. and I have to agree. We've been playing a classy game than may not always be elegant, but has almost always been right and often effective. Let's hope good things keep coming to those that deserve it, like our blueshirts.

ps. Check out Renney's tie. How much better is it than any of Aloha's?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

it makes me ill

TV commentator: ... and [Ryan] Smyth, all night long.

j: Ooh, that's a dream of yours, isn't it, d? Ryan Smyth all night long?

d: Yeah, me throwing up all night long from looking at him.

Oh so sAvery!

You know how it's generally thought that women's minds skip from "Hello" to marriage in the pace of a few seconds? That's a little how my mind is working with 2 games in the bag. The minute the buzzer sounded yesterday I skipped from 2 wins- to sweep- to champions. Just fantasizing though, I know there's plenty of work to be done to even take this series (Do I sound too much like Renney?). I'm just excited by the work we've already accomplished and the idea of wins at the Garden with J and myself in attendance.

Game 2 was ultimately a dream. Everyone looked much more poised and Sean Avery brought everything he had to the ice. Apart from his goal and masterful assist, my favorite moment is when he gave the booing crowd a potent "Fuck You". Shanahan was the shit as well. One goal took him from hard-working veteran to a little boy who just lost his first tooth. I wish I could smooch every scar on his beautiful head. Henrik buckled it down with the assistance of some great blocking by everyone in front, but especially Toots, Betts and Orty.

Alright boys, on to MSG. Game 1 was mostly the 1st line, Game 2 the 2nd line, can game three be dominatated by the 3rd line?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

15 wins to go!

Well, we've got at least one of two on the road which is what I wanted. Now I want game two too. My hope is that some of the shaky play was due to a little bit of nerves and that we can buckle it down to win even more handily tomorrow afternoon. I'm ecstatic that we made our lead hold. Very important. Now let's cut down the goals against (no offense Henrik!).

Everyone is using this photo to pictoralize the game last night, but with good reason because it's awesome. Our Hossa, Marcel, is the shit. The dueling expressions of his mom and dad in the audience were very amusing. Let's hope he didn't re-injure his knee on that tough hit because I love the way he's been playing this season, and as I said before I want to hear the Hossa song loud and often at the Garden next week.

Let's go Rangers!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blue v. Gray

Alright, so our round one playoff battle doesn't hold quite the same significance as the Civil War, but it the main Yankee/Confederate event happening this month. I am excited, even if a little trepidatious. I would love to win every game, but realistically I'm looking for the Rangers to take one of the two Atlanta games to start. As always, I'm really hoping our boys in blue play well, especially Henrik. Make Atlanta outplay them, or better yet make them just lay down. I know the Rangers can beat anybody when they play their best. I just want to see their best this week.

Monday, April 9, 2007

So I found myself inexplicably rooting for the Islanders this weekend. Was it because the story of their final week was too scripted to resist? Maybe, but then the image of Aloha Honolulu celebrating made me throw up a little, so I could hardly account for my own leanings. But then I was watching NY1 this morning and they told me this is the first time all 3 local teams have been in the playoffs since 1994, so I now know it was a subconscious urge spurred on that strange sports symmetry that often occurs. Would I mind a repeat of 1994? Not at all, in fact I'm counting on it.

Braved masses of children, strollers and stuffed elephants (the Circus was on) to pick up our playoff tickets on Friday. More than worth it. As J told you, they're beautiful. I almost don't want to rip them apart, but at least we get to keep them.

As for our series v. Atlanta, I'm ecstatic to have nailed down the 6th seed and am feeling optimistic about the matchup. I think their firepower will force our team to play D first, offence 2nd, which is our best hope to move on. Also I hope our Hossa (Marcel) scores at home during this series so that we can play the Hossa song, and his brother can be like, "What the F?"

let's play catch, I'll throw the shade

I was just walking home from the subway, and what did I see but some butthead buttface in an Islanders jersey. In Brooklyn! Please.

He wasn't facing me at first, but I could tell from the back what a despicable shirt he was wearing, so I started walking slower, giving the guy a chance to turn around so that I could deliver some serious shade. This is the playoffs, son. No playing.

When he turned around, I gave him a look of utter disgust (this was silent-movie quality miming — he could see it from the 1/2 block away) and shook my head real slow like. The dude clearly wasn't expecting what hit him. He's lucky he got off so easy. Next time, he's getting read. And I'm stealing his dog.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

they're just paper

The playoff tickets are so beautiful that I welled up a little. I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

We're playoff bound!

First off how many Ice Girls do the Rangers have to harass before they leave the team alone? Perhaps they were teasing Henrik with a barrage of "in your crease" jokes. I must give this story a shout-out for taking the edge off the must-win situation tonight. But guess what? We won! And we clinched! Not only that but we also clinched at least 7th. No buffalo for us in the first round which is awesome because I kinda like Buffalo (when they are not playing us) and they scare me as an opponent. Another brilliant game at MSG, one that went down way easier than I was anticipating. I love this team so bad, and I cannot even express how excited I am to be incredibly anxious for many more days to come.

Gonna pick up the tickets tomorrow morning and hug them a little.

Now boys let's go for 6th!

looks like we made it


Oh man, I have to get up in four and a half hours. We'll talk more later.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Pain with 1 point gain

I can't believe that losing in overtime could be as painful as Sunday's win was heartening, but last night's loss definitely was. Very restless sleep, kept thinking, "If only Toronto lost in OT," or "What if we were awesome all the time?" I'm hoping (get ready for more paranoia) that the excessive amounts of nervous energy both J and I are expending worrying over our Rangers' playoff probability is just an extra sacrifice for finally clinching. Here's to our team and to tomorrow!

ps. Ted Nolan (aka Aloha Honolulu) is a total bitch. Also if he was a little nicer our coaching staff might clue him in as to where to buy a decent shirt and tie. Not only has he not coached in 9 years he hasn't bought any new clothes either. Aloha, just buy a Hawaiian shirt already! You barely have to button it, let alone where a nappy ass tie.

I can't believe we didn't win

Um, I was supposed to be celebrating tonight, because you guys were supposed to clinch the playoffs last night. Didn't you get my memo?

I have many more things to say about this game, but I am too sad and too busy.

Now I am off to get a haircut. Of course it is raining. I blame Brendan Witt (I won't even post a photo. No one deserves that.)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Garden Euphoria

I think last night was in my top three games of the year at the Garden. Tight nerve-wracking 1st period, then total dominance. It was our last regular game in our regular seats. Very fun to share such a landslide with all the familiar faces in 343. I left feeling our team could do no wrong, that I could do anything. Now hopefully the Blueshirts prove my feeling right with a win on the Island tomorrow. Their play has been spectacular almost to the point of miraculous as of late, and it's been a joy to experience so much of their play firsthand this year, including the great, the good and the disappointing. I only hope that our season with the Rangers can continue deep into the spring and that this crazy happy feeling will repeat and repeat.

ps. Avery's the shit.

pss. In the link we're the 2 dots in the top row left, right before the break in people. Yearbook baby!

those about to rock

Today at work, many were watching the Yankee game, and I thought (and then said) what a good thing it is that my games never happen during the workday. My super nervousness, my yelling, my cursing, my cheering — very not safe for work.

Anyway, it's only been a day and I already miss them. Ohhh, I can't wait for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

the restless heart, the promised land

I'm feeling good about the playoffs. We aren't in, but we're really close now, and I'm loving it.

Tonight I took photos (not this one). I'm not sure why it took me 21 games to realize this was a good idea, but I tried to make up for it by taking 47 pictures. I'm fairly certain 44 of them were of Matt Cullen. Oh, that's sad. But true. And so so right. When I remember what the bleep I did with the USB cable, I'll post them. And you'll like it.

Tonight's win was due in part to music, I'm sure of it. As we walked in, they played "The Bucket" by Kings of Leon. A song I love, yes, but also notable because I've been singing their new song, "On Call," incessantly. She said, 'Call me up, baby, and I'll come a-runnin'. What a dream. Then they played "Read My Mind" and also "Not the Sun" between the 1st and 2nd periods. I had to leave my regular blog to talk about hockey. Now I'm talking about music on the hockey blog. It can't be helped, so get into it.

Favorite misheard moment in a long long time:
Al Trautwig to Jed Ortmeyer: Hockey is cool. Congratulations.

PS Sean Avery is glorious. He scores goals, he knocks one of my top five (three?) most hated players of all time on the ice, he fills my heart with love.

What makes Dancing Larry dance?

Usually it's "Strike It Up" sometime during the 3rd period with a clear win in sight, but unfortunately J and I haven't experienced the awesome sight since I think the Feb. 27th 4-0 drubbing of Montreal. We heard it clearly happening during the St. Patty's day coverage on MSG, but despite a 5-0 blowout of Philly at the Garden there's been no patented moves by the bald one when we've been in attendance. What is it Dancing Larry? A hip flexor injury? A contrary DJ? Melancholy? Well, I don't care what the reasons were, I just hope that the fates, i.e. The Rangers, the Leafs, MSG, etc., conspire to make tonight Dancing Larry's magnum opus. I want a win and I want some dancin'!

As for last night, a sloppy win, but 2 points in the bank. I concur with J that it was heartening to see Jagr take advantage of the room he was given. Sometimes I get the impression that he just has to believe he can score to light the lamp. Let's hope that carries through the rest of the week. Oh and also that the defense gathers itself together to shut down the Leafs (and also the Islanders, Canadiens and Penguins).

eight-point plan

Last night we sat in a hotel room in Atlantic City, watching the Philadelphia sports station and eating room service. It didn't come close to the MSG TV experience — Jim Jackson, you are no Sam Rosen. "Coatsey" can't hold a candle to the incomparable Stan Fischler (good thing we'd taped "Rangers Gamenight" to see the birthday festivities and baby pictures!) And Keith Jones? Bleh.

Anyway, I'm so grateful to the team for delivering a win (though it was far too close for comfort) and to the Caesars' kitchen for delivering a pretty great hamburger (though the night before's Morton's feast could not be matched).

I'm also grateful that Jagr was able to find a little room and do some serious scoring. Here's hoping he takes that success and gets himself on a roll. A confident #68 could be an unstoppable force.

Today, we go to MSG to cheer and panic and cheer some more, I hope, in person. We do that Tuesday from home, and then we do it again at MSG on Thursday.

And now for the begging portion of our program:

  • Please that we may be firmly in the playoffs by Thursday, and only playing for position (I'll take #6, thanks.)
  • Please that the team photo is all I've hoped it will be — and I get out of there with way more than one. (Yes, that is also important.)
  • And please that I spend a whole lot more time after Thursday at MSG over the next two months.

We've got our tickets reserved, boys. Now make us use them.