Wednesday, October 29, 2008

piling it on

Something is wrong, beating the Islanders wasn't as fun as it usually is. Do I really miss DiPietro? I certainly doesn't feel bad for the Islander fans, but this win was almost too easy. I'd never turn down 2 points, but usually the team (and myself) have to sweat out these wins a little more. Maybe this will be the year the Rangers win all the games against teams they're better than. That would be a delight as the schedule is filled with them in the upcoming weeks. Atlanta tomorrow, Toronto saturday, Tampa Bay next week.

Let's not burn Henrik out making highlight reel saves to keep us in the "winable" games though. He was fabulous Monday night, very focused. And I will admit that I miss Ted "Aloha" Nolan (maybe he's the key?) - this new coach is just too bland.

Whatever, let's just pocket the points and hope that 60 min effort shows up sometime in the very near future.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zherdev's the shit!

Please Hockey Gods, do not let the fortunes realign. For once we're the team that can come back, tie it up with seconds left and realize 2 points seemingly from nowhere. And I love it. Especially against the Pens. The last twenty seconds of regulation was a dream - Crosby's long stab at the open net misses wide and Zherdev comes down on the right -passes up a pass- and beats Fleury soundly. Just beautiful. Overtime not so much, but Henrik bails out the team and Freddie secures his 2nd win with a shootout goal. All in all a terrific night on the ice.

Let's hope there's not a hangover on the Island tomorrow night because those fishsticks will be gunning for us with intensity, especially after dropping three in a row. We've got to stop relying on our good fortune and makeour own with a 60 min effort.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It took Tom Renney getting knocked on the head to kickstart a sense of urgency from his team. The Rangers looked damned good in the 2nd half of this game beating Columbus (and our lost Tyuts) very handily. Zherdev looked fantastic, Henrik stood strong, PK was great (thank you Betts & Freddie). Marc Staal was strangely aggressive clotheslining at least 2 jackets - some of Mara's snarl must be rubbing off - is a lumberjack beard far behind for our young defenseman? Unfortunately I don't think he can grow one. Nash must have been very frustratedd because he kept Freddie in a headlock for long time at the end of the game despite two refs trying to pry him off - maybe because Freddie is so sleek and pretty and Nash has a big potato head. Although I'll take Nash face anyday over Crosby and Malkin who unfortunately we play tonight. We can't lt those ugly MF's get any points tonight.

ps. Looks like Mats Sundin has finally picked a new team.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'll take 3 of 4, but it doesn't feel great

No fun pics or clips, so Mark Wahlberg will fill in. Not much to say about this game. It was awful, then really fun to watch, then ultimately disappointing. I'd love to ever come out on the winning end of these high scoring games. Whatever, let's take the point and then take it to Dallas at MSG with a full 60 min effort. A game just like the Monday night one we played last week against the Devils would be just the thing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

our team looks good

Literally, they're very attractive. Can you think of a hotter goalie tandem than Henrik and Valiquette? Vali was tremendous against Toronto keeping us in the game for 65 mins and winning it in the shootout. The current lack of scoring trend is a little worrisome, but I'll take 6-1 easily. Plus the boys were giving it everything, peppering Toskala brutally in the third and OT. And of course I'm proud of Zherdev and especially Freddie for coming through in the SO. I think Freddie has sealed his position on the team with his hustle and expert penalty killing and I couldn't be happier about it. I just love his face and the way he is and want him in broadway blue for many seasons.

Now on to Detroit. Our swedes will beat your swedes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

not so good

So we lost. Can't like it, but there was one fine moment. Actually I didn't realize how awesome it was until I saw the replay at home. This season Paul Mara has been more like Paul Bunyan with his lumberjack beard (see last post) and willingness to flex his muscles, a change I totally love. I think he should just play with a long axe instead of a stick. So last night Mara dropped the gloves against Kaleta who broke Mara's face last year, only thing is Kaleta wouldn't take him on so Mara just pounded him and Kaleta's cowering with his well-protected hands over his precious face. Still Kaleta had the gall to taunt Mr. Bunyan like the worse brat on the playground. Fuck that guy.

On to Toronto. Back to excellence.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Devils go down

When the Rangers were touting Aaron "AV" Voros, a fourth line nobody, as Avery's replacement this season I thought the organization was selling me a load of crap. Thankfully I was totally wrong. AV has far exceeded my expectations, and I imagine his own as well. While his antics on and off the ice are not quite as enjoyable as Avery's, Voros' ability to score and mix it up certainly is. He had his best game so far Monday night against those bitchass Devils. Avery must have left him some notes because he did everything - picked on Brodeur, yapped at Clarkson, gloated to Colin White and scored 2 goals. I'm sure he called Gionta a midget - I didn't see it, but it must have happened. Keep it up AV, prove me wrong all season.

My other favorite moments of the game (and there were a lot because nothing is
sweeter than beating the Devils) were Brodeur just getting his glove on - but not catching - Dubinsky's goal. Gomez roughing it up with Langenbrunner. Just feel it the hate Gomez. It's ok, you bleed blue now, not black. And lastly Callahan's empty net goal. Love that kid.

Now on to Buffalo. 5-0 feels great, but 6-0 would be even better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

gone too soon

It's not often or ever that you fall in love with a prospect at the dry as dust NHL draft, but Cherepanov was the execption. From the moment we saw him we wanted him in a Ranger's jersey. I know it was little more than an hour, but it was like a small miracle when he fell to our 17th pick and Sather had his blueshirt all ready with his name in white and red on back. Baby Jagr is how I thought of him with his fluffly hair in the back and in the dream scenario he was gonna come over and play with his idol #68. Well he did get to play with Jagr, just for Omsk and not the Rangers. I thought and hoped that Jagr would take this year grooming Cherepanov to be an NHL superstar as a parting gift to the Rangers, but that's not going to happen now that Cherepanov is dead at 19. We'll miss you Alexei, rest in peace.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is Palin courting the Latino vote?

ps -My favorite part of last night's game was the one I was most dreading - the ceremonial puck drop with Gov. Palin. Traditionally the opposing team's captains meet in center ice for the event/photo op, but in this case our captain Chris Drury had the good sense to bow out practically forcing Alaskan hero Scottie Gomez to take his place. Palin must never have seen Drury pitching the win in the Little League World Series or should would have shown some dissapointment over the switch. As it happens she, daughters Willow and Ruthie - I mean Piper (love that girl) - look like they're meeting Cary Grant. That's some state loyalty! I wish they had employed a split screen of Drury watching the proceedings. I bet his expression was more entertaining than any interview he's ever given. Speaking of interviews, Gomez gives a pretty good one today in the New York Post. It doesn't hurt that this one is written, so we don't have to look at his ever present smirk. I still have trouble embracing Gomez as a Ranger, but I like him better every time he gives more heart and less Devil. Speaking of the Devils, Gomez always shows up well against his former team, I believe to convince us he isn't here as an evil saboteur. I'm still not %100 sure of his loyalty, so he had better show me his A game tomorrow night. I want to believe in you Scottie.

pss- Your Grandma loves you.

4-0 and it sure feels good!

After the Montreal game last year and Game 1 v. Pittsburgh, no lead seems safe, but through some diligent penalty killing and terrific goaltending by the fabulously frosted Vali the Rangers survived the dreaded 4 goal lead last night. My man Zherdev opened up the scoring then the best fourth line ever Freddie-Betts-Orr potted two goals. You know you're having a great night when Betts puts up two points. I say that with love. And we held on with that same line's gritty PK. Love it. Please let the winning continue. No wins for Brodeur on our watch.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

164 Points?

I like winning. I like clapping until my hands are red and throbbing. I like men in blue, red and white uniforms. I like raised sticks.

Last night all was good and great at the Garden. There was scoring, fights. Henrik played like a King. I ate and drank too much then came home and did it again to celebrate. Good times.

Thank heaven for hockey season.

Now let's rinse and repeat tonight against the Flyers. Our good guys will be in white. Let's hope they prevail!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Presidents' Trophy here we come!

So yeah, I hope y'all had a great summer. There wasn't much to like or to report about my decimated Rangers, so I said, "Fuck it!" and haven't written in nearly 3 months. Even the start of training camp was too dull to cover. The interviews were unbelievably bland (I'm looking at you Henrik with a sparkle and a wink, which YOU clearly left in Sweden!). The MSG season preview skipped anyone with personality. Sather keeps dangling Shanahan over our heads with the possible promise of someone handsome, charming and angry representing the team. The Rangers couldn't even win a preseason game without J and myself in the audience. Thank god for Europe (the region, not the band). Winning will heal most grievances and we swept our four game trip overseas, so thank you Rangers for pulling it together. Maybe we won't need personality if every postgame is a celebration. It definitely feels good to be at the top of the league even if it's only for a few more days.

The good times started for the Rangers with two exhibition games in Switzerland. I propose that the fabulous showing there was kharmically predestined by Swiss super athlete Roger Federer winning the US Open. Now the two things don't have much to do with each other, but in my sports world July was ruined with Sather's dismissal of my favorite players and Federer's loss at Wimbledon, so obviously I view Roger's dominence at the Open (thanks to me in Arthur Ashe I'm sure) as heralding a positive shift in sports mysticism. I think because I was able to witness Roger kissing the beautiful Open trophy this fall (and perhaps 08-09) will be blessed with all good things. Is this too new agey?

So yeah, Switzerland. After scoring 2 goals in all 6 North American pre-season games and going 1-5, the Rangers rout the Swiss team 8-1. Everyone on the teams scores, it's beautiful. Then the Rangers crush the hopes of Russian champions Metallurg Magnitogorsk by rebounding from 3 zip down to win 4-3 with the beauty Callahan game winner clicking in at 19:39 in the 3rd. The Russians are crying and I'm not sure if it's because they lost out on $100,000 bonuses or because the
KHL (read KGB) plan to hurt their families because they lost!

In a move than can be seen as both classy and dickish, Drury and Gomez decided to let Russian Rangers Zherdev and Kalinen accept this trophy. It's pretty ugly, but it makes a great logo, especially when it used as a Charlie's Angels style wipe during the broadcast. I was just happy to see Zherdev's face because the Rangers hide him away like his lack of English is a major deformity. He's obviously well formed and MSG and the Rangers should know by now that foreigners speaking English poorly is a comic delight and a thrill for fans all over this great nation. Why deny us? I think Zherdev may be my favorite new player aside from Henrik. I'll know for sure when I hear his accent, so get on it John Giannone!

On to Prague. Drury's named captain, and despite his blandness I think he'll make a good one. I'm hoping for great, but we'll see what happens. In my mind I've made him the Atticus Finch of the NHL. I think he's gonna be the a quiet but supportive dad to this team. He's gonna personally teach Zherdev to read, write and speak English, he's gonna convince Dubinsky to abandon his rough trade look (which is somehow worse this season), He's gonna learn Colton Orr scoring touch, and he's gonna keep Redden off the pipe. What a guy- go to it Drury!

We went on to win our first two games that count against Tampa "We'll buy any player available" Bay. The Ace of Base mojo works for fellow Swede Naslund because he scored just moments after "The Sign" shuffled onto my Pod. Thank you Naslund, thank you Pod gods. Henrik played great keeping his GAA nice and low. Thank you Henrik.

Dubinsky, Redden and Gomez chipped in with the other goals. Notice his teammates avert their eyes from Gomer's face. He can perform, but jeesh he's no looker!

The team's looking solid despite a surplus of forwards (note to Sather: Please don't dump Freddie! We love him). Onto the home opener against Chicago. J and I will be in the house. I'm hoping to stay at the top of league for as long as we can manage - shooting for April, hoping for June. Let's go Rangers!