Sunday, February 28, 2010

Team USA all the way

I'm not one of those people who think Gold is the only worthwhile medal, but now that Team USA has secured at least Silver with their exemplary play in the elimination rounds I want one more win.

I was worried about this potential rematch the minute Ryan Kesler's puck hit the empty net against Canada last Sunday. But the team is on fire, the Eye sees all, and their determined to win, kind of like their World Junior counterparts. Hopefully they have the same outcome. I'd hate to lose to Canada, but ultimately I just want Team USA to play their best, and their best is definitely colored Gold. So, "USA! USA! USA!"

ps. Maybe Cally will score!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go teams Go!

No surprise I'm pulling for Team USA and the Tre Kronor to advance to the Gold medal game, but the quarterfinals are first. We get the Swiss. I'm hoping they're nice and tired from their shootout win yesterday. The Eye should be well rested and very focused. I can't believe I'm liking this guy more and more, but I read the other day that he had a shamrock painted on his mask (along with that hideously beefcake Uncle Sam!) to honor Jim Craig, goalie of the 1980 gold medal squad. I wouldn't love hockey without the Miracle on Ice and I'd like nothing more than for 2010's team to capture gold 30 years later. I only wish Miller was as foxy as Mr. Craig, who's still looking pretty good.
I'm not sure if my love of country outweighs my love of Henrik, it's a close call. Let's just say I'd like Team Sweden to do well. My second favorite gold medal is the last, Tre Kronor in 2006. The whole team hightailed it from Turin to Stockholm to celebrate and although I can no longer find footage of Henrik's gold medal dance, this montage includes my second favorite moment where on route to city central a fellow player hands Henrik toothpaste and hair gel. Brilliant! Who doesn't want a repeat of that? (note:look away directly after Henrik if you'd don't want to have Forsberg's uggo face forced upon you!)

I actually like all the teams but the home team. Anyone but Canada is the current mantra, and hopefully Russia will take care of them this evening, I'm in the midst of a move and while I'll be awaiting the games with great anticipation I may be incommunicato for the rest of the Olympics. We'll wrap up next week hopefully with smiling faces. In the meantime feel free to email me:

Happy Olympics everybody!

Monday, February 22, 2010

that was tremendously, tremendous

Super Sunday was pretty spectacular. I could've gone for the Czechs over the Russians, but the potential quarterfinal set up between USSR and Canada takes a little sting out of the win. The first game was just an appetizer though and man did USA lay out a meal! I've never liked Ryan Miller so much in my life even if I had to bite my tongue from calling him the Cyclops throughout the whole game. Same with multi-goal hero Rafalski who I commonly refer to as Repulski, a holdover from his Devil years. I inverted my jibes to powerful mantras and it seemed to work. Instead of cursing Miller, every time he made a save I yelled, "The Eye sees all!" I loved everything about this contest. USA's energy, Drury's goal, even Crosby's late game tip in because in retrospect it gave Canada hope and their dashed superiority was that much more enjoyable.

And how about Ryan Kesler's empty netter? A hard-working classic. Who knew Zach Parise was such a cool dude? No idea. I'm guessing there's a little latent animosity between Brodeur and his current and former teammates given the determination of those players to score on him. And maybe ol' Brace Face really did change allegiances when he took that citizenship test this past December because he seemed honor-bound to give this win away. Brodeur even went so far as to cleverly shift the blame to other parties. So unlike him. I don't think he skipped shaking anyone's hand, but he didn't look happy about it and barely exchanged a word with Team USA. True leadership.

Sweden moved on too in the late-night game behind another shutout from my man Henrik. That man's a God. To be honest I stayed up until 3-0, then hit the hay, so I hope in this case there wasn't another face-to-face with Mr. Gorgeous. The Tre Kroner await the winner of Slovakia-Norway while Team USA wait on Swiss-Belarus. I hope it's gonna be a good week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

all gone to plan so far

I haven't been able to catch much of the Men's Ice Hockey Olympic tournament so far, but I was home for most of the Tre Kronor's 2-0 win over Germany last night. My guy Henrik Lundqvist earned his first Olympic shutout in his opening bid to repeat for gold, not too shabby. Even better was his post-game interview with MSG's own Joe Micheleti.

It was like an instant replay of the moment I fell in love with him, in an NBC interview during the 2006 Olympics because the look he gave the camera at the close said, "I'll be right home honey, and I want to celebrate!" His did it again yesterday and there was synchronized loud shrieking (is that an Olympic sport?) in my home. You can watch here if you can get it to work. In one view the Battle of the Hudson raged on because CNBC followed the beauty that is the Sweden backstop with Joe's one-on-one with Martin Brodeur. I thought I was being petty when I thought, "Isn't he even uglier than usual?" But it turns our he was. Ol' Fatso is sporting braces for the fortnight. Who does he think he is, Tom Cruise? What self-respecting hockey player gets braces before retirement? Maybe his wives have another sister who's an orthodontist!

I missed the Czechs vs. Slovakians because I like sleep a lot. Also I'm torn between the two: I want Gaborik to excel, but I love Jagr. Can't stop, don't wanna stop. Turns out I'm not the only one. Check out these dudes! I'm lovin' their DIY tribute, but they should have thought about sporting pajama pants with a print invoking the opening ceremonies. That's what I did, in bed.

By some stroke of luck I'm home for USA Vs. Norway this afternoon and I'm very excited to root for Cally and Drury in real time. Go USA! Go Sweden!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

in those jeans!

3 great things happened in the Rangosphere in the last weekend before the Olympic break. 2 occured at the same time. I decided to primarily watch the opening cermonies in Vancouver because I didn't want to miss Jagr carrying the Czech Republic flag in the parade of athletes. Thanks to NBC I barely say him and these remarkable pants because they went to commercial during his big moment and only mentioned him in passing about returning to air. I need more than a glimpse of this outfit, I want all angles especially the back! Wait a minute doesn't NBC carry hockey? Curses NBC! I blame Mike Milbury.

Concurrently the Rangers were facing off against Crosby & co in Pittsburg where not only did Dubinsky say that Big Lips is "such a little baby sometimes" but we pulled out an win with Jokinen's OT goal. His face is like an added weapon in a breakaway situation a I thank him for it.

Lastly came Tampa Bay and after falling down 0-2 in the first it looked like another lackluster performance against a beatable opponent. Then man man Avery was granted a penalty shot and he made some kinda play to score the Rangers' first goal of 5. It's sheer beauty and I couldn't love him more.

Today marks the first day of the Men's Olympic hockey tournament. Good luck Cally, Drury, Gaborik, Jagr, Jokinen and especially Henrik.

Friday, February 12, 2010

little pleasures

When your team is in the midst of a terrible run you have to take your pleasure in small things - great plays, points accumulated, save pct. Then sometimes your team just comes through with a spectacular performance. That was last Saturday's game against those blasted Devils. I was more than nervous to face them at MSG once again after two painful loses to them there this season, by my Rangers showed up and played wonderfully particularly our Olympians, Gaborik, Callahan, Drury and especially Henrik. Better than
that Brodeur let in his usual softies and Avery jaw must have hurt....from yapping so much. A truly enjoyable win although I could have done without Heinious Zubrus' goal.

So I was very excited to attend Wednesday night's tilt against Nashville despite the slush and cold. Who's even on that team anyway? Two points are ours. That is until Gaborik cuts his thigh and Torts plays 7 defensemen at the expense of Voros. I'm thinking scoring will be a miracle and of course it was all Prospal could do to net one on an extended 5 on 3. Henrik was sharp as 36 saves just weren't enough on this night. So what did I do? Took my pleasures in other things. Like my spectacular view from the first row of Sec. 96 and 25% of concessions. Oh yeah, Legwand is a Pred. Unfortunately his first name is David and not Massimo. Loved my seats although they were partially obscured by the posse of businessmen sitting right in front of me. Two of them were speaking some indeterminable language which was disturbing until they pointed to one of the Predators and yelled, "Douche"! Must be French and I assume they were calling out Bouillon aka "Soupy". Favorite moment of the game, but not of the night.

Anxious to get home and out of the elements I head to the E train lickety split after the final buzzer. Walking up the platform Voros is easily spotted waiting for the train with his notable height and lack of silhouette. But wait who's that standing next to him looking all shy and cute in his wool coat and knit hat? Is it Gabby? Yes it is. The place was swarming with disgruntled Ranger fans so I didn't want to start a problem opting to pass them by. I was hoping I could catch Gabby's eye so I could tell him I missed him, but I'm too short to make that happen easily. Pretty exciting though, like my own mini Casino Night. Made it home without too much hassle but I did wish I had snatched up one of those nifty new knitted Rangers scarves with the Players names on them. I've been waiting over 4 years to wrap Lundqvist around my face and now I can for only $19.99. Good deal.

Hopefully the Rangers have at least one more enjoyable win in them before the Olympic break and I'd prefer to take care of the Pens tonight.

ps. I missed the memo that Nashville's Joel Ward was black! Awesome, but better if he hadn't been so much better than us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

failure to clear

I apologize for buggering off on this blog lately, but the Rangers have been almost too depressing to write about. I feel a touch responsible for the five game slide because most of my focus was reserved for the Australian Open. Better choice on my part because Roger Federer is a champion, and he wins a whole heck of a lot more than he loses. 23 straight slam semis and my guy pocketed his 16th major championship this past Sunday. Congrats Roger, and here's to a Grand Slam this year. Federer also knows how to keep to a bargain while meantime my Rangers manage 1 win in their 3 game western tour. Thanks guys.

Not only that but they return to NYC a whole lot uglier (you know I'm right). I always have a problem with change, and though the trade for Jokinen didn't break my heart, I'm gonna have trouble embracing him. Even with his ridiculous facial hair which is usually a surefire way to engage my affection. Last night I got to see up close and personal in my first visit to MSG since late October. I was hoping to rekindle the winning magic my presence insured back then, but my mojo only secured 5 goals which just weren't enough for those pesky Caps. This is one loss I highly enjoyed though which I can't say about the majority of January. First I received the VIP treatment: suite perched on the 8th ave corner; yummy snacks provided; goody bag; and seats next to a Rangers' legend whose name happens to reside in the rafters. Pretty snazzy. Plus I like to celebrate goals, so except for losing this game had it all. I was hoping for a Prospal hattrick, but at least if he didn't get one neither did anyone else i.e. Knuble or Ovechkin. And Henrik seemed a little shellshocked but hopefully he'll rebound with a real shutout against Marty and the Kovalchuks tomorrow night.