So remiss of me! I have to get at least one post in this January, especially when so much has happened. Let's begin with the beginning, January 1st, Winter Classic, 8pm, NBC. Sometimes sports commentators (I'm looking at you, everyone) employ their objective stance a little too freely. What they might describe as a hard fought, incredible game/match to be lauded the world over, to me is entirely dependent on the outcome. Wimbledon final 2008? Not the best match of all time and you know why? Because my guy (That would be Federer) didn't hoist the trophy. Not so the 2011 Winter Classic. My complete enjoyment of the game is in direct relation to the Capitals pulling out the win. The whole spectacle was fantastic from the very beginning, especially when they announced Bare Naked Junkie Stephen Page would performing the anthem. Fortunately Bettman and the powers that be had the good sense to limit him to the Canadian anthem, which inexplicably must be sang at a Stateside event featuring two teams below the maple line. At least he knew all the words.
The game was well worth the 7 hour delay, and even more so was the finale of 24/7 airing the following Wednesday on HBO. Liev Schreiber is a narration genius. I thought nothing could match the emotional power in the final moments of Do You Believe in Miracles? but the last 5 minutes of episode 4 comes pretty close. After sitting on my couch leaking tears, I was comforted the next morning knowing I wasn't the only one. Mr. Wyshynski ultimately enjoyed the in-game coverage of Episode 3 over that of The Classic, but having watched the broadcast of the latter not the former, I was much more rivited by Episode 4. It was just incredible to watch the game, then rewatch it with complete access to every whine (not just Sid), every hit, every profane word. Brilliant. Now we need the DVD with lots of extras. I'm thinking raw footage of the two Ranger games. Plus I need more George McPhee. How hot is that guy?
My pallie Mike had the great fortune to not only be in attendance at Heinz field, but to be rooting for the right team which he has since commemorated with this killer ink. And you know there's matching tat on the other shoulder. Truly baadasssss. And a lot easier to look at than Matt Hendrick's eye!
Next up was the conclusion of the Bare Legal tournament in Buffalo. Everyone knows I hate losing to the Canadians, i.e. The 2010 Olympics, and this was no exception. Although ultimately I take consolation in the fact the it's much more fun to win the Bronze than lose the Gold. The USA medal game against Sweden was that much sweeter because my boy Chris Kreider took it upon himself to write the wrong of the semifinal game and scored twice to secure the Bronze. Still love these boys.
We Rangers have a lot of hot prospects waiting in the wings, but we also have some pretty great young players currently donning my favorite jersey. First and foremost is Mr. Zuccarello Aasen who was thankfully retrieved from the wilds of Connecticut. I knew he should have made the team from Game 1, and I've only been proved right since Sather finally agreed with me. The only downside to this little dynamo is the unfortunate truncating of his last name. I know the Garden faithful like to have a surplus of names to chant that sound conspicuously like boos, but I miss the Aasen like a mo-fo. Luckily my girl Jane has crafted the perfect solution. Meet The MZA, long lost member of the Wu-Tang Clan. All I'm saying is, NYR ain't nuthin' to fuck with!
Since then Sather and I have really been sharing one brain, or else that Jedi mind-meld I've been practicing is finally paying off because I've been hankering after Wojtek Wolski since Phoenix picked him up late last season. Well really before that, but who knew those fools on Colorado would move him. Who cares though because now he's a Ranger providing a point a game, and although I was sad to see the last of the Czech contingent leave with Roszival, I'm completely satisfied with this 2010-11 team. While the wins feel terrific, it feels almost as good to swallow the losses knowing that your team did their very best to secure those two points. I'm still anxious about the last third of this season, but regardless of the outcome I'm so proud of our boys and looking forward to playoff possibilities. In all likelihood we'll start on the road which given our away record I'm not only comfortable with, but actually prefer. Let's just lockdown one of those spots, preferably not against the Flyers!
Until then we have the All-star game to look forward to. Thanks to Shanny's delightful draft idea almost all my faves are playing for Team Staal. We've got our King and Marc, the very sharp Patrick Sharp, hottie hitter David Backes, who could ask for anything more? The only player I begrudge Team Lidstrom is Ducks' goalie Jonas Hiller, who looked like a crazy math teacher decked out in his blonde Jheri curl and doofy glasses. Aasen! I did learn something from last night's "fantasy" draft. Henrik Lundqvist is certifiably the most handsome man living. I've always thought so, but when surrounded by his fellow players, most of whom are tremendously attractive, his superior fineness is only heightened. Really it's a crime. Thank the great and powerful Oz that he plays for New York and that his baby blues are directed towards us, the adoring residents of his kingdom. Long may you reign.