Posted on: August 27, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 10:44 am

Bloggers Banned by Rangers

Did you guys see this? Apparently there are several teams around the NHL … including my always scandal free Rangers … that are looking to ban bloggers from gaining press credentials. One paragraph in particular made me want to punch Sather harder than I already did:

According to multiple sources speaking on background, a New York Rangers blogger affiliated with SB Nation was credentialed by the NHL for the 2010 Draft in Los Angeles. The Rangers were reportedly upset at his presence because the blogger was associated with a "Fire Sather" rally in March that targeted the Rangers' beleaguered general manager. The Rangers, and other teams, viewed this as a writer "crossing over" into "irresponsible" fan behavior.

Irresponsible? IRRESPONSIBLE? You know what’s irresponsible? Giving Wade Redden a 6 year contract … forget the money … a 6 YEAR contract on the heels of back to back terrible seasons post lock out. How about not renewing Rozsival for 3 years at 4 mil per during the season … waiting for him to become a UFA … and then giving him an extra year and an extra mil per! Drury … Gomez … you know where this is going. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

You know what Glen … if you didn’t want people calling for your head then you should stop screwing up!! And I might add that Mr. Larry Brooks was also at that rally (covering, not participating, although I’m sure he wanted to) … but he still gets full press credentials … and he’s FAAAAAAR more critical of Sather, Torts and the entire Rangers front office … heck even players … than any of the bloggers out there. But he gets a press cred because he writes for the Post and not a website?

Thankfully it’s not just the Rangers that have this point of view … so us Rags fans don’t have to carry this embarrassment alone.  The Oilers (you know the place Sather destroyed after getting handed Messier and Gretzky) are also on board. One uncited Western Conference team stated that no blogger will be allowed at games “without a ticket”. Nice.

Your first Amendment at work ladies and gents! I forgot that it now reads that Sather can do whatever he wants and shouldn’t be questioned about it.

Category: NHL
Posted on: October 13, 2009 8:24 am

Are the Rangers for Real?

How soon is too soon? The NHL season is not even a tenth of the way over, but at this moment the Rangers are tied with the Penguins, sitting on top of the Atlantic Division, and looking much better than most would have thought. 

Since losing opening night in Pittsburgh, the Rangers have won 5 consecutive games. Now this is nothing new to the Rangers as they got off to a hot start last year. However, they are winning much more impressively than they were last year, most notably last night’s 7-2 dismantling of the Leafs.  

The Rangers started off last season with a 5 game win streak, but one only needs to look at the scores of those games to see that this is a different team. During last year’s 5 game win streak the Rangers only outscored their opponents by more than 1 goal twice, and even those wins were only by 2 goals; As opposed to this year’s streak where the Rangers have defeated their opponents by 2 or more goals 3 times. 

During last year’s streak the Rangers outscored their opponents 16-8; this year its 22-9. 6 goals might seem like a small difference, but when considering the sample size is only 5 games that’s over a goal per game more that the Rangers are scoring. And this coming from a team that often struggled to score a goal a game to begin with last year. 

More impressive is the fact that the Rangers are currently tied for the league lead in goals with 24. Yes Kids, the New York Rangers lead the NHL in goals scored. If I had told you that would have been the case two weeks into the season everyone reading this would have laughed in my face. Heck, even I would have laughed in my face. 

This is a different Rangers team. A full training camp under Tortorella has gotten this team in shape and playing the coaches system the right way. Thanks to that conditioning and training the Rangers are dominating their opponents in the third period, outscoring them 12-3! During last year’s streak they only outscored their opponents in the third period by a tally of 4-3, often trying to protect the lead instead of adding to it. 

And instead of relying on just Gaborik to score, the Rangers have shown that every line can contribute. There was no better example of that then last night when 5 different players scored a goal. So far 7 Rangers have 2 or more goals, including two defensemen. There have been 12 different goal scorers so far this season. Higgins and Lisin are the only two of the top 9 forwards that have not scored yet.

This new, fast, aggressive Rangers team has impressed immensely so far this season but the question is, how far can they go? Many had pegged the Rangers to miss the playoffs this year and although it certainly is a possibility, it seems unlikely if they continue to play at this level. 

Playoffs? Eastern Conference Finals? Stanley Cup? Who knows; at this point the fans can only hope. I’m not ready to dive head first into a pool of warm and cozy feelings about my teams chances this year just yet … it’s still too early for that … but I have dipped my toes in the water, and I have to tell you, it feels Nice! 
Category: NHL
Tags: Rangers
Posted on: September 14, 2009 12:50 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2009 3:41 pm

Gaborik's first scare!

Alright Ranger fans; You knew it was going to happen sooner or later … but this isn’t as serious as some pessimistic Rangers fans would lead you to believe. 

It was first reported Saturday that Marian Gaborik was held out of the second half of Saturday’s training camp activities. And then on Sunday, Gaborik was held out as a precautionary measure. Normally I’m the pessimistic one, but some of the responses to this have been a little too much for me not to laugh. Certainly I’m worried, as every Ranger fan should be, but some seem to think that Gaborik’s season is over already. How about we let him actually get injured first before we jump off the ledge, shall we? 

Let’s look at this logically and calmly for a second, something New York area fans do not specialize in, and really dissect what is happening here. 

For one, Gaborik missed all but 17 games last season. So for all intents and purposes he has missed almost an entire season and recently had surgery. This would lead you to believe that his conditioning and training hasn’t been at full tilt in quite some time. Then enter the fact that Tortorella runs the most grueling camp Rangers fans have seen since Mike Keenan. Then consider Gaborik’s injury history and the need to protect a 5 year, $37.5 million dollar investment. Then consider the fact that it was the organizations choice to hold Gaborik out, as opposed to Gaborik taking himself out. 

All of this leads me to believe that this is nothing more than the Rangers being very careful with a player that they have such high expectations for. Let’s face it, if Gaborik is missed for any extended period of time the Rangers are in very deep trouble. Therefore, it is fine with me that they heir on the side of caution here. And like I said, he’s not even injured, he’s sore, there is a difference. 

Gaborik is scheduled to take part in most of today’s training camp activities with the exception of scrimmages and heavier skating/running. However do not panic when you don’t see him in tomorrow night’s pre-season opener at home against the Bruins. Tortorella has already said that he will be using this game to see what the “Kids” can do.

So take a deep breath … relax … and remember … Hockey is Officially Back!  
Category: NHL
Posted on: July 28, 2009 10:40 am
Edited on: July 28, 2009 11:31 am

Really Omar? + the outlook for the rest of 09

As if having your VP of Player Development go into your minor league team’s locker room, take off his shirt and then challenge the entire team to a fight wasn’t bad enough … the Mets, more specifically Omar, found a way to make it worse.  

Really Omar? Really!?!?! So we are going to blame the reporter because your boy took off his shirt and challenged your minor league team to a fight? Yeah that seems about right. You know what Omar … if Rubin was asking for a job you probably should have just given it to him. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? I mean I suppose he could pick a fight with your minor league team and then get into a heated debate with K-Rod and then scream obscenities at an usher at Citi field because he wouldn’t make a Diamondbacks scout move from his seat … oh wait …
(side note … hey Tony, I don’t know if you know this or not, but the scouts from other teams that come to your games are probably scouting your players to see if they would want them in a trade … you should probably give them a BETTER seat moron … it’s not like the team on the field is setting the world on fire … but I digress)

I mean the guy is VP of PLAYER DEVELOPMENT (and Assistant GM) and he’s picking fights with players! Regardless of who reported it; that should raise an eyebrow. Oh wait; you were already investigating several other “Anger Management” related incidents with this guy weeks, even months, before Adam Rubin’s article? So why the heck would you question his motives?? You are already looking into the guy … I mean if you are going to lie at least make it somewhat believable. 

If it weren’t for a three game win streak (first since May) this, Mets fans, would be considered Rock Bottom. There is nowhere to go from here but up. That is the only positive I have been able to take out of this season. Despite atrocious defense, anemic offense, and pitching that can be more Mr. Hyde than Dr. Jekyll at times; the Mets still have a shot, albeit a very minimal shot. As it stands right now, if the Mets sweep the Rockies and then win their series with the D’Backs they will be a game above .500 and within striking distance of the Wild Card with 2 months to play. It’s going to be a tough battle, but not all hope is lost. The reinforcements are coming and one only needs to look at the record for May (19-9) to know how good this team CAN be when healthy. 

You Gotta Believe! 
Category: MLB
Posted on: February 16, 2009 1:00 pm

Fire Renney!


I closed last blog with “Maybe we need Messier to come back to show us how to win again haha. “

 …. I’m not laughing anymore. 

Tom Renney needs to be fired. Period, He has been given a long enough rope and now he and his players have tied it in a pretty little noose and someone’s head needs to go in it. Unfortunately you can’t fire players otherwise Redden, Kalinin and a lot of others would have gotten their pink slip long ago. And Slats isn’t going to fire himself, and the Dolans love him for some unknown reason (maybe they are into S&M?) so he’s not going anywhere. So that leaves Renney. 

Let me just say this. I think the major and more pressing problem is Sather, but like I said, he’s not going anywhere until Dolan either decides to care about the success of the Rangers or appoints a President who will. That being said, Renney is still a problem and needs to go. 

Let’s start with his Power Play, or lack thereof. I have never seen so many offensively talented players suck so badly when they are up a man. Gomez, Drury, Zherdev … I have them on my PP in the video game and I’m doing just fine, what’s Renney’s problem. Of course it is a video game and not real life but my point is with that kind of set up they should be racking up the PP goals, not giving up 5 on 3 shorthanded ones. They don’t move … EVER! They just stand there and play catch and then pass it back to the point and they don’t shoot. It’s like watching the Harlem Globetrotters except they never put it in the basket. At first glance you would blame the players, and that’s true, some of the blame belongs with them, but I highly doubt that they all thinking “Stand in place … pass puck to next guy”. This is Renney’s doing. There is no crossing in front of the crease. There are no wrist shots from the point to deflect and get rebounds; just blasts that either hit a leg on the way in or find the glass because accuracy was sacrificed in favor of velocity. There is no driving to the net, get the puck on net, and then put away the trash. Just Stand and Wait. Well I for one have waited long enough. 

If you need further proof that our power play is a joke, just look at the other teams on the penalty kill. It couldn’t be easier on them. The Rangers never make the opposing team’s penalty killers move and they never get tired. All they have to do is cover the man in front and then watch the Rangers pass from the point down to the circle, then to the goal line, then back to the circle, then to the point, then to the other point, then to the other circle, etc. It’s so predictable that even my girlfriend gets pissed off. 

I’m not even going to touch the defense. If you can’t see that they are leaving Hank out to dry then you need a prescription check. I think I can fit you in right after my 2 o’clock with Mr. Dolan. 

Whether you like it or not, this team has given up on Renney, and it’s time the organization to give up too. They have won 3 games in the last 30 days! And one of the wins was a Shootout win! During that stretch we have lost two embarrassing games to the Penguins (who just fired their coach BTW). A 2-1 shootout loss to the Thrashers on Adam Graves night (ATL is the worst in the NHL in GAA and the Rangers only managed 1 goal in the closing moments of regulation.) Then Renney put them through a tough couple of days of practice to teach them a lesson and how do they respond? With one of the worst efforts in recent memory, a 10 – 2 loss to Dallas. And then they follow that up with a listless performance against the Devils and a skin of their teeth shootout win against the Caps. Then they get owned by the Panthers and Hank has one of his best games of the season ruined because the offense can’t score. The Panthers would have won that game 6-1 if Hank hadn’t saved them. And then we have yesterdays debacle. What more do you need? 

Bottom line, firing Renney might just be change for change sake in the eyes of many, but I disagree. Even if it was change for change sake that’s still better than no change at all. It’s not like Renney is Scotty Bowman. What has Renney ever done to deserve this type of leeway? And it’s not just that the Rangers are losing, they are getting embarrassed and out coached at every turn. Sure Tom, shuffle the lines again, because that will help the team Gel. Sure keep sending the same ineffective PP strategy out there, I’m sure it will work this time. It’s like watching someone slam their head against the wall and scream in pain and everyone in the Rangers organization is just sitting back saying “hey I wonder if we should stop that guy from slamming his head against the wall, eh?” Yes eh! Somebody’s got to stop the madness. 

Darth Sather is next. 


Posted on: December 29, 2008 1:17 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2009 10:50 am

State of the Rangers Address

So I look up this morning at my NY Rangers wall calendar and I begin to think to myself … “Wow, there is only 3 red “X”s in October and there are 10 Blue Circles. (Red X’s are for Rangers Loses and Blue Circles are for wins … just so that we all know what I’m talking about haha.) I then noticed an alarming increase to 5 red X’s in November and a decrease to only 7 Blue Circles. Then I looked at December and I noticed that the Rangers have to beat the Islanders tonight just to stay at .500 for the month of December! What Happened??? Let’s examine …

So I think we can all agree, as much as this pains me, that Lundy has not been himself lately. Now I don’t know if that’s something that we are just going to have to deal with because it seems like every year he goes into a funk around this point in the season. It could also have to do with the fact that his Defense has let him down time and time again … but that doesn’t excuse the ones that he should stop.

And What happened to the defense? In October they were tight, they didn’t allow as many chances and they, along with Henrik’s stellar play, helped carry the team to the best start the club has had in Decades! Now it seems every time Kalinin is on the ice there is an odd man rush. And the rest of the Defense doesn’t get a pass either; they haven’t been playing the way they are capable of. Staal and Mara and maybe Girardi are the only defenders that haven’t caused me to go into a tirade of swears that would make George Carlin blush, god rest his soul.

Then I started to think about the offense … the source of many sleepless nights for me. How can a team with so many gifted goal scorers and playmakers be so bad at scoring goals? Then as I was playing some NHL 09 with a friend of mine something hit me. The opposing team scored a garbage goal … the goalie made the save and the puck was getting fought over in front and then one of their guys poked it in between the goalies legs and it went in. My friend then said something that made me think … “We never get garbage goals like that … we always score on a nice play or a nice pass and one timer or on the break away. We never get blue collar goals.” That’s the Rangers! They are always looking for the nice setup, the nice shot, or a  sweet move. They never think about just throwing it on net and see what happens. And really I think that is what they are missing. Think about it, some of the most memorable goals for the Rangers have been Blue Collar goals.  Matteau, Matteau, Matteau! Remember that? That’s what we need more of. Throw the puck on net, crash the net and pick up the trash.

Sure there are other arguments that you can throw out there. Like maybe they are a little worn out because they have played (arguably) the most tiring schedule so far. (in terms of amount of games and travel involved) But you know what, that’s coaching’s responsibility to make sure that his team is in good enough condition, and they are not. It’s gotten to the point where I never feel safe with a lead anymore. When the Rangers put up 4 unanswered against the Caps all I could think to myself was “God I hope they don’t blow this” …. And of course they did. And why? Because they were tired and they were not ready. They just though if they sat back they would be able to milk out the clock. That NEVER works. You either have to continue to stay aggressive on the forecheck or you play the Trap (god forbid) or the wing lock and you don’t let the other team through the neutral zone. But Renney in his infinite stupidity was allowing the Caps to gain the zone and set up shop …. They have Ovechkin! Are you on PCP? But that’s just one example.

Suggestions for change …

It’s obvious to me, at this point anyway, that THIS is what we should expect with everything the way it is now. I thought losing Jagr would help get us away from the “Fancy” hockey and get us back to what wins championships … Grit and good Defense … but it hasn’t. Things need to change … so let’s start with the top. Sather needs to go; he needed to be fired yesterday! After the whole Sundin nonsense it is PAINFULLY clear that he doesn’t have the foresight needed to work with a Salary Cap. Not only did he not get Sundin (which I really could care less about) but he has choked up our Cap so bad that we will most likely miss out on any kind of deal that could help us out for this year. Not to mention that we are going to be in Deep S this summer when Dubinsky and Zherdev are getting offers from other teams and we can’t even come close because of all the overpriced contracts we have. And the way that he front loads contracts just seems counterproductive. Sure the player will be making less money when they are less effective I guess … but the Salary cap goes UP every year … not down. (although this year might be different from the rumors out there, but I doubt it)  Not to mention the cap hit stays the same so what’s the point? He’s only made 1 or two good moves as a GM with the Rangers but he has made way more bad ones. Mmmmm, should I resign Rosi right now for 3 mil a year for 4 years ? no I will wait until he becomes an unrestricted free agent and then I’ll give him 5 mil for 4 years … good job snithead! You just basically threw out 2 million dollars a year that you could have used to sign a role play that will hustle.

Renney should follow Slats out the door. “They need time to gel.” That’s been Tom’s Mantra his whole career in NY and it has never happened. Hey Tom, guys can’t gel if you keep putting them on different lines. Last year Jagr Duber and Avery were playing awesome together and then Jagr didn’t score for like 8 games so he switched up the line (Even though the line was scoring, just not Jagr) … At first I thought it was Jagr, until Renney did the same thing with Voros Duber and Zherdev this year. And how can the defense be this bad? We had a couple of new guys come in and right away they were looking good and then now they are garbage? It’s almost like Tom’s coaching is making them worse.

Finaly we need to unload some of this money. I don’t care if we have to take back prospects and/or picks in return. We can’t head into the off season with the money situation this screwed up. Potter looks solid on D so we can deal away Redden or Rosi or Kalinin if anyone will take them. Maybe we can talk Drury and Gomer into taking a pay cut and be compensated some other way (can they do that?) If not one of them needs to be traded. That is way too much money to have locked up into two players. Heck, Lundy isn’t even getting that much money (on average) and he is more valuable to the team than either one of them.

I know that was long as snit, but I had to vent a little. Bottom line, things need to change otherwise we will always be a team that hovers around 500 and we won’t see another cup for another 54 years. Maybe we need Messier to come back to show us how to win again haha.

Posted on: June 10, 2008 1:11 pm

Rangers off season

Personally I want the Rangers not to go after the top guy. Don’t get me wrong I would love Hossa and Campbell, but I think we would be better served getting 5-6 above average players than blowing all the money on two superstars because as we all know we have tried that in the past and it hasn’t worked…and we are starting to lean in that direction again…and I don’t like it.

First order of business is to re-sign Avery…it is no doubt that Avery makes the team better. Jagr can stay, but only if he take much less money. I’m thinking no more than 5 mil a year. Anything above that would be a waste. Straka I’m kinda on the the fence about…but I think it’s time we part with him. Roszival has to stay, Malik NEEDS to go. Mara is another toss up, I would like to see him stay because I like his make up…but if he asks for anything over 2 mil…I say let him walk. And I’m sorry, but Shanny needs to retire. He’s a great leader, but he is just to slow and two much of a one trick pony now (waiting for a one timer in the slot).

I think our major focus in the free agent market should be Brian Rolston…. I know, I know, the whole Ex-Devil thing…but I think Gomez proved that wrong. Rolston is a good leader and a great playmaker with a good shot. He would be great on a line with some of our young guys like Dawes or Callahan.

Radim Vrbata is another guy that I would like, he would provide that young talented scorer that we have desperately need for the past few years.

As far a defense goes I think we should go after Mark Streit. One of our major problems has been moving the puck up ice with some speed and Streit is one of the best at it, and he is great on the powerplay. He’s not as good as Campbell defensively, but he’s as good defensively as most of the guys we have now anyway. If not him that Ron Hainsey would be a good option.

Obviously we won’t have enough money to make all of these things happen but this year is a very good year for free agents and I would rather see the Rangers catch a lot of medium size fish then two big fish. Not to mention we have a good core of young talent and I think a couple of more kids can make the team this year. All in all it should be a great off season if the Rangers play their cards right and not put all their eggs in one basket.
Category: NHL
Posted on: January 21, 2008 3:17 pm

This is UNREAL!

This run by the Giants has been by FAR the most fun I have experienced as a fan since the Rangers won the Cup in 94. But I think if the Giants do slay the Goliath and pull off the upset against the Pats, this run might overtake the one the Rangers had. The reason why it is so much fun is because I have gone into every game expecting them to lose. I know it sounds like a pessimistic thing to think about your team, but hey, if the glove fits right. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my teams, but the fact that I am not expecting them to win makes the Victory that much sweater.
This run by the Giants has been by FAR the most fun I have experienced as a fan since the Rangers won the Cup in 94. But I think if the Giants do slay the Goliath and pull off the upset against the Pats, this run might overtake the one the Rangers had. The reason why it is so much fun is because I have gone into every game expecting them to lose. I know it sounds like a pessimistic thing to think about your team, but hey, if the glove fits right. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my teams, but the fact that I am not expecting them to win makes the Victory that much sweater.
Last night for example, I had a couple of friends over, a couple of adult beverages, and I was really starting to feel good about our chances in the fourth quarter. Only to be crushed, not once, but twice, by field goals that sailed wide left. After the miss that could have sent the Giants to the Superbowl at the end of regulation I felt like someone had just told me my dog died. I fell back into my chair, with my hat over my face and didn’t say a word for about 3 minutes. I then stood up, finished what was left of my cocktail and started a string of obscenities that would have made George Carlin blush.
But I regained my senses, and waited for the coin toss. “The Giants call Tails . . . . . . .It’s Heads.”  F#$K!!!
Alright, lets play some D!
Then as Bret Favre stepped back and let go a very poor throw to the nearside sideline. Corey Webster jumped the route perfectly and made the interception of his life to give the Giants hope. Then the offense sputtered and once again the fate of the Giants rested on the right foot of the Scottish born Lawrence Tynes.
“Just keep it right, just keep it right . . .” I repeated to my self over and over. The kick sailed through the artic night, “It looks good, it looks good . . .ITS GOOD!” I screamed with elation as my friend and I leapt into each others arms and jumped up and down like little boys screaming “We’re going to the Superbowl!”
I can’t remember the last time I was that Happy.
Thank you New York Giants!
This is what sports is all about. They have a daunting task in front of them, but they have already done enough for me. Should they happen to pull off the Upset, I might need the number of a good heart surgeon.
Category: NFL
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