Happy Thursday, BSBers! Almost Friday. A great feeling. Anyway, let’s get into Thoughts and Musings.
-It was a slew foot
-Even if it wasn’t, the fact that people are defending Crosby is ridiculous. Rangers fans hate Crosby. Always have. Always will. And they hate him because, every time the Penguins play the Blueshirts, the refs make sure it’s easier on the Penguins. Every time. Crosby whines. He dives. He gets away with whatever he wants. And, it costs us games. The game that the Rangers won in overtime a few weeks back, they should not have won that game. They got lucky. And it wasn’t because the refs helped them out.
-I understand the desire to make sure Crosby succeeds. After all, he’s the face of the league. He’s a great player. He’s well spoken. He doesn’t get in trouble off the ice. He’s the league’s dream. But, eventually, a line has to be drawn. You can’t officiate so he wins games. Because other teams lose, and it could cost them a playoff spot, which hurts the league. If you cost the Rangers a playoff spot, from a monetary standpoint, the league loses money. A Stanley Cup in New York would be huge for the league. But, in its effort to make sure Crosby is taken care of, they are going to alienate some fans.
-I have a bias against Crosby. But, it’s not because he’s good. He’s a whiner. I love Ovechkin. I think he’s great for the game. I just think that Crosby’s antics are not what hockey is all about.
-Enough of Crosby. Just writing about him sickens me.
-The Jekyll and Hyde nature continues. Good wins against Florida and Nashville. Bad loss against Pittsburgh. Welcome to the roller coaster, folks.
-At least Gabby scored. Looks like he’s over his flu.
-I think Hank is back too. Biron helps him get rest. But Hank is Hank, and when he’s on, there aren’t many better.
-I still don’t know what happens to Drury when he comes back. He obviously plays. But who goes? Maybe Gilroy? He’s been an extra forward, and Sauer and Eminger deserve to stay. Or maybe Todd White. But White been decent in limited time. With more time, maybe even with Gaborik, he could be okay. Decisions, decisions.
-Musical interlude: Kanye’s new album is incredible. That is all.
-Don’t you wish the Rangers could make a trade like the Hannan for Fleischmann trade? Either player would help. But, cap space and limited guys on the roster to trade makes it hard.
Dave’s Chris’s rant about lazy journalism is dead on. Read it here
-Let’s all welcome Michael to the BSB team!
-Lastly, I would hope a sweep of the home and home with the Isles is in order. But with the inconsistency of the team, hard to know. That’s what’s so frustrating.
Happy Thanksgiving, BSBers! Hope your day is filled with turkey, stuffing, family and friends. I know mine will be. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Not because of the food, which is great, but it’s so nice to have a big ass dinner with all these great people. I’m looking forward to it. But, there’s still hockey to discuss, and hockey will be discussed. Grab your plate, cause a full serving of Thanksgiving musings is headed your way.
-Actually back in NY for the holiday, staying with family, so I’ve been able to see the past couple games. The Calgary game, which, as a friend who was there told me, showed how “gritty” this team can be. Blocking shots. Being physical. Doing the little things. And then the Tampa Bay game. Not getting anything going offensively. Not blocking shots. Taking stupid penalties. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of this team is not only frustrating, but could cost them a playoff spot.
-I guess it’s too much to ask to be consistent, right? I mean, that’s been the problem for years now. With Jagr. With Torts. I guess when you have a lack of depth and injuries, you can’t be consistent.
-I still think Stepan stays with the team, even when Drury comes back. He’s been improving. Where he plays? That I don’t know.
-Is there a goalie controversy? No. But should there be? Maybe. Look, Hank is Hank, and he is the team. But right now, he’s going through one of his slumps. And it’s bad this time. Biron, on the other hand, has been playing great. Should Torts ride the hot hand?
-I think he should. There will be fan backlash. But Biron, right now, is the better goalie. And you have to play the better goalie.
-Random interlude: Had a college friend, only about 10 minutes ago, call me. Not out of the ordinary. But, what was out of the ordinary was this: He was with some friends, who I don’t know, ask me sports questions. My friend is not a sports guy. I am. I also have an insane knowledge of NFL and NBA players and where they went to college. His friends didn’t believe this. So, they tested me. And while I got them right, it was a weird phone call. A good one, cause I got to show off. But still. Lesson is this, I suppose: always be prepared.
-Brian Boyle is awesome. That is all
-How bout that Steve Eminger?
-Will the real Marian Gaborik please stand up?
-I like Sauer. Don’t like Gilroy. Rosy is coming back soon, so that should help.
-Is it just me, or is putting Avery on the 4th line a bit of a waste? I mean, he’s more effective when he gets more chances to be an asshole. On the 4th line, playing 5 minutes a game, he has less chances to be an asshole. Move him up, perhaps?
-I’ve always wondered what travelling athletes do on Thanksgiving. Eat in the hotel? Do the foreign players join them?
-The Wade Redden mustache is awesome. Perhaps, if he had it NY, he would have played better.
-And now, the question must be asked: Should I grow a mustache?
-I truly hope each and every one of y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m quite thankful to be able to write for a site like this, with a great community. You’ve made my absence from NY and the Rangers just a little bit easier.
Happy Thursday, BSBers! You know what Thursday means. It’s Thoughts and Musings day. It’s about to go down, right here, right now, on BSB.
-That was a hell of a win against Pittsburgh. Hell of a win. I’m not going to get into the refs, because this is a site for all, and I’d like little kids to be able to read this. Obviously, the Rangers, if they lost, would have been robbed. But, man, what heart. What character. I think that’s something different about this team than in past years. There’s more heart. There’s more soul. There’s more of a team mentality that I think has been missing the past couple years.
-What a pass by Dubi. What a pass. You only see that in video games.
-All hail the King
-This team is only going to be strengthened when Michal Roszival comes back. I don’t think Gilroy is cutting it, and I think the wise move is to try and trade him, maybe get a spare part for him, or at least a pick.
-Musical interlude: Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen singing Willow Smith’s classic hit “Whip My Hair”. Click here to watch. Utter brilliance
-Willow Smith Interlude: I’m sorry, but a nine year old girl should not be singing a song that talks about haters and partying. She’s nine! Nine! When I was nine, I didn’t know about haters or partying. I was most likely playing shinny. I mean, I know she’s Will Smiths’ daughter, and the song is catchy as hell. But she’s nine. Too young for me.
-Hey, look at Frolov scoring and getting into the mix!
-A friend sent me a picture of the Boogey man about to fight in the Edmonton game. Take a look
-Speaking of Boogey, shouldn’t he not be getting hurt after every fight? Hasn’t be missed a bunch of games because of hand injuries? If you’re a fighter, you’re going to punch and your hand is going to hurt. But shouldn’t he be able to play through it?
-I hate NHL refs
-I hate Sidney Crosby
-I hate the Penguins
-Also, how did this team survive with out Gabby? Can someone tell me? Anyone? Bueller?
Happy Thursday, BSBers! Hope all is well with y’all. Rangers are playing some decent hockey right now. Can’t expect much better without Gaborik, Drury and Prospal. But, I’m liking the grit. Let’s get some Thoughts and Musings down on HTML:
-Living in Pennsylvania, it’s very difficult to watch the games, especially when you don’t have satellite or the CenterIce package. You can try and find streams online, but they’re generally crappy. Then, an invention called the iPad came along. And with it, came an app. It’s 20 bucks, and it’s the NHL GameCenter App. You can highlights, condensed games, and more, all on the app. Not bad for 20 bucks. I get the gist of the game and what happened. Plus, I’m doing a better job on keeping up with the rest of the league than I have done before. It’s a godsend. The Rangers are back in my life.
-Now that I can see the games, here’s what’s been impressing me:
-Brian Boyle. Finally using his size. Hitting, scoring, skating well. He was a first round pick in the famed 03 draft. He’s got ability. He just hasn’t put it all together. Could he score 20 goals this year? Not out of the realm of possibility.
-Brandon Dubinsky. Really growing as a scorer and a playmaker. Going hard to the net. He’s always been feisty, but that’s now translating into goals and points.
-The Cally-AA-Dubi line. We need a nickname for it. CAD kind of sucks. One of you clever people will have to figure it out. But that’s a good first line in the NHL. Gritty, talented. Making plays. Can’t ask for much more.
-Hank. Not that you needed evidence. But some of the saves he made against Chicago were just spectacular.
-Blocking shots. Dave and Jurgenno have mentioned it on the site, but this team can really block shots. You love to see teams sacrificing themselves. And, in playoff hockey, that’s key. Blocking shots can win games, and they’re doing it at a great rate.
-Michal Rosival. Yes. I said it. He’s been solid, stable back there.
-Erik Christensen. He’s still an enigma. But his talent comes through, it’s special. That shot that beat Turco up high to win the game, that was a hell of a shot. Those are the shots that the Ovechkins and Sedins make.
-Brandon Prust. I love gritty players. He’s the epitome of grit.
-Here’s what I haven’t liked so far
-Marc Staal. Just hasn’t been himself. Maybe it’s the A on his sweater. I don’t know. But he’s not shutting down opponents like he’s done in the past.
-The 3rd defensive pair. I like Matt Gilroy. I like Mike Sauer. I’m not crazy about Eminger. But together, they just don’t mesh. Time to bring up McDonagh? Probably not. I’d look for a trade. Wouldn’t mind Boris Vlabik. 6-7. Get him on the cheap.
-Alex Frolov. He’s getting chances. But he’s not converting. And he needs to do. He’s the best pure scorer with Gaborik out. He needs to play like it.
-Music interlude: Been listening to a lot of B.o.B lately. Love it. Great album. Good for doing work. I’m not a huge rap guy, but I appreciate good rap. And B.o.B is good rap.
-I think the best part of this team, so far at least, is that they’re winning with what they have. They’re not pouting that their best player is out. They’re putting their hard hats on and going to work. You have to appreciate it. Lesser players are stepping up. Everyone is chipping in. This is what we want to see in a hockey team. Hard work. Sacrifice. Strong forecheck. That’s what they’ve been doing.
It’s Thursday, and as always, it’s Thoughts and Musings day. Personally, my favorite day. So, let’s delve right in.
-I hate injuries. Gaborik, Drury, Prospal. The Gaborik injury hurts the most. He’s our scoring. Now, 2-4 weeks. Plus, he’s not going to light the world on fire when he comes back, at least not initially. It’s awful.
-Even with Gaborik, it was going to be a rough year, because of the defense (or lack thereof). Staal and Girardi are solid. You know what you get with MDZ. Rosy is Rosy. But that third pair is bad. They’re going to give up a lot of goals, no matter how good Hank is.
-I did enjoy watching Boyle on Friday. I was at the game, and his goals brought the crowd back to life. The first goal was a hell of a shot. I like Boyle’s improvement. He’s using his body. He’s going to be good this year.
-Boogaard is a big boy. No one wants to fight him.
-PK needs to improve. Losing Drury hurts. But Cally, Dubi, AA and Boyle are pretty good. Again, it comes down to the defense. I’d think long and hard about calling up McDonagh and/or Valentenko. And think about doing it soon.
-Frolov really needs to shoulder the load, at least until Gabby comes back. He’s the best scorer healthy right now.
-He may be a year away, but AA is going to be a good one. He’s just so damn talented.
-Health interlude: Was in NYC this weekend for a follow-up with my surgeon (and in the process, saw the Rangers and family, which was nice). After 3 hours of waiting, my surgeon declared the surgery a success and that I’m all healed and everything! Yay!
-It would be nice if Erik Christensen would show up. Very nice.
-Hank needs to be stellar in this period. More than usual.
-I did like the heart they showed in the Toronto game to come back. That takes moxie. You could see how much they wanted it. That could be big in the next few weeks.
-I would call up MZA. See what he’s got. It can’t hurt.
-Stepan’s got some grit to his game. By the way, they’re already selling his jersey. Yeah. That was fast.
-Baseball interlude: Cliff Lee is not human.
It’s Thursday. And you know what means, BSB community: It’s Thoughts and Musings day. My favorite day of the week. It better be yours, too.
-I’m impressed with the offense so far. 6 goals, 5 goals. Scoring won’t be an issue, that’s for sure. And Gaborik and Frolov haven’t scored yet. A very good sign.
-Defense, on the other hand, isn’t as good. 3 and 6. Work in progress. I think you have to try Gilroy in there, even if he is more of an offensive threat. If not, go to Valentenko or McDonagh. Eminger isn’t cutting it.
-Hank will be fine
-Derek Stepan. What a debut. Can’t expect that very often, but it’s clear he has the potential to be a force in the NHL. The fact that he’s homegrown makes it even better.
-Have I mentioned how happy I am that hockey is back?
-I don’t mind giving Drury a shot on the top line. He’ll go into the corners and do the dirty work for Gabby and Frolov.
-The Cally-AA-Dubi line looks spectacular
-Ditto for the Avery-Stepan-Fedetenko
-You can already see that this team is better than last year. Defense will take some time, but they finally have some offensive firepower
-It’s so weird having this many off days. I don’t like it
-Once Gaborik gets going, look out
-AA looks to be taking the step forward we thought he would
-Where does Prospal go if and when he comes back? Who does he replace? I have no idea.
-When does Biron get his first start?
-With the season just starting, we do have to keep things in perspective. We did start 7-1-1 last year. And that didn’t turn out well. So, you look for signs of things that can be sustained. And I think the offense can. There are going to be nights where they get shutout, or score only a goal. But that happens to every team. It’s a better offensive team than last year and that’s huge.
-Baseball interlude: Yankees in 6, Phils in 5
Hockey. A day away. Rangers. Two days awayI can’t believe it. I’m ready. Let’s get into our last Thoughts and Musings of the offseason.
-I can’t remember the last season I was this excited for. Maybe the one after the lockout. But, I’m so excited. I can barely contain it.
-Even though he’s hurt, I will be rocking my Drury jersey all day long.
-Speaking of Drury, when he comes back, who goes? I think it depends on how well (or how awful) Christensen is. If he sucks, he’s out. If not, then I don’t know. I would say Boogey, but then who’s the enforcer? Stepan could be a candidate, but if he plays well…well, you get the point. Decisions, decisions.
-Here’s how I would construct opening night lines (and I think my predictions are going to be pretty similar to what actually happens)
-Goal predictions for each guy:
I would be very happy with that.
Eminger is the 7th guy.
-I wouldn’t be opposed to Sheldon Souray. I mean, he’s got a rocket of a shot. And he’s physical. I as a 3rd pair defenseman, for $2.5 million, I’d be okay.
-Annoyance interlude: My iPod headphones continue to get tangled. And it takes forever to get them undone. And it annoys the hell out of me. Cause I need my headphones to do any sort of work. Otherwise I get off task. I think with my birthday coming up in March, I’ll get one of those Bose headphones or something. Actually, one of you could get it for me.
-Here are some off the cuff predictions
-MZA will be the first callup
-I think Hank could have a Vezina type year. He always has a Vezina type year. But this year he could win it.
-Staal will get Norris votes
-Stepan will contend for the Calder
-Avery will continue to be the league’s most hated player
-The Rangers will finish 5th in the Eastern Conference
-They will make the 2nd round of the playoffs
It’s Thursday! You know what that means. It’s Thoughts and Musings day here at BSB. And I, for one, can’t be more excited.
(Note: Wrote this on Tuesday, due to hellacious schedule on Wednesday, when I usually write this column. If something happens in between Tuesday and when the article publishes to make it irrelevant, I apologize. If you saw my calendar, you’d feel my pain.)
-Wade Redden, gone. Never thought it would happen. But it did. The Rangers admitted a mistake. I’m shocked. I mean, they had to do it. But, this a prideful GM with a stubborn owner. Creates a recipe for disaster. But, they did it. Maybe a new leaf has turned in the Rangers organization.
-I’m not surprised to see he reported to Hartford. He had 6.5 million reasons to do so. Plus, a new born baby he probably didn’t want to take to Europe. Still, it’s up to him to be a good locker room presence, not drag guys down. There’s a lot of talented Dmen in Hartford. Maybe Redden can be a bit of a mentor to them.
-D-pairs, as of now, in my mind:
I think Eminger is the 7th. Valentenko and Sauer have been very good. Gilroy’s been better. I think they’ll try to get rid of Rosy after this year, and place Valentenko or Sauer in there. They’re young, but they are good.
-Agree with Dave. Fedetenko is right for this team. Always thought that. Scoring on the cheap. Can play on first, second or third line. Very valuable.
-I can’t predict lines. Cause I don’t know. With Kennedy, Stepan and Fedetenko playing well, it’s been hard to find room. A good thing, though.
-Don’t think Todd White will make the team. No room. And he hasn’t really impressed
-The Office Interlude: The best opening to any show, ever
-I still can’t believe hockey is so close. Just so excited.
-I may (emphasis on may) be going to Opening Night. If so, I’d be thrilled. But the emphasis on may is there for a reason.
It’s Thursday, so that means it’s Thoughts and Musings day here at BSB. Let’s do it
-I can’t believe how close hockey is. Like preseason is starting. And then regular season. I can’t wait.
-I’m liking what I’m reading from camp. Some good performances. Obviously, Derek Stepan is the big star. Playing with Gaborik and Frolov, his play could make the Rangers actually have a legit top line (Shocking, I know).It seems like Sean Avery is motivated. I like what I read about Tim Kennedy, Brian Boyle, Matt Gilroy and more. It’s good to read.
-Wade Redden missed yesterday’s practice due to the birth of his first child. Congrats to the Reddens. But, question: If you’re dying to make the team, if you know you have to do everything possible to make the team, how hard must it be to miss a practice due to non injury? I know it’s the birth of his child, and that takes the utmost importance. But that missed day could be the difference between NHL and AHL. Obviously, he has $6.5 million reasons why he can miss a day. I just think it must be a hard decision.
-Early, early line combos:
I think Boyle moves to the bench when Drury comes back from injury.
-Speaking of injury, glad to see Drury is only out a few weeks. I’ve broken every finger on both hands except my pinkies, and let me tell you, it can be very painful.
-Diet Coke interlude: Confession time: I have a Diet Coke addiction. I know. It’s bad. It’s become so bad, that, ever since the vending machine in my building broke (and it was so convientely located right next to my place. It was a lovely three step walk), I’ve been walking about a quarter of a mile to get soda. Is that really bad?
-I want Fedetenko to make the team, I just can’t find room. Again, a good problem to have
-Gut feeling of D pairs:
-And you know what, that’s not a bad defense corp.
-I think the logjam at center is interesting. I don’t have Christensen making the team. I just don’t see it. I think Kennedy will prove to be a better player. Prospal has to be a wing. Just to make the numbers work. I think White has to be a wing too. It’s a good problem to have, though.
-Thank god for Henrik. It just boosts my confidence level about the team.
-I think there should be a preseason ban on fights. There’s just no place, or need. Thoughts?
-I expect a big year from Dubi. Between experience and a seemingly new found maturity, could be 25+ goals
-With Drury out for a few games, who gets the additional ‘A’? Last year, with Cally out, it was Rosival. I think this year it should go to Gaborik. He is the only reason they can score.
-I still think the Blueshirts will make the playoffs. Probably as a 7th or 8th seed. But they’ll make it. And they could make some noise. If Hank gets hot, watch out.
-Squirrel interlude: There are more squirrels per capita in Pennsylvania than anywhere else I’ve ever been. They’re everywhere. One every five steps. What is it about Pennsylvania that makes it appealing to squirrels?
I’m baaack! After a brief hiatus to move into my life, I’m back home at BSB. Hope you didn’t miss me too much.Let’s do this.
-First off, the site was awesome while I was gone, proving the well-known theory that my contributions are meaningless ( I kid). But it has been awesome to see this site grow.
-Rangers. Yay, Marc Staal! I never thought that he wouldn’t sign, I just didn’t want a holdout situation like with Dubinsky last year. Now he’s in camp and will be in blue for awhile.
-I can’t hate the Ruslan Fedetenko tryout. In fact, I really like it. Really. I know he had a down year, but he’s someone who can still score, and score secondary goals. He’s the perfect compliment to a guy like Gaborik. Add in Frolov and some improvements from Dubi, AA and others, and this could be a pretty good offensive team. We haven’t said that in awhile. If you have a star, you need to compliment him. That’s what Slats has done here.
-I also like the Garnet Exelby tryout. Dude is a physical force, and he will throw his body around. I would like a guy like McDonagh to make the team, but I think Exelby is the perfect 6th defenseman. He’ll knock dudes over, and be physical. We don’t have that.
-If Exelby does make it, here’s what the pairings could look like
Not too bad.
-Had the NYR blogger showdown Fantasy draft the other night. Here’s my team:
Did you know that Ian White scored 13 goals last year? Yeah, neither did I. By the way, Havlat was my last pick. I’m hoping for a healthy rebound year. I think it’s possible. It was between him and Niclas Bergfors. I flipped a coin, honestly.
-Allentown interlude: So, I’m living here in Allentown (internet high five for anyone who gets that reference). It’s different. I’m a New Yorker. Have been my whole life. Pennsylvania is just a slower pace. It’s not bad. It’s just different. There’s not that much to do. There’s a tremendous farmers market, a couple good restaurants and Dorney Park. But that’s it. You have to go into Philly or NYC for real fun. But, I’m pretty happy here and everything has gone much smoother than I expected.
-I’m liking what I’m reading about MZA. Can be a 3rd line winger? Sure. Will he be? The chances are getting better each day.