Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stop Giving A Sh*t How Other Rangers Fans Root For The Blueshirts...Seriously, Stop

As a Rangers fan, there really is nothing better than watching games on television with my friends.

It usually includes booze, screaming at the television, a bunch of laughs and more booze.

There's celebratory high fives after goals and the drowning of our sorrows in alcohol after an opponent finds the back of the Rangers net.

Fights are met with thunderous applause, while the referees feel our armchair wrath after a questionable penalty call.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rangers In Need Of A Grinding Presence

Top to bottom I'd put the Rangers forward corps up against any in the league. It's an intoxicating mix of youthful exuberance and veteran leadership.

Their speed is the envy of the league, while their depth is second to none.

When the defense falters, which has been the case far too often this season, the forwards have been there to pick up the pieces.

So why am I concerned?

Despite possessing a skill set that could hang with the offensively gifted teams of the 1980s, the Rangers forward personnel is alarmingly redundant.

There's very few forwards willing to take a hit in the corner to make a play. There's not enough guys prepared to pay the price in front of the opponent's net to pounce on a rebound. And there's rarely a time when a Rangers front liner is able to cause a turnover with a relentless forecheck.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is...the Rangers need a grinder.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Flyers 2, Rangers 0

The New York Rangers (31-17-1) lost to the Philadelphia Flyers (24-19-6) by the score of 2-0. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Bad Bounces
2nd Star - The goal posts
3rd Star - Steve Mason

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

A game like this, which the Rangers should have cruised to victory, sure leaves a sour taste in my mouth. So let's go with a Whiskey Sour.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rangers 3, Kings 2

The New York Rangers (31-16-1) defeated the Los Angeles Kings (22-21-4) by the score of 3-2. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Hen
2nd Star - reeeeek
3rd Star - Lundqvist

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

In recognition of the Kings attempting a ridiculous 80 shots against the Rangers tonight, let's all do some shots of our own!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rangers 1, Red Wings 0, OT

The New York Rangers (30-16-1) defeated the Detroit Red Wings (20-19-8) by the score of 1-0 in overtime. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Anyone who's a fan of hockey and missed this snoozefest of a game.
2nd Star - Anyone who's not on the Joe Louis Arena ice maintenance team. (Per AV and team, ice was horrible)
3rd - My daughter's lacrosse coach who scheduled practice during the game forcing me to DVR it and therefore allowing me to fast forward through the most excruciatingly boring parts.

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation 

I know I needed a Red Bull and Vodka to wake my ass up after this one.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Rangers 5, Maple Leafs 2

The New York Rangers (29-16-1) defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs (21-14-8) by the score of 5-2. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Lundqvist's confidence
2nd Star - Grabner's speed
3rd Star - Buchnevich and Zibanejad's health

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

With Lundqvist looking like he's fixed himself (for one night at least) I've got to go with the Screwdriver. Get it, because you fix things with a screwdriver. Ah, forget it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stars 7, Rangers 6

The New York Rangers (28-16-1) lost to the Dallas Stars (19-19-8) by the score of 7-6. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Not the Rangers defense
2nd Star - Magnus Hellberg (Assuming he gets the start over Lundqvist in Toronto on Wednesday?)
3rd Star - Still not the Rangers defense

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Since the Rangers defense looked like they were skating in mud tonight, I've got to go with a Mudslide.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lundqvist No Longer Able to Carry This Defense

Since breaking into the NHL in 2005, Henrik Lundqvist has guided the Rangers to 55 postseason victories including two Eastern Conference Finals and a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Pretty good considering some of the defensive personnel he's played behind including: Marek Malik, Sandis Ozolinsh, Jason Strudwick, Thomas Pock, Bryce Lampman, David Liffiton, Ivan Baranka, Christian Backman, Wade Redden, Dmitri Kalinin, Derek Morris, Corey Potter, Erik Reitz, Matt Gilroy, Anders Eriksson, Bobby Sanguinetti, Ilkka Heikkinen, Bryan McCabe, Stu Bickel, Jeff Woywitka, Tim Erixon, Brendan Bell, Roman Hamrlik, Connor Allen, Justin Falk, Michael Kostka and Chris Summers.

Not exactly a Murderers' Row of defensemen.

Unless you've seen Lundqvist perform on a nightly basis, you can't truly appreciate what he's done for this franchise. Despite not winning a Cup, this last decade has been the "Golden Era" of New York Rangers hockey.

It's not inconceivable to consider that the Rangers likely don't qualify for the playoffs, let alone win over 50 postseason games, without Hank during that time span.

When all is said and done, Lundqvist will own every Rangers goaltending record, be enshrined into the Hall of Fame and have his jersey number hanging from the rafters of MSG, but even those accomplishments can't due justice to how vital he's been to the success of the organization.

Now that Lundqvist is on the back nine of his career there's been a few kinks in the armor recently. And unfortunately for him, he's become the victim of his own success. He's been so dominant during his career even a slight dip in his game is amplified.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Canadiens 5, Rangers 4

The New York Rangers (28-15-1) lost to the Montreal Canadiens (27-11-6) by the score of 5-4. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - The House of Horrors (Lived up to its name tonight)
2nd Star - My liquor cabinet
3rd Star - My local bar after I finished with the 2nd Star.

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Since I'm in the mood to destroy things right now, I'll have to go with a Molotov cocktail.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Maple Leafs 4, Rangers 2

The New York Rangers (28-14-1) lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs (19-13-8) by the score of 4-2. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Steven McDonald
2nd Star - Steven McDonald
3rd Star - Steven McDonald

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Let's welcome Pavel Buchnevich back to the Rangers lineup with a Moscow Mule.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Marc Staal: A Greek Tragedy

By February of 2011, the Staal family were royalty in the NHL. Oldest brother Eric was a perennial All Star forward who led the Carolina Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup behind his 100 point season as well as the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile, younger brother Jordan, a Calder Trophy Finalist in 2007, had already competed in two Stanley Cup Finals for the Pittsburgh Penguins winning it all in 2009. And finally, defenseman Marc Staal was on the rise after helping bring the Rangers back from irrelevance and appearing in his first All Star game a month earlier.

But it all came crashing down on the night of February 22, 2011.

Before we can exam the repercussions of that night, we must first go back to where it all started.

On draft day in 2005, Glen Sather and the Rangers organization felt they had drafted the next Brian Leetch.


A smooth skating defenseman out of Sudbury with size and offensive ability, Marc had the look and pedigree of a future great.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Miss Fights in the NHL

I miss fights in the NHL. There, I said it. Now, this admission doesn't make me a neanderthal nor any less sensitive to the well being of hockey players.

And I'm not here to grandstand or stomp my feet like a four-year old making outlandish declarations that "I'm done with this sport" or "I'll never spend another dollar on the NHL."

While not easy, I've come to accept the reality that Gary Bettman and the NHLPA have decided to phase fighting out of the game.

But damn, I miss it.

I use hockey for escapism. For a few hours on game night, I'm able to forget about all the ills of the world and focus on the game I love. No worrying about paying the bills. No concerns about my kids' education. And no anxiety about work.

While watching my beloved Blueshirts, I allow myself to get lost in my emotions. From the ecstasy of victory to the misery of defeat and everything in between.

Now that I've entered my 40s, I'm scarcely able to conjure those feelings during a "normal" day. Long gone is the fevered excitement I used to get during my final stretches in the crease moments before the opening faceoff during my high school ice hockey days. Extinct is the euphoric feeling of clinching a berth into the NCAA Men's Division I Lacrosse tournament as the starting goaltender at Butler University.

So I turn to hockey.

And nothing brings out that raw emotion more than a good old fashion throw down. As soon as two willing combatants go toe to toe, my endorphins and adrenaline shoot through the roof. It's a natural high that I rarely, if ever, experience during my day-to-day routine.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rangers 5, Blue Jackets 4

The New York Rangers (28-13-1) defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-7-4) by the score of 5-4. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star - Islanders & Maple Leafs (LOL!!!!)
2nd Star - Marc Staal (His injury allowed Clendo to finally be freed.)
3rd Star - Curtis McElhinney (Bobrovsky may never sit again after that performance)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Since I'm pretty sure every Rangers fan had one of these after the Gabner goal, I'll have to go with the Orgasm tonight.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rangers 5, Flyers 2

The New York Rangers (27-13-1) defeated the Philadelphia Flyers (20-15-5) by the score of 5-2. For a box score, click here.

Post Holiday Recovery

Sorry for the lack of recaps recently. Took me a little longer than anticipated to snap out of my holiday alcohol induced haze. Plus the mess around my house took forever to cleanup.

3 Stars

1st Star - Antti Raanta's clone in goal
2nd Star - Ranger organization's patience (Could have given up on Kreider a couple of times. Reaping the rewards)
3rd Star - Stepan's saucer pass ability

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

In honor of the Islanders giving up on Michael Grabner, I give you the Woo Woo. Which I imagine was the inspiration for the Islanders fans' stupidly annoying "Woo!" chant.