Greetings and salutations everyone in Rangerstown and welcome to another blog, here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com.
As I start this blog on Monday night, October 8th, the Rangers are coming off back-to-back losses over the weekend, with both losses not having much in common. When you’re a bad team, you usually find different ways to lose. Just look at my other favorite team in blue – the New York Giants.
The Rangers dropped a 3-1 decision to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. From the Rangers perspective, this was a game void of much offense, particularly when it came to finishing. For the second straight game, the Rangers got another great start from the highest paid goalie in America, in Henrik Lundqvist. However, once again, a cheaper goalie for the opposition outplayed the near 37 year old netminder.
I should stress Lundqvist played well in his first two starts of this 2018-2019 campaign. However, both Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton, of Nashville & Buffalo respectively, each outplayed Lundqvist. When it comes to the losses, you can finger-point the lack of offense, special team production or whatever else you’d like. That said, at the end of the day, Lundqvist was out-played in both of those games and now sports an 0-2 record.
It’s also worth mentioning, when it comes to playing against Carter Hutton, the Rangers could build a brick wall in front of their net, and even then, Hutton would still win the game for his team. For whatever reason, whenever Hutton plays the Rangers, Hutton turns into some sort of goalie cyborg. It just feels like Hutton has the DNA of Roy, Hasek, Brodeur, Sawchuk and Dryden running through his veins, whenever Hutton sees the diagonal letters on the jerseys of the opposition.
While in my opinion, I thought the Rangers played a strong 60 minutes in their first two games, even in losing, the game in North Carolina was different. In the first two games, the Rangers played strong defensively and out-shot their opponent. That’s probably why Lundqvist is looking better now than he did in all of last season.
In the 8-5 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, the Rangers did not get great goaltending. They also got away from limiting their opponent’s chances offensively.
Going into the game with the Hurricanes, I felt the Rangers would explode offensively. They always play better offensively whenever Lundqvist isn’t around to shout and bark at them like an entitled bitch. I mean seriously, it’s been only two games and Lundqvist has already blasted both Kevin Shattenkirk & Filip Chytil on the ice. He also blamed his teammates for the losses in his post game interviews. I just don’t get how that attitude helps a team rebuilding. Furthermore, NYR has a new coach. It’s up to David Quinn to scold these guys, not some cupless freak who’s overstayed his welcome like a bad party guest.
I posted the clip of Lundqvist crying at Shattenkirk in my last blog. Here’s Lundqvist crying at Chytil, courtesy of friend of the blog, @Bobby_S92:
— Bobby (@Bobby_S92) October 7, 2018
By now, you know my feelings on Lundqvist. You know I don’t want him on this team and how I feel it makes no sense to have him on a rebuilding team. What makes having Lundqvist here even more infuriating is that he doesn’t know how to relax or be supportive. He’s not going to “pat the butt”, as Ron Duguay said, of a teammate who made a good play. He’s not going to smile and thank his defenseman on ice, like Marc-Andre Fleury or Roberto Luongo do.
Instead of being a positive factor on a team rebuilding, Lundqvist makes everything about himself. Even early in, with Lundqvist playing well, it’s already the same old shit from last year – the faces, the crybaby antics, whining at his teammates, trying to do the job of the coach, blaming anyone but himself for losses, etc. I can only imagine what he will be like once he has a game like Georgiev had on Sunday. (Granted, Georgiev had the worst game of his career against the Hurricanes, but the Rangers let the Canes run fast break and odd-man rush drills all game.)
So with Lundqvist sitting by himself in the tunnel on Sunday, Alexandar Georgiev got his first start of the season. It wasn’t pretty. While I accurately predicted the Rangers would be better offensively, because they are looser when Lundqvist isn’t around, they also played their worst defensive game of this young season. Unfortunately, with a combination of Georgiev just not having it and a porous defense, it led to a disappointing loss for the Rangers.
While I do like to “troll” from time-to-time to entertain myself & others (It always amazes me how bent out shape people on Twitter can get over the opinions of a stranger) you really can’t blame Lundqvist for the first two losses of the season. In the third loss, you could blame the goalie, because the bottom line is if you’re scoring 5 goals, and the other team hangs 7 on you, it’s tough to blame anything else besides the goaltending. And really, as I’ll get to below, Georgiev just didn’t have it from the start of the game.
Before moving along, here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/NSH 10/4 Review: Rangers Impress In Loss, Amirante Steals The Show, Meeting Lundqvist, Ticket Sales, Rosa Parks of MSG, News On The Weekend Games & More
BCBS For 10/3: “Block That Shot: The Bob Chrystal Story” Book Review, Phil Watson, Valiquette Interview, Analytics, Duguay Update, Rangers Town Hall Thoughts, NYR FB Groups & More
BCBS For 10/1: Looking at The Entire New York Rangers Roster For 2018-2019, Vinni Lettieri Wows All, A Huge Look at Lias “Jessiman” Andersson, Big Update on the Ron Duguay Situation & a Duguay Interview, Insane M$G Ticket Prices & Desperation, NYR Mascot Ideas, Reader Feedback & More
NYR/NYI 9/22 Game Review, Preseason Thoughts Thus Far, Update on Duguay/MSG Networks Story with Rumor Killer & More NYR News/Notes/Opinions
MSG Networks Parts Ways with Ron Duguay Under Sketchy Circumstances, How To Support Duguay, Sign The “Bring Back Doogie” Petition & More
The NHL 2018-2019 Season Preview Blog! Individual Profiles & Thoughts On All 31 Teams, Every NHL Story Covered, Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions, Gambling, Playoff Expansion, Who’s Hot & Who’s Not, Teams on the Rise, Teams in the Toilet & Much More in this Comprehensive Look at the Upcoming Season
A BCBS HOT TAKE Blog: The New York Rangers Land Boston Bruins Defenseman, Adam McQuaid, for Steven Kampfer & Draft Picks
The Rangers have played three games this season, and I haven’t had the chance to experience a MSG Networks broadcast in full yet. As mentioned, I attended the home opener and the game on Sunday. In Saturday’s loss, the loss to Buffalo, I watched that game in a crowded and packed bar, where Rangers hockey wasn’t going to get the surround sound treatment. From what I’m hearing from fans, I haven’t missed much, as Micheletti has been intolerable and the studio product is severely lacking due to Duguay’s dismissal. As one former player put it to me – “the whole broadcast is vanilla.”
Since this is a “road-trip” blog and somewhat dated by the time you read this, let me spend the bulk of this blog talking about my experience in Carolina and that game, rather than wasting time talking about the loss in Buffalo.
When the NHL announced the schedule for the 2018-2019 season, while I knew I’d eventually have to hit North Carolina to check off my “hit every arena in the NHL” bucket list, I didn’t plan on being in Raleigh in October. However, the flight and the hotel were dirt cheap. For less than $500, I was able to travel round-trip, spend two nights and sit three rows off the bench. (I could’ve even sat directly behind the bench, but that view, from a fan’s perspective, is terrible. It’s always better to sit up a few rows.) For comparison, for where I sat in Carolina, the Rangers charge anywhere from $640-$850 for a single ticket.
Being a native New Yorker, when we boarded the plane to Raleigh, I envisioned a city much Fayetteville, Arkansas. You’re probably wondering where I came up with Fayetteville. The quick back story behind Fayetteville, is that my friend used to work for the Kansas City Royals. (He’s with the Phillies Triple A team now.) The Royals Double A affiliate are the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, who make their home in Fayetteville. About 8 or 9 years ago, I went to Fayetteville to visit my buddy down there and it was like taking a Delorean to a different time.
When I was in Fayetteville, there were wild boar crossings, endless open fields of wild animals, whether they be cows, bulls, razorbacks or whatever. There were also a ton of Confederate flags all over the place, and no matter what road you traveled on, you would see multiple pick-up trucks with gun racks on them. I also spotted one or 500 anti-Obama bumper stickers too.
I’ve been to some real redneck places in Florida, but to me, nothing was more “Hee-Haw” and incest looking than Fayetteville. Knowing that North Carolina was once a Confederate State, I kind of expected some hillbilly shenanigans during my trip. Instead, I found Raleigh to be the complete opposite, as it was one of the more diverse cities I’ve seen in my travels.
From the “I’m a Master of Race Relations & A Uniter” file – I’ve never seen more advertisements and Labatt Blue taps in my life, than in Raleigh, North Carolina. I shit you not. I’ve been to Montreal, Windsor, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and other Canadian cities, yet the bars in Raleigh featured more Labatt Blue products than the bars of Canada. There were Labatt Blue bikes being raffled off, there were $2.50 pint specials, you had the option of getting bottle or draft, you had Labatt Blue girls, you had wall-to-wall posters, you had it all.
As a well-seasoned veteran in the field of beer consumption, I don’t know if Labatt has dumped a ton of money in a new ad campaign or trying to focus on the Raleigh market or what, but you saw more Labatt ads in Raleigh (at least in the bars that I visited) than you did for other name brands, such as Budweiser, Coors, etc. You even saw more ads for Labatt than ads for the spirits, like Jack Daniels, Tito’s or Jameson.
I know North Carolina voted red in the 2016 Presidential Election, but during my weekend there, all I saw was Blue!
Oh, and if the one Canadian flag in a bar that I saw counts, I saw more Canadian flags during my trip in Raleigh than I saw Confederate flags! Next thing you know, these North Carolina folks will be speaking French! I can hear it now, “Allons Rangers! Deporter Lundswiss!”
For some people, you might not consider “availability of Canadian beer”, as a factor in what makes up a diversified community. So let me expand on this topic even more.
As stated, I was expecting some “Dukes of Hazard” shit, with the Stars & Bars being flown all over the place. I expected people in denim coveralls and I expected them to talk with a drawl. I guess I should mention, from talking to NY transplants who were living in Cary (the next town over from Raleigh) that according to them, if you drive 30 minutes, in any direction, out of Raleigh, you’ll get some of the southern stereotypical stuff that I’m joking about here. However, when it comes to Raleigh itself, it is an affluent city as any city in America.
On Saturday night, we went visited Glenwood and Tobacco Roads, which is the party scene of Raleigh. There are bars all over the place. For Long Islanders, envision the Nautical Mile, but with bigger bars.
The area was also extra amped up for two reasons. First, NC State, the local college football team, won their 1PM game. Secondly, the McGregor fight was also going down. Where we were, we were in the heart of a devoted college football town, which is something else if you’ve never experienced it before.
Being a New Yorker, my interest in college sports isn’t much. I’ll root for Notre Dame, but I can’t name 5 players on the team. There’s just too much going on here in the world of professional sports, to really devote any time to college sports. However, when you travel outside of NY, college sports, particularly football and basketball, are king.
It truly was amazing experiencing this, as NC State won their game, which ended around 4PM. That meant the bar was already feeling pretty good, when we got there, right before 7PM, in time for the Rangers game. On that Saturday night, you had the Yankees playoff game and the McGregor fight going on. However, the bar cared more about college football, as not only did you see people still in their NC State garb, we also saw people wearing jerseys & shirts supporting Notre Dame, Georgia, Texas, UNC, LSU, Miami and other college football programs.
In the only “southern” moment of my trip, a group of people, who weren’t satisfied with the 678637896789634 tv’s that were already showing some college football game, mocked Tommy and I, for “watching some dang preseason hockey.” In time, I hope these people get tolerance for hockey fans!
After the Rangers frustrating loss, we decided to switch locales for the UFC PPV. As we walked the streets, which rivaled Times Square during New Year’s Eve, we saw people from all different backgrounds walking around. Again, this is me being a loud-mouthed New Yorker, but I was expecting less hustle & bustle down here. In other southern cities that I’ve visited, everyone moves slow, talks slow and takes their time. Here, everyone was moving like they were trying to catch the subway.
You can chalk this up to my ignorance on Raleigh or my thinking that the South is nothing but religious farmer types, but I was shocked when we went to watch the UFC PPV. No, I wasn’t shocked that McGregor lost. I was shocked that there were about 10 openly gay college kids, all wearing cowboy hats, who were all groping and kissing each other during the entire PPV. I don’t think you’ll even see something like that in some of the bars in Hell’s Kitchen, but here in Raleigh, where “Christian values” is a thing, or at least I thought it was, there wasn’t a lick of homophobia or anyone giving a shit.
I gotta say, it was me and my friend who were more stunned, not because of these kids being openly gay and not being able to keep their hands off each other, but because we were seeing this in Raleigh. Keep in mind, during our Uber ride over to the bar scene, we must’ve saw 10-12 different churches. Then again, these were college kids, who may not have roots in this area anyway.
The craziest thing about this old school Irish bar wasn’t a bunch of kids in cowboy hats fooling around, it was some kid who dressed up like Conor McGregor and even had the same tattoos that McGregor has. He thought he was hot shit. I was going to take a picture of him for this blog, but I didn’t want to give him the attention. The best part about all of this, was that the bartender, who was from Sunnyside, NY, called him out and said that his fake Dublin accent was “complete bullshit.”
So, oh yea, this blog is supposed to be about the Rangers! Where am I going with all of this? Long story short, Raleigh, while not exactly a hockey town, was a fun time. A night in Raleigh almost rivals a night bar-hopping in Manahattan. (The big difference is NY bars stay open around the clock, where everything shuts down in Raleigh at 2AM. Then all the action moves towards the local SHEETZ. No joke – we went to the Sheetz by our hotel after our night out, and there were nearly a 100 people in there.)
And as I stress during most of these road-trip blogs, for the same money as a good seat at M$G, you will have a better and more memorable experience doing a weekend in Raleigh, than you would by blowing a mortgage payment in Dolan’s playpen.
As far as the loss to the Sabres on Saturday goes, I just think it’s one of those losses we’ll see a lot this season. I mean, it seems the Rangers always run into these goalies who have the game of their lives against them. In the case of Hutton, he’s a Ranger killer, akin to Chuck Finley being a Yankees killer. I thought the Rangers played well, for the most part, but just couldn’t score.
It was worth noting that Cody McLeod entered the line-up, replacing Vladislav Namestnikov. I said in my opening night blog that I thought #90 didn’t have a good game and it looked like David Quinn wanted #90 to think about it.
In hindsight, this is funny, because I was saying on the twitter that Jimmy Vesey will eventually put it together, after his numerous chances that came up empty. Let’s also not forget the Rangers not capitalizing on a 3 vs 0 in this game too! Anyway, someone was telling me how Vesey won’t put it together because it would’ve happened by now. Less than 24 hours later, Vesey had two goals. Go figure.
Again, I don’t want to harp too much on this game, because most of you have already forgotten about it already. Let’s move along to Sunday.
After a fun night on Saturday, we decided to go out for NFL Sunday. Usually, we like to get to the arena two hours early to explore and see everything, but the New York Giants prevented that from happening. Luckily, this “Backyard Bistro” bar, which like the bars from the night previous, was packed, was only a 7 minute walk, door-to-door, to the arena.
At the bar, there were jerseys being worn of most of the NFL teams. I saw Jets, Giants, Steelers, Panthers, Cowboys, Colts, 49ers and other teams being supported. With the hockey game being an early start at 5PM (as opposed to 7PM) the bar was more packed than usual, because you had the hockey crowd with the football crowd. It was a nice day for business for sure.
Of course, the Giants lost. Between the Giants and the Rangers, they got one win between the two of them and if the Yankees don’t make it to the World Series, it’s going to be a long winter in New York. (Fuck the Jets!)
Side bar about a bar – when the Giants took the lead, there was a Giants fan jumping up and down. I said they’ll blow this. Of course, Gano kicks a historic 63 yard field goal to win the game for the Panthers. Just like the Rangers, BAD TEAMS FIND WAYS TO LOSE. Yes, you can blame the refs, and man oh man, have the refs fucked the Giants these last two weeks, but with the game on the line, you gotta make a stop. Plus, the Giants were playing from behind for most of the game anyway.
And unfortunately, this New York football loss to the Carolina Panthers foreshadowed what was to come on the ice.
As far as the experience and the arena itself, I thought the PNC Arena, home of the Hurricanes and NC State basketball, was a nice building. I know I always say this, but it’s so true – once you get out of NY, you see how much better every other fan has it. I mean really, just go to “The Rock” (the arena, not the person) in New Jersey. That arena is a better experience than MSG. The franchise respects their fans more. The team goes out of its way to make fans more interactive. You just go around the league, and really, Ranger fans get the short end of the stick. That’s part of the trade-off for rooting for the most profitable franchise in the league.
To James Dolan and the Rangers, Ranger fans are disposable. They grow on trees. When you hit a market like Carolina or Sunrise (and yes, even New Jersey) the franchise values their fans more. The Carolina Hurricanes even have a “fan development” program. I don’t know the full details, but they are actively recruiting fans. Tickets are also cheap and a family can afford to go to multiple games. You just can’t say the same about our Rangers.
The saddest thing about all this is not that the Hurricanes do their fans better than the Rangers do. It’s not that the tix are cheaper. It’s not that the beers are fresh as compared to the stale 16 oz cups of piss poured at MSG. No, the saddest thing is that the Carolina Hurricanes have won as many Stanley Cups in my lifetime as the New York Rangers have won! Even worse, the Canes won their Cup 12 years ago. 1994 truly was a once in a lifetime thing. SAD!
I will say, while the Canes do have attendance issues, the fan support here dwarfs the support that a team like the Florida Panthers or NY Islanders get. College football comes first in Raleigh, but unlike in Sunrise or in New York, people know who the Hurricanes are. Of note, did you hear that only 8000 people bothered to show up for the Islanders game on Monday?
The Rangers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, 8-5. Again, this blog is belated, so there is no reason to recap 13 goals. After all, these blogs go on long enough. However, for posterity’s sake, here’s the box score from ESPN.com:
For the third straight game, David Quinn tinkered with his line-up. For the first time this season, Quinn went with 11 forwards (Scratching Lettieri, who probably would’ve had a field day in this shoot-out) and 7 defensemen, as Quinn inserted DeMAGAngelo into the line-up. Also of note, Namestninkov was back in the line-up and McLeod was back in the press box.
Another tangent! Once again, I must credit to @NYRKELSMADS for the DeMAGAngelo nickname. And if you can’t tell, the nickname cracks me up because I find it hilarious how the basement millennial liberal NYR fans don’t like a player because of his political views. I even saw some crazy deranged woman, with a rainbow to promote gay rights as her twitter profile pic, wish for an injury on DeAngelo. All because he didn’t vote the same way she did. So much for tolerance. SAD!
And really, does this nasty woman, who has wished for violence on other men in the past, really think that people like DeAngelo are homophobes? Does this woman and others like her, think that by using a gay slur, which sometimes really is the equivalent of calling someone a douche or an a-hole, makes for a hate crime? (I already did a blog on the word fag, and you can read that blog here: http://doinow.com/2717/)
Oh, and if Lundqvist and Buchnevich would ever come out in support of Trump, it would make my day. These chart boys in mom jeans would have their heads spinning like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”
And let’s face it, Lundqvist is a multi-millionaire who pays a shit load in taxes. You know he’s a Trump guy! Maybe Lundswiss isn’t that bad after all! Nahhhhh!
When you get a chance to sit this close at a game, especially behind the bench, sometimes you miss stuff. There were plenty of times in this game where I was just watching Quinn, to see his reaction on things. Without question, Quinn is more animated behind this bench than AV ever was, but not as animated as John Tortorella.
No matter what the score was, meaning that it didn’t matter if the Rangers were leading, tied or trailed, Quinn was very active behind his bench. You could see him jotting notes. He was grabbing his assistant coaches and talking to them. He was walking his bench and talking to guys. He was gathering everyone up during TV timeouts. He was there to congratulate guys on good plays.
Again, as mentioned repeatedly on this blog, I would’ve never fired AV and if I was going to fire him, I would’ve looked at Roy. I explained why in detail already. However, for three games in, I do like what I see from Quinn, although he is going to have to invest in some hair dye with this team. With the way things look, Quinn reminds me of an American President after they completed their term.
Seriously, do your own research and look at any President before they were inaugurated and after they left the White House. Their appearance changes tremendously. Even Obama wasn’t exempt from this, and we all know the expression of “black don’t crack”:
How about George Bush Junior? Take a look:
And then, of course you have these two:
For Mr. David Quinn, I wish you the best, as I see this job truly aging you.
Going into this game, I truly believed the Rangers would have an offensive onslaught. What I didn’t predict was Alexandar Georgiev, also known to every Rangers fan as KING GEORGE (remember, as Ranger fans, goalies don’t need a Cup to be considered a king) to have the worst game of his life.
I truly believed David Quinn summed up the game best when he said, “it looks like we’ve never gone over D-Zone coverage, we didn’t play situational hockey and we felt a sense of deflation when Carolina tied it at 5-5.”
This game was a shoot-out, and it was good to see the Rangers offense clicking. Obviously, with two goals a piece, Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey really stood out. I’m glad Vesey had a good game, because we’re hearing all these basement bloggers talking about how “Vesey sucks”, “Vesey isn’t as good as Buchnevich” and “Vesey should be sent to Hartford.” It’s the same shit from them. At least here, you know I don’t like Lundqvist on this team and I why I don’t like his contract. I’m consistent. With some of these freaks, they pick a new player to jerk off about (Buchnevich is the current one) and then bury someone for whatever reason.
Without question, Vesey didn’t stand out in the preseason. However, he’s arguably been the Rangers top forward in these three regular season games. He has two goals and perhaps could have five goals if he finished on some plays. The Rangers also played two tough goalies, so you have to put that into consideration.
I’m not here to tell you that Vesey is getting the Hart. With his contract situation, it very well could make sense to trade him, come the deadline. All I’m saying is Vesey doesn’t “suck” and when he’s clicking, he can get it going out there. It’s just a matter of being more consistent and this is the season, a contract season for him at that, for Vesey to be at his absolute best.
I keep bringing up Kreider’s name a lot in this blog. I have seen Chris Kreider play hockey in person, at MSG and on the road, something like 200+ times. I’ve seen Kreider in the preseason. I’ve seen Kreider in the regular season. I’ve seen Kreider in the playoffs. I’ve seen Kreider play in America. I’ve seen Kreider play in Canada. I’ve seen Kreider play under three different coaches. I’ve seen Kreider have good games and I’ve seen Kreider have bad games. There are games where Kreider is all over the place and there games where you have to check the stat sheet to see if he even took a shift.
Maybe it’s the shaved head or maybe it’s because Kreider is on a team of players who wouldn’t crack most second lines around the NHL, but Kreider just stood out so much in this game. Kreider was scoring goals, he was dishing the puck, he was blocking shots, he was hitting guys, he was overly physical, he overpowered whoever was defending him and he looked like a stud all game.
Every time Kreider finished his shift, he skated to the bench with a maniacal look. He was in the zone all game.
In the third period, with the score 4-4, Kreider was on the bench and just looked a demon, awaiting to play. I turned to my buddy Tommy and said “Kreider is going to score right now, look at him, he looks nuts.” What happened? Within 30 seconds, Kreider came on the ice and made the score 5-4, Rangers.
Sunday’s Chris Kreider is the Chris Kreider Ranger fans need all season. Again, as mentioned repeatedly on these blogs, the players on this 2018-2019 roster do not care about your “TANK SZN” tweets or Facebook diatribes. These guys are playing to win, playing for money and playing for their job security. They don’t give a fuck about Jack Hughes.
If Chris Kreider can bring this focus and will into every game, the Rangers will start winning a few games. If it wasn’t for bad goaltending on Sunday, everyone would be talking right now about how Kreider led the Rangers to victory. He was that much of a game changer.
Now let’s get to KING GEORGE.
Ever since starting blog four seasons ago, anytime that Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta, and now Alexandar Georgiev, have a bad game, my twitter page is inundated with mentions. What is lost by the basement brotherhood are all my original points, with the biggest being – YOU CAN NOT WIN A CUP WITH A TOP FIVE PAID GOALIE IN THIS ERA. I’ve been saying that for years and nothing has changed.
As talked about in my NYR season preview blog, for the first time since signing that ridiculous contract, while Lundqvist is now the second highest paid goalie in the league (Carey Price is first and look at how his team is doing) Lundqvist’s contract doesn’t mean much anymore. For starters, the salary cap has gone up $10.5M from when Lundqvist first signed his deal. And for this season, and really, for 2019-2020 too, the Rangers can pay what they want to anyone. It doesn’t matter. They are rebuilding. Tanking is the new winning. It’s why I didn’t care about the Namestnikov or Spooner contracts. It just doesn’t matter. This team isn’t competing for a Cup.
You can not compare this Rangers season to the past seasons of Ranger hockey. While Lundqvist is unfortunately still the face of the franchise, we are getting closer to the end of this Error/Era, of where the Rangers tried building around a goalie every year and every summer, they were completely dumbfounded on why they didn’t win a Cup.
It’s not just me, as more and more people have had it with Lundqvist too. Lundqvist will get that big send off one day and get all the praise. However, he will never be Richter. He will never be Eddie. Lundqvist has never made us miss him and it’s turning into, “when are you leaving?”
Because of my strong opinions on Lundqvist, I will get trolled myself when another goalie has a bad game. That’s fine. I can take it and I would be a hypocrite if I got upset about stuff like that. To be honest, I like breaking people’s balls, so when it’s done intelligently at my expense, I tip my hat. If it’s stuff like “GEORGEFF SUX, I HOAP YOO DYE”, I tend to keep on scrolling. (I also find it hypocritical that the same people who are upset about me wanting Lundqvist traded are the same people who are the first to let me know when a Rangers back-up goalie has a bad game.)
That said, you can’t compare Georgiev to Lundqvist. After all, Lundqvist makes $9M more than Georgiev. Expectations are different. It’s not like the Rangers are built around Georgiev.
For the Rangers, this should also be a new era. Georgiev has to take his lumps. Unfortunately, he took his lumps in a game that the team could’ve won. This wasn’t Steve Valiquette in net, giving up 10 goals to the Dallas Stars, like he did on 2/6/2009. In that game, the Rangers were beat. In this game, Georgiev should’ve got his first win.
I’ve seen some people calling for Tokarski already, which to me, is a bit premature. After all, if you’re Jeff Gorton, don’t you want to have a chance at Jack Hughes? Furthermore, as you develop the team in front of the goalie, you need to develop the guy in between the pipes. Since you’re too thick-headed and stubborn to buy out CZAR IGOR from his KHL contract, you might as well feed Georgiev starts. He will only get better as time goes along. If things go right, this game will be a laughable learning experience for the Cup winning Alexandar Georgiev one day.
There are a couple of things I want to get into on Georgiev and the team. As you can tell from the pictures I’ve included in this blog, I was very close to the action. From the start of the game, you could see Georgiev just didn’t have it. He was flubbing pucks, giving up bad rebounds, couldn’t track the puck, looked nervous and was overplaying his position. When he kept blowing lead after lead, he got even more on edge and he wore frustration on his face like the way Hulk Hogan wears a bandana, with pure perfection.
So with Georgiev obviously not having it, that brings you to two different questions. Those questions are:
— Did David Quinn want to win this game?
— Why didn’t Quinn pull Georgiev?
You can answer both questions with ease. Simply put – “it doesn’t matter.” A lottery pick is better than a first round KO. However, let me expand a bit.
Deep down, I do think Quinn wants a win. I mean, what coach wants an 0-fer next to his name? Steve Valiquette and Bill Pidto said that you can’t ask Henrik Lundqvist to come into this game cold. I mean, heaven forbid that a guy making $9.5M, the second highest paid goalie in hockey, and a guy who has three days off after this game, does his job. All Vally says anyway is how much Henrik wants to play. Sorry, if you’re like me, I don’t have sympathy for a guy who can’t work two days in a row. I’m sure many of you guys, dare I say, <GASP> work five days in a row every week! PERISH THE THOUGHT!
In my own opinion, I have no problem with Georgiev getting beat up. It’s a learning experience. It’s something that can drive him in the future. That said, make no bones about it, if that was Lundqvist giving up 7 goals (The 8th goal was an EN) Quinn would’ve saved him the embarrassment. Lundqvist will never have a game like Roy had in Montreal, that’s for sure.
What I did notice, was that during this shellacking, not one Ranger talked to Georgiev to calm him down. I found that to be off-putting. During Derek Stepan’s tenure on Broadway, whether it was Lundqvist, Biron, Talbot, or Raanta, you would see Stepan skate over to the goalie and try to calm him down and support him in times like these. Instead, none of the Rangers, or the coaches either for that matter, said one word to Georgiev.
Obviously, Georgiev knew he sucked in this game, but he had to take this up the ass himself. It would’ve been nice to get some lube from his team to make it easier. I also wonder, what if during one of the TV timeouts, when Georgiev skated to the bench, what if Quinn talked to Georgiev to help settle him down? What if after one of the bad goals allowed, what if Zucc, Staal, Kreider, Fast, Zibanejad or whoever else is wearing the “A” these days, just went up to Georgiev and tried to settle him? I’m not asking for these guys to give Georgiev a handjob or anything, but no one attempted to prop up Georgiev either. All I hear is how Quinn is such a player’s coach, but in this instance, I didn’t see it.
Granted, the Carolina Hurricane’s fourth goal, which made the score 4-4, came very late into the second period. Maybe guys talked to Georgiev in the locker room. However, even at 5-5, this was still a winnable game. That said, it seemed the Rangers also threw in the towel too, as my hat almost flew off my head in the third period, as the Hurricanes just kept flying down the ice on multiple odd-man rush opportunities.
Again, did Quinn want to win? Is he hoping Georgiev learns from this? Who knows? Georgiev did have that nice string of 8 or 9 straight saves while on the PK, but once that heart-breaker at the end of the second period went in, you could see him unraveling.
I agreed with Quinn when he said the tide turned for good after the Canes tied it at 5-5. Georgiev was slamming his stick and was pissed. He knew he didn’t have it. Once it was 6-5, you really felt for him. At 7-5, you wondered if Quinn had a heart.
Of note, everyone knows how Joe Micheletti credits Henrik Lundqvist whenever Georgiev does something good. Even during this preseason, Micheletti said dumb ass shit after a Georgiev save, stuff like “Georgiev learned that from his mentor Henrik Lundqvist.” Micheletti even had the balls and audacity to say this crap last season, when Georgiev only knew Lundqvist for an hour!
I’m just wondering, with Georgiev blowing multiple leads, giving up bad goals, blowing a two goal lead and showing frustration, did Micheletti on the broadcast credit Lundqvist for teaching Georgiev all that stuff too? Georgiev better find a new mentor!
Oh, and based on the post game interviews, I guess Georgiev hasn’t learned how to blame his teammates after a loss from his mentor Henrik Lundqvist. Hopefully Micheletti can get us the scoop on why not!
All in all, the Rangers are 0-3 and have lost three games that they could’ve won. Again, bad teams find ways to lose. This loss to Carolina obviously sucks the most, because you scored five goals.
While the defensive lapses will be addressed and get some talk, I thought there was a lot of good in this game. I talked about Kreider and Vesey already. Tony DeMAGAngelo had a great game, logging two assists and beating the shit out of Jordan Martinook. I was happy to see Quinn praise DeMAGAngelo after the game. Really, most of the Ranger forwards looked good in this one, offensively.
As far as the finger-pointing stuff, Kevin Shattenkirk has been dreadful in these three games. Some Ranger fans want his head already. Some never wanted him here to begin with, agreeing with Barry Trotz’s assessment of number 22. To me, I hope Shattenkirk can get it together. It looks like Quinn is punishing him already, as he held Shattenkirk to under 7:30 of playing time. Can’t say that I blame Quinn, especially with the way DeAngelo was playing.
The phrase “powerplay quarterback” has been beaten to death, but we know that is Shattenkirk’s biggest strength. That said, at least in this one game, I didn’t see anything special. All he did was get the puck, pass it, get the puck again, and pass it again. With Alain Vigneault still collecting a paycheck, you can lace him up to do what Shattenkirk did on the powerplay in this game.
So the Rangers are 0-3. So what? I’m being tagged in these Twitter and Facebook debates, where it’s all doom and gloom. The worst part about all of this is that the biggest mouths discussing this so-called Rangers apocalypse are the ones screaming about how the Rangers need to tank. WHAT? How do you tank and win at the same time? How do you win the Stanley Cup and land the 1st overall pick in the NHL draft? (Then again, I guess Colorado is trying to do that. Thanks Matt Duchene!)
There are many great fans that I talk to, and one of them is Al Demauro, who lurks the many groups that Ranger fans provide on Facebook. Like Al after every game, I feel like I’m going to be as repetitive as him with these blogs. I don’t know how many times I can say this is “stress free hockey”, “just enjoy it”, “it should be fun watching these guys develop” and “I rather the number 1 pick.”
It’s getting to the point where I might just have to copy and paste the social media ramblings of Al Demauro, Jim Schmiedeberg, Nick Adams, Jennifer Eberhart and Greg Rutherford and call it a day. These fans get it.
Listen, I get that some fans want the Rangers to win every game. I truly do. But to not grasp the concept of why some fans thinks it’s better to tank is beyond me. I said this last blog – I try to read everything from everyone, even stuff I don’t agree with. Even the people who I don’t agree with, at least I can somewhat understand where they are coming from. For the fans who don’t understand the way the draft lotto system works, you’re just utterly lost like Tom Hanks in “Castaway”. Go paint a volleyball or something, you fucks.
On Sunday, I paid $90 to sit behind the Rangers bench and had a fucking blast. Was I rooting for a win? Of course. That said, a loss is better for the overall goal of the number 1 pick. I saw 13 goals in one game. How many fans can say that? I had a great time at the PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes treat all fans with respect. The arena was classy and clean. The fans of the Canes were fun to talk to.
The only blah thing about my trip to Raleigh and with this game is that I feel bad for Alexandar Georgiev. However, I’m sure he will get over it. Someone should send him a Google satellite shot of Hartford. That will motivate him to wake up real quick.
I also want to take time out to thank the fans of the Carolina Hurricanes Facebook group for their bar suggestions during my trip. The Carolina Ale House was a hit, and our waitress Coco & manager Matt, couldn’t have been more accommodating.
One fan that I have gotten to know over the years and talk to a lot is Dancin’ Larry. Many of you guys know him. He is one of the most positive fans around. I’m trying to embrace his positive attitude, because really, this season isn’t about winning.
Ranger fans can psychoanalyze and do their macro-managing spreadsheets after every loss and be miserable. To me, this season is about having fun. My only goal for this season is to see the team be significantly better in April than they are now.
While I’m rooting for the young players to succeed and hope to see seeds of a new core, I’m also approaching these games as the last time that I will see some of these guys in a Rangers jersey. Time will tell on what happens there, but the team you see now, won’t be the same team you see at the deadline.
It’s a shame that the Ryan Callahan trade that was rumored over the summer never happened. It sucks that Rick Nash may never play again. I think both, despite their no Cups, would’ve been a good leader for this team. I think Stepan would’ve been great too. However, as time goes along, a new leader will eventually emerge, but for the time being, the Rangers don’t have that one guy who they can look to when shit gets bad & can help bounce back the team. Maybe Kreider can be that guy if he keeps it up.
As of this writing, the Rangers are the worst team in the NHL. For some fans, that means everything is going according to plan. Some fans are ripping their hair out. You gotta love the different reactions from this fan base on any given night.
Oh and how about this stat – for the first time in the Rangers 91+ year history, they gave up empty net goals in three consecutive games. I’m glad to have witnessed history!
The Rangers return on Thursday night against one of the Stanley Cup favorites for this season, in the San Jose Sharks. These are the same Sharks that the Islanders just spanked 4-0 on Monday afternoon. I would assume Lundqvist starts that game, and the game after, as the Edmonton Oilers, led by KING TALBOT, come into town Saturday afternoon.
I’ll be back Thursday night, as I plan on watching the MSG Networks feed and seeing what they are doing new for 2018-2019. Until then, as always…
“LET’S GO RANGERS”
@NYCTHEMIC on tweeter