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Posts Tagged ‘henrik lundqvist’

The Rangers are home tonight to face the Washington Capitals.  The puck drops at 7pm and airs locally on MSG, or Game Channel 5 if you have Center Ice.  Or you could just hit yourself in the face with a frying pan.  Same effect.

Mother of God.

Your 2008-2009 New York Rangers.

Your 2008-2009 New York Rangers.

 

I hate this team right now.  So much.  So very, very much.  This is bullshit.  This team has quit on themselves.  I don’t care how much bullshit they spew about having to get their confidence back and we played strong but they got goals and it’s hard to come back and blah blah blah.  No.  To hell with that.  This was a first place team at the beginning of the season, and at that time, they actually looked like it.  This is a team that should still be in first place.  Instead they’re a handful of losses away from not making the playoffs.  Now they look like frozen shit on ice skates.  No, not frozen.  Make that steaming elephant shit rolled in 100 dollar bills.  Yes, 100 dollar bills – just to remind how how much these schmucks are getting paid to not do a goddamn thing they’re supposed to.  And I hope Hank enjoyed the All Star Game, because it’s his last one.  Granted, he can’t do anything about the guys in front of him not putting the puck in the damn net, but still – no more ASG for you, Henrik.

Anyway, sorry – this is the Game Preview post, not the Angry Tirade post.  Basically, the Rangers are facing the Capitals tonight.  More specifically, Alex Ovechkin is at the Garden to further embarrass these dogs we so loyally follow.  I bet all of you all the money in my bank account that Ovechkin, by himself, will outscore the Rangers.  And look awesome doing it.  The only reason I’m even considering watching this game is to watch Ovechkin.   And to hear the “Fire Renney”/”Fire Sather”/”We Want Prucha”/”Bring Back Avery”/”Earn Your Paycheck” chants at the Garden.  I’m seriously hoping for some “Earn Your Paycheck”s.  Hence the name of this game preview. 🙂

I’m sure Renney the Rodent has come up with some ridiculously stupid and ineffective line combinations for tonight, and I’m not even bothering looking them up.  Fifty bucks says Lundqvist is centering the second line with Voros and my Uncle Steve.  

Prucha’s a healthy scratch, because clearly he is the Anti-Christ and must be punished.

Screw the numbers breakdown.  This team sucks, and Washington doesn’t.  That’s all you need to know.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was all set to boycott this year’s All Star Game.  The absolute joke that it had become pissed me off beyond hell.  I wasn’t going to watch, I had a nasty email almost done about what  disgrace the NHL had allowed to go on, with the Montreal fans installing programs which padded their votes to have all Canadiens players being the starting line-up.  I don’t give a shit that the ASG is in your town during your 100th season, that doesn’t give you the right to cheat and rob the rest of the league’s players and fans of seeing those players who SHOULD start actually start.

This picture has nothing to do with the ASG really, but I just think it's awesome. - Goalie punch!

This picture has nothing to do with the ASG really, but I just think it's awesome. - Goalie punch!

 

Anyway, so after all of my hemming and hawing about what a disgrace this year’s ASG was going to be and no one should watch it, the NHL did one thing right and named our boy Henrik Lundqvist to the Eastern Conference Reserves as the Ranger’s representative.  You know what that means?  It means I have to watch the game.  It means I have to care.  It also means I have to buy a t-shirt.  I’ve always thought that Hank deserved to be named the that All Star Team; but damn, why in hell did it have to be this year?  Oh well, we wish him luck.

asg-lq-tshirt

 

 

 

Plus I get a new t-shirt!

 

 

 

 

 

On a completely unrelated note, my best friend Melissa lives in North Carolina, and this weekend apparently a bunch of the Carolina Hurricanes went on a golf weekend at the golf resort she works at, and today Ray Whitney asked her for a band aid.  

And Melissa gave him one of these:

These are the Band-Aids that Melissa carries with her and give to hockey players.  Well done Meliss, well done.

These are the Band-Aids that Melissa carries with her and gives to hockey players. Well done Meliss, well done.

 

Anywhoo – I realized last night that I don’t get the NHL Network, even though I have the Center Ice Package.  You have to pay for the the NHL Network separately.  Bull to the Shit.  So I’m deciding if I should forgo all the ridiculousness of the media day and just watch what’s on versus tomorrow, or if I should call Comcast and yell.  Any thoughts, you guys?

 

We here at 5-Hole will (hopefully) be updating during the festivities, so check back often!

 

P.S. I love Marc Staal even more now:

Rawr.

Rawr.

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There is controversy brewing over the Penguins’ game winning goal scored by Sidney Crosby in overtime last night.  The big question is whether Crosby made contact with the puck above or below the crossbar.  The goal was reviewed and it stood.  So what’s the problem?  The call on the ice was goal.  The replay did not conclusively disprove that.  It’s a goal right?  Maybe, maybe not.

1Why it’s a goal:
1. The NHL says it’s a goal, therefore, it’s a goal.
2. Someone at Pensblog drew a cute picture!  They can’t be wrong, can they?

Why it’s not a goal:

1. Conspiracy theorists claim the NHL is just furthering the Sidney Crosby love fest.

22. The picture from Pensblog is misleading because the puck was not in line with the corner where the post and crossbar meet when it made contact with Crosby’s stick.  It was actually closer to the center of the crossbar.  Oh no!  The new line goes under Crosby’s arm and the puck!  NO GOAL!
3. Commenter Tom L. on the Puck Daddy post says, “Crosby is 5′ 11″, 6′ 3″ on skates. The crossbar is 4ft high and the puck hit a few inches below his armpits. Unless Sid’s swollen head is 28 inches tall, that’s well over 4ft.”
4. If the NHL had disciplined Crosby for his actions in the game against Atlanta, he would not have even been playing in this game.
5. This picture left by another commenter in that Puck Daddy post shows with more lines that the net is only 80 pixels tall in the image, while the distance from the puck to the ice is 91 pixels.  11 pixels isn’t all that much but it’s still something.
seanwasrightcrosbyhs

I say it was no goal.  But what do I know?  Onto the picks!

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Marc will be taking a short break from Pick ’em as he is out of the country.

Straight to the picks today!

#13 Pittsburgh Penguins @ #15 Buffalo Sabres

Eric – PenguinsThat’s the hooker you asspunched!  Also, they’re due.
Rory – Sabres – Kick Crosby’s ass so he won’t punch you in the crotch.

#21 Toronto Maple Leafs @ #28 Atlanta Thrashers

Eric – Leafs – The only thrash the Thrashers have is Ilya Kovalchuk.
Rory – Leafs – Toronto’s not doin so bad lately. Atlanta on the other hand has lost like 153 games in a row. *gimmie*

#16 Phoenix Coyotes @ #24 Edmonton Oilers

Eric – Coyotes – The Oilers are 4-5-3 at Rexall Place this season.  The Coyotes are terrible on the road.  The coin just landed heads.
Rory – Coyotes – Why not?

#12 Anaheim Ducks @ #11 Vancouver Canucks

Eric – Ducks – The Ducks just lost their goal scoring leader for 4 weeks due to self inflicted injury but they have Jonas Hiller in net!  Go Team Fuckin’ Awesome! *gimmie*
Rory – Ducks – I officially want Vancouver to go down the tubes so $undin can know the wrath that befalls those who reject Henrik Lundqvist. He took you out to dinner, and you don’t even bother to call! I imagine the HL Wrath of Rejection is quite frightening, considering how he acts when he loses a game.

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83370146JM010_CALGARY_FLAMEThe Rangers have just three regulation wins in 17 games since the start of November with two goals or fewer in 12 of those 17 games. They have been shutout twice on home ice in the last three games and have only scored 2.33 goals per game, second-to-last in the NHL, better than only Tampa Bay.  The Rangers have had the benefit of a fairly easy schedule through the early part of the season.  Now that they’re playing better teams, their true colors are showing. The stars are not playing up to their abilities and the young players have all plateaued.

Scott Gomez has 1 goal in his last 13 games.  Chris Drury has no goals in his last 8, Dubinsky has 1 in his last 20 and Ryan Callahan has 1 in his last 14

Last night’s game against the Flames was not the worst game this season but it was up there (down there?).  They actually played well through the first period and were sticking to the defense first mentality that has worked so well in years past.  They even held the Flames to just 2 shots in the second period.  Those two shots were the shot that led to the rebound which was Jarome Iginla’s goal.

Dear NHL, can you please make a rule change that allows teams to decline penalties?  Honestly, the Rangers’ power play is so bad that they would be better off just playing at even strength.  They had a better chance scoring short handed last night then they did up a man and they now lead the league in short handed goals against.

How is it that a team that has the best penalty kill in the entire league can be so dreadful on the power play?  It’s not like the players are that different.  Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, and Ryan Callahan all had time on both the power play and the penalty kill.  And it’s not like we play with four forwards on the power play.  Why then, can we not defend our net when we have more players on the ice than they do!?!

The highlights of the night were when the crowd started chanting “sloppy seconds” at Dion Phaneuf and when my brother mentioned that the guy sitting behind us sounded exactly like Zoidberg from “Futurama.”  That was the gift that kept on giving.

***

Notes

  • The more I watch this team, the more they remind me of last year’s Ottawa Senators.
  • The Lightning just waived Radim Vrbata.  If they try to bring him back up, the Rangers should snag him at half the price.  This guy had a great year with the Coyotes last season and I think he would play wonderfully next to Brandon Dubinsky and Petr Prucha.
  • Michal Rozsival played his best game of the season last night.  Hopefully he can make a habit of it.
  • Corey Potter played very well in his first NHL game and reminded me of Dan Girardi when he was first called up.  Defensively sound.

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The first day of 5-hole.com Pick ’em seems to have been a rousing success!  The standings to the right will be updated daily and we will now offer a handful of what we feel are the most interesting stories from around the league.  Additionally, we will now give you all a reason for why we picked the teams we’ve picked.  You know, in case we are your main source before heading to the bookie.

  • BASEBALLSean Avery has been suspended indefinitely after sharing his thoughts with the Canadian media. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.” Come on, that’s funny!
  • Speaking of Avery, M Hurley over at My Blueshirt Heaven calls out the NHL or National Hypocrites League for their reaction to the situation. “This is the same league that has let a criminal like Todd Bertuzzi play again after he criminally assaulted and ended the career of Steve Moore.”
  • The All Star voting is still a joke, but at least Jarome Iginla has broken the Red Wings hold on the West.  In the East, Sidney Crosby is now only 40,000 votes behind Alex Tanguay for a spot on the starting lineup.

We’ll get into our picks for tonight after the jump… (more…)

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Hello!  Yes I’m alive and so are Marc and Rory.  They say hi.

The Rangers are 17-8-2 right now which places them atop the Eastern conference.  But are they really as good as their record would suggest?

Some days I watch them play and I would argue that they are just as good, if not better than their record suggests.  On other days (Oct 15, Nov 8*, Nov 22, Nov 30) they play terrible, uninspired games.  Why is it that there is such a large swing from game to game?  How can the Rangers right the ship and keep it that way?

*What happened to  “Every goal of every game,” NHL.com?

1. Fix the Power Play. Yes, I know. dead-horseBut seriously, something must be done about this.  The Rangers have the most power play opportunities in the entire league, their offense is what some would call stacked, yet they are ranked 11th in the Eastern conference.  Let me just throw out a few teams that have a better power play.  The Islanders, the Thrashers, the Lightning.  In the last five games, the Rangers are just 2 for 21 with the man advantage.  At least Tom Renney is now admitting that there is something wrong and is even considering putting a forward at the point. aaaaaaah

I think there’s forwards who can do that job. There’s defensemen, too. They just have to do it with a certain level of confidence and assertiveness.  We can look at a number of different guys. What would Zherdev be like back there? Chris (Drury) we’ve tried. What would Scott (Gomez) be like back there? What would Nazzy be like? That’s a short list of guys.

The problem I have with putting a forward at the point is that the Rangers are already leading the league in short handed goals against and they’ve been playing with two defensemen on the power play the entire season.  By putting 4 forwards on the ice, you’re conceding that your PP unit will not be as defensively sound.  Look how easily Chris Drury pounces on the defensive mistake of Martin St. Louis, caught out of position along the boards during a Lightning power play.

So, what do you do if the defensemen on the PP have not been effective but adding a 4th forward would add to the risk of shorthanded goals for a team that already gives up too many shorthanded goals?  Take the defensemen that aren’t working *cough*Rozsival*cough* on the PP off of the PP and put a different defenseman on the point.  Marc Staal doesn’t need the perfect pass to rip a slap shot.

Scott Gomez, please stop hanging around at the half boards and pretending to be Jaromir Jagr.  Cycle the puck and get some low, hard shots to the net with a man set up right in front.  Rebounds and deflections galore!

76074654CM010_NEW_YORK_RANG2. Give Petr Prucha a chance. Dear Tom Renney, Why is it that Dan Fritsche is allowed to have so many games to be consistently invisible yet Petr Prucha gets very few games to play hard, throw the body around, and draw some penalties?  You recently allowed Fritsche to play 10 games in a row.  He scored 1 goal against the Panthers and got 3 assists against the Devils (2) and the Bruins (1).  He scored his first goal of the season in his 9th game in a row.  I wonder if his goal came as a mix of playing against an inferior team plus getting more comfortable playing as he was playing on a more consistent basis.

Please, please allow Prucha 10 games in a row to show you that he is the better player and that he deserves much more ice time than you give him.  Why not try him on the Power Play?  Nothing else seems to be working so far.  Don’t forget, the teams you will be facing in the next couple weeks are much stronger opponents than the ones you faced in the last two weeks.

3. Stop stumbling out of the gate. The Rangers played 13 games in October. They scored first in eight of those games and had a record of 10-2-1.  They played 14 games in November and scored first in only four of those games.  Their record in November was 7-6-1.  In fact, before the game in Tampa, the Rangers had gone eight games without scoring first.

It might be alright to play catch up with a team like the Lightning or the Brodeur-less Devils.  Especially when you have a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist to keep you in it, but what happens when you stumble so hard that you can’t get up in time and give up 4 goals in the first 23 mintues of a game?  You need to come out of the gate strong and finish strong as well.

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