Welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. As I said after the Pittsburgh game on Sunday, I couldn’t recap the Anaheim or LA game, due to my real life job. Just didn’t have enough time. However, it was fun live tweeting with everyone in Rangerstown.
If you follow me on twitter, @NYCTheMiC, you know how I felt about this West Coast road-trip. I’m not going to do full-length recaps of the games, because by now, you know what has happened. Today, I’m just going to comment on the team itself and try to expand on some of the points/arguments made with readers of this blog on twitter.
The biggest topic that is always discussed by readers and non-readers of this blog alike, is Henrik Lundqvist. My twitter feed usually has 789689757567 notifications during a game. If Hank plays well, I get the “told you so” people. If Hank plays bad, I get the people that agree with me, meaning that he’s overpaid.
I know I’ve talked about it a million times and wrote a long piece about my thoughts on Lundqvist, which you can read by clicking here, but as time goes on, I get new followers on the tweeter machine and new readers of this blog. I just want to expand a bit and you can choose if you agree or disagree.
My feelings on Lundqvist is that he’s a hypocrite, overpaid, over-rated, a product of playing in NY, a crybaby and his contract prevents the Rangers from winning a Stanley Cup. Does he suck? No. Is he steadily declining since his 2012 Vezina season? Yes.
Read my previous blog that I wrote last year on why I think Hank is a hypocrite, overpaid, over-rated and a crybaby.
That said, is he the Rangers best player on the ice? Most of the time he is, but he is not even a top 5 goalie in today’s NHL anymore. Every player regresses with age and Hank is getting older and has a ton of miles. Every great eventually declines. For a recent example, just look at Peyton Manning. Hank hasn’t fallen off as much as Manning did yet, but he certainly has peaked in his career.
The biggest problem with the Rangers is what I’ve been saying all season – they are consistently inconsistent. When Hank plays great, the team in front of him does not. When the team scores goals, Hank wets himself like a puppy. That is why the Rangers have probably sacrificed anywhere from 10-20 points.
Stop me if you’ve seen any of these before:
- The Rangers score a huge momentum changing goal. The other team scores less than a minute later.
- The Rangers get a two goal lead. Lundqvist gives it right back.
- The opponent pulls the goalie. The Rangers can’t get an empty net goal. Lundqvist gives up a 6 vs 5 goal in the last minute of a game.
All of these things have happened far too often. When you look at the Rangers in the standings, in second place, the world hasn’t really fallen. But can this team make any progress in the playoffs? For the millionith time here on this blog, I don’t see how this team beats the Caps in a best of 7 series. (And yes, I know the history but these are two different teams from years prior.)
While many people refer to me as a “Lundqvist-hater” or the “Talbot-guy”, the fact is many ignore everything else I’ve said here. Usually in these Hank debates, people will say, why don’t you bring up Sather? Why don’t you bring up Nash? Why don’t you bring up the defense? Pals – just check the archives on the right hand of the site. It’s all there!
When you look at the Rangers, look at their owner. You have James Dolan who simply does not care. The Rangers would benefit from an owner that gave a shit about winning a Cup. The Rangers need that George Steinbrenner, Conn Smythe or Mark Cuban type to run this team. It’s no coincidence that neither of Dolan’s teams have won a championship under his watch. (James Dolan was not the primary owner in 1994.)
For James Dolan, it’s been 20+ years of no championships for either of his franchises. However, what his franchises are really well at, is making money. That’s all Dolan cares about. The cold hard cash. He don’t care if young kids can’t go to these games or if their parents can’t afford to take them. As long as someone is filling these seats for insane money, he’s grinning like the cheshire cat from “Alice in Wonderland”.
Ranger and Knick tickets, even when the teams suck, are the most expensive in their respective leagues. Star player jerseys sell through the roof, as millions of Lundqvist & Melo jerseys have been sold. Even guys who catch lightning in a bottle or become quick fan favorites, like Sean Avery or Jeremy Lin, sell jerseys at a record pace.
Dolan banks on the tickets. Banks on the merchandise. Banks on having his teams play in the biggest city in the world. Banks on being in NY and the high cost NYers are accustomed to for everything. He’s got money coming out his ears, but what he doesn’t have is any hardware.
Quite frankly, James Dolan is a silver-spoon motherfucker, living off the coat-tails of his daddy. The guy wants to be a rock star, but has settled as the owner of two of the largest franchises in sports today. The fact that he keeps bringing Isiah Thomas back after sex scandal after sex scandal and paying out millions to settle Isiah’s wrongdoings, shows you that he is not a good judge of character.
Outside of 2-3 seasons, the Knicks have been a laughing stock ever since they traded Patrick Ewing. Post 2000, with the exception of 1 season, the Rangers, despite the largest payroll in hockey at times, have only made one Cup appearance, and that was during the salary cap era.
Dolan is more hands-on with the Knicks than he is with the Rangers. He inherited the Rangers as part of the MSG/Cablevision deal. He didn’t seek to own a hockey team. He was basically shopping and looking to expand his empire (which was handed to him by his daddy.) The Rangers were that pack of gum “impulse buy” at the register.
I wouldn’t even call Dolan a basketball guy, because the Knicks have been pathetic for years.
Talking with Ranger fans on twitter, I really don’t get where some of these people are coming from. I think it’s an age thing. I really don’t think people look at the whole league when they evaluate ownership and management.
Put it this way – there is only one GM, IN THE HISTORY OF NY SPORTS, to have a job for 15+ years, and never win a championship. James Dolan still keeps him employed. What is the name of this GM? Glen Sather.
I’ve talked about Sather plenty on this site. Again, just type his name into the search box of the archives, located on the right hand of the site. Sather has been a FAILURE as GM of the NY Rangers. Dolan’s hockey knowledge is the 1980’s Oilers, and that’s about that.
I was at Glen Sather night in Edmonton this year. His career in Edmonton and NY are night and day. In Edmonton, he is a hero. A god amongst men. In NY, he’s senile and clueless.
To be fair, I never liked the old prick when he dealt Leetch and Graves. I didn’t care for him when he ran Jagr out of town too. Sather’s failures are long. The Redden deal. The Gomez deal. The Drury deal. The Holik deal. Granted, there have been a few winners such as McDonagh/Gomez, Klein/Del Zaster, but for the most part, Sather has struck out more times than not.
When this team fails to win a Stanley Cup this year (I’m on record saying Caps/Hawks as my finals, Caps win it all), there will be plenty of blame to go around. Sather should be one of the people fans look at too. He traded a ton of draft picks and mortgaged the future to win now. He almost had it right twice, these last two seasons, but another mistake he made was overpaying an aging goaltender, which brings us back to Henrik Lundqvist.
Another topic I’ve talked about a million times is the salary cap. I hate it. As fans, we spend more time talking the cap than anything else, but this is the environment created by the NHL. The NHL, particularly that cock-bag Gary Bettman, talks about how much money the NHL is making, while having the strictest and lowest salary cap in sports. It makes no sense.
I’m not against the cap in general. Granted, as a Yankees fan, I feel that if you want to spend, you should be able to spend whatever you want. It’s not like it always works out that way. Just look at those Yankee teams from 2001-2008 or the LA Dodgers of the last 5 years.
The salary cap has done wonders in the NFL, as every franchise is usually in the mix at least once every 3-4 years, unless you’re the Cleveland Browns. The NHL should also include some of the things that makes the NFL salary cap successful. Teams & players should be allowed to restructure deals. Why prevent this? I’m sure it’s a players union thing, but if the player is fine with it, then what is the difference? And of course, the cap should go up anywhere from 15-20%.
When people call me a Lundqvist-hater, I’m not that. I’m indifferent to him. I hate his contract. When you say stuff like “I want a Cup in NY at all costs”, and in the next move, threaten free agency & get the coach fired, that’s pretty hypocritical to me. When you say, “Gimme 2 goals and I got this”, but routinely blow every 2 goal lead you have, especially in big games, that’s hypocritical to me.
A new trait Hank has been displaying recently is being a crybaby. From breaking every stick, squirting the water on Crosby, crying about every call, flipping nets, etc, he sure doesn’t act as a King. Peons and plebians act that way.
Someone tweeted at me and tried to compare Lundqvist to Derek Jeter. Are you effing kidding me? If you can’t see that Lundqvist isn’t even on the same planet as Jeter, then to quote Mike Francesa – “you’re udderly lawst!”
When people ask, usually the people still living in their mother’s basement, “R U EVEN RELLY A RAINGERZ FAN?” I just laugh. I spend about $10K a year on this club and travel all over North America to see them. In fact, I’m about to hit my fourth Canadian city this season, when I see them play in Montreal on Saturday.
Occasionally, I’ll get an email from a reader that I think is good to add to this blog. This is one of them, from @catszuccarello on the tweet tweet:
I’ve been thinking a bit a lot of Lundqvist’s contract. I do not dislike the guy. But his contract that makes no sense to me. Everyone knows that Lundqvist was going to be the UFA. But was also known as fact that he wanted to have his career with NYR. This was known before the ink was put to the paper on the heinous contract that takes 14% of the NYR salary cap.
I often wonder, then, if this was known that he did not want to play else where’s, why was he not offer the contract that was more sensible to both him and the team. Like maybe 7.4 M , going lesser at end of contract extension. I highly doubt that he would have entertained offers anywhere else.Can you picture him in Nashville wearing the cowboy hat? Dallas with the 10 gallon? Maybe he would have take a deal with LA which is showy and stylish like NY. Wear his fancy suits and drive his Lambo.
My point of course is that we all knew he want to stay for the full career in NY. This being case, why did they give him the insane contract knowing full well he didn’t want to go elsewhere? Does that make sense or am I missing something. DID WE NOT HOLD THE CARDS. Explain to me please. If NYR get a cup with him he has it written to the contract a big fat bonus.
We know Goalies making much less money have won cups. We don’t have to look at the stats on this. You get more money after the cup, not before and Jonathan Quick has a few cups and still doesn’t make 8.5 M. Get me ? People are divided about Lundqvist. Some don’t care or even understand the politicals of contract, those are the people who scream KING! And how he can do no wrong.is always blame the guys in front of him,etc. never his fault, right? If you’re making that kind of money then I expect you to play like you’ve won the cup already. I expect more from you … I expect you to play elite hockey every fucking game for that money….because you’re getting paid for something you have not got yet.
Don’t get me wrong, we have a great team. Perhaps on some level they lost the faith in him.Maybe even they resentful of him, his contract, hurting the team. So next time he goes blocking someone on Twitter who expecting more from him ,think about it. He put himself in the position …
All those sheeple who say “King we are not worthy” or “it was not his fault for the loss” are the fanboys kissing his ass. Bitch please When your paid for something that you have not achieve, inputs the pressure to you. Well reality check.the pressure,it shows on you. After a loss, we hear in your voice. Your words. The look of dejection… Like when he tossed the net the day after his birthday Not that this will happen or even could, but how wonderful it would be for him to say, let’s renegotiate this contract. I’m not worthy of this yet. LOL Hehe. Dreaming, yes.
Bottom line – I want the RANGERS to win a Stanley Cup. I do not care who is on the team. If Lundqvist is on the team would that be nice? Sure, but I don’t care about getting him a cup personally. If it comes down to the Rangers or Hank getting a Cup, bye-bye Hank!
Everyone knows me as the Talbot guy. Just read my old blogs in the archives. Shit, just check out some of my collection:
Some of the arguments I get from Ranger fans, when I talk about Lundqvist’s contract is that the Oilers aren’t having a great season this year. I don’t know how people write that shit to me and think that argument is relevant at all. How do the Oilers affect the Rangers Cup aspirations?
For starters, the Rangers & Oilers are two completely different teams. The Rangers are in WIN-NOW mode, the Oilers are building for the future. In my opinion, if you swap Hank & Talbot, the Rangers would be better than they are, while the Oilers would be where they are.
Has anyone who has said “well the Oilers suck this year” actually watch any of their games? I’ve watched about 90% of their games this season (The Talbot starts) and they have the worst defense in the league. Trust me – for as bad as the Rangers defense has been, the Oilers defense is way worse.
The Oilers were also missing their best player in Connor McDavid for most of the season. Ever since McDavid returned, the Oilers have been putting together a few win streaks and you could argue that McDavid deserves the Calder. He’s been phenomenal.
Some readers/tweeters of this blog will say, you just hate Hank and you must love Raanta. Again, wrong. I followed Talbot from when he entered the Rangers organization, as I do Halverson, Skapski, Hellberg, etc. I have no “fandom” for Raanta, outside of he’s currently a Ranger.
I’m a fan of Cam Talbot. I think he’s a great goalie and he does a lot of charity work too. Lundqvist is a great goalie and does a lot of charity work too. I respect that.
However, as a RANGERS fan, I think Talbot would’ve given you the best chance to win a Cup this season, because before the Oilers deal, he was making $575,000. If you got rid of Hank, you would still have a great goalie and $8M in cap room. Look at the Capitals and their free agent deals. Justin Williams. TJ Oshie. Mike Richards. Don’t you think one or any of those guys could’ve helped the Rangers this season? Granted, it helps that Ovechkin lives up to the hype, where Nash (more on him later) is a bust.
Even with the Oilers horrible defense, and a team not in WIN-NOW mode like the Rangers, Talbot is putting up great numbers. For comparison:
Lundqvist has a .922 SV%, a 2.42 GAA and 4 shutouts.
Talbot has a .919 SV%, a 2.50 GAA and 3 shutouts.
Talbot did start out rocky, but since January, is one of the top 3 goalies in Save Percentage & Wins. He also is 13-0-1 when making 35+ saves.
Talbot is also 5 years younger than Lundqvist. Even if I didn’t use names and used “player A” and “player B”, why would you want Lundqvist for $8M more when the stats are comparable and Talbot has actually been better since January?
Hank’s contract has always been my argument! I really think the Ranges made a mistake by trying to get a cup for one player, rather than getting a Cup for the team. However, this goes back to Dolan (Lundqvist draws $, sells tix and sells jerseys) and Slats has no balls & doesn’t want to be known as the guy to deal the cash cow.
However, Cam Talbot is gone. Another Sather mistake. The Rangers are stuck with their 13% cap hit in Henrik Lundqvist. I will never understand why Lundqvist demanded to be the highest paid goalie in the league, in the salary cap era, if he wants a Stanley Cup so bad. When the Rangers shit the bed in front of him, I don’t feel as bad as I used to for him. He brought this upon himself.
When Hank signed his deal, he set the precedent on what the Rangers would pay their players. So of course Girardi, Staal and Stepan are overpaid. Hank set the pay scale. As I’ve said before, and which people ignore, the reason why I don’t get on the other guys, is because they are younger and this was their first set-for-life contracts. Hank already had that, in addition to all the money he makes in endorsements, his own clothing line, own TV show, restaurants, etc. He’s already been set for life. He is at the stage of his career where time is an issue, and if he wanted to win so badly, he should’ve taken at least $2M less to help this team win a cup.
I mean think about it. The Rangers have many problems, but one of their glaring issues is their inability to score empty net goals. Carl Hagelin did a fine job in that department last season because of his speed. If the Rangers had an extra $2M, they would’ve never done that Etem deal. How many points have been lost for the Rangers this year because they couldn’t score an empty net goal? It seems silly to argue this, but when you can’t score empty netters, you can’t close games and the Rangers have had a hard time closing games all season.
However, it’s hard to argue that Hank hasn’t been the best Ranger this season. However is he worth $8.5M a season? Hell no. He has games where he is lost. He has games where he blows leads. He acts like a baby when things don’t go his way. Never in his career, has he been single-handedly won a Stanley Cup, like Jonathan Quick did for the Kings in 2012.
I’ll never call him a King until he wins a crown. Save me the Team Sweden shit – I care about the Rangers. I hope Team USA pummels Team Sweden and every one else for that matter, in the World Cup in September.
All this said, is Hank the worst contract on the team? Absolutely not. Nash is worse. Girardi is worse. Staal is worse. Boyle is worse. I only get on Hank’s case because of his quotes to the media.
When you think about the worst contract on the team, look no further than the Carl Pavano of the NY Rangers, number 61, Rick Nash.
It’s Rick Nash’s fourth season with the Rangers, and for all my chatter about Lundqvist, Nash is the biggest failure on the team. Maybe failure is a harsh word, but he possesses the worst contract on the team. For $7.8M per season, Rick Nash does not post the same numbers as players around the league making similar money.
When the Rangers dealt for Nash, they were hoping he would boost their offense and give them a true scorer. That hasn’t happened.
To be fair to Nash, Nash battled concussion issues for two straight seasons. With what we know about CTE, I understand him missing games and how it would affect his play. That said, he is just a step above ex-Yankee Carl Pavano, when it comes to expectations vs production.
The biggest problem with Nash, as we all know, is that he has become the “A-Rod” of the Rangers. That’s not even fair to that lying scumbag cheating steroid user A-Rod, because even A-Rod had one good playoff round. (The 2009 ALCS.) Nash simply doesn’t do anything in the playoffs.
Nash did score 42 goals last season, but if you remember, the scoring came to a screeching halt after the All-Star break. In a team full of inconsistencies, Rick Nash stands heads and shoulders among every one else.
How many Nash breakaways wind up being flushed in the toilet? How many lame limp-wristed shots do we have to see on those breakaways? How come he doesn’t use his big frame to clog the area in front of the net? Why is he so soft? Why is he ghost in the playoffs? I just don’t know the answers to these questions.
With Rick Nash putting up the production of a fourth liner, he is grossly overpaid. He is a non-factor in every game this season.
Some people tweet at me, “Can the Rangers deal Nash?” Like Lunqvist, who the fuck would want that contract?
With Lundqvist regressing and the guy from Columbus named Rick Nash, not in a Rangers jersey to provide the elite scoring, as he’s paid to do, the Rangers are in trouble. Barring some major Festivus miracle, the Rangers got no shot at the Cup this season.
After beating the Ducks with Raanta in net on Wednesday and after Lundqvist pulled a Lundqvist and choked a 2 goal lead to LA in the third period (MSG Trivia Question: Who is the last Rangers goalie to win & not blow a 2 goal lead to the Kings? Answer: Cam Talbot), the Rangers looked to redeem themselves on Saturday against the Sharks.
Yes, I agree with the majority of the newspaper writers and fans saying, “if you said we would get 3/6 points heading into this West Coast trip, I’d be happy.” Fuck that, I’ll be happy when the Cup is being skated around the Garden!
Bottom line, Hank blew that 2 goal lead to LA. It should’ve been 4 points and the Rangers streaking into San Jose.
Also please- save me the bullshit about the defense and turnovers. EVERY GOALIE DEALS WITH THAT. THE REASON LUNDQVIST GETS SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY IS BECAUSE HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE THE EMERGENCY STOPPER. If he can’t make the super-human saves anymore, then you gotta ask yourself, why the fuck is he being paid so much?
So the Rangers, after another heart-breaking loss, another repeat episode where they choke in the third, dump & chase like mindless robots, can’t do anything on the PP, the same old shit you’ve seen before, go to San Jose in an attempt to gain two points.
Instead of closing the trip on a high note, the Rangers had one of their worst efforts of the season and got their dicks kicked in, with 10 games left. This is the time of the year where you have to prep for your big run and the Rangers look lost.
I just don’t get how this team started the season off so hot, looking virtually unbeatable for a period of time and can show up to this game, months later, unmotivated, uninspired and simply – just fucking pathetic.
The post-game interviews was the same old shit too. “We gotta get better.” “We gotta have a better effort.” “We gotta do this, we gotta do that.” Well you gotta get your golf gear ready, because you will be hitting the links much earlier than you have these last three seasons if you’re gonna show up to games like this.
The time for talk is over. To quote the illustrious DMX, “Talk is cheap motherfuckers!” The Rangers must do their talking on the ice.
Tanner Glass is an interesting player when it comes to Ranger fan twitter discussion. You know my feelings. I thought he was absolutely dreadful and terrible last season. I thought he had naked pictures of AV with Jared Fogle or something. However, as I’ve been saying ever since his recall from Hartford this season, Glass has been great and playing his role on the team nicely.
To me, Tanner Glass is obviously not the best player on the team. What he definitely is, is the player who shows up to every game. When the Rangers get the shit smacked out of them, he’s smacking people back. Tanner plays every shift hard. I’ve even seen Zucc, Stepan, Brassard, the list goes on and on, take shifts off and skate around aimlessly. Tanner deserves that spot on the fourth line, no matter how unfair that is for Lindberg. This is a team in a WIN NOW mode, so you gotta go with the veteran. You also need Glass’s pugilistic power on the ice, especially with McIlrath out.
The Rangers have had their dicks stepped on plenty of times this season. In all of those games, Tanner Glass continued to play at his 100% and gave it his all. The only problem is that he’s Tanner Glass and not Mark Messier. The Rangers are really missing leadership as the team approaches the playoffs.
I’m not going to waste my time recapping the Sharks game, because I’ve gone on long enough and the Rangers didn’t give any effort that game (Aside from Lunqvist & Glass), so why should I?
Right now, the Rangers are in second place, as of 2PM Sunday, as I write this. By the time you read this, they could drop to third place, if the Penguins beat the Caps on Sunday.
The Rangers own their own destiny. The schedule eases up for these last 10 games, with many home games on the docket. The Rangers have been pretty good at home this season, so hopefully that benefits them. Aside from the last week of the season, the Rangers have plenty of days off in between games, so that should help an aging team with tons of miles on them.
The second to last game of the season will be against the Islanders, which could and probably determine playoff seeding in the Metropolitan. The Rangers have not been able to beat them this season with Lundqvist, which is alarming, as the Isles/Rangers could be a first round match-up.
If the Rangers play like yesterday, they will be a one and done team this season. If the Rangers can right the ship, they should be able to beat the Halak-less Isles or even Pittsburgh. Can the Rangers beat the Caps? We’ll revisit that issue if we get there.
As far as this blog, due to my real life work schedule, it might be tough to get a blog up tomorrow. If I don’t have to work crazy overtime Monday, I plan on buying bougias tickets to see the Rangers host the Panthers.
As you know, I’m a huge Jagr fan and want to see him up close, just in case he’s not around next season. I don’t think he’s retiring after this season, but I still want to see him up close again. He’s one of the top 10 players of all time, and you can even argue he’s top 5, with Gretzky, Orr, Howe the three easily above him. I’m sure others will debate that one of the Canadiens from their multiple runs (Flower/JB/Richard/etc), Messier, Lemieux or even goalies like Brodeur, Roy, Plante meant more, but nevertheless, Jagr is one of the all-time greats.
The Rangers then have an annoying 8PM NBC game, so we will be treated to the assholes known as Milbury and McGuire. I got work Thursday, then I fly out to Montreal to see the Rangers in the Bell Center. I have tickets Sunday night against the Penguins, and banging out of work Monday, so maybe I’ll do a blog Monday about both games & another Montreal experience. If you haven’t read it, here’s my blog from my first Montreal Rangers trip: A Rangers Fan in Montreal.
The Rangers fan base, yours truly included, really have no clue what to expect these last 10 games and beyond. I don’t even think AV knows what will happen. If the run is truly over, I’ll try to leave the “told-ya-so’s” to a minimum regarding Sather’s horrible deals. I really hope these fucks can pull it out for us. 4 Cups in 90 years, with only one in my lifetime, (0 for a good majority of Ranger fans, especially the ones who ask me who Mike Richter is) is tough to swallow.
Thanks for reading this big-ass blog. Sometimes I just get rolling and next thing I know, I’m nearly 6000 words deep!
As far as the people on twitter, if you can argue intelligently, I have no problem responding when I get time. Time is too precious for the “LUNQUIS IS DA BESS EVA!” stuff.
The road to the playoffs is amongst us.
Win or lose, as always,
LET’S GO RANGERS
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter gimmick