NYR/FLA 11/20 Review: The “Two-TV Era”, The Worst Loss of the Season, Exhibit 37437473 on Why Lundqvist is Overpaid, ZuccVP, MSG Hockey Show, Be Fair to Duclair, Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg, Twitter Death Threats & More

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“King” James Reimer. Don’t worry, we can call any goalie a “King” despite not winning a crown these days! Photo Credit: The Hockey News

Note: I have probably used the “f-word” more times in this blog than any other blog I’ve ever written. If that offends you, I apologize, but sometimes the “f-word” is needed for emphasis. Plus it’s a free blog and one fan venting! That said, I’m aware of it, and will tone it down in the next one.

What’s up everyone and welcome to another action-packed blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I got a lot of stuff to get into, between the Lundqvist stuff, twitter death threats, thoughts on the new MSG Hockey show, Ranger hockey and because my twitter feed is on fire about it – Bill Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar. I have noticed there is a decent crossover of wrestling & hockey fans, so I will touch on that match at the end of this blog. So if you’re not interested in wrestling, once you see me talking about it, feel free to go on about your day!

I hate Ranger games on Sunday night for many reasons. For starters, why not Saturday night? Staying up late on a work night (school night for a lot of Rangers twitter, you know, those people who wouldn’t know Mike Richter if he was standing right in front of them) is not appealing. Like it or not, football owns Sunday. After 8 hours of football, my head is buzzing and my ass is cramping from watching everything. Then for me, as a TV junkie living in the Golden Age of TV, you got shows like “Westworld”, “Shameless”, “The Walking Dead”, “Last Man on Earth”, “Bar Rescue” and other quality shows that are on during Sunday prime-time.

As I tweeted out on my @NYCTHEMIC account, in this day and age, if you don’t have two TV’s in your man cave, living room or wherever you watch TV, you’re basically living in caveman times. There’s just so much to watch. Whether it be Bellator & UFC (Both on at the same time last night, with a boxing PPV on as well), multiple NHL games (Rangers/Oilers for me, is what’s on in my house), a hockey & a football game or tonight for me, the Rangers & WWE. (While I left the wrestling business 4 years ago, I still watch anything with Lesnar on it.) I know many of you are like me with the two tvs and sometimes a tablet going too. There’s just so much to watch. No wonder this is ADD America. Not only are we watching & listening to 3 screens at once, we have DVRs recording other things at the same time & checking social media during all of this. It’s a wonder why any of us even get up off our seat, rather than converting the recliner into a portable toilet!

Typical Sunday afternoon in the man cave – three football games going all at once, while checking fantasy football and other gambling things on the phone!

I do say, one of the reasons I do this blog, besides venting my opinion as one fan, is because it keeps my mind sharp. Typing these 5000+ word manifestos gives me a break from the TV. Sure, I don’t have a proof-reader, but most of the time, these things are readable and coherent!

After watching the Giants win, catching the end of the Knicks win (I’m not really big into basketball, but will watch it if nothing else is on) and watching the Redzone, it was time for Rangers hockey at 7PM. I was hoping the Rangers would continue the NY Blue win streak for the day, but alas, Henrik Lundqvist had other plans.

The Rangers lost to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night, 3-2, in a shootout. As a result of the loss, the Rangers get one point. Now why is the headline of this blog, “The worst loss of the season?” Easy – the Rangers lost Mika Zibanejad for at the very least, 6-8 weeks, with a broken fibula.

The Zibanejad injury was just one of those freak injuries that could’ve happened at any time. Granted, it happened in the 3 vs 3 overtime, something that could’ve been prevented if Lundqvist lived up to his infamous quote of, “Give me two goals and I got this.” The Rangers gave Lundqvist a goal lead, twice, and each time, Lundqvist was able to cough it up. He was also badly abused in the shoot-out, but I’ll get to that later.

If you didn’t see it, here’s a video of the injury from @meggo1532 on twitter:

 


Just pure OUCH.

After the game, Coach AV told the media that Zibanejad will be out for 6-8 weeks. Two things on that. One, I find it amazing that you can break your leg and not only walk, but skate at an NHL level in 2 months time. If I broke my leg, I don’t see myself climbing a tower crane two months later. I don’t even think I’d use stairs for a good three years! Secondly, I think 6-8 weeks is being optimistic. That means everything has to go according to plan with no setbacks.

I really have to research this, but I wonder if the Rangers can sign someone with no cap penalty ala the way Chicago did when Patrick Kane was out. I would have to look at the cap rule and it’s 12:30AM as I type this and not 100% on how that rule works for this injury in November. If you remember when Kane went out, Chicago made some key signings, with no cap penalties and they marched right to the Cup. I know Kane’s injury was later in the season, Kane makes more money and the playoffs were right around the corner when Kane went down, so as I said, I really got to look into this.

Anyway, like most of you have said on twitter – GOOD LUCK ZIBANEJAD and we hope to see you back soon. Breaking a leg isn’t fun and I can’t imagine being 100% in two months. If you’re an optimist, at least this happened now and not in March. If everything goes right, Zibanejad makes a full recovery and has plenty of time to readjust to the rigors of an NHL game.

Losing Zibanejad sucks for the Rangers, but remember when Lundqvist was out for two months with a throat injury 2 seasons ago? What happened? Cam FUCKING Talbot stood up, then stood on his head and helped this team win the President’s Trophy. Who knows what would’ve happened if Talbot remained the starter in the playoffs that season? It’s hard to fathom him giving up touchdowns left and right to Tampa, as I believe Lundqvist gave up 5+ goals in 5 out of 12 games (regular season and playoffs) against Tampa that season.

 
Do the Rangers need someone to stand up as Cam Talbot did in 2015? Obviously, it’s a different position and situation. If the Rangers really are as good as many think they are, they shouldn’t trail off. They are stockpiled at the forward position. You have Jooris and Lindberg itching for minutes. You also have my hero, Tanner FUCKING Glass, waiting in Hartford. I’m sure Tanner would prefer passing the Empire State Building on his way to work every day than passing the ball field where the Hartford Yard Goats play.

I know I always digress and go off on tangents on these things, but it’s my blog and I’ll blog if I want to, but how about the Hartford Wolfpack? To quote Jay from “The Critic” (90’s Fox TV show) “THEY STINK!” The defense is beyond atrocious. Mackenzie Skapski took the hit for it and was sent to the Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL. You all know I’m a Skapski fan & I think he’ll play his way to the NHL, whether as a Ranger or not, but playing hockey in South Carolina for a team called the “Swamp Rabbits” can’t be that inspiring. I believe he’ll make the best of it though.

Since Skapski left, the Pack has won one game and have been demolished in their losses. Halverson, brought up for Skapski, is giving up 5 and 6 goals a night. It’s not the goaltending though. Well, some of it is. However, as someone who went to Hartford this year and watches the highlights (or perhaps lowlights!) of the games, the defense is that bad. The defense in Hartford makes Michael Del Zotto look like Bobby Fucking Orr! I’m happy for Halverson and all, but Skapski taking the hit was the wrong move. If anything, Hellberg should’ve been the one sent down as he’s given up worse goals than Skapski. However, Skapski had the worst GAA & SV% of the two (Tons and tons of high percentage and breakaway shots is what really hurt Skaps) so he took the rap.

Every time I see Lundqvist play, I miss this man even more.

As I said, the big news out of this game is Zibanejad and I hope he makes a healthy return at 100%.

As far as the game itself, it just drives me up a fucking a wall. How many fucking times will Henrik Lundqvist take the easier start over the harder start? It’s funny, I’ve been saying this for 2+ seasons now. If you read me regularly, you know I’ve said this about 5 times alone this season.

What really puts a hair on my ass is that when I tweet at these Ranger reporters, they would say something to the effect of “Now, no, no, that isn’t always the case.” It is the fucking case. When I tweet it now, it’s ignored. Not one reporter has the balls to ask AV about this. I’m not going to explain this again in detail, because I just did that two weeks ago in the Boston blog. (Check the archives on the right hand of the site.)

(Oh and while on Ranger reporters, check out Jim Cerny’s new podcast via his twitter @JIMCERNY. It’s a great listen and I enjoy his opinions on the team/sport.)

Once again, your fearless King takes the start against a crappier team on a back-to-back. (While they aren’t crappy, the Panthers are crappier than the Penguins & FLA doesn’t have a playoff berth, nearly 1/4 into the season)

EVERY FUCKING TIME, the Rangers have a back-to-back, Lundswiss always takes the easier game. Before you google and find the one or two exceptions, look up the games and figure out the percentage. It’s easily over 90%.

Are you guys familiar with the Pittsburgh Penguins? You know, the TEAM WITH TWO GOALIES WHO BOTH HAVE WON FUCKING CUPS AS A STARTER? TWO GOALIES WHO DON’T COMBINED MAKE AS MUCH AS KING FIVE HOLE? How can you Kool-Aid drinking Hank fans ignore this? No wonder liberals and conservatives fight with another so much, they can’t see what the other side is seeing. I can’t fathom how anyone can say that Lundqvist is paid fairly and is even a top 5 goalie in this league anymore. It’s debatable if he’s top 10!

As I type this, I got smoke coming off my keyboard!

So once again, Lundqvist, who’s yellow streak down his back, must be as yellow as the colors of the Cup Champions, took on the Panthers at home, with the harder game, a road game against Pittsburgh tomorrow, on-tap. Do you know what makes athletes great? How they are remembered? It’s how they do in the big games. How they do in the rival games. Do you think Derek Jeter would sit out against the Red Sox? Do you think Roy would miss a game against the Wings? Do you think Tom Brady was running to the bench when a Peyton Manning team was on the schedule? To even hammer the point home even more – do you think Mike Richter ran away when he saw Marty Brodeur and the Devils on the schedule? FUCK NO! Avoiding competition is what disqualifies Lundqvist as an all-time great. Plus, there is that whole not winning a Cup thing too!

Now watch – Lundqvist plays tomorrow! That would be hilarious.

That said, as it is laid out right now, Raanta starts tomorrow. At least that gives the Rangers a chance to win.

What makes me even more irate is that not only does Lundqvist take these easy  games, he loses them! And he loses to bad back up goalies! He lost to the back-up in St. Louis. He lost to last place Carolina. Tonight he loses to Florida’s back up, James Reimer. The same Panthers who were on the second half of a back-to-back themselves.  Reimer had a harder game too. Not only was Reimer playing the league’s hottest offense, he was facing more shots.

Games like this is why Hank is overpaid. I know my twitter is now 50/50 on this. It’s like HRC vs Donald Trump, but I’m getting more death threats!

Seriously, on another digression here – if you’re tweeting/DMing/emailing me death threats, I’m just blocking you. Same goes for the people who say “YOU NOSE NOTHING ABOUT HOKEY” when I say Hank is overrated. I don’t take any death threats seriously because it’s hard to kill someone with the Fisher Price cooking knife your mother bought you. Most of this stuff comes from people who aren’t even 18. I usually don’t block people, but I’m starting to now because I’m wasting time reading this drivel.

I don’t talk to/hang out with teenagers in real life, so I really have no interest in going back and forth with your “WHO IS RICHTER? HANK IS GOD” conversations. If you can debate intelligently and even if we don’t agree, I enjoy that. I like a good hockey debate, not the cesspool middle school shit of “I BANGS YOUR MOMMY” stuff that I get tagged in!

The retarded children of twitter that make death threats over hockey opinions are basically the future adults who get into fist fights in bars over sports. You’re just an asshole in either event. I don’t mind ball busting, ribbing or whatever you want to call it, but if you can’t make an intelligent point, I can’t waste my time on the toilet (when I do most of my twitter stuff!) with ya!

I wish he was sitting on another bench these days

With all these tangents, I’m never gonna get done. Let me buckle down a bit!

So Lundqvist, as usual, takes the easier game. He plays worse than the back-up goalie for a team on the second game of a back-to-back. Again – you can’t make the goalie your highest paid player. On any given night in the NHL, you are seeing back-up goalies steal games. You are seeing consistent goaltending all over the league. If you put Carey Price on the back-burner for a second, the disparity from the second best goalie in the league to the the 60th (back-ups included) isn’t as much of a difference as it used to be.

Let me ask you this, if you’re on the fence. Hank is the highest paid goalie in the league. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Goalies list from NHL.com/NHL Network, that was released several days ago:

Out of those 10 goalies, and consider that guys like Corey Schneider, Matt Murray, Marc-Andre Fleury, Antti Raanta, Matt Jones, Jonathan Quick (injured) and others aren’t even on that list, does Henrik Lundqvist really make a difference in the WIN department compared to these guys?  We’ve seen Talbot (Who made $8 million less at the time) give the Rangers their best regular season ever in the Hank era. Do you think Holtby, Rask or Price wouldn’t give the Rangers a better chance to win, when you consider the money saved?

Bottom line- there is no way you can justify to me that Lundqvist is making a team-friendly salary. His contract sucks and his play is average. A lot of people that argue on twitter don’t watch the whole league. Invest in an NHL pass and watch the games. Lundqvist isn’t doing anything that other goalies aren’t doing on a night by night basis. Quite frankly, they are playing better than him and more frequently than him. Fucking Cam Talbot has only rested twice this season, as Lundqvist prepares to sit out his sixth game of the year tomorrow.

The Rangers are lucky to be so deep at forward, because really, I think the Rangers missing Zibanejad is a bigger blow now, than it was when Lundqvist got hurt two years ago. You also have to consider, the Rangers have the best goaltending coach in hockey, in Benoit Allaire. He can mold a younger guy into a starting goalie. By this time next year, you might have three starting goalies in the NHL that sat under the Allaire learning tree.

Let’s go to the official box score of tonight’s game, before I run it down

As always, the box score is courtesy of ESPN.com because NHL.com is the worst user-friendly site on the internet:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail FLA NYR
13:15
Chris Kreider (4)
Assists: Derek Stepan, Marc Staal
0 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
15:31
Colton Sceviour: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
17:08
Michael Matheson: 2 Minutes for Delaying the game

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail FLA NYR
14:43
Keith Yandle (1) (Power Play)
Assists: Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov
1 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
11:24
Jonathan Marchessault: 2 Minutes for Tripping
13:17
Brady Skjei: 2 Minutes for Concealing the Puck
15:49
Kevin Hayes: 2 Minutes for Interference

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail FLA NYR
1:45
Mika Zibanejad (5)
Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Jimmy Vesey
1 2
7:54
Aaron Ekblad (5)
Assists: Jakub Kindl, Vincent Trocheck
2 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
2:20
Brady Skjei: 2 Minutes for Interference
13:28
Brandon Pirri: 2 Minutes for Delaying the game

OT Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail FLA NYR
No scoring this period 2 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
No penalties this period

Shootout Summary

Team Detail FLA NYR
Shootout attempt by Mats Zuccarello saved by James Reimer 0 0
Shootout GOAL scored by Vincent Trocheck on Henrik Lundqvist 1 0
Shootout attempt by Brandon Pirri saved by James Reimer 1 0
Shootout GOAL scored by Aleksander Barkov on Henrik Lundqvist 2 0

Goaltending Summary

Florida Panthers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
J. Reimer 35 2 33 .943 65:00 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 30 2 28 .933 65:00 0

 

Like most Ranger games, this game was all over the place with different stories being told. It was kinda slow, almost late 1990’s NJ Devils slow for the first 30 minutes. One thing stayed true – Mats Zuccarello is the best player on the team. He’s starting to be like a Derek Jeter to this team. He’s the player the women love for his looks and the player the men love for his hard work.  Everyone loves Zucc.

Good things always happen when Zucc has the puck and no one can match his grittiness and nose for the puck. He’s having the best season of his career and should rip off another Steven McDonald award.

The Rangers did a great job of giving the overpaid goalie an easy night to start the game. He only faced 5 shots, meaning he’s faced 8 shots combined in the last two first periods. He’s not being thrown to the wolves at all.

Kreider got the first goal of the game and it was reminiscent of the bomb Kevin Hayes slapped through two games ago. The Rangers started with the puck behind their own net, went coast to coast and there was Kreider to deliver a wicked wrist shot to make the score 1-0. The Rangers clamped down on D, and after the first horn, the Rangers were up 1-0 after twenty minutes.

Keith Yandle tied the game up in the second period. If you didn’t think Yandle was scoring tonight, you obviously don’t watch the Rangers. Every ex-Ranger beats Lundqvist, whether it be Derek Dorsett, Lee Stempniak, or Keith Yandle tonight.

Of note, speaking of ex-Rangers, Dylan McIlrath didn’t play. I wonder if he got his favorite seat in the press box? Poor guy can’t get a break. I’m surprised he didn’t a get shot tonight. I know I wouldn’t have minded watching him slap Hank around!

So Yandle ties the game up and MSG boos. MSG should be booing Lundqvist for blowing another lead. They should boo Lundqvist for holding up the team for money that the Rangers couldn’t use to keep Yandle here in the first place.

The teams skated to a 1-1 tie after the end of two.

Leave it to ZuccVP, ZVP or whatever catchy nickname you want, Mats Freaking Zuccarello, to ignite some life. Zucc got the puck and made a perfect cross ice pass. Zibanejad poked the puck and boom, 2-1. It was one of those goals no one knew who to credit because it happened so fast. Just part of Zucc’s wizardry.

Of course, since he had a lead, Lundqvist pissed himself like a puppy. Ekblad tied the game 6 minutes later after a puck deflected off JT Miller. During the commercial break, Lundqvist was screaming at Miller. What a cunt. I would love to see this team scream at Lundqvist after that shit show game he had against Columbus on Friday. This isn’t the first time Lundqvist was screaming like a bitch at his teammates.

I wrote about this before –  (Check the archives, top right hand side of the site) when Hank’s career is over and ex-players talk about the past, you will hear guys talk about what a baby Lundqvist was. They can’t say it now, but they will. From flipping nets, squirting water bottles at players, slashing Icelander girls (I wonder how Hank would feel if a player slashed his daughter or mother doing their job?) to being an overall MARY, you’ll hear players in the future, talk about King Nothing and his crybaby behavior.

Again, I talked about this before, so not gonna get into the whole thing again, but it’s probably why you don’t see Lundqvist with any of his teammates in social situations. Sure, he’s there for the Rangers Casino night. That’s a team event. But a team picture on an airplane? No where to be found. We saw McDonagh and Talbot go to Yankee games together. We saw the bromance between Brass/Zucc/Hags. We see players tweeting pictures of themselves at random events. You just don’t see Hank and a teammate in any of these pictures. There’s a reason for that.

Photo Credit: Florida Panthers

How many goals do you have all season? Two? WTF Hank!

After a 3 vs 3 that proved costly for the Rangers, as that’s when the Zibanejad injury occurred, the game went to a shootout.

In the shootout, back-up goalie James Reimer stopped Zuccarello and Pirri. Lundqvist countered by being beat by two of the softest goals you’ll ever see. Vincent Trocheck had no problem going through the five-hole of King Five Hole. Aleksander Barkov, two goals all season, dribbled a puck that made a “Walking Dead” walker look like a fucking Kenyan in a marathon, by “The King”.

In other words, in a skill competition – a back up goalie was superior against a tougher offense than the highest paid goalie in the league was against a marginal offense. Between giving up two goals to defensemen and this shootout, it was just another horrid game and Dolan should be asking for a refund. I wonder when Lundqvist cashes his check after a game like this, does he go to the bank with a ski-mask on? Because he’s fucking robbing the team!

For the team themselves, the Rangers aren’t going to score 4+ goals a game. I’ve said that during this whole streak. The Rangers will have to rely on their highest paid goalie to win games. What was a difference tonight was the Rangers taking a bunch of penalties. They’ve been better disciplined than that.

The officiating in the NHL is all over the charts. What also hurt the Rangers tonight was James Reimer blatantly hooking Kevin Hayes in front of a ref, during the 3 vs 3, that was not called. I like the Rangers odds on a 4 vs 3 and this could’ve prevented the shootout.

The Rangers do get the point tonight. Losing Zibanejad is the story, where Lundqvist continuing to lose games and ducking competition is minor.

Up next for the Rangers is Pittsburgh tomorrow night. It’s also my friends birthday party tomorrow night, so after doing this 5000 words plus monster blog, I’m not sure if I’ll be back tomorrow. I plan on going to the game on Wednesday night and hopefully we will see a vintage Hank performance against a team that has owned him in the last 10 games played.

Oh and at the end of the day, what disappointed me the most was no JD in the booth during Sam Rosen night! Rosen was honored before the game for his HHOF induction. JD was in the building. I’ve talked about JD and Sam on this blog plenty, and man, I wish we could’ve got at least a period of these guys. Nothing against Micheletti, Giannone or any of these guys, but Rosen and JD were the best commentators I’ve ever heard.

Photo Credit: MSG Network

The MSG Hockey Show is the newest show on the MSG network

“The MSG Hockey Show” is the latest show to enter the programming world of the MSG networks. They had their first episode on Friday night and it was live or live-to-tape, as they talked about the Columbus win over the Rangers that night.

The hosts of the show are Anson Carter, Will Reeve and Arda Ocal. Most Ranger fans know Carter from his playing days and from his analyst work on MSG networks and elsewhere. Will Reeve makes me feel old, because I remember his father at Ranger games and always clapping and hoping his father would stand up at one of these games. Arda Ocal is not someone I know personally,  but I remember his name from my days in the wrestling business. He used to be a writer on these Dave Meltzer copy & paste sites, but worked his way into the WWE.

I’m more than happy to support their show and hope it has a better run than the Bill Simmons show. Granted, they’ve only had one episode and they have to get their bearings and take the show where they want it to go. As someone who craves more hockey and since ESPN will ignore the sport until they get a contract, it’s good to have a hockey show here in the States. I watch/listen to a lot of TSN and get my highlights/hot takes from “Hockey Night in Canada”, so I was kinda hoping for a program like that. However, the show bills itself as something that isn’t “X’s and O’s” and tries to bring a lighter side.  As a fan who will watch regardless, here are some things I’d like to see and some criticisms:

  • The set needs work. You can see they are filming it in the MSG studios. It needs its own identity. Think of the “Man Show” set or even what Simmons had. It needs to establish its own brand.
  • I expected a corporate shill job, because after all, you need money to produce these shows. However, it seemed like everything was “presented by sponsor A” and “presented by sponsor B”. In the 22 minutes of show time, I felt that half the show was plugging sponsors.
  • I was hoping for more hot takes/hot stove talk. I mean, Anthony Duclair, who was with the Rangers, was the talk of “Hockey Night in Canada”. Perhaps trade scenarios and stuff of that ilk would be better served than talking for 5 minutes about who is the best dressed player. Save that stuff for E!
  • I liked the segment on toughest arenas to play in, and getting Carter’s take on that. They then had B-roll of other players talking about the subject. I would like more things like that. I’m sure they can’t talk about the best “puck bunnies” but maybe “best bars”, “best superstitions”, “worst coaches”, stuff like that could work.
  • The show was Rangers heavy, although some Devils & Islanders had face time. I don’t know if that is always going to be the case, but if it is, how about some talk about the Wolfpack and who’s coming up? I know the show isn’t about x’s and o’s, but how about who the hosts like and why? I don’t need the Vally charts for this.
  • The show needs a “heel”. Ocal knows what that means. You basically have three guys all agreeing and not establishing a personality that’s different than the other two. You can say I’m a “heel” with my opinion on Lundqvist. I will say, my hatred for Hank’s contract isn’t a gimmick or schtick, I 100% believe the Rangers are better getting rid of him and his deal. They need one of the three hosts to “Skip Bayless” it up, or it’s just 3 vanilla guys laughing at each others jokes like they are at a work cocktail party. One of the newer things during the MSG broadcasts of the games is the funny banter between Vally & Trautwig. They need some of that.
  • Expanding on needing one of the three to “heel it up” a bit, you need someone like that to go viral. That is the world we live in, especially on TV. One of the many reasons the Simmons show got canceled on HBO is because nothing he said was controversial and got picked up. There’s nothing that was “GIF”, “Twitter” or “Youtube” worthy on the show. To create an audience, you can’t have three guys agreeing on everything. You need some bickering and some different views to get some attention. I mean in the first segment, Reeve is going on about what a great guy Gary Bettman is? Really? The guy with three lockouts under his belt? The guy who brags about how much the league makes, yet has the smallest cap in all of sports? Go watch Bill Burr on the Simmons show when that Bettman subject came up. The show is too PC, perhaps because of the corporate sponsors. Too much fluff, not enough real stuff.
  • I’m not trying to be a dick here, but if you have three guys smiling at every lollipop and candy cane thing said, what’s the incentive to watch?
  • I enjoyed the stuff on why hockey players are the best. The Calvin Pickard giving a puck to a fan thing. I talked about Ovi and his time in Alberta on this blog. Stuff that paints the players in a good light is great TV. A segment on perhaps the most philanthropic player ever, Adam Graves, would be good.
  • Another segment idea, with this being the 90th Rangers season, is some Ranger flashbacks. You know I’m the biggest Frank Boucher fan in the world, but how about educating some of these dumbass kids on who Bill Cook, the Bentley Brothers, the GAG line and for some of these sad souls – who Mike Richter is/was and why he’s better than Lundqvist!
  • For a show that’s supposed to be light-hearted and not about the play on the ice, three guys in suits comes off too stuffy and like everything else during Ranger broadcasts. I think a man-cave set and someone wearing a Rangers shirt/hat or whatever would make the show feel more real.
  •  At the end of the day, I don’t think the hosts are going for a 22 minute version of the “Bill Pidto 150 Fastest Seconds in the National Hockey League!” That’s how that show felt at times.
  • Again, it’s the first show, but we didn’t get any character development in our hosts. They all just seemed like talking heads. I hope that changes. I know who all three are from just watching and knowing their careers. However, if Anson Carter wasn’t black (or if Ocal & Reeve weren’t white), I think a lot of fans would have trouble identifying who each host was.
  • I don’t know if more B-roll footage segments are in the cards for a 22 minute show, but seeing stuff like “Crazy fights”, “bloopers”, “highlight goals”, stuff of that nature, would be cool too.
  • The show certainly needs edge. Maybe even tackling a current issue, like concussion protocol and talking about the recent Raanta situation, would provide substance.
  • I thought a good Rangers show from years past was the stuff with Zucc/Brass/Hags. Maybe some footage of players away from the rink would be fun to watch too.
  • At the end of the day, the best part of the show – no JB Smoove.

Good luck to the three men on the show. I hope it is a success. We need hockey shows to be successful, so I’m rooting for this show to take off.

I’m not sure of specific air-dates, so the best bet is to DVR “all new episodes”. That’s what I did. I do believe they are doing a show Wednesday night.

I can’t lie – I actually own a Duclair Coyotes jersey that I got for $85 during a ShopNHL sale

From Sportsnet.CA, a great site to get Hockey News from:

Add Anthony Duclair‘s name to the NHL’s trade rumour mill.

According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, the Arizona Coyotes forward could be on the market.

“I’m hearing teams are saying that Duclair could be had at the right price,” Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

Duclair, 21, had a successful 2015-16 as one half of Arizona’s “Killer Ds” alongside Max Domi, registering 20 goals and 24 assists in 81 games last season.

This year, however, has been a different story, with just one goal and two assists so far for the pending RFA.

Domi, who has two goals and 11 assists so far to follow up his 52-point rookie year, remains “untouchable,” according to Kypreos.

Despite Duclair’s current slump, Kypreos said the Coyotes could still be asking for a big return.

“If he’s not playing well, what are you truly going to give up?” said Kypreos. “I hear that Arizona would still ask for a pretty penny for him moving forward.”

Anthony Duclair may be become a trivia afterthought one day, or an All-Star. The jury is still out on that. What Ranger fans know about “The Duke”, is that he was the big catch when the Rangers traded him for Keith Yandle, two seasons ago.

I hated the Duclair trade. I just hate giving up young talent. The Rangers got a fucking miracle with Vesey. You are seeing young guys dominate this league. I don’t like giving up on young players until you have a reason to. I think the Rangers didn’t have to give up Duclair to get Yandle. And as I’ve talked about ad-naseum on this blog, what was the end result? The Rangers basically traded Duclair for a fourth round pick.

I’m sad to hear that Duclair may be on his third team in his young career. Right now, he’s not a fit for the Rangers. In fact, he’s a better fit for the Devils or Islanders. Selfishly, I wouldn’t mind him seeing up in Edmonton with McDavid & the legend known as Cam Talbot. I think it would be ironic if he landed in Florida, with Yandle and another Rangers cast-off – “The Undertaker” Dylan McIlrath.

The Coyotes franchise is a fucking mess, so who knows what they will do. I try to catch ‘Yotes games on my NHL network package, but they are usually playing at the same time as the Oilers, which gets first priority in my household! I don’t have a reason for you about why Duclair is having a bad year. I think the Coyotes just suck in general and are there to eat bad NHL contracts until they get an owner who gives two shits. Do you really see Max Domi staying once he gets a chance to bolt?

It’s no mystery – getting out of Arizona is the best thing for any player. Hopefully Duclair lands with a team where the hockey is really a priority. Maybe Montreal. After all, he did have a lot of success for the Quebec Remparts. The problem with Arizona, despite the extended ice-time he gets there as opposed to another club, is you’re not playing for a franchise who gives a shit or a team with a winning mentality. The biggest veteran on the Coyotes is the piece of paper known as the expiring contract of Pavel Datsyuk.

The Rangers are too deep right now with forwards to give up anything to get Duclair back. I just hope Duclair lands somewhere where he can grow and learn and eventually make Sather choke on his cigar!

12 years in the making, 12 seconds for the ending

Ok, that’s 6000 words on hockey. In closing, let me talk about what also set twitter on fire tonight – Bill Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar.

As many of you know, I was involved in wrestling for 10 years. Ran my own company, booked, promoted, wrote, and did various other jobs. I was able to make some good money off of it and seeing where the business was going, I sold my company 4 years ago. When I sold, my company made 99% of its profits on DVD and media sales. With the WWE network on the horizon at $9.99, pirating and everything moving to streaming, in addition to just being burnt out (a full time indy promoter is a full time job and I already had one of those), I decided to walk away with my company at its peak. To this day, I miss the people, but don’t miss the job. It was a lot of work to make real money. However, who wants to pay for indy stuff when the WWE network is giving away the best of the best and all the history for only $10 a month?

Not going to bore you with the wrestling history lessons here, but obviously many of you were aware of Lesnar/Goldberg II tonight. Goldberg won the match in a minute, after three moves. Before this match, Lesnar was beating all the top guys, from ending the Undertaker’s 20+ year undefeated Mania streak, squashing top guys like Cena & Orton and rolling through everyone else.

Just some quick thoughts:

  • Many wrestling finishes are controversial. Even finishes I don’t agree with, I understand. This finish is one finish that I don’t understand at all. I don’t see how this increases WWE financials, which is the key to every finish at a WWE PPV.
  • Having a 50 year old guy, who hasn’t worked in 12 years, beating the hottest guy in wrestling in seconds, makes no sense. This win/moment/knocking the shine off Lesnar should’ve went to a full-timer, like a Samoa Joe or Nakamura. Anyone who can be there full-time and do the house shows.
  • Beating Lesnar like this is a WTF/star making moment. Goldberg didn’t need this win. In fact, if Goldberg had to win, I would’ve preferred a fuck finish, where someone interferes. At least set up Brock’s next opponent.
  • Many fans today weren’t even alive when Goldberg had his run. The network helps promote him and educates fans to him, but to kill your biggest star to a guy who might have two more matches left (Rumble and Mania) seems silly to me.
  • I really thought Brock failed a drug test or fucked Stephanie McMahon ala Savage after seeing this. Again, where’s the money in this? Goldberg could’ve squashed anyone. Why squash the only “real” thing you have left?
  • Are you telling me that Lesnar, in 2016, can win UFC fights, but can’t beat a 50 year old guy who hasn’t trained for a match in 12 years?
  • Outside of popping a Monday night Raw rating, I don’t see the advantage of killing off a monster top guy to a part-timer.
  •  I know boxing and MMA fans like the quick knockout, but I guess in this $10 a month world WWE has their fans accustomed to, finishes don’t matter anymore. People will still watch. The price is right. I don’t think this finish works in the $50 PPV world. I am not buying the story that was written tonight.

Rangers have two tilts with the Cup Champs up next. Photo credit: Newsday.com

Rangers now have a home and home with the Penguins. Monday is in Pittsburgh, Wednesday at the Garden. It’s two tough tests for the Blueshirts, as the Pens had their number in every game last season. As stated above, I expect Raanta tomorrow and Lundswiss on Wednesday.

Depending on where I wind up, I plan on at least a Thanksgiving Day  blog on Rangers/Pens. I’m debating about going to Philly on Friday, but just don’t want to deal with the animals that are known as Philly fans! We’ll see.

Well this was one hell of a long ass blog, so time to call it a night.

Let’s Go Rangers!

Trade Lundqvist!

In Raanta We Trust

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the tweet tweet

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