That could have been ugly

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You never can really grasp how good a set of hands Brendan Shanahan has until you see them up close, and no, I’m not talking about what the right wing does on the ice.

Instead, it was just now in an otherwise tedious announcement for the inaugural Mark Messier Leadership Award — which will be given on a monthly basis,and which was given to Shanahan before tonight’s game against the Devils at the Garden.

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Consider the scene: a packed press conference, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and of course, the stone-jawed Messier. Shanahan was given the award, then came to the podium for a brief acceptance speech. When he walked off, Shanahan made sure to grab the actual award, which was a piece of crystal on a wooden stand, but clumsily lost hold of it for a brief moment. But then came the hands: Just as the crystal was falling to the floor, Shanahan snagged it out of mid-air. He exhaled, and so did everybody else.

Think about it. Of the possible ways for Shanny to show his gratitude to the Captain, I’m not sure smashing his new award to the ground would be one of them.

Anyway, the only other interesting tidbit from the ceremony came when Messier remarked on how well Shanahan was playing “at age 38.” Later, when Shanahan took the podium, he made sure to correct him. “I turn 38 on Jan. 23, so I’ll go by 37 until midnight then.”

A few other thoughts:

  • I suppose you could ask why one of the Rangers’ alternate captains was given a leadership award and not their actual captain, but let me nip this potential discussion topic in the bud (or at least try to). The intent of the award is to recognize players for their contributions both on and off the ice, and Shanahan has a long history of charitable work, which has already been recognized once with the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2002-03.
  • Why are the Rangers so bad at home? Maybe it’s because they keep going back to those awful third jerseys. They’re going with them again tonight, and that never seems to bode well.
  • Messier is announcing the game for Versus tonight. I want the full report on how you think he does. But be careful what you say: the guy still look likes he could bench press a Zamboni. In fact, let me go on record as saying Messier did a splendid job (just in case).

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    66 Comments

    1. I just invite people to look at today’s Blueshirt Bulletin. It says exactly what I said yesterday and previous days over many posts.

      Then come right back to Sam’s blog of course :)

    2. Well sam, I won’t be able to watch the game tonight because I do not get the Versus channel and maybe it’s for the better considering the rangers have not played well at home this year and there wearing the forbidden jersey.

    3. Anthony (the other one) on

      Sam – why you gotta hate on the Lady Liberty jerseys?

      I’ll take the classic home or aways any day, but I’ve actually grown quite fond of our 3rd jersey. At least it’s not the trainwreck that so many other franchises have to deal with. It’s not mustard yellow, it doesn’t have a cartoon character breaking through a sheet of ice, it doesn’t look like a toga, it doesn’t have a vaguely 3-D profile of a mentally challenged gladiator’s face on it. Not even a Gorton’s Fisherman.

      It could be worse… it could be the almighty buffaslug. (Speaking of which, how come nobody in Buffalo’s complaining about the logo anymore?)

    4. Messier isn’t doing the play by play or color commentating .. it’s Eddie O. and Mike Emmerick .. perhaps Mess is doing the between periods and post game stuff

    5. You: I suppose you could ask why one of the Rangers’ alternate captains was given a leadership award and not their actual captain, but let me nip this potential discussion topic in the bud (or at least try to). The intent of the award is to recognize players for their contributions both on and off the ice, and Shanahan has a long history of charitable work, which has already been recognized once with the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2002-03.

      Me: Even if the award was for ON the ice only,…I still think Shannahan deserved it ahead of Jagr. He is to the rangers this year what Jagr was to the rangers last year.

      You: Why are the Rangers so bad at home? Maybe it’s because they keep going back to those awful third jerseys. They’re going with them again tonight, and that never seems to bode well.

      Me: From a graphic designers standpoint, I will say that the third Jerseys are NOT awful, you just wouldn’t know good design if it bit you in the arse. With the exception of perhaps Columbus (and maybe 1 or 2 others) I’d say their 3rd jerseys are the best in the league. In fact, I like the colors of the 3rd jerseys better than the original home & Away jerseys. I think they should keep the style of the Originals, but darken the colors to match the 3rd jerseys (think Hartford Wolfpack Jerseys) As for whether or not they are bad luck,…the jury’s out on that one.

    6. I’ll jump on the bandwagon and say that the Rangers need to get rid of the 3rd jerseys. I have NEVER liked them!

    7. nice play, Betts. he had all day, and room to shoot the puck down the ice, and he fires it into the seats, and gives NJ another goal.

    8. doodiemachetto on

      I don’t have versus, and im in class to boot. anyone care to give me a recap up to this point? anyone playing well? any reason in particular why the Rangers aren’t scoring?

    9. I gotta say that Eddie O is 10X better than Joe or JD, he is more interesting, more knowledgeable and more honest and just about everything he says is spot on. Heck, even Emrick is starting to sound good to me.

    10. doodiemachetto on

      Emrick is play by play, and I’ve got no problem with Sam (Rosen). and JD is a lot more knowledgable than Eddie O, but more importantly, he had a rapport with Sam.

      If you’re looking for the best color guy in the game, Darryl Reaugh, hands down.

      I see that Orr and Jannsen fought, how did that go down?

    11. my second period wrap is up, heres my 3rd period prediction…

      Period 3 should go something like this…

      The Rangers and Devils play even till about the 10 minute mark, after which a defenseman or 2 try to force things which results in a neutral zone turnover leading to a 2 on 1 goal. Then the Rangers manage to get 1, before giving up the empty netter. Lets see how my impression of Nostradamus turns out shall we?

    12. JD is more knowledgeable about hockey history and goaltending, but Eddie O seems to know more about strategies and skaters he was a coach and a forward after all, and a lot younger than JD.

      “I see that Orr and Jannsen fought, how did that go down?”

      considering that Janssen is a lot smaller, not so good for Orr.

    13. I don’t get the channel versus so I’m not watching the ranger game but from what I’ve read I’m glad I’m not. Speaking of the referees, maybe it’s me, has anybody noticed some of these calls this year, to say the least, they have been brutal.

    14. one example was the other night when the rangers were playing the capitals and I don’t remember who the player was for the caps but he took a run at prucha and pratically ripped his head off and prucha was sporting a nice lump under his eye after that besides the already cut under the nose and there was no call. it should have been a double minioe for roughing. i have seen other games where they call roughing and the player hardly did anything, very inconsistent.

    15. WTF!? I went to the bathroom for a minute and Jagr scored two goals on a line with Ward and Hossa?! WTF! someone PLEASE tell me how this happened!

    16. And in the time I was typing that Shanahan scored! PLEASE give me information.

      And I see Hossa had an assist on the first Jagr goal. So much for his streak.

    17. I am pretty sure Hossa will get an assist on the 2nd goal as well. Jagr looks good with Hossa and Ward.

    18. hey doodie machetto, hossa must have read how you were sticking up for him last night and in the process took one for the team.

    19. Renney finally got a clue, to get Jagr away from the NJ checkers, he put him on the 4th line.

      And I love seeing that smug Brodeur flailing weakly on a couple of shots.

    20. Hossa did get 2 assists, and Ozo and Rachunek each got one. I’ve got one question for all of you who bashed those three the past couple of days:

      How does crow taste, similar to humble pie?

    21. doodiemachetto, the one goal by Jagr was bizarre, he kinda messed up on his shot from the side, the puck took a high flight and dipped in above Brodeur. Prucha is having a great game IMO.

    22. haha, I just like being right, the three guys I was defending all made me look smart. Now if only I actually was.

    23. But its the timing!

      I know this is just one game, but it should serve as a sign that maybe, just MAYBE, the coach sees something in the players and can make a winner out of them.

    24. just put your stick on the puck and dont get down on your luck, its the rangers victory song…

    25. btw, whoever wanted a description of the goals…

      Hossa and jagr went in on a 2 on 2, jagr fed hossa, hossa fed jagr, jagr redirected it in.

      2nd goal, hossa passed it to jagr for a 1-timer, jagr fanned on the shot, it went about 15 feet in the air and ended up in the back of the net.

      3rd goal, partial breakaway for shanahan, he scored.

      there ya go.

    26. Orr is useless, he doesn’t even scare middle-weights like Janssen.

      Prucha was playing great, guess how much icetime he got? that is right 12:47

      Lets not kid ourselves, if not for that fleuky goal that stung Devils, we would have lost.

    27. I have campaigned against Orr very adamantly. Further proof of my “genius.”

      Sometimes you need a lucky bounce. What’s important to know is that when you’re playing well, those bounces go your way.

    28. the first 2 goals were scored because Jagr was finally away from Pandolfo and Madden, who shadow him all night. Gionta and Elias were on for the 2 against. Rangers are playing at home, Renney has the last change, and yet it takes him 40 mins. to match lines properly.

    29. Vinny, orr may be shorter than orr by about 3 inches, but he outweighs orr by about ten pounds. so again your wrong. and janssen is not a middleweight, as shown in his wins over erskine and shelley, and draws with boulton (who orr tko’d) and belak.

    30. It’s not that he just matched them, he switched them, putting Jagr out on a line that the Devs wouldn’t waste their checking line against. That is risky and makes him look smart, but really, it’s Jagr’s brilliance on the ice that makes moves like that pay off. The man is a superstar.

    31. “Lets not kid ourselves, if not for that fleuky goal that stung Devils, we would have lost.”

      Yea, but don’t forget about Lundqvist letting in that softie, plus Betts bonehead clear over the boards. Luck can go both ways… although our mistakes were more out of stupidity…

    32. Give some credit to my arch nemesis Tom Renney, his line changes and doubleshifting along with his decision to change up the PP lines worked like a charm.

    33. “Vinny, orr may be shorter than orr by about 3 inches, but he outweighs orr by about ten pounds.”

      where did you get that from? I am 100% sure Orr outweights him and has a big reach advantage.

    34. “Give some credit to my arch nemesis Tom Renney”

      NEVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Even if we make the playoffs, we will not win the Cup and our future looks very dim thanks to him.

    35. >>> lets take it easy now, one game, please, don’t get to >>> excited

      Tom G, but why doesn’t this go both ways? When the team loses no one says “It’s just one game, don’t go overboard” when everyone is crying and complaining about the fact that they lied to us about rebuilding, about Renney not being able to coach, about the older stars playing too much, about Lundqvist being shaky, about the PP and PK not doing their jobs … you get my point … it should go both ways … Credit should be given to them and why not be excited?

      I know that all I hear or read when the Sabres continually come back in the third to win games that they do that because they are a good team, no one writes about them being lucky or about how they got themselves in trouble in the first place … This team, last season was able to come back in several games in the third when they were playing with confidence and had chemistry … But you will see a lot of people posting that they got lucky or they got a flukey goal … good teams do get lucky because they play hard and generate their own luck, I believe that we have a good team as long as we play hard and aren’t lazy …

    36. no, that’s what you do as coach. when you are at home, and the other team puts out their Pandolfo checkers, you don’t put out the Jagr line, because that is what the Debbies want.

      THAT is what you call matching lines, putting your top line against a line that the opposing coach doesn’t want.

      But it takes renney 40 mins. to realize that

    37. “But it takes renney 40 mins. to realize that”

      I bet he did it by mistake or somebody like Shanahan gave him some coaching tips between periods.

    38. Hey Matty, I never said any of those things you stated and I the only thing I meant was that it’s one game that hossa had two assist and not to get to excited about him going on a points streak, that’s all i was talking about. I’m not sure why your throwing all that other stuf my way.

    39. Why wasnt Marty called for a second delay of game penalty when he diliberately knocked a rebound into the crowd? I know the ref saw it…he kept the faceoff in the offensive zone. If the initial save went up it would be ok, but that rebound was definitely on purpose. Would have given us the 5-3.

    40. the key thing is beating the Devils twice now. You are not going to go anywhere in the conference without taking on the Devils. And the Rangers need the confidence after last April’s wipeout .

    41. >> I’m not sure why your throwing all that other stuf my way.

      Tom G. I was just using your comment as an example of what a lot of people will say about this win … not saying that you said all those things, but pointing out what some people will come in here saying in order to brush off the win as nothing special

    42. Sam, you mentioned earlier that they had Kaspar doing the conditioning tests. Since he didn’t dress , should we assume he failed? When they do skating drills in practice is he that slow? Slower than Malik?

    43. ok, I wasn’t talking about the win, the win is big especially anytime you beat somebody in your division, it’s like a four point swing and against the devils, that’s sweat. unfortunately I didn’t see the game.

    44. I come here and bash when things look ugly. So I’ll come here now and say that regardless of a lucky bounce or whatever you want to call it. that was an awesome hockey game to be at (the place was going beserk), and they played well defensively in the first 2 periods, then played an awesome third. They made their luck. Hossa played a very nice game. And the Devils looked useless in the third.

      Great night, great win, all complaints about the organeyezation are forgotten – for now.

    45. If I got the obscure Versus channel, I’d have loved to have given you the update on how Mess did. Since I don’t, and since the NHL would be better off broadcasting their games on Nickelodeon, I can’t. So there.

    46. Vinny, i just ran a search for 2006 camp height and weigh reports. it came up a janssen being 6’0 215 and orr 6’3 207. i’d post a link but i didn’t save it and i’m too lazy to look it up again.

      Reach advantage and height mean nothing. if that were the case, how did tie domi win his scraps? or rob ray who was only 6’0?

    47. Orr is listed mostly (including Rangers homepage) at 220lbs in some places he is 225. Janssen listed at 210 or 205 and some have him at 5’11”

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