Phew…

38

The mattress experience is behind me, but let me tell you, it was not easy. In fact, the thing was so heavy and so cumbersome that my brother-in-law, my father and I originally thought we weren’t going to get it up six flights of stars and in the apartment.

Then came Pablo the painter, who with his own mixture of grit and savvy, immediately got us over the hump.

“Pablo is like Sean Avery,” I told my father. “He’s a difference maker.”

Meanwhile, to follow-up from before, I spoke at length today with Stephen Valiquette, which I suppose is noteworthy since we’ve both played the exact number of minutes for the Rangers this season (that would be zero). But what stands out about Valiquette, and why this system works, is that he gets it. He is not Kevin Weekes, who admirably still thought he merited a chance as a starter in the NHL. Valiquette is admittedly happy to be in the NHL, and he is happy to be Lundqvist’s biggest supporter.

“I’ve been around a long time,â€? he said. “I’m not just some kid called up from the minors…I’m not going to lie to you. I’m very fortunate to be here and I will do what ever it takes to add value to the team. I want to be in New York and I want to be part of this team. My job is to support Henrik and as long as we’re winning, everyone’s happy.â€?

Now, bear in mind this all goes out the window if Valiquette gets in a couple of games and gets shellacked. And if Lundqvist was out for any sustained period of time, I would have to think the Rangers would immediately want Montoya as their guy. But if Lundqvist is going to play 19 of 20 games, Valiquette is the guy to have here now.

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Finally, Zipay and I suffered a major setback in our joint fantasy effort today. We have been languishing in sixth place for most of the season, but still taking comfort in what we thought was a fairly bold draft day move: the late round selection of one Peter Forsberg.

Then came the news that “Forsberg re-injured his foot”:http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3095918 prior to the Karjala Cup and may have to retire. I actually got word of the setback from Henrik Lundqvist, who said the Forsberg injury is “big news back home.”

It’s admittedly kind of pathetic that all I could think about at the time was my fantasy team. Then I realized Forsberg was probably pretty bummed out, too.

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38 Comments

  1. Sam, you really lighten my day – *Pablo the painter, with his own mixture of grit and savvy*

    Richard S. – I had previously read that ESPN was going for the weekend afternoon package that NBC currently holds. Maybe they are going for both? We can only hope. But Verus has it locked up next year, so it would be easier to get it from NBC, who doesn’t have a contract.

  2. that would be great because to tell you the truth i love to hear linda cohn talk about hockey!!! shes money.

  3. Sam – “It’s admittedly kind of pathetic that all I could think about at the time was my fantasy team.”

    Actually, it’s a very common emotion.

    I was watching the infamous Pistons-Pacers game at a bar with my brother and a bunch of his friends. When Ron Artest ran into the stands and punched the fan, my brother’s immediate reaction was, “No! He’s on my fantasy team and now he’s going to be suspended!!”

  4. Yeah, the fantasy team thought is an immediate one, too. I have both Lundqvist and Holmqvist on my team, so when we played the Bolts last week I knew I was guaranteed a win toward my goalie stats that night….

  5. Sam– the fantasy team thought is even more serious in football but yea it is tough and no offense, i cant believe you picked forsberg.

  6. Now sounds about the right time for Slats to swoop in and offer Forsberg the Dipietro deal…

  7. If you dont like Steve Valiquette you can get the heck out. The guy is total class and a great teammate. Im really pulling for him to do well.

  8. Tonight will be an interesting game to actually see how well the Ranger coaches have conditioned this team.

    The Rangers clearly lost their stamina on the island as a result of 2 games in 2 nights. The Penguins played at home last night and lost to the Flyers 3-1.

    I do not know if the comparison is fair but it will be interesting to see how maybe a younger Penguin team or possibly better conditioned team will react to back to back games. Both the NYR and PITT played the Flyers in the 1st game.

    Tonight we will see.

    Start a new winning streak tonight. LET’S GO RANGERS!

  9. Doodie Machetto on

    Richard:

    According to nhlnumbers.com, the average age of the Pens is 28. The average age of the Rangers is 27.6. So technically, we’re the younger team.

    I like how we’re perceived as old, and the Pens as young.

    In case you were wondering, the Rangers are the 9th youngest team in the league. The Penguins are 14th (barely, they edge the Devs by .004 years).

  10. Doodie – Your technically right but the difference is..We are led by an older group and our younger players are more of role players..Pitt is led by the younger players and the older players are more secondary..so even though the team average is higher Pitt will be percieved as young. And rightfully so.

  11. Whatever, Doodie you get my point. Do not be such a numbers/stats person. This current team could beat anyone on paper with the talent/stats and the means jack shit. So in this case stick your numbers up your a$$.

    All you ever do on this blog is point to stats and other BS to attack a poster’s comments. Not everyone has enough time to scroll thru team’s ages.

    The point tonight will be interesting regarding conditioning. Why don’t you make an intelligent response like you have done occasionally in the past? I could give a rat ass if the age is a .4 of a difference. This means one player is maybe 6 months to one year younger then say Vali. The age difference could be stemming from back up goaltenders that don’t play. If you want to get technical, figure out the average age of the top 15 forwards and 6 defensemen. If we are younger then you have a point

  12. Listen to all the nastiness and the nasty 1 has not even arrived yet. Glad to see you all started without me :)

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    Richard: fine, have it your way. I’ll do their top 12, and our players likely to dress for tomorrow (only because I don’t know who is injured for them)

    Top 12 forwards for the Penguins right now (based on points):

    1) Crosby, 20
    2) Malkin, 21
    3) Sykora, 30 (31 in 11 days)
    4) Talbot, 24
    5) Malone, 27 (28 in 3 weeks)
    6) Recchi, 39
    7) Roberts, 41
    8) Hall, 27
    9) Christensen, 23 (24 in a month)
    10) Laraques, 31 (32 in a month).
    11) Staal, 19
    12 Armstrong, 24 (25 in 2 weeks)(they actually have 3 players tied with one point, but Armstrong has played the most games, so I’ll assume he is more important to the team, he is also the age in the middle).

    average age: 27.167 (27.583 by the end of the year)

    Top defenders:

    1) Gonchar, 33
    2) Whitney, 24
    3) Orpik, 27
    4) Eaton, 30
    5) Sydor, 35
    6) Scuderi, 30 (31 by year’s end)

    average age: 29.833 (30)

    Tonight’s probable Rangers forwards (by points):

    1) Jagr, 35
    2) Drury, 31
    3) Shanahan, 38
    4) Gomez, 27 (28 by year’s end)
    5) Dawes, 22
    6) Hossa, 26
    7) Prucha, 25
    8) Avery, 27
    9) Dubinsky, 21
    10) Hollweg, 24
    11) Betts, 27
    12) Orr, 25

    Average age: 27.333 (27.416 by year’s end)

    Top 6 d:

    1) Rozsival, 29
    2) Mara, 28
    3) Tyutin, 24
    4) Girardi, 23
    5) Staal, 20
    6) Strudwick, 32

    average age: 26.

    So by the end of the year, our top forwards will be younger than theirs, and our defense is already MUCH younger.

    If you take away Crosby and Malkin, the offense on that team comes form players the same age as ours.

    So enough with the Pittsburgh is so young BS. They aren’t. They have young superstars, and the rest of the team is old.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m sorry, I messed up Scuderi’s age, he is 28, 29 by year’s end. Their defensive average is therefore 29.5, and 29.667 by year’s end.

  15. Doodie, thanks now I know you have no life and a job where you obviously are not needed. Translation usless employee.

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    Do I have a point now? Do I have your permission?

    Try and look a little bit under the surface and not believe everything people say about a team. We’re a young team. Just because our best player isn’t doesn’t mean that the team as a whole isn’t. And just because Pittsburgh’s best player is, doesn’t mean the whole team is.

    I think Roberts is the oldest guy in the NHL. Him or Brind’Amour.

  17. Doodie Machetto on

    Dick S., Slow day. I’ve been busy for a week. Have you seen my name here? No.

    Too bad that you’re wrong though. Try again when you actually learn something.

  18. Based on the wonderful Doodie Machetto’s research, my original point regarding endurance is more put to the test. Since the NYR are younger if we do get out played obviously our conditioning coaches are not doing their job.

    We will see tonight.

  19. Doodie – It doesnt matter though. The top players on the team are very very young. They have a young goalie too. Just look at your chart..Rangers are led by 35,31,38 year olds. The only thing that matters is the core group of players that leads the team..Pens leaders are 20,21,19,23 etc..with a few scattered 35 and up guys..

    Take away Crosby,Malkin,Staal,Fleury,Talbot,Christensen etc..and you have no team at all..So they are a young team

  20. I was talking to a rep from Reebok and she told me that one of the best selling jerseys is the Henrik one. Which explains why I can’t find one in an adult Large anywhere.

  21. This just in… The STAAL FAMILY is taking over the NHL!!!!

    How many more are their?
    The key to success in the league is to have a Staal.
    Lucky us.

    Expect a nice match up tonight. I expect a quick jump by us after a day of rest and with the pens playing last night.

  22. I hate to see any player get injured but honestly I’m kind of happy that Forsberg is injured again and contemplating retirement. The rumors of him joining Philly or Detroit in mid season were beginning to scare me. He’d be a difference maker on any team he joined late in the year if he was healthy enough to play.

  23. On my lunch break I went to the school’s dining hall starving like a child that Sally Struthers helps to feed. That was kind of tasteless, but I am the Nasty 1. Anyway, I then ate a chicken salad and swiss pita and I was still hungry. I then ate a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. I feel like the there is a small war going on in my stomach right now. Let this be a lesson to all of us.

    Your friend,
    The Nasty 1

  24. Mix that all with a blueberry/strawberry yogurt this morning and a can of sugar free redbull and folks it is time to take the Browns to the Superbowl.

  25. hockeymanrangers on

    My thoughtsfor tonights game are: The Rangers have to be ready for the 3 period rush. The Flyers tried it Monday night but couldn’t get nothing going. The Islanders tried it Tuesday night and it worked out for them. The Rangers need to be prepared and not let their gaurd down for the full 3-20 miute periods. And they still really need to get more offense going, Drury, Gomez have really not down all that much this year yet. I sure hope they hold up to their contracts eventually??? The Pen’s are going to come out full till after losing last night. But I know the MY RANGERS can hold them off, GO RANGERS.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    So I got a new Rangers hat and wore it to the Caps and Devs games last week and they won both, despite the fact that I have traditionally been very bad luck. I’m more interested in seeing how that hat holds up against the Pens.

    Richard, thinking abuot it only in terms of conditioning is wrong. You have to think about team emotions. We were riding a 5 game winning streak and had won the night before.

    Pittsburgh is comning off of a loss and hasn’t had any streak-like activity.

    Also, who you play in the 2nd game is just as important as who you play in the first. Right now, the Islanders are a better team than us.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    I think that since having one of the 7 million men on the third line is no longer taboo, why not switch Drury and Gomez in order to reunite the preseason line of Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan? Avery-Drury-Prucha would be a good line too, I think.

  28. Nasty sounds just wonderful. I will make a note of it and avoid that combo. Your thoughts on the conditioning and age posts from earlier? You are not your usual self, rather quit. No tests today for the Sally Struthers kids?? The fun is happening without you.

  29. Doodie you honestly believe that conditioning had nothing to do with how bad the Rangers played against a team that is not better then us? The Islanders are not a better team. We flat out handed them the game. Did you see the game? We were skating in Jell-O and the Islanders on ice in the 2nd and 3rd Period.

    I am saying that both teams played the same team the first game and of course the second team/game is just as important. Duh. The Flyers played the same style and wore down the Rangers and Pens the same way in game one. It is a fair comparison and both teams were home and could get the match against the lines.

    Could not agree with you more regarding the Drury/Gomez switch.

  30. Ha, I think this team is a very well conditioned team. I think we just saw a team playing 4 games in 7 night on the second night of a back to back Vs. a team who was playing 1 game in 7 nights. IT HAPPENS!!! I am not worried about it. It was obvious they were out of gas. I think we will bounce right back tonight, and I am feeling a Dubi goal.

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