Just like that, first place

43

What does first place mean for the Rangers?

From “the players to the coaches, not much”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071116/SPORTS01/711160397/1046/RSS0905.

Of course, it would be troubling if the Rangers were ecstatic at this point, don’t you think?

We did it! We’re here! Now we can shut it down for a few weeks and coast! Hey Gomer, pass the pork rinds!

But like I mentioned earlier, where the Rangers are in the standings is at least a reflection of how far they’ve come since their will-they-ever-score-a-goal start. Moreover, it’s indicative that right now, the pieces are in place: outstanding goaltending, balanced scoring, stingy defense, and the right, as Tom Renney likes to say, “esprit de corps.”

Plus, they have one of the sexiest men alive in their dressing room, and as much as my wife would say that’s me (actually who am I kidding, no she wouldn’t), it’s “actually Sean Avery”:http://www.people.com/people/package/video/0,,20154290_20154496_20159873,00.html, who had the honor bestowed upon him by People Magazine.

madis_06.jpg

The “video interview”:http://www.people.com/people/package/video/0,,20154290_20154496_20159873,00.html that accompanies the honor is somewhat disappointing. Avery talks about where he got his scars, who his first kiss was, and what he looks for in a woman. Here I was thinking they were going to ask about ways to generate more shots on the power play, and his thoughts on tag-up offsides.

And speaking of the confluence of beauty and hockey, there was a fairly comical scene in the Rangers dressing room post-game when Marc Staal was being interviewed by former Miss New Jersey Julie Robenhymer, who is actually “a blogger for hockeybuzz.com”:rhttp://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?blogger_id=99.

Now, before we go any further, let’s be clear that this is in no way a commentary on female sports journalists, since I think we’re past the days of distinguishing between the two (and reading Robenhymer’s stuff, she clearly knows hockey). But let’s also be honest that to a 20-year-old rookie, there’s a little bit of a difference between being interviewed by a former beauty contestant, and some rumpled yahoo like me. And while Staal was perfectly professional, his expression was telling.

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More on Staal, sort of, can be read in “this mock interview at rangerland.net”:http://rangerland.net/. Great stuff..

More later…

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43 Comments

  1. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, I hate to be a ballbuster (actually, I love it), but the Rangers are technically in 2nd because Philly has a game in hand. The SO win last night gave Philly a point, so we only tied them, and during the regular season, the first tiebreaker is games in hand. If you want to ignore that tiebreaker, we would be in the division lead because we have the most points in the season series.

  2. Doodie Machetto on

    Ducks put Bryzgalov on Waivers. No way he makes it to the minors. What a mistake by Burke! If you had a hard time finding a deal that got a good return, you could have at least found a deal with a bad one, instead of just giving him away for nothing (which he is).

  3. He’ll make it to the minors. No one is going to want to pay 1.3 mil when they can get him for half that on re-entry waivers.

  4. Hmmm… Matt Damon, Justin Timberlake, Tae Diggs, Sean Avery.

    Which one doesn’t belong? Hahaha

  5. Greetings from Grand Cayman!

    Just popped on and surfed some of the updates, looks like I’ve missd a lot! My trips almost done and I can follow up on everything soon enough, but I did just watch the Avery Video from the toronto game and I cannot stop laughing.

    First place (alomst?) huh….maybe I should stay here forever and they will keep winning…

  6. So, back when I was a kid, the girls were ga-ga over Ron Duguay and now they have Sean Avery as one of the sexiest men alive – damn girls, you’re being short-changed big time! Avery’s got a melon head, at least Doogs had the hair – and Kim Alexis!

  7. Doogs had the hair and the “ooh-la-la-Sasson” to go with it. I wonder if Avery could handle that kind of advertisement.

  8. ALL I KNOW IS THAT AVERY KEEPS MY GIRLFRIEND INTERESTED IN THE GAME AND NOT KILLING ME FOR BASING MY SCHEDULE AROUND THE RANGERS SCHEDUL. UNFORTUNATLLY THERE ARE MANY TIMES WHERE I HAVE TO LISTEN TO HER CELEB GOSSIP ABOUT HIM AND MARY KATE OLSEN. AND SHE JUST TOLD ME THAT MARY KATE IS WITH SOMEONE ELSE NOW HAHA

  9. Was I the only one that noticed that Avery has stopped all of his shit, and he’s taking a decent amount of hard hits. He’s playing decently. Maybe this is what he needed to mature and become a truly threatening (however more respectable way) force on the ice.

  10. Doodie Machetto on

    “No one is going to want to pay 1.3 mil when they can get him for half that on re-entry waivers.”

    Bryzgalov is a starting quality goaltender. He’s not making it to the minors. Teams that need goaltending but aren’t in the bottom of the standings aren’t going to risk him going on reentry waivers so some team at the bottom of the standings can pluck him for free. Perfect example is TB. They can get him and then demote Denis and his hefty contract and not only would they be improving their goaltending, but they would be saving money too.

    He’s not making it to the minors.

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    By free I mean half of his value, which is essentially free for a player of his caliber.

  12. Doodie – I’d like to say we’re better than the Islanders, but you’re right, we’re not. Montreal, I don’t know because I haven’t seen them yet, and haven’t heard much about them. Definitely Ottawa, and probably Carolina are better than us right now, so good assessment. Also, you beat me to it; we are not in first in the division yet because of the Flyers playing one less game. If Pittsburgh’s goalie ever got his sh…stuff together, then I would fear them.

    Avery’s got that weird hair and glasses look, maybe they somehow find thay sexy.

    I would try to keep Staal (and any of our players) away from Exlund people, but I guess this would be ok. I didn’t know she was a beauty pagent woman.

    Sam – Did you go to Pittsburgh or back home?

  13. Staal is a bonafied D man, with a boner for Jules…Lame joke…

    Never the less

    Im surprised that Bryz is getting dumped…From what i hear, the Oilers, or the Sabs might get him. Surprising that they couldnt get a deal, i thought he was worth something…with good D in front of him, he can be a valuable starter. I think

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Sean Avery has an interesting phenomenon happening to him. He managed to get with one or two hot girls, and that has made him seem more appealing to other hot girls because it’s like “oh if she dated him, then he MUST be hot.”

    I’m a straight male, perfectly comfortable in my own skin. As such I can say that there is no way any girl shouldn’t think Henrik is better looking than Avery. I remember when they did that calendar giveaway last year, I went to that game with my girlfriend. One of her friends was also at the game. Her friend text messaged her halfway through the game with “Holy Shit, look at Mr. December.” Mr. December=Henrik Lundqvist. My girlfriend brought the calendar to work, just because she needed a calendar, and one of the women she works with ripped out his picture (and as a result, November) and put it on her wall. Avery looks like a lollipop. Small body and a huge, round head.

  15. Holmqvist is doing pretty well for TB, and they have two top prospects in the minors. Denis would have been demoted already if Ramo was not hurt. The bottom three in the West (Coyotes, Oilers, Blues) are the ones to look for; I think Phoenix should snatch him up pretty quickly, then they could waive or trade one of their three goalies (one in the minors now). I’m shocked that Anaheim would waive Bryz, unless there’s something we don’t know, like he was probably pouting about being 2nd string, so they let him go since they couldn’t find a trade. But wouldn’t any trade be better than losing him for nothing?

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    I think he just wanted to get rid of his salary ASAP, which means Nieds is probably going to return soon. He has been skating for a couple of weeks now.

  17. Yeah, Niedermeyer is probably coming back in December, I heard, but maybe he will be back this week after this move is made. Or Selanne could come back with him. If Niedermeyer came back right, with Bryz still there, he would just barely fit under the cap, with just over $5 million left on his contract for this year (about 3/4 of the season left). So they probably just want the breathing room. It would be great for them if they could get Selanne back for some cheap contract, but after all this time, I doubt Selanne is coming back anywhere and wonder why he hasn’t announced retirement (so I can drop him from my fantasy team).

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    Or maybe Bryz pulled a Teddy Nolan on Brian Burke!

    SP: I agree, which is why I said I think Burke made a big mistake. Why lose him for nothing? If he really wanted to unload him, trade him for like a 5th round pick or something, at least get SOME return, and better yet, you could ensure he goes to the east and doesn’t haunt you like the Kipper trade bit the Sharks.

    And Holmqvist isn’t playing _that well for TB. He’s playing adequately. 2.75 GAA and .897 S% isn’t anything to write home about.

    St. Louis has one of the best GAA in the league, so I can’t imagine them being too interested. Goaltending is the LEAST of EDM’s worries, so I can’t see them going for him. Phoenix, sure, why not, anything can help them at this point!

    I think another team that could be interested is Colorado. they can’t have that much faith in Theodore and Budaj. Bryz’s post season numbers are really good, and Colorado could be a real threat in the spring if they had a quality keeper.

  19. Unfortunately, I can’t stay away from Eklund, and he actually said early his morning that he heard remors about Bryz being placed on waivers rather than traded, but didn’t think that would be the case. Hiller was called up early, so Bryz was obviously moving somehow.

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    “Does anyone think the Rangers would claim Bryz if they had the chance? I don’t.”

    Agreed. I don’t think the Debbies would be interested either. The Isles prob not because of DP’s 15 year deal. The Pens maybe, but if they wanted to replace Sabourin, they would go for a more experienced player. It also doesn’t look lke they’re ready to abandon Fleury yet. And the Flyers wouldn’t either. So our division will remain Bryzgalov free.

    As for the Northeast, Toronto has two capable goaltenders, but no defense. Ottawa has 2 very good goaltenders, and their salaries to boot. The Habs have a good goaltender in Huet and more prospects than they know what to do with. The B’s have Fernandez (who should be the starter) and Thomas (who is outplaying Fernandez). And the Sabres have Miller.

    The Canes have Ward, The Cats have Vokoun, Thrashers have Lehtonen and Hedberg, and it doesn’t look like they’re about to abandon ship on Lehtonen. The Caps have Kolzig, but it might be time for them to start thinking about the post-Kolzig era. And I still think the Lightning could really use him.

    That’s my Bryz in the east ratings. TB is the only team I see as really being interested in him.

    I really think Colorado would want him in the west. It would be stupid for them not to take him.

  21. “Johan Holmqvist has started each of the Lightning’s last four games, posting a 1.25 goals-against average.” – from the AP preview for tonight’s game.

    Capitals have a decent prospect, along with Atlanta, as Pavelic is playing now with Lehtonen out. It’s gonna be a team in the West. And Oilers have priority before Coyotes because it’s based on the “percentage of possible points earned.” I know the Oilers have many problems, but neither of their goalies have been doing great, partly because of the defense. But I think Bryz is somewhat like Lundqvist in that he can make some terrific saves to keep the other team in check, but defnitely not as consistant as Henrik game to game in that regard.

  22. Are those games that are going to be on My9 simulcasts? As in, they are also being broadcast on MSG at the same time? I would guess that is the case to not upset people who receive MSG and not WWOR.

  23. Chris F.
    You’re right – Carol walking around MSG in those short little skirts was a wonderful distraction to the rather horrible hockey that the Rangers were playing in those days! But she then went over to the dark-side and became an Islander!

  24. just a sidenote. i saw michael nylander after today’s morning skate at the st. pete times forum. i have to admit, he is looking super old physically (not by his level of play though). also, jarkko ruutu was on the ice for extra practice just screwing around and i couldn’t help getting angry.

  25. Why would Ruutu be there? He plays for the Penguins. Unless you mean he was in Pittsburgh extra, but why would that correllate?

    This is one of the strangest blog entries.

  26. I was thinking today, besides really missing Brian Leetch as out top defense man, there is another defense man still playing who we should never have gotten rid of. Sergei Zubov, hes great on the point, power play, and everything overall IMO. What do you guys think?

  27. Trading Zubov was the start of the Demise of Neil smith and the rangers going south. Zubov could no doubt help the rangers power play but then again the only thing that could help the rangers power play if they would shoot the puck at the net and then crash the net for rebounds. I just don’t understand
    why it is so hard for these guys to get it, it is one of the most funder mental thing in hockey.

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