And right down the hall, we have chaos


A part of me thinks the Rangers PR staff owes a debt of gratitude to the New York Observer’s John Koblin for “this bleak depiction of life on the Knicks beat”:

I say this because, while they’re all under one largely dysfunctional Cablevision umbrella, the story underscores how much more pleasant it is covering the Rangers. To be clear, we’ve all had our dust-ups big and small with the Rangers PR staff, and I’m not delusional enough to think their objectives and the media’s objectives are one and the same.

But if you read this story — and I suggest you do — you’ll know there is a difference between a productive, if even occasionally contentious, relationship between a team and its media; and complete insanity, which is basicaly how you’d describe what’s happening down the hall with the Knicks.

Why the difference? A couple of theories: One, the Rangers are good (or relatively good) and the Knicks stink. That always helps.

Two, hockey is hockey and basketball is basketball. The Rangers and the NHL still needs the media — and yes, even the print media, or whatever it is I am these days — to promote the sport and help repair the damage done by the lockout. The NBA, meanwhile, enjoys better ratings on TV so it doesn’t rely as much on the writers. And in the case of the Knicks, it seems they just want their writers to go away.

Granted, there are some common practices between the two. The Observer story talks about Knicks PR staffers monitoring interviews, and that happens occasionally with the Rangers. But more often than not, at least with players, they leave us alone to talk to whomever, about whatever. Yes, there is an overall veil of secrecy at the Garden that can be difficult to penetrate, especially for someone like me in just his second season covering the team. But unlike some of the Knicks writers, I at least don’t feel like the powers-that-be are conspiring against me.

So there you have it. By comparison, things could be a lot worse. Now if only they’ll go back to the playoff custom of giving us free bagels at the rink, I’d really be content.

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  1. Sounds brutal. Maybe they should just stop covering the team. They don’t cover the team, nobody goes to games anymore, then maybe the NBA seizes control of the team the way the NHL threatened to do to the Rangers. I don’t even get why people buy tickets to see them anymore. There aren’t even any likable guys on that team. David Lee? Maybe Curry and Crawford…But no one else.

  2. Hockey also simply has a different culture than other sports. Watch a basketball postgame and hear all the “me, me, me.” Watch a hockey postgame and hear a guy talk about his teammates. I know this is not universally true, but I’ve been watching sports long enough to know how close to true it is.

  3. Um, if the Rangers were on the verge of franchise collapse and had just weathered a sex lawsuit and had a g.m./coach that everyone truly loathed (not just jeered at) and they were losing every game, I don’t think hockey culture would be what affected the MSG/Media relations the most…

  4. But the point is, Chris, that they’re not. They don’t have a player, for example, threatening to blow the whistle on management. Not how it’s done it hockey. Disallowed.

  5. Doodie Machetto on

    I hate Poti so much.

    I read the article and not only did the guy not know shit about hockey to use such an old photo, but his suggestion shows he doesnt know shit either. Winning the division means something, and it wouldn’t mean shit if we didn’t play the teams within the division MORE than the other teams in the conference. Moron. I bet he wants bigger nets too. Idiot.

  6. DM – I would make five games against each division opponent and three against the other teams in the conference, with the extra two games being filled by the way the NFL does, with the teams that finish in the same division standing the prior year. I agree with having two games against each team in the other conference.

  7. Sam – I was “scouting” the Islanders game tonight, and when they went to the shoot-out, there was a cameraman standing on the ice. Is this something new the NHL has adopted, or did the Islanders do it solely for their broadcast?

  8. First off, that picture is from before the lockout since Poti still has #3. Stupid.

    Second, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that every team should play every other team. As a fan, I pay money to see players like Thornton, Marleau, Kopitar, Cammaleri, Corey Perry, Datsuyk, etc. 6 times against the Islanders/Devils/etc. is plenty. I’m going to the Rangers vs. Sharks and Kings games this year simply for that reason.

    The way to win tonight; shoot the puck, Dipietro played 65+ minutes of hockey last night, pepper him.

    Also, paging Ryan Callahan/Chris Drury; please report directly in front of Dipietro tomorrow night and deflect shots likes crazy, any and all that come to the net.

  9. Right on about peppering DP tonight. I know we want DP to handle the puck as LITTLE as possible, but we have to get and keep pucks deep and make them skate 200ft. And so help me if I see gomez cross the blueline and throw a pass to the middle I’m gonna call dale purinton to come gouge my eyes out for me.

  10. There’s one simple way to dump the puck on the Isles… DIAGONALLY.

    That way the puck stays in the corner (or thereabouts) and the charging winger on that side of the ice has only one defender to deal with (until another arrives that is… hence the CHARGING part of the equation).

    Do that and the dump and chase becomes effective again. Especially on the PP where the goalie cannot reach the puck and clear it all the way down before any agressors arrive.

  11. funny you should bring up Purintons name because he’s currently serving a 25 game suspension in the AHL for a sucker punch.

  12. HAHA – didn’t realize that bum was still around. Or maybe I did – doesn’t really matter I guess.

  13. The camera man was on the ice because he didn’t want to show that there were only 9000 people in the stands!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHA

  14. The Knicks demise is the result of one thing and one thing only: Jim Dolan. The guy is a friggin clown. Born on 3d base, thinks he hit a triple. The guy is a waste of space. A spoiled rich kid entering the corporate world at the top of the ladder thanks to Daddy. No wonder why the Knicks are the laughing stock of the league.

  15. The Knicks suck. They are an embarssment to the city of New York. New York is supposed to be the mecca of basketball and the Knicks have won only two championships in the last 60 years. It’s a joke. I don’t know what it is about ownership and management that manages both the Knicks and the Rangers but they never seem to get it right. The Rangers are finally improved but 4 titles in 80 something years is an embarassment as well. To be the least successful team of the Original Six is not something I’m proud of.

  16. This columnist thinks the NHL should go to the NBA schedule. Not a bad idea but you’d only see the division rivals four times. I think in the end they’ll reduce that to six games which means you’d play the other conference teams but not home and home.

    Technically the Rangers aren’t the least successful of the Original Six, the Blackhawks are with 3 cups and none since 1961. But in the pre-draft era after the war, the deck was stacked, some teams had favored status in getting access to the pool of prospects. You start measuring management really since the draft and in this case I’d rather have the Rangers’ record than the Maple Leafs.

  17. JagrGal –
    I was at the Panthers-Rangers game last week and they also had a cameraman on the ice for the shootout.

    Ps. Those Panthers fans are morons. They were all happy and cheering when they “scored” in OT. I just sat quietly, knowing full well there was going to be a penalty called on them. Half those people can’t even follow the puck during the game …

    Must say the arena is very nice, though … MUCH better than where the Heat play.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    “There’s one simple way to dump the puck on the Isles… DIAGONALLY. ”

    That’s how the Finns made it to the gold medal game in the past olympics. They had no game plan except a diagonal dump and chase, which is more of a plan than pretty mcuh every other team had, but Sweden had the King, so it was a lock.

    Baruza, I realize the writer didn’t pick the picture, but he can say to the editor: hey, that picture is like 4 years old, and that guy doesn’t play there anymore.

    Figures we play the Sens twice when they had the amazing start to their season, and the Isles get to play them once they are on a cold streak.

    By the way, if we don’t win against the Islanders tonight, then we aren’t going to beat them all season. They played the Senators in a game that went to a shootout last night and also were shorthanded for 13+ mins, so they’re gonna be tired. We’re at home. DP faced 37 shots. We’re rested. We’re getting Callahan back. True, we lost Avery, but for as good as Aves is against one of our close rivals (Devs) he is the polar opposite against the other (Isles), so it’s not that much of a loss.

    We MUST win tonight.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    Make the season 84 games. 6 against each team in your division = 24. 3 against every other team in your conference = 30 (you can rotate by year which division has the extra home game). 2 against teams from other conference = 30. 24+30+30=84.

  20. doodie – re: playing the sens while they were hot. The same thing happend last season vs. buf when we played them 4 times before the end of dec.

  21. Sam, its not just that the NBA has better TV ratings, its the scope of the full media echo chamber. Quite simply, the NY beat writers have the ability to shape national opinion. Its more than that they don’t need them to generate publicity, they are terrified of what they might write. The Knicks are up there with teams like the Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, Notre Dame, etc. who will always be in the national spotlight. If there’s a juicy Knicks story in the back pages of the tabloids, the story is going to make its way onto NY talk radio, national talk radio, and all the ESPN shows, with a nice chunk of Sportscenter to go along with it. And obviously when the stories are so negative, the corporate muzzles come out.

    The NHL isn’t nearly in the same ballpark, even in NY. If Stephon Marbury allegedly made a remark about an opponent’s cancer, true or not, you can guarantee there’d be an Outside the Lines segment on ESPN the next day on “Trash talk in the NBA: Where do we draw the line?” In contrast, The NY Times didn’t even bother sending a reporter to most of last year’s Stanley Cup finals. (Only 9 of 21 U.S. cities with NHL teams did)

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