The lawn has been mowed

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Just as many Rangers opted to shave off their playoff beards upon elimination yesterday, I returned home today to finally mow my lawn, marking my own official end of Season No. 2 for the blog.

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I think we can all agree that the Rangers had hoped for more out of 2007-08, a season that began with Stanley Cup aspirations but ended in the second round for the second straight year.

But I can’t express any disappointment with this blog. When I started it in September 2006, I did so only reluctantly — telling my editor I didn’t think Rangers fans would have much interest in anything I would have to say.

More than 1,200 posts, 72,000 comments and millions of hits later, I’m beginning to think I was wrong.

Many of you have been far too kind to me these past two seasons, whether it’s been in comments, in e-mails, or in person at games. If I said that didn’t matter to me, I’d be lying.

Some of you have taken me to task, criticism that would be easy to dismiss if it wasn’t occasionally dead-on.

As for what happens to the blog now that the season is over, the short answer is it’s going nowhere. If anything, there are more questions surrounding the Rangers now than there were during the regular season, and I’m as curious as anyone to find out the answers.But as many of you already know, my life gets more complicated once the hockey season is over since I also have responsibilities covering golf. So as much as I’d like to think I can be as active here as I was during the regular season, there may be times when I’ll be pulled in a different direction, and forced to play catch-up.

But if we got through last summer, we can get through this one, and I look forward to continuing the discussion straight through until the start of training camp.

For now, though, it’s time to again say thanks to all of you who have supported this blog and made it one of the most rewarding ventures of my sports writing career.

I’m tempted to tell you this blog is actually a lot of hard work. For one thing, I don’t think writing about sports ever equates to real work. And that’s especially true when you’re simply doing something you love.

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43 Comments

  1. Thanks Sam for a great blog. Hopefully the Rangers will be active in Free Agency and you will have something to write about.

  2. Mark n' Miami on

    Keep up the great work. I’ve loved reading your blogs daily. I’m just as curious as to what Sather’s moves will be in the offseason. We’ve got a lot of dead weight to drop and quite a few holes to fill.

  3. Sam, What are your thoughts on that Creative Playthings “Durango” model playset you are rocking in your backyard?

    Did you fannagel the saleperson to throw in the rock wall ?

  4. Sam thanks for the enjoyable season-long blog. Hope you get some time of this summer to enjoy your family.

  5. Thanks Sam for the blog. Won’t be logging on much now that the season is over, so thanks for the outlet and good luck with the lawn.

    As far as the Rangers go…

    Very disappoiting game yesterday. No emotion whatsoever from our team in the 2nd and OT. Horrendous officiating.

    I think it is obvious the league wants Cindy Crosby in the Cup, I think it is as obvious as the nose on someones face. Pittsburgh could do nothing 5 on 5, so the refs call every ticky-tack penalty there was and I think the Rangers knew it to.

    What a disgrace of officiating yesterday, but the Rangers should be ashamed of their lame power play.

    Renney plays not-to-lose hockey, I could care less if he’s back.

    Rangers are small upfront and slow on defense, it was obvious in the playoffs against Pittsburgh.

    I sure hope Cheraponov and Anisemov turn out to be something special because we got our butts handed to us with Gomez, Shanahan, Jagr, Straka and Drury all in the lineup.

  6. Évreux on

    For me personally, this blog makes the season more than a sport. It becomes a true event.

  7. Thanks Sam. It’s great to have the inside anecdotes and jokes from the team — your stories on this blog make it even more fun to be a fan of the Rangers.

    (And I’ve noticed the Journal News has seen fit to put the Rangers on the front page a lot more lately — thanks for that, too!)

  8. Sam, I appreciate your hard work into this blog. Keep up the great work!

  9. Sam,

    Thanks for your insights into the Rangers and the NHL. This is one of my first stops in the morning before I head off to work and before the games.

    I look forward to your season review as well as any moves you feel the Rangers should make to improve next year’s team.

    Best to you and yours.

  10. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    SAM THANKS FOR WHAT I CAN IMAGINE IS REALLY A LOT OF HARD WORK. I truly appreciate all you do here, and though you may not see it as a big deal. I and I think many of us rely on you to tell us what goes behind the scenes that we can not get anywhere else. Did you read that correctly RELY ON YOU, yes it’s true. I live in PA and did not get to the garden at all this year. So any inside stuff I can get I totally enjoy reading. And you make it so easy to read it just flows for me. Take a break and enjoy those kids of yours, GOD BLESS.

    Ok I was going to cut it off, BUT just a quick comment (as I haven’t posted anything since the loss) IF WE HAD GOTTEN THE OT GOAL WE WOULD HAVE BROUGHT IT BACK TO NY AND I THINK WOULD HAVE MADE SOME HISTORY. Easy to say but that’s what I think, THIS SEASON TO ME WAS NOT A DISAPPOINTING ONE. And to me never thought they had it, to go the distance for most of the season. Yes with some luck they could have done it but they still lack something. Ok I am going to say it (shoot me if you want) COACHING. For all the predictions at the begining of the season and to see them have to fight tooth and nail for most of the season I just feel that some of it as coaching. Ok I am done, Oh wait thank you everyone else that posts here it has been a pleasure to hang with all you NEW YORK RANGER FANS.

  11. czechthemout!!! on

    Sam-

    You have a great blog!The best thing about is that there is no thought police here.The same cannot be said about some of the other blogs who profess freedon of expression on all things Rangers,until your opinion is not on the same page as their’s.

    On to other things.I’m amazed at some of the comments pinning for players like shanny,Betts,Orr,Jagr Strudwick,even some for Straka.I’d like to address this by looking at each player at a time.

    Shanny- The man is too old! He cannot skate any more.His reaction time is ohhhhh soooooo slowwwwww! Yes he is probobly very good in the lockeroom but last I checked,the game is played on the ice not in the lockeroom.If a team has a player or players who good on the ice and in the lockeroom they are made captians or Asst. captains.You can’t just sign a player who has nothing left on the ice but commands alot of respect off the ice and use up valuable salary cap space.He should be made assistant coach with focus on the powerplay,a major weakness that the current imcompetant coaching staff has not been able fix in THREE F….ING YEARS!!!!

    Jagr- Also a shell of his former self.Anyone who thinks that if he signs we are getting the player who played most of the playoff games well is only fooling them self.Having said that,Jagr is still good for about 20 goals and 70 pts.The question we should ask our selves is does a 36 year old former star with declining skills deserve to get a huge contract based on 7-8 strong playoff games? I don’t know!

    Straka- His skills have also eroded and he is now starting to lose his speed,a big problem if you’re his size.He also differs EVERYTHING TO JAGR,he doesn’t pass to anyone else regardless of whether they are open or not. BYE BYE!!!

    Rozy- HIs play declined substantialy as the season went on.Pretty scary considering he was playing for a big payday this year.Too soft,NEVER SHOOTS on powerplay.He is also too timid and rarley takes the body,and his decision making is too slow.At 5million per(HIs Demand)way overpriced.3million I’d consider it.

    Strudwick- He cannot skate,he cannot pass,he cannot shoot.As for his leadership,see my shanny comments.

    Betts- One of Renney’s favorites.His defense is vastly overrated.He has zero hockey sense and hands of stone.He is Easily replacable by any number of players on the p.k.

    Hollweg- He simply sucks in every fashion as a player.In three years he still has not learned how not to hit players from behind.If he can’t learn that,why should we expect him to actually learn how to play the game.

    Orr-Good fighter nothing else.Should ONLY play against goon teams during regular season.In the playoffs,he is useless.He brings nothing to the table other than his fighting skills.

    What I’d like to see the team do is to add some Fa’s on defense to replace crap like Malik,Backman

  12. Tony from AZ on

    Sam, thanks for all you do for the really true blue Ranger fans.
    You give us something to talk about & even argue about.
    We still have lots to discuss, the draft, free agents & our pathetic power play
    I know you’re going to busy with other stuff, but save some time for your family. They love you more then we do.

  13. Czech- Pretty accurate writeup…..I think if the Rangers sign Jags then they also will sign Straka as well at Jags demand. They are boyz…

    I was thinking of something earlier as I cried in my soup during dinner tonight…

    These 4 offensive Juggernuts whom I rank –
    1) Ovechkin
    2) Malkin
    3) Kovalchuk

    All 3 of them play with an edge, some would call it borderline dirty and they are all highly competitive, which makes the other players around them that much better…

    Got me thinking to why if these 3 Russians, who are at the top of the game, and play offense……

    where are the young, nasty, great, game breaking Russian D-men ? Because it aint Fedor Tyutin…hehe

    Rangers,,, Find us a Defenseman Ivan Drago nowww!!

  14. Thanks for everything Sam, I don’t comment very often but your posts are always required reading for me in my RSS reader, even after I gave up on following several other Ranger related sites. I look forward to much more from you in the months and years to come.

  15. onecupin67years on

    Good Job Sam ,maybe I’ll see you on the ice somewhere in Westchester.My final thoughts on the Rangers is that last years team was more competitive in the playoffs than this years team;which has taken a big step backwards.Time to clean house of the old and buy all new .

  16. Hey Sam…Thanks for giving even a wandering mind like mine a place to come and play GM (ha!)This blog has been most fun I’ve had since cross-checking Alexi Yashin a couple of dozen times in ’05-’06

  17. Rangers6830 on

    Thanks Sam for all your hard work. You do a great job, I enjoy your blog very much. :)

  18. Sam, great job as usual. This blog is the best! It’s gonna be a fun summer with the draft and FAs. Let’s go Stars (by default)

  19. czech Sather has to go, as does the joke of a commissioner , or the NYR continue to not go all the way.

  20. Thanks for everything you’ve given us, Sam. You’re a true professional at what you do and a class act all the way. I’m majoring in journalism myself right now in college and, as corny as this might sound to you and some people, the way you handle the blog and your job is everything I hope to be one day.

    It’s been a fun season, and it’s very disappointing to say our farewells this early in the postseason. We all here wish you well and look foward to any rumors and tidbits you can keep us up to date with before July 1st hits. Either way, it’s obviously not going to be the same.

    The countdown starts now until camp opens…here’s to hoping we’re not going through all of this at the same time next season.

    Have a great summer, Sam!

    Adam

  21. Sam – I was out mowing the lawn the second i saw the puck in the net past Hank. To see Pascal Dupenis celebrate made me ill for some reason.
    Now i get to sit around and listen to my co-worker Flyer fans for at least another two weeks. When did connecticut become such a hot bed for flyers? Anyway,
    Great job this year enjoy the golf. I miss Ranger hockey already!

  22. Great job on the blog, Sam!

    I’ve never really read much about the Rangers beyond the Post – when I found your blog it was such a refreshing alternative to Uncle Larry’s rants..

    I’ll be visiting daily, offseason or not – I’m addicted.

  23. your boy Malik on

    Thanks again Sam – great season on the blog – enjoy your family….we look forward to hearing from you about free agents!

  24. Sam, keep up the great work on the blog! Enjoy the off-season and golf. It seems people have forgotten that Avery 1) was in the ICU and 2) is an UFA this summer also. I wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully a new contract with the Rangers! He may even be more important to re-sign than Jagr…
    Anyways, hopefully you’ll keep up the blog semi-regularly over the summer because I need something to read at work!

  25. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Yea, that Vermont is just a hot bed waiting to be exploited for its nasty Russian defensemen. Lol.

  26. Sam (not the great Weinman) on

    Thanks Sam for a great blog. Have a great time covering golf. After much thought, it’s nice to see professionalism and unbiasedness in a media personality (something you’re never getting from ESPN ‘Everything Sox and Patriots Network’ or any NY newspaper)

  27. Sam, thanks for your hard work keeping this blog going. I don’t post many comments becasue I like reading what everyone has to say.

    I will continue to check in daily although I know there will be times when days/weeks will go by where there is nothing to report.

  28. I read in the Post a nice article about Avery and it kind of showed a more human side to the guy. He really wants to come back as a Ranger and win for the fins and feels they really let the city down. I hope they resign him for a reasonable price, but I know another team is willing to throw some serious money at him. I guess we will soon really see what kind of player and person Sean Avery is and see if he is willing to lessen his asking price to stay with the Rangers. He said he bleeds Ranger blue.

  29. “Sam,

    Thanks for your insights into the Rangers and the NHL. This is one of my first stops in the morning before I head off to work and before the games.”

    Same here. Thanks Sam. I hope you’ll give us some updates before draft (btw – is there any good analysis about it online?).

    Can we trade for Kovalchuk? I think he’s sick of Atlanta already. Imagine having three Russian Rockets: Kovalchuk, Anisimov, Cherepanov.

    :D

  30. Sam/Carp/Josh,

    Thanks so much for your tireless work this season. As much as we like the frequent updates, thanks for also providing an open forum for us to talk. Looking forward to the off season updates and such…

    Everyone else, it’s been enjoyable chattering and arguing and this and that all year. One thing we can always agree on is how delicious it was to punish Marty and the Devils. I hope a lot of the regulars don’t completely dissapear in the off season…

  31. sam,
    thanks for giving us up to date ranger info. where else you going to find that. i appreciate it.

  32. Sam,
    Thanks for such a great season….I have to check this place first thing when I sign on….and last thing before I head to bed. I am so very happy I found this place…thanks for everything and cant wait to see you again next season.

  33. Dopplerbob on

    Sam,
    Great to hear that this blog isn’t going anywhere. The honest truth is the first site I go to when I get home to check Ranger news is here. Always accurate and timely to say the least. If there was a subscription charge, I would pay. The Rangers are a big part of the entertainment side of life and it is great to be so well informed.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    Bob

  34. This is one of the finest hockey blogs out there; certainly, it’s the best I’ve come across. I check this site out daily, and I’m not even a Ranger fan. Every team should have a place to read great stuff and to vent… great job, Sam.

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