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Back to the hockey season

Posted By Carp On January 30, 2012 @ 4:52 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 130 Comments

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I’m back from my little, ahem, vacation. Got the cleanest garage in the Northeast.

Anyway, I guess the All-star game was as good as it could have been from a Rangers standpoint, with all ya boys—MVP Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi, Smilin’ John Tortorella and Carl Hagelin—front and center throughout the weekend.

I’m not reviewing the game, but I must say that once again the NHL has proven to be completely inept at finding pre-game and/or between-periods entertainment for its big events. How else do you explain the selection of those two clowns yesterday, two fine young men whose top songs contain some of the most vulgar lyrics possible? I guess there are no other entertainers in Canada or America.

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We’re going to do another ticket contest tomorrow, thanks to our generous Bonehead donor. We’ll review the rules later today, and entries will open and close on the morning thread tomorrow.

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While I was away, I read a story about goalies in Sports Illustrated, by my friend Michael Farber [2], who is, IMO, the best hockey writer on this hemisphere.

At one point he was talking about some of the insane long-term contracts given to NHL goalies, when he came up with this paragraph:

The eternally goalie-bereft Flyers, belatedly embracing a Neale-ist approach, signed the chatty Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51 million contract last June after his four seasons in low-pressure Phoenix. He has rewarded their faith with a save percentage of .891, well below the modern Mendoza line of .900. Goalie. Nine years. Philly. Nothing possibly could go wrong here.”

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Here is the transcript from Gaborik’s post-game press conference, courtesy of ASAP Sports:

Q.  Marian, this game was supposed to be all about Swedish guys and Alfredsson and so on.  It ends up being all about Slovak guys.  How satisfying is that?
MARIAN GABORIK:  I think it was about Swedish guys, you could hear it out there.  I think, you know, there are more Swedish guys than Slovak guys.
But, overall, I think we had a lot of fun.  I’m glad I could play along with Marian and Pavel Datsyuk, and I was glad that he picked me in the draft.  He got me sweating there a little bit at the draft, picking me late.
But it was a fun event.  And I had a lot of fun.

Q.  Why do you think it’s so easy to score on Henrik Lundqvist?
MARIAN GABORIK:  It’s not easy.  I was just fortunate to be lucky against him.  But I think he’s one of the best, if not the best, goalie in the league, but I am glad I could get a couple of goals against him.

Q.  What was that goal celebration after your first one?
MARIAN GABORIK:  I was thinking about before the game if I score on Henrik, I wouldn’t do it any other way, but I wanted to do it against Henrik to get a celebration there.  So I don’t think he was too happy about that.

Q.  Was the thought to get into his mind early, I think you were tugging at him behind the net earlier in the game?
MARIAN GABORIK:  I was trying to get into his mind over the whole weekend.  And I think it was a pretty good challenge against him, and worked a little better for me.

Q.  What was it like to play on the line with Datsyuk and Hossa?  Looked pretty natural.
MARIAN GABORIK:  Marian, we played together on the international level.  But with Pavel, he’s one of the best.  You can just see pure talent, and he’s got all it all and just to be playing also with all the other guys was a lot of fun.

Q.  Do you think Torts will be okay with your celebration?
MARIAN GABORIK:  He was just jealous we won the game.

Q.  Will the Twitter war with Lundqvist continue after this weekend?
MARIAN GABORIK:  I don’t think so.  I posted up a picture hugging him during the skills last night.  So I think we’re good.  But it was friendly and it’s always?? we always have a good competition, even in practice.
And it’s challenging to score on him.  So as I said, he’s one of the best.

Q.  In regards to the Twitter war, was there any like prize outcome for the winner or loser that they’d have to do?
MARIAN GABORIK:  We haven’t talked about it.  So, no.

Q.  Do you think you did that celebration as well as Anisimov did?
MARIAN GABORIK:  No, way.  Did you see him doing that?  No.  It was?? I just wanted to it if I would score on Henrik.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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AP photo, above.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/01/Gaborik-all-star-MVP.jpg

[2] a story about goalies in Sports Illustrated, by my friend Michael Farber: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1193882/