NEW YORK RANGERS: Coach Torts Could Care Less About the Stanley Cup! And That's Just Fine By Me. And Speaking of Fines, If I Had an Extra $30G Laying Around, I'd Gladly Pay Off His Fine Myself.
I'm sure had you passed a large enough jar around Madison Square Garden Thursday night, you would have had an arena full of Ranger Fans more than willing to cough-up three bucks apiece to pay off Coach Tortorella's $30G fine after comments he made about the officiating following Sunday's Winter Classic and still have money left over to throw him a fully catered party with. Bad economy be damned. And what the hell?! He was right. But Oooooo! You can't say that. Even his apology was right on point. I'm certain the League wasn't conspiring against the Rangers. But it sure as heck looked like it - and appearances in most cases, are everything. So where can I mail my check?
After pounding Florida 4-1 on their ice just before The Classic, the Rangers withstood a feisty 1-0 start by Florida at the Garden, only to put the South Division leaders back down again. Anton Stralman got that started with his first NHL goal which tied the game at one. Ryan Callahan put the Rangers up 2-1 with a power play goal in the third period. It was Callahan's fourteenth. Then Florida scored again to send the game into overtime.
Regulation time may have cost Carl Hagelin a shoulder. Hagelin took a strange hit on his way to assist in the corner. He immediately dropped his stick, clutched his shoulder, and left the ice.
Now here's the good part. Marian Gaborik the Sniper, is back. Of the twenty-three (T-2nd) goals he's scored this season, we haven't seen one quite like that in two years. His over-time winning shot from the slot was something out of yesterseasons. Ranger Fans are now long removed from saying "about time!" or "thank goodness" to themselves. Now we've re-accustomed ourselves to shouting "Yes!" as we watch at home , or chant "hey Hey HEY!" if we're at the game. As good as Marian Gaborik has been this season, I still can't for the life of me understand what happened to him last season? He must have been more hurt then we knew? But who cares now right? Can you say Comeback Player of the Year?
But wait, there's more! Not only can you add over-time victories to the list of things good teams do - Say hello points number fifty-three and fifty-four. With Philly's victory over the Blackhawks (52 points), and the Vancouver Canucks (53 points) idle Thursday, Your New York Rangers Are The NHL's Top Team In Points!
The New York Softies - the young and still rebuilding team, went from last in the Atlantic Division to start the season, and proceeded to weave their way through fourth and into third. They took another step forward into second place. And on Dec. 23, 2011, the Blueshirts said hello and goodbye to the Philadelphia Flyers when they staked their claim to first place in the division. They haven't looked back. Along the way, they established themselves as the number one team in the Eastern Conference. And tonight, the New York Rangers will sleep knowing they, at least for a day, will be the number one team in Hockey.
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I can't wait till our young boys gain a little more experience and start coming together. We can be a good team some day. But this coach is too impatient with them and way too strict. And that's if he hasn't lost them already. I'm not sure this coach's message is getting through. Which is precisely the reason why Glen Sather should think about packaging some of these rooks at the deadline before they show their true colors. Maybe we can catch lightning in a bottle with moderately skilled aging vets. The '94 Rangers did it that way with the Oilers East...didn't they?
And why can't Torts be more like Rex Ryan and guarantee Stanley Cups? What player doesn't think that's cool? No, instead our drip says he can care less about the Stanley Cup. All he's interested in is the next game. All he wants his team to do is keep their minds on the small things, that when joined together, create bigger things. What a drip.
This Public Service Message Was A Proactive Reminder to Glen Sather..... Hands Off!