Wednesday, December 01, 2010

N.Y. Rangers ~ N.Y. Islanders; Rivalry On Thin Ice

N.Y. Rangers ~ This Rivalry Might Be Ice Cold At The Moment, But The BlueShirts Better Be Boiling Mad After

The New York Islanders are dead last in the Atlantic Division; dead last in the Eastern Conference; and dead last in the NHL.  They only have 5 wins and 15 points to their credit this season.  They are one of three teams not to have cracked twenty points so far; the other two being Edmonton, and unbelievably, the New Jersey Devils (18).  Fittingly, the Islanders have scored the second fewest goals in the League with 46.  Do you want to know who's worse with 45 goals scored thus far?  Unbelievably, it's the Devils again.  And how much longer do we anticipate that remaining so?

As a Rangers' fan I find no joy or satisfaction with regards to the Islanders' over-all situation on the ice, in the standings, in the front office and with ownership.  I would like very much for them to remain in the area whether it be in Long Island, Queens or Brooklyn.  I wish them luck; ...Just not tomorrow.

As much as we still revel in our hatred for Dennis Potvin, we fans have a new enemy since those days and I hope this BlueShirt BrotherHood takes out all their frustrations on the Long Islanders in the after-math of "SID The SLEW".  Ranger fans making the trek out to Uniondale tomorrow night will no doubt be mischief making with the "Potvin Sucks" chant in their house, but it's "SID the SNot" who will really be on their/our minds.  The Punk That Saved Pittsburgh...Again; Slew Crosby is still fresh on every-one's minds for the bush play on Ryan Callahan.  Fresh off that debacle against Pittsburgh we now get to play the Islanders in a home-and-home series.  Before the game gets started tomorrow, Ranger fans have been toying with a question. 

Who do we hate more; Sidney Crosby or Dennis Potvin?

Damn it!... I hate them both.

In any case, the Rangers better trek out to Nassau County tomorrow and play in an agitated state of mind.

Thursday; December 2, 2010
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Uniondale,  Long Island

Update: 12/2/10 Pre-Game
GAME NIGHT: December 2, 2010 ~ Game One

AVERY is out of the Cellar...Finally!

Coach Torts made two decisions for tonight's game. 

First, Marty Biron will get the start tonight instead of Henrik Lundqvist.  Coach Torts said he wants to keep Biron fresh as he's been sitting long enough since his last start after playing so well with his opportunities.  Marty Biron is 5-2 this season with a 2.15 Goals Against Average and a .917% Save Average.

The second decision Coach Torts made for tonight 's game was announcing Sean Avery will play on the first line tonight with Marian Gaborik.  Torts admitted Avery's ice time has been minimal while he had him burried on the fourth line this season. But Coach admitted that Sean has played solid Hockey and the move was earned and warranted while hinting other players are under-performing (eh..hem...Frolov).

As you know that is welcome news to me as I've been agitated by the situation between Torts and Avery.
I started the "Free Sean Avery Society" to protest his lack of ice time.  Sean consistently was receiving the 2nd least amount of ice time behind Derek Boogaard, who himself has been out with a bad shoulder.

Now my hopes are he rewards his coach with continued effective play and, yes, he doesn't do anything stupid.  I honestly don't know what he's thinking sometimes but I think he recognizes his sudden responsibility shouldn't be mishandled.

Let's hope that's the case.  But he

The Islanders finally snapped their brutal losing streak after dropping 14 in a row.  Another fun guy to hate, Rick DiPietro will be in goal for the Islanders against his former team-mate from last season, Marty Biron.

It was easy to guess Biron would get the start one of these two games.  Tonight is a natural as Biron is quite familiar playing out on Long Island, then giving Henrik the start tomorrow at home.


Let's Go Rangers !!

..and Yes!


Inspired Hockey!

The Rangers completed a furious period of Hockey.  The first line combination of Gaborik-Christensen-Avery has been outstanding over the first 20 minutes.  The passing has been neat, crisp and quick.  Avery in particular has had a strong game.  His play behind the net has been nothing short of commendable.  Digging hard, working down low he found Christensen in the right circle who converted the pass for the Rangers' first goal.  Ryan Callahan later scored on a delayed penalty after Stepan secured a turnover in the Islander's defensive end for a 2-0 Ranger lead.

**The first eruption of testosterone came early.  Derek Boogaard and Gillies dropped gloves 1:15 into the game.  Boogaard stood his ground with fists up as Gillies circled.  Once they locked jerseys, Boogaard decisively defended his "title".

**Before 5 minutes elapsed in the game the first "Potvin Sucks!" chant could be heard.

For as furious a period the Rangers played in the first nineteen minutes, they cheapened the effort somewhat allowing a soft goal to NYI-Konopka at the 19:11 mark.

Outside of that, The Rangers played a rather intense period of Hockey as the Avery Line shined.

Rangers 2 ~ Islanders 1


What happened?  Inspired became lethargic and pathetic! 

The Rangers spent the first seven minutes of the Second Period letting the Islanders tie the game and then allowing them to take the lead.  Including the late First Period goal, the Islanders answered the Rangers with three goals to take a one goal advantage half way through the game.

Goals by NYI ~ Moulson and Schremp highlighted the first half of the Second Period seemingly dominated by the Islanders or just treated with ignorance and apathy by the Rangers.  Either way, it cost Marty Biron his post!  Coach Torts decided to send a very clear message to his team that this kind of play, especially on the heals of a brilliant First Period was not going to be tolerated.  Torts pulled Biron and inserted Henrik into net.

The message was registered by the BlueShirts loud and clear.  Marty Biron was pulled with 7:30 left in the second Period.  The Islanders did not have another shot on goal till there were .27 seconds left in the period.

To further demonstrate Coach Torts' message was duly noted, Prust scored on a deflection with 6:40 left and Gaborik banked one in net from the side with 3:30 left during a Ranger Power Play.

Marty Biron was not the sharpest we've seen him.  The early return on Coach Tort's decision to replace him seems like the right move so far as the Rangers battled back knowing they caused their goalie grief.

Rangers 4 ~ Islanders 3


And then things got absurd!

Sean Avery continued to have a superlative night of Hockey causing another turnover and finding Gaborik with a great pass from behind the goal line...again.  The goal coming at 3:31 into the Third period made the score 5-3 Rangers.

Then, NYI-Grabner deflected a shot from the point with 7:31 to go to make the score 5-4 Rangers.  But the League's worst scoring team, coming into tonight, wasn't done.  Less than two minutes later, the Islanders scored again on a puck deflected off Steve Eminger which Henrik Lundqvist couldn't control, that limped over the goal line at the 5:50 mark.

Just like "that", the game was tied.

Tonight however, Sean Avery was not going to be denied.  His stellar game picked a puck from the Islander's pockets along the boards yet again; he found Marian Gaborik yet again; and 25 seconds after having the game tied at five, Gaborik scored, yet again, for a Hat Trick on the night.

With 1:09 left in the Third, the Islanders pulled the goalie who loves to hate us for another skater.  With .04 seconds left the Islanders got off a quality shot against Lundquvist.  But the goalie Ranger fans love to root for made the games' last save and Rick DiPietro's awful night was now officially another loss.


New York Islanders          5

COMMENTS:  Sean Avery Not only did he reward his Coach with a brilliant effort making his Coach look "smart"; and not only did he not do anything stupid tonight; SEAN AVERY put on a Hockey Clinic tonight!  His score card does not tell a fraction of the story.  He had three assists and a +3 rating for the game.

But tonight Sean Avery was:
* was stopped on an excellent shot on goal.
* great behind the net and goal line.
* great along the boards all night.
* a great passer tonight.
* smart and physical on defense.
* always moving with and without the puck.
* always in position.

And something that can not go under-spoken; Sean Avery was cool, calm and collected.  The Islanders tried baiting him many times tonight.  But Avery could do no wrong tonight!

***************GAME TWO***************

Friday; December 3, 2010
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Madison Square Garden,  NYC


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