Thursday, December 28, 2006

Zito signs, Rangers notes, and more

As being reported on ESPN, Barry Zito has signed with the San Francisco Giants for 7 years $126 million. The first question has to be: Who would sign Zito for seven years? The next question should be: If it is all about championships (as the $126 million man stated) why choose San Francisco over New York? However, it is just another illustration of how inflated these baseball contracts have become.

A few other tidbits:
- The New York Rangers are riding a season-high 6 game losing streak. Where is the move or transaction? As stated on Stan Fischler's Blog, the Rangers would make a drastic change if this schneid continued. Clearly it has. How long can a porous defense and inconsistent second line (minus Shanny) keep up without being tinkered with?

- Iraq death tolls: As was all over many headlines the last couple days, the Iraq war death tolls has exceeded the numbers lost on 9/11. Though I try to maintain objectivity and stay away from politics on this primarily sports blog, it is worth noting this. Not to become partisan, but at the same time the holidays are a time to remember those fallen and prioritize where necessary. This is where necessary.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The terrible Atlantic

Not the ocean, but the divisions.
The Knicks are a game and a half out of first and have had an atrocious start to the season. How many games under .500 will win the division!?!

The Rangers continue to give it away like Brittany (ok that was a bit harsh, but the sentiments are the same). It comes back to the same thing that has been reiterated on the blog numerous times, they need a defenseman. Third period breakdowns: Always a lack of defense. However, they find themselves a mere one point out of first despite their 5 game losing streak. Incredible.

Enjoy your holidays! - Dan

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Knicks OT winner

The Knicks followed up the atrocious brawl against Denver with a thrilling OT victory 96-96 over the Utah Jazz. Despite the depleted lineup, strong performances were put in by Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry as well as Channing Frye. Marbury led the Knicks down the court with just over three seconds remaining to make the winning basket at the buzzer. Hopefully this is a sign of an upswing for the Knicks.

Other notes:
- Pock called up: The New York Rangers recalled defenseman Thomas Pock following the waiving of Sandis Ozolinsh.
- Nedved back? There are rumors, see that Nedved may be headed back to the Blueshirts in a three way deal with the Flyers. I don't see it happening, but who knows.
- Rangers Islanders Part Deux: The Rangers will look to avenge their 7-4 home loss to the Isles two weeks ago as they take on their cross town rivals tomorrow.
- Manning back: Peyton led the Colts to a 34 - 16 victory over the Bengals. Harrison had 3 TD receptions.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bozo gone....

TSN and ESPN reporting that the Rangers have placed defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh on waivers. I have made it no small secret my negative sentiments toward him and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The bad, the ugly, Prucha, and the Leetch chant....

Another ugly Rangers game tonight as they fell to the Devils 6-1. A few post game thoughts:
- PRU-CHA:I am glad that Tom Renney finally listened to me, put Prucha into a spot where he can have success and he will. He broke his scoring drought, played physical, had energy, and was one of the few bright spots on the team.
- The best defense is...: Most teams but the Rangers' defense. Porous, tired, unimaginative, and unable to break out. Do I have to say it?
- We want Leetch:I didn't start the chant, but it rang true tonight. Power play, solidify the defense, and finish where he belongs.

Back to finals...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Isles trade, pre-game thoughts, and the holidays

First, the ICE-landers send defenseman Alexei Zhitnik to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Freddy Meyer and a 3rd round pick. Odd, however the Isles save three million in cap space this season and next. At the same time, you don't trade veteran defensemen when you're on the cusp of a playoff berth. Perhaps another trade or signing in the works? As for Philly, this was done because of Rathje being out.

Pregame NYR at Toronto:
- Prucha possible to sit: Sam Weinman reported that Bozo and Prucha skated extra at practice, usually a sign that they are sitting. Plus, after taking some hits against Jagr, Orr needs to step in and hit someone.
-The flu bug: apparently everyone is getting it on the Rangers defense core. However, it appears Ward will skate (despite a broken foot, toe, and the flu) but Rachunek is a question mark. I love how Renney would take a beaten down set of d-men instead of Bozo.
- Henrik the Magnificent: I know his nickname is King Henrik, but his play has been magical. If he doesn't face a barrage of shots again, Renney said he will likely start Henk tonight and tomorrow night.
-Star power: Shannahan and Jagr always play well in Toronto. Toronto, coming off a last minute victory over Carolina last night, will look to put guys like Steen and Tucker to face Shanny and Jags.

Some holiday shopping....More later....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Post game thoughts

NYR def DAL 5 - 2. Seems like a route, but in fact this should have been a route by Dallas. After a penalty filled game, along with surrendering 45 shots, the Rangers should be answering "how could you put such a lax effort into this game." Instead, King Henrik stood on his head with a career night. He also won the battle of the twins, as he faced brother Joel Lundqvist for the first time in their lives.

Other notes:
-Rachunek had his first two goals of the season, I'm still not impressed.
- I still can't blame Prucha for uneventful games, playing a mere 9 minutes or so a game doesn't give him much chance for success.
- Nice to see Cullen picking his game up, not pretty goals, but they always work.
- Immonen is starting to fill a nice role, why not try replacing Prucha and Cullen and moving Cullen to third line center, his natural position?
- Still love Lindros...I know I am the only Ranger fan other than Glen Sather that can probably say that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Leetch conspiracy

Ok I am not going to continue and beat this to death, but I need to get this off my chest. I have a gut feeling that the Rangers will see Leetch soon and I will tell you why:

- In September, hockey insiders "The Code" and "Eklund" reported that Leetch agreed to a one year deal with the Rangers for 1.5+. Nothing came of it. However, what if that deal was a commitment for half a year?
- Sather Interview: On a random day on MSG, John Giannone led an episode of MSG Sportsdesk. During the height of the Mets run and NY Football in full swing, what was the focus of the episode? Sather's thoughts on Brian Leetch. Why? It was not an announcement nor was it any sort of news. Essentially, Sather kissed Leetch's ass. Why? That was his apology to Leetch for the trade.
- Dellapina article: In the "Blueshirt Bulletin" in September(?) Dellapina wrote a feature on what happened with Leetch. Messier mended the fences between Leetch and Sather over the summer and Leetch decided it was the Rangers or retirement. Sounds pretty definitive.
- Other teams inquiries: Ottawa, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Edmonton all put in inquiries to the Leetch camp. What was their response: We called and nothing came of it. Hmm...for a guy that is "weighing" his options, it sounds like there is something in place.
- Retirement: If retirement were a serious consideration, he would have done it already, and Sather would have made a move to upgrade the Ranger defense. Why else would you keep Ozolinsh around willingly?
- Leetch profile: Tonight (Thursday) MSG is running a biography of Brian Leetch. Why? Sure it is a series, but Leetch first when he hasn't made up his mind? Sounds kind of interesting.
- Ortmeyer and Pock: Sending them to Hartford indicates a move must be coming because you have too many players on the roster if they were both to come up. And why would Pock accept the conditioning stint now and not last week? Three games of not playing makes a difference? OR Ozolinsh is waived, Rachunek is demoted to Hartford and Pock and Ortmeyer are called up and Leetch is signed.
- Schedule: How good of a marketing scheme would this be: Leetch returns against a sold out MSG against rival Devils on a Sunday and Islanders on a Tuesday?

Maybe it is some wishful thinking, but all in all this might just be the equation for his return. Thoughts?

More Ranger thoughts, NHL stuff, and Red Sox

In case anyone was wondering, hockey is my main sport so most of my posts will regard it!Couple quick hits about tonights game NYR at Dal:
- Prucha back: Petr Prucha is likely back and after my last post calling for him to step it up, too little too late as he was benched. Oh well. This happened last year as well. John Dellapina has a great explanation on his blog.
- Bozo and Killer Karl: I have made no small mystery to my dislike for them, though Rachunek hasn't been AS inconsistent. Everytime they are on the ice, it is a defensive liability and on top of it, momentum is killed. Hence against the Islanders (-5?) and the other night against Philly (the only scored goal). At a combined nearly 4 million, send them packin' and let's move on.
- All I want for Christmas is... Brian Leetch. I know this has been debated and everyone argues, but he can't be any worse than the aforementioned "defensemen." Besides, for a guy who has given so much to the Rangers organization, he deserves to leave here.

Now on to other news:
-Roenick's days numbered? For a guy who has worked this hard to possibly retire now would be a sham. Though I completely agree with the Great One, you walk out, you sit.
-Kessel: Everyone by now knows of his perils, but they are focusing on the hockey, not the important part: his life. At 21 I can't imagine going through that now, let alone at 18. Best wishes and hockey fans keep perspective!
- Sox and Mata...whatever: Too long to type his name and probably wouldn't get it near right any way. So for D-Mat it seems he is Red Sox bound, but what is overly discouraging is that the Japanese team is getting nearly the same money as the pitcher himself. Shouldn't the player be reaping the benefit, not his FORMER team?

All for now...finals bound so will do the best to keep up! - Dan

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New York Rangers thoughts...

Tonight the Rangers face off at the Wachovia Center against the Philadelphia Flyers. A few thoughts about the matchup:

- This is a must win for the Rangers as the Flyers are incredibly depleted and reeling all season.
- Prucha must pick up his play, but Head Coach Tom Renney has to utilize him better, no reason to put a 170 pound man on the fourth line.
- Weekes or Lundqvist? Sam Weinman at the
is reporting that it will be Weekes tonight, but against the Panthers Lundqvist was scheduled and Weekes ended up getting the nod. Either way, the Rangers should be fine in goal.
- Final prediction: Rangers 4 Flyers 2.

Back to the Mirror....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why the Knicks are so terrible

97-90 loss to the Celtics, at home, down by 30 at one point. Unacceptable.

There is so much disjointedness amongst this team right now that there is no way to jell or have chemistry. I admit basketball is not my forte, but in any sport when you have lots of egos and not enough will to win, you aren't going to be successful.

Take Marbury for instance, he always has something to say, he gets paid, and he has yet to play the role he was brought here to fill: the star forward. You want to be the icon, then do it.

However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel. If the Knicks were smart, they would make a package for Iverson and really shake things up. Why? Well at this point the question is, why not?

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