Thursday, August 10, 2006

NY Rangers UK renaissance

Time to refocus me blog innit! Not done much with it for ages.

At the end of the day, there are so many good Rangers sites out there, it's hard to even think about adding much different from this side of the pond.

So, I'm gonna use this blog as a way of tracking my Rangers goalie card collection. Seems like a plan.

Anyway, thats the idea. I'll prolly add a few other bits as well.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Blueshirt trip, part 2. Pictures from the warm-up Feb 1 2006

Penalty Shot King Marek, Struds, Rooch, Prooch, Roszival, Hossa Jnr & Toots.

And more of the same! Prooch, Rooch, Malik, Struds, Rucinsky and Hossa Jnr

Prooch (you see a pattern here?), Jason Ward, Petr Sykora, Michal Rozsival, Nylander & Moore


Dominic Moore, Ward, Nylander and Struds

Hank, Marty Straka and Rozsival

Marc Andre Fleury and some rookie

Hank again

Tom Poti and Rooch

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The real young star of the Pathetic Penguins

Having had the 'pleasure' of seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins play twice this past week against the Blueshirts, I come to a couple conclusions from those games.

1. They are the worst team I have ever seen in person.
2. Marc Andre Fleury is the true young star of that team.

OK, so I may be overstating here, as hey - it's just two games right!

But going on those two games, I can only state what I saw.

And first things first, this is a woeful hockey team. I could say they remind me in part, of how the Rangers used to be. Although thats unfair on the Rangers, that's how poor the Penguins look.

Veteran players like Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Sergei Gonchar where woeful in both effort and effect.

The team of course have suffered from the losses of Lemieux and Palffy, and what they have left is a team full of dissinterested veteras, yard dogs, and a smattering of young stars.

Of course Sidney, or should that be Sindy Crosby, gets the headlines, and his stats will show that he's a worthy young talent.

Alas in these two games v's the Rangers, he didn't bother to show up, one easy tap in power play goal aside. The only other times I noticed him on the ice was when he dived, when he whinged at the ref after getting a penalty, and when he gave the puck away for Steve Rucchin to score a short hander.

The real young star of these performances was goalie Marc Andre Fleury. I kinda felt sorry for him in Saturday's game. He faced a rampant Rangers who put 51 shots on goal, and without him, it'd been double figures. Yes he gave up a couple poor goals, but he also made some fantastic saves.

In the game on Wednesday, he wasn't quite as busy, the game was more low key, with the Rangers easing this time to a mere 3-1 victory. But he still showed some great talent. He really does have one of the quickest glove hands I've seen. A couple times he stoned Rangers players who where on the doorstep, just flashing the glove to deny the shooter.

The guy deserves so much more than to be playing on this pitiful excuse of a hockey team. But, I'm sure the future will be far brighter for him and the Penguins - wherever they may be. They surely can't get any worse than this, with all that talent they've snagged in the draft the last few years.

Been over the pond on a Blueshirt jaunt: part 1

Just some pictures for now, from the Flyers game, as I only got back today.

Outside The Garden, on 7th Ave

Jags and the boys get ready to go

Petr Prucha and the boys in action

Hank gets set

The players get set in front of Hank

Players having a little set-to, courtesy of Garden Vision!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

In honour of Moose Messier

Enjoy your night Mess!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Top 10 reasons for the surprising Rangers

1. Goaltending - Henrik Lundqvist may not be a huge surprise to Rangers fans, as many have followed his career closely for a couple seasons. But the ease with which he’s settled into NHL hockey has been a surprise to many. Kevin Weekes has had a bit more of a stop start season with injuries hampering him, but he’s also been pretty strong.
2. Coaching - Tom Renney may seem a bit low profile for New York, and a lot of people wondered if he’d be the man to handle a bit of a poison chalice of a job. Coach Renney has turned out to be a hit on Broadway so far. His excellence in working with younger players makes him ideal for a rebuilding Rangers, plus his work ethics and modern, up to the minute ideas means he’s a man in touch. Whereas many other coaches have been moaning about the new rules, Renney and his coaches have just got on with it and adjusted with ease.
3. The Jagr Express - Sometimes sulky and moody, many wondered if Jagr’s heart would be in New York. It’s safe to say the Rangers management wondered too, and so made sure as to surround Jagr with the right people. With his buddies Martin Starka and Martin Rucinsky on the team, and a young prodigy in Petr Prucha to take care of and mentor, Jagr is the happiest he’s been in years. And his play, points totals and leadership points to this.
4. Sensible free agent signings - Yes you read right, the words ‘sensible‘, and ‘free agents’ all together in one sentence. While the likes of Pittsburgh saw the new season and new wage cap as a chance to stock up on some older ‘stars’ in the hope of a Cup push, the Rangers went to the other end of the scale. Straka and Rucinsky where as ‘starry’ as the Rangers got. Two solid veterans with highly respectable numbers, which they’ve continued to add to this season. After that the Rangers have brought in a group of solid, if unspectacular players, many of whom have been a huge surprise. And I guess if the expectations are not so high, then there is that capacity to be surprised. And the likes or Roszival, Ward, Strudwick and Malik have all proved to be nice surprises this season.
5. Rookies being given a chance - Without the high expectations, and with the team being prepared for re-build mode, the Rangers have been able to introduce a number of rookies without too much pressure on them. And many have responded well. Dominic Moore, Henrik Lundqvist, Petr Prucha, Fedor Tuytin, Max Kodratiev and Ryan Hollweg have all played significant parts this season so far, and all have proved themselves to be more than comfortable in this league.
6. Hard work - It should all start with hard work, and the Rangers give themselves a chance each game by giving a great effort. Tom Renney demands it, and the players respond to him.
7. Penalty killing - With so many more penalties being called in the ‘new’ NHL, a team with a good penalty kill are onto a winner. And the Rangers have one of the best in the league. No nonsense players like Jed Ortmeyer, Blair Betts and Dominic Moore are making a name for themselves, not just for their solid play shift after shift, but for being superior penalty killers.
8. Surprise packages - He may not be the biggest in stature, but one of the biggest surprises has been Petr Prucha. 13 goals in his first 26 games in the NHL. But as well as the more obvious surprise package that is Petr Prucha, Blair Betts is another who’s deserving of the accolade!
9. Team spirit - From the first day of training camp Tom Renney and his coaches made sure to unify the team, and to get the team spirit working overtime. This included taking them on a course to an army camp, and that seemed to set the ball rolling. Ever since the team play for each other each and every game.
10. Belief- the Rangers are getting that belief! Will it last? Time will tell.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'Rangers Goalie card of the week' No.3

This week, a Rangers legend (again!). Ed Giacomin. The first of two legendary Rangers goalies to have their number retired. No one else will ever wear the number 1 jersey for the Rangers, as worn by Fast Eddie. Giacomin played 539 regular season games for the Rangers, and 65 play off games between the years of 1965 and 1976.

Card: Topps 1971/72 #90
Front: Ohhh what a beauty! Classic posed shot of a young Ed Giacomin in his classic Rangers tie down jersey. A really nice stylish card. So much so, this style of card was recently replicated, during the current trend of publishing 'vintage' style hockey cards.
Back: In the way they did back then, a little cartoon depicting a goalie states 'As a youngster Ed wasn't good enough for junior hockey - but succeeded'. Then in a more serious mode the card states 'Steady Ed Giacomin has been a first or second team All-Star for five straight seasons. He and Gilles Villemure captured Vezina Trophy last season. Ed has acrobatic style'.
Kickice Card Condition*: Fair. Some soft corners and a couple creases, but still in really nice shape for a 33 year old card.
Kickice Card Comment: Ohhh one of my favourite cards! Classic look, and a card of a Ranger goalie legend - all good!

See 'Rangers Goalie Card of the week' No. 1 for 'Card Condition' ranks.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Calling Captain Nemo

Ville Nieminen had an inauspicious start to his Rangers career really. I was pleased when he signed, as I’d always liked his play and his crazy smile. (That’s a legitimate reason to like a player right?). So I was looking forward to seeing how he got on and I was pretty sure he’d be a popular figure here.

But it all started a little slowly for Nemo in New York. An early season injury, was followed by a benching, after a few undisciplined displays. But Nemo took it on board, and is now showing some of the grit and under-your-skin style play that he's known for. Added to the fact he has a few points to his name – including the game winner v’s the Bruins on November 20th – things are going pretty well for him now.

And then, on top of that, Nemo made himself a bit of a star turn, after a post game interview alongside Darius Kasparitis. They should try stand-up. Two funny guys! If you haven’t seen it – dig through the MSG website, it’s there someplace. Not much help am I.