Are All Montreal Fans Brain Damaged?
Last night (Sunday, Dec. 30) the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on a breakaway overtime goal by Brendan Shanahan. The real highlight of the game, however, was the hundreds of Montreal fans who paid two and three times the face value of a ticket and then proceeded to act like idiots in the stands. More on that later.
After taking a 2-1 first period lead on goals by Dan Girardi and Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers played a lackluster second period. It was most likely a letdown following a very emotional 6-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
The league-leading Montreal power play took advantage of the referee’s generosity to score two second period goals and lead 3-2 to start the third period. Montreal scored on three of their four power play opportunities but were a marginal offensive team at even strength. One of Montreal’s goals came after a hit on Dan Girardi that should have been called boarding but was not.
After early success against the highly-touted Canadien defense, the Rangers reverted back to their “excessive passing” game and stopped skating. While the Canadien defense looked like traffic cones on the ice, the Rangers seemed to have lost their offensive drive.
Rangers Continue to Roll December 31, 2007
Are All Montreal Fans Brain Damaged?
Chris Neil – Hockey Coward
(October 7) Last night, the New York Rangers proved that the Ottawa Senators aren’t as good a hockey team as the media reports predicted. Despite a miserable performance, a lack of intensity, no offensive presence and a horrible defensive effort, the Rangers lost to Ottawa by a mere 2–0. Both Ottawa goals came in less than one minute of each other and were gifts resulting from bad defensive plays by the Rangers. Although Henrik Lundqvist let in one soft goal, he was brilliant against the highly-touted Ottawa team.
The story of the night, however, was the cheap shot by Chris Neil on Sean Avery, resulting in an apparent dislocated shoulder for Avery. Neil blind-sided Avery, who did not see Neil and was totally defenseless. The referees, playing “homey” for the Ottawa crowd, simply gave Neil a two-minute elbowing penalty and ignored the deliberate intent to injure Avery.
First of all, let’s not have any illusions about Sean Avery. He is a pest and is like a burr under a horse’s saddle or a pebble in your shoe. He knows how to stir the pot and mix things up. He is hardly a hockey angel. Yet his injury is the perfect example of why the NHL and its referees remain horribly inconsistent.
Rangers Say “NO!” to Peca August 22, 2007
Sather Ignores Ultimatum by Peca’s Agent
Free agent Michael Peca has signed a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets for one year pending a medical examination. Statements by Peca and Don Meehan over the last two weeks indicated that Peca was close to signing with the New York Rangers. However, when Rangers’ president and general manager Glen Sather did not respond to an ultimatum issued by Meehan on Tuesday, Peca signed with Columbus.
Michael Peca’s interest in playing for the Rangers became a circus because Meehan and Peca negotiated in the media. John Dellapina and The Daily News acted as a pipeline for Peca and Meehan to the Garden Faithful. They tried to make a deal happen that apparently had no value to the Rangers’ management.
It is likely that there was a major deal-breaker somewhere in this whole process. Meehan’s ultimatum certainly didn’t make things pleasant, and ultimatums usually are the act of a bully or the result of desperation. While it is “admirable” that Peca wanted inside the Rangers’ Pearly Gates, trying to blast open the door likely was not the best approach.
Just Say “NO!” to Peca & Meehan August 21, 2007
Meehan Issues an Ultimatum to the Rangers
According to TSN, which quotes John Dellapina of the The Daily News, Michael Peca’s agent has issued an ultimatum to Glen Sather, New York Rangers President and General Manager. “We’re probably going to force the issue by (today),” Don Meehan told the New York Post. “If I can’t reach him (today), we’ll just go our separate way.”
Michael Peca, 32, an NHL journeyman who has played with five different teams and is coming of an injury-shortened season, is at the center of an amazing media blitz by Meehan to stir up interest. Peca has also made himself highly visible in the press as he fights to find a team willing to take a chance on him next season. He remains one of several high-profile free agents who have been unable to find a taker.
So far, nobody is jumping through hoops to sign Peca. At 32 and following a broken leg last season, there is too much speculation that Peca is a high-risk signing at the salary he might command. There is little doubt that Meehan, agent to many NHL players, is probably trying to inflate Peca’s value by creating an artificial bidding war.
How Long Until Hockey Season? August 13, 2007
Summer Boredom Leads to Some Wild Speculation
Most avid New York Ranger fans are genuinely excited about the coming year. The Acquisition of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, along with the signings of Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan, Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa, bode well for the team. Most experts are picking the Rangers to finish second in the Atlantic Divivion behind the young and talented Pittsburgh Penguins.
However, there is still a level of unrest among devoted Ranger fans. Although experts like Rangers radio analyst Dave Maloney have stated that the Rangers roster is set, some fans seem to expect more trades and signings.
One of the saddest yet most understandable moves by the Rangers was the release of Jed Ortmeyer. Ortmeyer was highly respected by the teammates and loved by many of the fans. In his three seasons with the Rangers, he shared the team’s Players’ Player Award (2005-2006) and twice won the Steven MacDonald Extra Effort Award (2003-2004 and 2006-2007). While most Ranger fans hated to see him go, they also understand that the team needed to clear cap space and it was time for another player.
Rangers’ Trade Creates Questions July 19, 2007
Cullen Trade Leaves Some Fans Bewildered
On Tuesday, July 17, the New York Rangers announced that they had traded center Matt Cullen to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, forward Joe Barnes and a 2008 third-round draft pick. The trade has received a mixed reception from Ranger fans. The move is largely regarded as an attempt by the Rangers to create more cap space, presumably to sign restricted free agents Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa. There has also been speculation that the Rangers are pursuing Toronto free agent Michael Peca.
Cullen, who will turn 31 this season, was an important part of Carolina’s 2006 Stanley Cup. Although Cullen did not live up to expectations in his first season as a Ranger, his hustle, speed and tenacity were respected by many fans. His effort in the drive to make the playoffs, and his performance in the playoffs, seemed to hold promise for some fans.
On the other hand, it is possible that management felt they were overpaying Cullen who became the third-line center with the acquisition of free agents Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Cullen disappointed many fans with his frequent failure to hit the net with shots and his inability to finish (score on good opportunities).