Saturday, September 22, 2007

And So, It Begins

Ok, my observations and notes from the game, all train of thought (so its all over the place and looong):
Rangers vs. Devils Preseason Game 1
*First off, Joe Micheletti is still absolutely horrible. I really miss J.D. doing colour.

*MSG didn't show the lineups. That is annoying.

*The Garden looks empty - again, it was a mistake scheduling games on Jewish holidays.

Period 11111111111111111111
*18:07= 1-0 already. Nice. Dane Byers working the front of the crease on the power play. Probably the first Ranger to take station there on a power play since Adam Graves left ...

*Sean Avery rules, he is being a bastard already and the game just started ... so he still has the attitude, hope he still has the skills.

*Kevin Weekes is such a sissy, Avery hit Johnny Oduya (who has a good future ahead of him), who ran into Weekes and Avery got a penalty, this is bullshit. Just because Sutter didn't force his team to hit the weight room doesn't mean that Avery should head to the box. Weeksie looks woosie, guess Marty will play another 78 games this season.

*I take that back, I didn't know that they had Zach Parise's older brother Jordan. I saw that kid play some awesome games in college with the Fighting Sioux.

*11:58= Prediction time - Marty Straka will again be the unsung hero of the Rangers. He looked good on the pk.

*11:06= Ryan Hollweg didn't seem bashful taking a shot. Maybe he is trying to evolve into a (short) power forward ...

*I don't get why Hugh Jessiman was kept for a preseason game when the Rangers sent Tommy Pyatt to Hartford. Pyatt is younger but from all reports is a lot closer to actually playing in the NHL.

*10:00= Kasper, for the second time I saw this game, pulled himself out of position to make a hit. This is dangerous and won't get him back to the NHL.

*They brought Steve Cangialosi into the booth and he is sooooo much better than Micheletti.

*7:30= Anisimov is on the power play with Sean and Shanny and really looks out of place. He was also knocked out of position and off the puck too easily.

*These idiots are bullshitting about the state of the Devils during a 5-on-3 power play and the Rangers scored (surprise!). Textbook passing gets Cally a ppg. I love it. These clearly were not the usual Devils penalty killers. 2-0 Rangers. I know its preseason but there are times to tell stories and times to call the game. Especially when you have no idea who is who out there.

*5:00= Byers just knocked Clarkson over Montoya when he was covering the puck. Fun to see, but dangerous because of Monty picked his head up, then he could have been helped off like Weeksie was.

*I've decided: Chris Drury, Sean Avery, Ryan Callahan or Dan Girardi will replace Jed as my favourite Ranger. Its going to be a tough decision.

*They just showed a mic'd up with Jason Strudwick which pretty much proved he has no place on the ice for the Rangers. He makes a great cheerleader and should transition into helluva coach, but he is not right for the Rangers lineup.

*END OF THE FIRST NOTES: Mark Smith won't make the Rangers lineup either. He has been unimpressive meanwhile Big Baby Hughey (Jessiman) had a fantastic period, surprising the hell out of me. Sean is going to be knocked out of the lineup before too long, he is all over the place hitting and being hit. I pray he doesn't get hurt. Being on tape. I am going to fast forward to the second but don't think I will write as much - looking over this, there is no way you care as much as I do to read it all, lol.

*Marc Staal was interviewed between periods - he is as boring and benign as his brothers are and Al didn't ask him why he wasn't busted like they were at the bachelor party. I'm disappointed.

Period 222222222222222222
*I need to find a way to record and/or digitize these games so I can build montages and highlight reels for this site. Hrmmmmm.

*18:00ish= They just missed a goal showing a highlight of Traverse City. That's really annoying and retarded. Replays show its was all Bettsy battling hard. There is no way in hell Mark Smith or any of the kids are going to take Bettsy's spot in this lineup. The guy has heart and a great work ethic. 3-0 Rangers.

*17:00ish= 3-1. Puck deflected off of Kasper and went past Monty. Oh geez, the replay shows Monty couldn't decide what to do and the puck slid past Kasper, to Zubrus, who sent it back across where it hit off Kasper and went in. Bad luck for Kasper, rookie mistake for Monty - further reason he shouldn't get the backup job, we need a professional.

*Jessiman looks like a better version of Adam Hall from last year.

*12:00= Monty just pulled a Henrik by leaving the crease to get the puck and then turned it over. Luckily the Devs didn't capitalize.

*The curvy bottoms of the new jerseys look retarded.

*Vally is in, Monty is out. I stand by my earlier statement that Monty shouldn't be the backup but who knows, maybe it was jitters we will definitely find out as preseason goes on for too long.

*No one has especially looked good for the Devils. They could be in for trouble this year.

*8:15= First audible Potvin Sucks that I noticed. Its definitely preseason, the guy needs to work on his whistling.

*Michaletti just said on the broadcast what I wrote in the first period - Strudwick will be a good coach. Maybe I should get the colour gig?

*6:40= 4-1 Rangers. Just like the power play goal earlier, perfect passing gets an easy goal. Dubi to Marty wide open in the slot. Parise never had a chance.

*3:00= 4-2 Parise ppg. Kasper just bought himself a ticket out of town. Parise went right through him. Embarrassing.

*END OF THE SECOND NOTES: They are raving about Dubi's play and while it has been solid, I wouldn't give him the third line center slot. He has shown poise and was definitely better than Anisimov ... if he develops more chemistry with Cally and Marty then I will be impressed.

Period 333333333333333333
*Not all that much going on early, just reflecting at how much I love watching the Rangers. My first memory ever was watching a Rangers game. I like hockey.

*16:50= Rangers blow a 5-on-3 power play after weak play at the points. Where is Brian Leetch when you want him? Or even Reijo Ruotsalainen??

*14:12= Avery just got a holding penalty when he tried to reach around a Devil and play the puck. I don't like calls like that. And I don't like calls like this - moments later Sauer got a high sticking call after getting Brian Gionta in the face yet his stick didn't get higher than three feet off the ice. That's just idiotic.

*11:00= I swear someone in the crowd just yelled 'Scotty where are you?' If so, that's awesome. Now they are chanting something but I can't make it out.

*10:20= Vally just made a great glove save; I said it before, and I will say it again, we don't need Robert Esche.

*6:00= 4-3 Gionta sweet goal in the short side. Can't do much about that 'cept chastise Vally ... I think he would have gotten that against most NHL goaltenders.

*:10= Michalette, as per usual, made a poor analysis and insisted there was a penalty on the Rangers when it was just a high stick.

*RANGERS WIN 4-3!!!!!!!!! I know, its preseason, but it was a long summer.

*Rangers do the stick salute - classiest team in the NHL.

*END OF THE GAME NOTES: No fights, heh. Frankie Lessard was in and actually played well but I guess without Arron Asham and Cam Janssen the Devs don't have any tough guys. Kinda pathetic. Dane Byers had a solid two first periods but then disappeared for the third. Still, he is someone to watch.

The 3 stars as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers couldn't be seen on MSG, but it looked like Sean, Cally, and Dubi in some order. My three stars were a little different ...

3. Ryan Callahan
2. Sean Avery
1. Blair Betts - he scored, blocked shots, checked and was his solid self. Dubi made some good plays, no doubt, but Betts stepped up as a veteran should and Dubi backed down from at least two challenges by Devils players (one was smart though as it was near the end when they were clinging onto the lead).

Here is the final recap from the Rangers. And I should thank Yahoo Sports for the photos, which I think are all Getty.

I don't know if I will do this again tomorrow after the Flyers game but you can be sure I will post some thoughts so make sure to check back!

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