Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Preseason: Boston 2, New York 1
This has to be brief as I am going to attempt to head to the Rock in the morning for that Wolf Pack/Lowell Devils exhibition - which I was told is not considered a preseason game. Strange.
Ok, tonight. There is absolutely no feeling in the world like walking into the Garden, feeling the cool air hit you and watching the pre-game Garden montage. The best word for it - for me at least - is bliss.
The game that followed, not as enjoyable. As someone in section 328 yelled in the second period, "I thought we fired Renney?!?" Much of the evening was Renney hockey - the Bruins fell back into their defensive shell and the Rangers let them. There were few scoring chances, passes went to no one in particular, the defense abandoned the goaltending in close and the players took stupid penalties. But, as Mr. X from the Blue Seats insisted, the game was a complete success because no one got hurt.
*Another buddy of mine pointed out that preseason used to be for fighting for spots, often literally. There was more physicality in the Yankee/Blue Jay game than there was on the Garden ice and that's just sad.
*How much would it have cost the Garden to give out rosters? Apparently too much because there were none to be found. Not a good thing when there are so many unfamiliar names and numbers.
*The Garden was mostly empty at the start but a good number of people showed up by the third period. It was a bit surprising. Also a bit of a shock was that the first Potvin Sucks didn't come out until midway through the first period. (Thank goodness.) It was just pathetic that they constantly kept trying to sell us tickets though. If things are so bad, perhaps they shouldn't have raised prices ...
*Loved that the Garden booed Brashear along with me. Just sad that it won't last much longer. I yelled that I hated him during warm ups and he smiled. Good times.
*My hatred aside, Brashear had the best pass by a Ranger all game, a smart cross-crease feed in the first five minutes that someone bumbled; I couldn't see who it was. Like I said, if Brash puts up a 20/20/200 season, or ends the careers of Tavares, Pronger or Crosby, then I will root for him. Nothing less.
*I had been a big proponent of Dane Byers previously and he did absolutely nothing to justify that faith. He wasn't particularly good, but many forwards weren't.
*Evgeny Grachev certainly was among them. He had three terrible turnovers and I can't remember a single shot, much less scoring chance. At least he wasn't Brian Boyle, who took stupid penalties to boot.
*MDZ and Matt Gilroy seemed willing and capable of carrying the puck but didn't do much with it. Perhaps when they get more comfortable we will see more. They were just as good as Marc Staal and miles beyond the massive traffic cone that was Semenov.
*Ales Kotalik brought his booming shot with him from Buffalo, but he seemed to think he was shooting at a goal that was upstate as well.
*Mike Maccarone had the greatest mustache this side of Jason Strudwick. That alone should help him get a spot.
*Chris Higgins has the inside track at being my fav this season. He hustled all over the ice and his persistence paid off in a goal. I just think that, like in Montreal, that style of play will get him injured.
*Marco Sturm helped set up the first Boston goal and for all of you fantasy folks out there, he will be available in late rounds. Given the Kessel situation, Sturm will get plenty of power play time and the German is capable of taking advantage of it.
*I just turned on the Ranger replay and really dig the new MSGHD graphic package. I still cringe at everything Joe Micheletti says.
And on that note, I am calling it a night. Sure, the game was a sleeper, but it was a Ranger game and a bad Ranger game is still better than most everything else. Let's go Rangers!