Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Wednesday

Roberto Luongo is a dick.

I'm sorry, as you guys know I endeavour to keep the vulgarities off of the blog but it can not be avoided in this instance.

Roberto Luongo, goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks, is a dick.

The high that was watching Vancouver beat up on New Jersey crashed back down to earth thanks to Luongo, who is a dick. That is three times I called him that, and here is why:

Luongo and his teammates ate a postgame meal in the restaurant in the Rock. In the meantime, two dozen or so people waited outside for autographs - kids, fans and collectors alike. The Canucks did not emerge for about 45 minutes to an hour after the game ended. When they did, a good number blew right past everyone - which was fine because, frankly, they were not recognized. Roberto Luongo, however, was - and he was the prime target of every rain-soaked, exhausted person there. Now, I would have little problem if Lou skipped over the collectors and older fans (myself included - wearing an Canucks jersey and hat), but you never turn down kids. He signed two autos right as he came out of the building and proceeded to literally run away to the bus, saying, "sorry guys, it's raining." We know, we were standing out in it waiting for him. At the end of the auto line was a kid with his dad. The kid had an old school Canucks jersey and his father yelled out to Luongo "Please Lou, my son here is 10 years old, a goalie and you are his favourite player!" Luongo didn't stop and just repeated his observation of the precipitation as he trotted to the bus.

This man, who just weathered 90+ mph shots, ignored a kid because it was raining. Are you kidding me? The NHL schedule being what it is, Luongo won't likely be back in New Jersey for two years. In that time the kid could/should have picked a new hero. In that time the kid could have decided not to become a goaltender. Or, even worse, in that time the kid could have decided to give up hockey entirely. Now I know that a superstar like Luongo if often pressed for time and an avalanche of requests. But you just don't ever, ever screw over the kids - the heart of the game. And especially those far away from Vancouver who rarely if ever get to see you and and those that stood out in the freezing rain for over an hour to get 15 seconds of your time so you can write your damned name down.


Not as egregious, but annoying just the same, the Rangers rewarded those fans who showed up to their Toys for Tots event early with Michal Rozsival and Chris Higgins. Really.

I had friends stand in line for over two hours and, in return, they got to get autographs from Rozy and Higgins. I think the only way the team could have made it a bigger slap in the face would be Redden and Brashear, but they weren't involved in the event. Gilroy, MDZ, Cally and Girardi all were, but early arrivals got Rozy and Higgins. Thankfully those aforementioned friends of mine were quite generous and brought extra toys and waited in line a second time to get two Rangers who actually contribute, two Rangers who fans actually pay to see, two Rangers with a future with the franchise.

As much of a downer as it was to see that pair, it must be said that Adam Graves was as gracious a host for the event as always. I can't imagine a better, more sincere humanitarian and people person.

I asked him about Valley but he hadn't heard about the waiving as of 5pm. I tried to get a scouting report on Chad NueveSies (or whichever number Mr. Johnson will wear when he gets here) but Gravey didn't want to talk about it, not having heard about Valley being sent away. As I said in the Saturday game wrap, Valley may be a helluva guy but his departure is long past due. We can look forward to seeing what Chad can do, and hope that he is ready for action in time for the back-to-back with the Islanders in two weeks.

Erik Christensen should be in the lineup ASAP. The waiver-wire pickup from Anaheim is a capable third or fourth liner but nothing special. Christensen, like Colby Armstrong, ceased being anything more when he left Cindy's side in Pittsburgh. Army has more grit and personality but Christensen has more skill. He should be plugged in immediately for whichever piece of roster chaff goes in Torts' doghouse next - Lisin, Voros, Brash, Boyle, Kotalik or maybe Avery or Higgins ... ???

But back to the Canucks/Devils game again - just a few notes:

*It was fun rooting for a team that could cycle the puck, get shots on goal and actually score.

*It is just sad that a hundred or so Canuck fans could be as loud as 8,000 Devil fans. And 8,000 is being generous as the Rock was pathetically empty. The upper end zone sections had six, seven fans apiece sitting in them. Weak.

*The Devils offer $10 tickets in two upper level sections, and with no fans there you can sit wherever you want. Can't complain about that.

*So I spent $10 on the ticket, $8 on the train ticket from NYC to Newark, $8 on a beer and $4.50 on a terrible pretzel. That means I got to enjoy a battle of two of the best goaltenders in the NHL, well one and Fatso, for the grand total of $30.50. Not bad, right?

*Unless he goes on a helluva tear, Mmmmmaaaaarrrrttttyyyyy pretty much lost his Team Canada starting job to Louuuuuuuuu. Luongo was solid, flashing good reflexes and keeping the rebounds to a minimum.

*Then again, Mmmmmaaaaarrrrttttyyyyy shouldn't be allowed to play for Team Canada now that he is an American citizen. He wants the passport, but IIHF rules say that he played for Canada in the past so he can't play for anyone else (like Nabokov being from Kazakhstan but bound for gold with Russia in February). But if Mmmmmaaaaarrrrttttyyyyy wants to be American so badly, he shouldn't want to help a rival country get a gold medal - to his new home's detriment. An American gold would mean a helluva lot more to the U.S. than his one vote in political elections ...

*At least Ryan Kesler will be huge to Team USA. Dude is the complete package. I watched him shift after shift and he never stopped skating - wonderful to see.

*Also wonderful? Watching Vancouver kill over a minute of a 5-on-3. Where a good power play is a work of art, a good penalty kill is a display of selflessness and dedication. That's my kind of hockey right there.

Well, two more days to go before the Rangers can lose again. Try to enjoy them.


Pete said...

While moving Valley may be the right move, I'm more concerned about what this effort means. Frankly, it means that Torts is again playing the accountability card on everyone except those players who need to be held accountable. The move points to the fact that Torts thinks this team's biggest liability is his inability to trade out Lundqvist for a backup goalie more often. Yeah. That's the problem.

Torts is staring at a house on fire, and instead of pumping water on a flaming kitchen, he's pissing out a the basement...100 feet from the blaze.

Ilikebeinganonymous said...

I was at the Devils game tonight too in section 232 and this along with the Buffalo game last month was the worst attended Devils game I have seen in some time. 8000 fans is about right as to attendance, but you know they will announce 13-14 thousand. The goalies were not the deciding factor in the game as neither in my opinion played esepcially good, but the Devils were just horrible from start to finish and could not get much going. Those $10 tickets are great, just wish they would expand them an extra section in each corner. In the end, I think maybe it is for the better if Vancouver wins since we all know how well their fans take loses. But then again if they did riot it might actually make Newark look nicer.

Pete said...

I just watched Tort's practice comments on the addition of Christensen, and apparently he feels that Erik can fill in for Brash, who is injured, and for Dubi who is still injured. And when "Dubi comes back, some decisions are going to have to be made." Why, WHY, with and least 10 other players who need a swift kick in the ass, does this guy insist on making Dubi a pariah?

Anonymous said...

Pete, I'd also like to know why he continues to favor Brashear? Brashear is useless as a bodyguard and can't score goals. So why not give the spot to someone younger who might actually be able to put the puck in the net? Why is this such a novel concept?

Scotty Hockey said...

Here is a key question: How does Brashear keep getting injured when he doesn't do anything on the ice???????

Anonymous said...

As one of the people in front of you in line at the Rangers event, after being pushed aside by Chris Higgins, I'm hoping he's the one who pays the price of NYR's new acquisition. Just personal pissiniess on my end, though.

-Terrier Fan

Pete said...

Brashear must have re-injured that tender hand of his...the one connected directly to his weak heart.

Anonymous said...

Scotty and Pete I am LMAO.

Graying Mantis said...

I watched the game on t.v. and was entertained even if the Devils came out a bit flat. It was a nice antidote to watching the Rangers. In fact, the Chicago/Columbus game on VS was a great tonic.

BTW, when does Torts ever admit that perhaps he is being outcoached or his line tinkering is making a mess of things. Great coaches take themselves to task -- look at NFL coaches who readily admit when they screw up.

So far, Torts throws his players under the bus and insinuates that he is doing the best he can given the roster that Sather gave him.

I cannot believe how tired of him I have become. Renney, for all his faults, took more bullets for his players than a police shooting range target. I wonder if the players notice.

Anonymous said...

I hope Tortorella's gone by Christmas because at this point the Rangers look as though they can't even beat the worst teams in the league! Bring in Peter Laviolette before some other team grabs him because he made the Islanders and Hurricanes much better teams and he can't be any worse than Tortorella.

Garfinkus said...

@Terrier Fan

I couldn't agree more.

And I hope you're the same person that Higgins pushed that I was talking to in line. Otherwise, that means he pushed more than one person out of the way last night.

Pete said...

I like Laviolette, and I think he consistently gets the bad shake from teams, but i'm not ready to give up on torts yet. I's dumb of me. But really, all the guy has to do is live up to all the shit he talks and he could get this team in line. I'm hoping Torts has a new years resolution to say what he means and mean what he says

Anonymous said...

WHAT A JOKE, FUCK THE CANUCKS THEIR JUST A BUNCH OF PUSSIES anyway, I'm losing more faith in the Rangers everyday of the season now. I knew that Sather would fuck things up but I didn't know it would be this bad. I'm going to a Phish concert at the garden tomorrow and a Rangers game Sunday (which they have no chance of winning if they don't get their heads out of their ass).

At least I will have fun on Friday cause I probably will just be pissed off most of Sunday night watching the game.

Anonymous said...

brodeur didn't lose the starting job. you are wrong

Anonymous said...

Less than 24 hours after I warned the Rangers should fire Tortorella and grab Laviolette, the Flyers fired their coach and hired Laviolette! Damn! Now if some team takes J.S. Giguere the Rangers season is truly over! I hate to say it but I think I'm gonna have to be an Islanders fan pretty soon!