Friday, January 23, 2015

Rangers Won 3-2 in Overtime Over Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden Tuesday

Photo Credit Bruce Bennett Getty Images
The New York Rangers are going into the All-Star break riding a three-game winning streak. On Tuesday evening (01/20/15) New York defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime at Madison Square Garden. This was not the prettiest of games played this year but the Rangers will take the two points. There was no score at the end of the first period. Ottawa played much better in the neutral zone and killed off all three Ranger power play chances. Midway through the 2nd period Kevin Hayes slid a rebound past Craig Anderson to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. Ottawa scored two unanswered goals and took a 3-2 lead going into the third period. Chris Kreider (10) scored early in the third to tie the score 2-2. In overtime captain Ryan McDonagh made a good play to keep the puck in the offensive zone and got it to Derek Stepan. Step made a terrific spinning backhand pass to the streaking Carl Hagelin. Hags scored the overtime winner by redirecting the puck into the back of the net on a beautiful play. Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist was excellent, especially in the third period where he made 13 saves. For the Blueshirts, defenseman Marc Staal was once again a monster. A winning team finds a way to win when not at their best and the Rangers did just that. The three stars of the game were Chris Kreider, Erik Karlsson (Ottawa) and Marc Staal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Heading to Madison Square Garden Tonight as Rangers Host Senators

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We are heading to Madison Square Garden tonight for the Ranger game as the Blueshirts host the Ottawa Senators. I love hearing O Canada prior to the National Anthem. It reminds me of Olde Tyme Hockey from many years ago. Let’s Go Rangers!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mets Avoid Arbitration and Signed Daniel Murphy, Dillon Gee and Ruben Tejada to One-Year Contracts Friday

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The New York Mets avoided arbitration on Friday (01/16/19) and signed one-year deals with second baseman Daniel Murphy, starting pitcher Dillon Gee and infielder Ruben Tejada. Gee remains on the trading block and to still, to some degree, does Daniel Murphy. I think trading Murphy would be a mistake unless the Mets sign a quality shortstop and move Wilmer Flores to second base. Tejada comes into Spring Training as a backup infielder for New York.

Rangers Clobber Hated Penguins 5-2 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh Sunday Afternoon

Photo Credit
Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images
The New York Rangers played the final game of their 3-game road trip in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon (01/18/15) against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and came away with a dominating 5-2 win. The Rangers got back to what they do best by playing a control game. New York won 52% of faceoffs, moved the puck on the first pass out of the zone and dominated play in the neutral zone. Rick Nash scored his 27th goal at 00:26 in the first period on a terrific breakaway down the left wing. Nash ripped a wrist shot short side of Penguins goalie Fleury and many cheers were heard among the hostile fans. At 6:08 in the first Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein blasted a shot from the right point. On the rebound, Derrick Brassard picked up the puck, spun around, and scored his 12th from the slot. Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz set the tone early by diving within the first three minutes of the game. The Rangers killed the penalty and late in the first the diving continued by Nick Spaling. Sidney Crosby scored a power play goal on a tap in at 15:08 of the first that brought the score to 2-1 Rangers. Nash scored his second goal of the game and 28th of the season at 2:39 in the second period. Nash’s shot was deflected off of Rob Scuderi’s stick that ended up in the net. Pittsburgh was called for yet another penalty, this time a delay of game and they paid. Derek Stepan scored his 7th goal of the year, a power play goal at 5:34 in the second. Stepan’s wrist shot from the left faceoff circle gave the Rangers the 4-1 lead. After that goal, Fleury, who made 13 saves on 17 shots, was pulled from the game and replaced by Thomas Greiss. Penguin David Perron scored his 10th goal of the year at 4:16 in the third. Perron split the defense, then slipped the puck past Lundqvist’s five hole. Stepan (8) scored his second of the game at 6:15 in the third that brought the score to 5-2. One of the best moments of the game came in the third period. Crosby took a masterful dive behind the Rangers net, stayed down on the ice, then looked up. When the ref’s arm was not raised, Crosby slammed his stick on the back boards and cried en route to the bench. Good times were had by all Ranger fans! The Blueshirts were excellent from the opening faceoff, making this two strong games in-a-row. Lundqvist made 32 saves and once again was solid in net. This Tuesday my Wife and I are looking forward to going to the game at Madison Square Garden. The three stars of the game were Derek Stepan, Rick Nash and Derick Brassard.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rangers Shut Out 3-0 Again this Time Against Bruins at TD Garden Thursday

Photo Credit
Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
The Blueshirts were shut out again for the second game in-a-row, 3-0 Thursday night (01/15/15). This time it was against the Big Bad Bruins at TD Garden in Boston. The Rangers defensemen could not make that needed first pass out of their zone and it cost dearly. The Rangers played most of the first period in their defensive zone, and had trouble clearing in front of backup goalie Cam Talbot. The Blueshirts goalie made 29 saves on 32 shots. Two of the three goals were not on Talbot and were due to defensive lapses in coverage. The Bruins bombarded the Rangers early on, and scored their first by Patrice Bergeron at 4:00 in the first period. It was just a matter of time with the Rangers chasing the puck. Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask was sharp and made some excellent saves on the Rangers few scoring chances. The Rangers bad luck continued with a couple of posts on shots down low. David Krejci scored the Bruins second goal at 2:49 in the second, and Loui Eriksson scored their third goal at 9:49 in the third. Jesper Fast was assessed a tripping penalty on Boston’s Milan Lucic at 13:41 in the third. Lucic played like a freight train all night, hitting anyone moving with or without the puck. Fast did not trip Lucic, and in fact Lucic lost his edge and fell to the ice. To top things off Brad Marchand got away with a slew foot on Rangers Derick Brassard and the refs apparently missed it. He’s a dirty player who has done this before. The Rangers have to win tonight in Columbus. The Rangers scoring comes off of good play in their own zone. They must win faceoffs, control the puck, make the good first pass and take advantage of their power play chances. Nothing like seeing our old friends Brandon Dubinsky and Fedor Tyutin.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

St. John’s Wins First Big East Conference Game 83-70 at Providence Wednesday

Photo Credit Mark L. Baer USA TODAY Sports
The St. John’s Red Storm (12-4, 1-3) finally won their first Big East Conference game 83-70 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center versus the Providence Friars (13-5, 3-2) Wednesday (01/14/15). The Red Storm shot 51% from the field and 76% from the free throw line in the win. Guards Phil Greene IV and D’Angelo Harrison both led the team with 20 points. The Johnnies played a team game with the bench contributing offensively and defensively. Their next game is at the DePaul Blue Demons (9-9, 3-2) this Sunday afternoon where St. John’s will look for their second conference win.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Islanders Shut Out Rangers 3-0 at The Garden Tuesday

Photo Credit Al Bello Getty Images
The New York Islanders shut out the New York Rangers 3-0 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night (01/13/15). The Islanders came out flying while the Rangers looked flat with no jump and incredibly slow to the puck. The Rangers hit the post three times including back-to-back right posts by Rick Nash and Derick Brassard late in the first period and so it went. Both clubs went into the first intermission with a scoreless, even game. To start the second the Islanders came out flying putting six shots on goal within the first four minutes of the period. The Rangers were called for icing and head coach Alain Vigneault used their timeout. The onslaught continued and the Islanders scored three unanswered goals in the second. The goal scorers were Anders Lee, Nikolay Kulemin and Frans Nielsen. The Nielsen goal was shorthanded and was a dagger into the Rangers’ hearts. To stir things up Vigneault pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who made 29 saves on 32 shots, to start the third period. Cam Talbot played well and saved all 12 shots. The Rangers did not want this game and clearly the Islanders did. The two New York teams play each other three more times at the Nassau Coliseum this season. The bigger loss for the Blueshirts is Derek Stepan who did not return after the second period due to an upper-body injury. The three stars of the game were Jaroslav Halak (NYI), Frans Nielsen (NYI) and Anders Lee (NYI).

Jets Have their Men and Hire Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles as GM & Head Coach

Photo Credit Kevin Terrell AP Photo
Photo Credit
Brett Coomer Houston Chronicle

The New York Jets hired Mike Maccagnan as General Manager (01/13/15) and Todd Bowles as Head Coach (01/14/15). Maccagnan, the only candidate brought back for a second interview, brings expertise in scouting and personnel. This is a huge step forward as the Jets have hired GMs with salary cap experience only in the recent past. New head coach Todd Bowles is the former defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. Bowles was the Jets defensive backs coach back in 2000, hired by then GM Bill Parcells. Each will report directly to owner Woody Johnson as opposed to the normal head coach to GM to owner structure. I feel good about the hires and looking forward to the future.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rex Ryan Shuffles Off to Buffalo and Becomes Head Coach of Bills

Photo Credit Mike Ehrmann Getty Images
Former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan signed a 5-year contract as head coach of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday (01/11/15). Ryan was dismissed as Jets head coach after the Jets went 4-12 in 2014. Rex’s sideline demeanor was embraced after two years of watching Eric Mangini’s stoic puss. Jet fans loved his “Play like a Jet!” The team did by making it to the AFC Championship Game twice in Ryan’s first two seasons. The past four years have been a different story. The Ground and Pound and excellent defenses are long gone. The Rex signing yesterday confused me as the Bills’ quarterback situation is a mess. New York quarterbacks have not exactly have been All-Pro quality and he’s inheriting more of the same in Buffalo. Although Rex’s act wore thin I will miss him, but will not be rooting for him when the Jets play Buffalo twice a year.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rangers Sweep California Road Trip with 3-1 Victory Over Sharks at SAP Center Saturday

Photo Credit
Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images
The Rangers swept their West Coast road trip with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks Saturday night (01/10/15) at SAP Center. Martin St. Louis scored his 14th goal of the season at 10:40 in the first period and Chris Kreider scored his 8th at 15:13. Derek Stepan continued his terrific offensive play with two assists on the night (20, 21). Rick Nash sealed the deal at 19:00 in the third by making a power move with the puck from the Rangers zone and skating it to the low slot to score an empty net goal (26). The Sharks played a video tribute for Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle in the first period as their fans gave a standing ovation to the former Shark. Mats Zuccarello appeared to make it 3-0 Rangers at 4:24 in the third period but the NHL Situation Room ruled the goal review was inconclusive. The puck was in Antti Niemi’s glove, which was in the net, but still said no goal. The Rangers bench was clearly not happy with the call. Dominic Moore was called for a holding penalty against Joe Pavelski and the Sharks scored a power play goal at 7:41 in the third by Melker Karlsson. The fellow Swede was looking forward to playing against Henrik Lundqvist and said scoring against him was unreal. The King was was on his game making 31 saves to earn his 20th win of the year. After the game Lundqvist wore the Broadway Hat as the team star. New York has won 13-of-14 games which is their best winning streak since 1973. On the 3-game road trip the Rangers outscored the California clubs 11-5. Rick Nash scored his NHL lead tying 26th goal which was his goal total all of last season. The Blueshirts come home Tuesday night (01/13/15) for what promises to be a great game against their hated rivals the New York Islanders. The three stars of the game were Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Kreider and Melker Karlsson (SJ).

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mets Avoid Arbitration and Sign Bobby Parnell to a One-Year Contract Wednesday

Photo Credit
Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports
The New York Mets signed relief pitcher Bobby Parnell to a one-year contract on Wednesday (01/07/15) to avoid arbitration. Last season Parnell pitched one inning before landing on the disabled list and undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery. The righty closer will not be ready for Opening Day but will be in the bullpen as soon as he is 100 percent. Parnell has been a very good relief pitcher with the Mets his entire career beginning in 2008 and especially since 2010. I look forward to seeing #39 come out of the pen and earn his first save of the season.


Rangers California Dreamin’ Continues with 4-3 Victory Over Kings Thursday

Photo Credit
Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI
via Getty Images
The New York Rangers West Coast road trip continued Thursday (01/09/15) in Los Angeles with a solid 4-3 win over the Kings. The Kings hadn’t played since Saturday while the Blueshirts were playing a back-to-back and it showed early on. Cam Talbot started in goal for New York giving Henrik Lundqvist a well deserved rest. LA scored two goals in the first six minutes of the game and the STAPLES Center was rocking but the second period was another story. The Rangers scored four unanswered goals to give them the 4-2 lead. Dan Boyle scored the first goal for NY at 10:27 in the first. Kevin Klein made it 2-2 at 2:31 in the second period and Lee Stempniak made it 3-1 nineteen seconds later on a beautiful move to the the high slot. Martin St. Louis made it 4-2 by scoring a power play goal at 8:17. Kings Anze Kopitar, visibly frustrated all game, embellished late in the third period drawing a bogus tripping call on Rick Nash. Justin Williams scored a power play goal, his second goal of the game to bring the score to 4-3 New York. The Rangers held on tight for the win. Their power play continues to shine going 2-for-4 and Dan Boyle has found his game. The Rangers out hit the Kings 33-24 and did better on faceoffs winning 47%. In the post game Captain Ryan McDonagh said “It was a great comeback win for us.” The Rangers second period was one of the best I have seen all season and the team is rolling. They close out the road trip this Saturday night in San Jose. The three stars of the game were Dan Boyle, Derick Brassard and Alec Martinez (LA).

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rangers West Coast Road Trip Off to Excellent Start with Huge 4-1 Win Over Ducks Wednesday

Photo Credit Harry How, Getty Images
The Rangers were calling this a Yardstick Game, to see exactly where they measure up with the NHL’s best and the results were excellent. The Blueshirts began their 3-game West Coast road trip with a dominating 4-1 victory over the NHL’s top club, the Anaheim Ducks last night (01/07/15). The game was scoreless through the first period and checking hard. The Rangers scored first at 9:10 in the second period as Derick Brassard came flying off the bench and blasted a slap shot past Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. With Bryz you’ll never know who will show up but he played well in the loss. Rich Nash scored his 25th goal of the season early at 2:32 in the third. It is great to see the Rangers defensemen continue to contribute to the offense as Marc Staal (6) and Kevin Klein (7) tallied assists in the game. Derek Stepan was called for delay of game as he inadvertently shot the puck over the glass from the defensive zone. This game Anaheim’s only goal scored on a power play by Francois Beauchemin at 10:09 in the third. Mats Zuccarello scored on a bad giveaway at 14:27 and Dominic Moore scored an empty net goal to seal the deal at 4-1. This was the Rangers first road win at Anaheim since December 16, 2008 and boy does it feel good. The road trip continues with a visit to the team that defeated the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final last season the Los Angeles Kings. The three stars of the game were Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash and Ilya Bryzgalov.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

FINALLY Back on Track with My Blog

After not posting to my Blog in ages, I’ll be back on track with postings tomorrow. I have a lot to post regarding the Rangers, Devils, Islanders and St. John’s Men’s Basketball.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thoughts on 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII

This game promises to be a good one with Seattle’s terrific defense playing Denver’s equally terrific offense. Weather conditions are a complete non-factor with kickoff temps predicted to be in the low 40s.

Denver will win the game if:

  • QB Peyton Manning has time to step-up and throw the ball. By using a combination of crossing patterns and bunching receivers, Manning finds the open man
  • Defense stacks the box and slows down Seattle’s stud RB Marshawn Lynch
  • Receivers and running backs get separation off the line
  • RB Knowshon Moreno rushes for 90+ yards on 18 or more carries
  • WR Wes Welker eclipses 100+ yards on 9 or more receptions or TE Julius Thomas has an 80-yard day on 6 or more receptions
  • Defense contains Seattle QB Russell Wilson and keeps him from converting 3rd downs using his legs

Seattle will win the game if:

  • Defense chucks the Denver receivers at the line and disrupts their timing and rhythm
  • They hit Manning early and often
  • Lynch rushes for 100+ yards on 25 or more carries. It will be Marshawn all day
  • Defense must not commit too early to their coverages and blitzes
  • Account for Wes Welker and minimize his yards after the catch (YAC)
  • Contain Thomas at all costs

The New York Jets were able to beat Peyton Manning by not showing their hands too early on defense. Their defense did not shift until 8 seconds remained on the play clock. If it becomes a shootout in the second half Denver will hoist the Vince Lomardi Trophy. This game may come down to the final possession and I’m all for that. Enjoy the game!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

I’d Like to Wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to One and All!

I’d like to wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all. Just to get you in the spirit here are a few songs from the Dropkick Murphys and the Wolfe Tones. I remember the Wolfe Tones playing in my backyard 40 years ago! I kicked my Gaelic football around the yard with Derek Warfield. When they would play in Brooklyn they’d call my house looking for my Dad so they could come over and hang out for a few hours to get “tuned up” for the concert. One year my Brother was playing the Wolfe Tones on his boombox and one of the members of the band called on the phone, looking for my Dad! My Wife and I were in Manhattan very early this morning for the NYC Half Marathon as I volunteer for both marathons.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I’m Finally Back on Track with my Blog

Friends and family have suggested I return to my Blog and I’m happy to report that I’ll begin posting later today. I have a lot to post regarding the local NYC area hockey clubs and the lack of a local NFL Playoff team. The NHL hockey season begins tonight!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yankees Dominated Mets in 2012 Subway Series Taking 5-of-6

Photo Credit NYCSportsFan
In the 2012 Subway Series the New York Mets lost 5-of-6 games at the hands of their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. With high hopes my Wife and I went with two friends to see the Mets host the Yankees at Citi Field last Saturday. We took the Seastreak from the Atlantic Highlands, NJ and really enjoyed the 80 minute ride to Citi Field. It was great seeing my old Brooklyn neighborhood from the ferry. We were hoping for a win Saturday after the Mets took Game One on Friday 6-4. In Game Two the Mets were cruising and were shutting out the Yankees for 6 innings and held a 3-0 lead. Terry Collins wanted Met starter Chris Young to pitch through the 7th but that’s where the wheels fell off. Young gave up a walk to Teixeira, a run-scoring double to Swisher then a two-run home run to Ibanez. The shutout was gone and the Yankees tied the game 3-3. Jon Rausch was brought in and promptly game up a solo homer to pinch hitter Chavez. The Yankees won the game 4-3. While sitting in Section 503 it was quite a painful loss to endure. The Mets had their chances, leaving 11 men-on-base with the majority in scoring position. The Yankees took Game 3 by the score of 6-5 that featured less than stellar starting pitching from Sabathia and Dickey. There’s always next year but the local clubs will only play each other four times next season. I like the current format of two 3-game series and wish MLB would keep is this way.

Back on Track with My Blog

After being away from my Blog I’ll be back on track with postings today. I have a lot to post regarding the Mets, Rangers and offseason hockey news.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I’d Like to Wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to One and All!

I’d like to wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all. Just to get you in the spirit here are a few songs from the Dropkick Murphys and the Wolfe Tones. I remember the Wolfe Tones playing in my backyard 40 years ago! I kicked my Gaelic football around the yard with Derek Warfield. When they would play in Brooklyn they’d call my house looking for my Dad so they could come over and hang out for a few hours to get “tuned up” for the concert. One year my Brother was playing the Wolfe Tones on his boombox and one of the members of the band called on the phone, looking for my Dad! My Wife and I are looking forward to the parade today in NYC with Cousins. We’re then heading to our other Cousin’s house for his party this afternoon. Good times will be had by all. I can’t wait to see my Dad’s old band, the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and my high school band as well.

Back on Track with My Blog

I’ll be back on with postings today. I have a lot to post regarding the Giants, Rangers and Mets.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Heading to Brooklyn to See FHL Hockey as Aviators Host the Outlaws

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My Wife and I are heading to Brooklyn to meet friends for dinner in our old stomping grounds before heading to the first game of a home-and-home between the Brooklyn Aviators and New Jersey Outlaws. The Outlaws are in first place in the Federal Hockey League (Class A) with a record of 39-3-1-7, 124 points while the Aviators’ are in fourth place with a record of 23-1-5-19, 76 points. We watched the Aviators hold on for a 3-2 victory last month at Wayne, NJ and will be heading there as well tomorrow for the final game of the year. It will be tough today as our friends are huge New Jersey Devil and Trenton Titan fans, so they’ll be pulling for the Outlaws, the minor league team to the Titans. Let’s Go Aviators!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yankees Fragrance: What Every True Yankee Fan Needs to Smell Like Going to The Stadium

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The New York Yankees have private labeled fragrances for men and women named “The Essence of Greatness.” I hope it’s not the essence of pine tar and chewing tobacco. Just think of it: You can wear your Yankee garb and top it all of with a liberal splash of this stuff. Just what the Steinbrenner’s, or as we used to call them in the 70s, the Steingrabbers need, more money.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red Bulls 2012 Single Match Tickets on Sale Wednesday, February 29th at 9:00 AM

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The New York Red Bulls 2012 single match tickets go on sale tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 29th beginning at 9:00 AM. The pricing has changed from the past two seasons at Red Bull Arena but it can still be very affordable. I’m looking forward to the season and Let’s Go Red Bulls!