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!

Rangers Shut Out Hated Devils 2-0 at The Garden Monday

Photo Credit Getty Images
The New York Rangers shut out their hated cross Hudson River rivals, the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Monday, February 27th at The Garden. The game reminded me of a Devil game from the 90s, with excellent defensive play by both clubs and only a total of 27 shots on goal. Ranger goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist earned his 30th win of the year making it 7 straight 30-win seasons for The King. One item to note was the dirty play by NJ’s David Clarkson. It pains me to say that Clarkson has actually become a hockey player but he put his team in a hole by taking so many dopey penalties. Here’s the list: 10 minutes misconduct, 2 minutes unsportsmanlike conduct, 2 minutes charging and 5 minutes fighting. Although one of his minors was served by Steve Bernier he was off the ice for quite a while and this no doubt hurt the Devils. A lot of the Devil players stated that they were coming for the Eastern Conference leading Rangers but the Blueshirts didn’t take the bait. The Rangers were able to play excellent team defense once again and clog their defensive zone. This clearly frustrated the Devils who were able to attempt many shots but most of them were blocked and never made it to Lundqvist. Late in the 1st period the Rangers worked the puck deep behind the goal line and the captain Ryan Callahan pushed the puck to Carl Hagelin in the low slot. Hagelin snapped the puck under the cross bar to give the Rangers a 1-0- lead. The scored stayed 1-0 until 18:54 of the 3rd period when the same line scored an empty net goal. The Devils were called for a delayed penalty (hooking or interference) against Hagelin who was taking the puck up the left side into the offensive zone. Hagelin found Callahan in front, who scored the empty netter for his 25th goal of the season. The three stars of the game were all Rangers: Hagelin, McDonagh and Lundqvist.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Devils 5th Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Prudential Center

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I would like to thank my friend for sending this information to me. Although I’m a huge Blueshirts fan I will happily cross party lines and donate blood to the Red Cross, a very worthy organization.

As reported by
The New Jersey Devils are hosting their 5th Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive at the Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday, March 31st, 2012.

You can help provide a second chance for a patient in need by donating blood on Saturday March 31, 2012 during the 5th Annual New Jersey Devils American Red Cross Blood Drive from 6:00am – 1:00pm.

New Jersey Devils Fans now is your chance to be a part of the action as the New Jersey Devils and the American Red Cross partner to collect 1,200 units of blood to help safeguard against a blood shortage.

All presenting blood donors will receive a special event vintage NJ Devils ball cap and T-Shirt created only for those that donate blood during this very special life saving event. Randomly selected donors will also have the chance to win autographed merchandise including jerseys, sticks, pucks and much more..

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heading to Madison Square Garden Tonight as Rangers Host Blue Jackets

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My Wife, friends and I will be heading to Manhattan this afternoon for dinner and then to the Ranger game at the Garden tonight. The Knicks are playing the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks now, and the Garden staff will remove the floor to make way for the Blueshirts as the Columbus Blue Jackets come into town. Trade rumors are swirling around Blue Jackets’ captain Rick Nash with the Rangers and Flyers (aka Effers) heading up the shortlist. If the Rangers trade for Nash I hope they don’t mortgage the future of the club. Let’s Go Rangers!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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 Giants, Rangers and Mets. The Knicks are just painful at this point and there will be a posting on that debacle as well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jets Part Ways with Offensive Coaches Schottenheimer, Callahan and Ellard

Photo Credit Weissman
The New York Jets have gone in a completely new direction offensively as three coaches leave the staff. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer “resigned” in a statement released late last night by the team. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan and wide receivers coach Henry Ellard’s contracts have expired and will not return as well. Callahan accepted a job as offensive line coach with the Dallas Cowboys. In Schottenheimer’s six seasons with the Jets he worked with Chad Pennington, Brett Favre and Mark Sanchez at quarterback, but it was the current season of mediocrity that sealed Schotty’s fate. I would like to know if the house cleaning will be continue or if the Jets will keep quarterback’s coach Matt Cavanaugh. Early reports indicate that the Jets will hire former Miami head coach Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator, a run first, ground and pound type coach. I am happy the Jets are making changes but hope they part ways with wide receivers Paxico Burress and Santonio Holmes as well. Burress’ contract may not be extended but the Jets are on the hook to pay Holmes a lot of money. They should take the salary cap hit and get rid of the locker room poison. How many teams have no use for a Super Bowl MVP? Well the Pittsburgh Steelers were that team and traded Holmes to the Jets for a late-round draft pick. I always said it’s easier for a team to change coaches rather than an entire team and sometimes change is necessary. Ellard is a good coach and it’s not his fault that the receivers did not do their job. Watching the games this season I believe the receivers themselves didn’t give it their all, not even close. They never fought for position or came back for the ball, even with Sanchez often running for his life. At times they look disinterested on the bench. Schotty was on the shortlist for the new head coaching job with the Jaguars but didn’t get the offer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blueshirts Atop NHL with 56 Points at Midway Point of Season

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 New York Rangers are atop the NHL with an excellent 26-9-4 record (56 points) but know there’s a long road to the Playoffs. Goalkeepers Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron are leading the way for New York. Many teams have a top goalie and a backup but the Rangers have a #1 and a #1A. Lundqvist’s numbers are: GP 29, W 18, L 7, OT 4, SV% .939, GAA 1.89, SO 3 while Biron’s are: GP 11, W 8, L 2, OT 0, SV% .922, GAA 2.06, SO 1. Head coach John Tortorella has wanted to give Henrik rest during the year so he’d be fresh down the stretch and in Torts’ three plus years with the Rangers he’s finally getting the opportunity. Lundqvist wants to play every game but he is aware of the benefits of regular rest throughout the season and is slated to make 65 starts. Marc Staal, making his season debut at the Winter Classic, was a welcome site. His blueline partner Dan Girardi made huge strides in his game and wore Staal’s A (alternate captain) in his absence. Other noteworthy elements to the Rangers’ success had been the play of their young defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Stu Bickel. McDonagh and Girardi have become a shutdown pair and the team will only get better as Staal gets into game shape. Sniper Marian Gaborik is back with 23 goals and playing at a high level with 1st line mates Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov. Highly sought after free agent centerman Brad Richards has found a home on the 2nd line with Brandon Dubinsky and captain Ryan Callahan. The plan was to have Richards center the top line but Torts will not argue with success. The team is playing as solidly as I’ve seen in many many years and so far it’s been a special season for the Rangers. I’m looking forward to the second half.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Red Bulls Introduce New Home Jersey for 2012 Season

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The New York Red Bulls were selling their 2011 home jerseys at discounted prices as the season came to an end, and all the supporters knew the club would be coming out with a new jersey. Sure enough the Red Bulls have offered a new home jersey for the upcoming 2012 season and I really like the design. The logo on the front is larger and the sleeves have a cleaner look. Buy one and come out to Red Bull Arena in 2012.

Rangers Defenseman Marc Staal Making Strides in His Long Road to Recovery from Concussion

Photo Credit Getty Images

The New York Rangers’ All-Star defenseman Marc Staal in making strides in his long road to recovery from the concussion he suffered from the hit by his brother Eric on February 22, 2011. In the game between Eric’s Hurricanes and Marc’s Rangers Marc moved the puck out of the Rangers’ zone along the left wall and Eric took Marc out. Marc’s stick when flying back, he fell to the ice and has been out of the starting lineup ever since. There are four Staal brothers playing professional hockey and every time they play each other they seem to put a little more into the game. They have been playing that way ever since they were kids. I watched that game on February 22nd and felt Eric came in late and didn’t need to hit Marc that hard. The good news is that Marc has been skating on his own and has begun skating with Mike Rupp, another Ranger on the mend from knee surgery. It will be a long time before Marc is in the starting lineup alongside Dan Girardi but he feels hopeful he’ll be back this season. Ryan McDonagh has stepped up and has been terrific in Marc’s absence. I want to be at The Garden for Marc’s return this season.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rangers Winning Streak at Four Games with 5-3 Victory Over Hurricanes Thursday

Photo Credit Getty Images
The New York Rangers’ winning ways continued Thursday night (12/01/11) with a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh to run their winning streak to four games. The Blueshirts are playing excellent team defense and among the NHL leaders in blocked shots. In fact as the game wound down John Mitchell took one for the team, blocking a Joni Pitkanen shot with his face that earned him seven stiches above his right eye. Marian Gaborik is on a tear, scoring a goal and adding an assist to once again lead the way for the Rangers. The Rangers tied the game 1-1 on a Ryan Callahan power play goal, his 10th of the season at 1:42 in the 1st period. Jeff Skinner gave the Hurricanes the lead with seconds remaining in the 1st period. The Rangers exploded for 3 goals in the 2nd period within a span of 5 minutes on goals by Ryan McDonagh at 8:54, Gaborik’s at 11:50 and Sean Avery’s at 13:47. Michael Sauer added a goal at 5:42 in the 3rd period to give the Rangers the 5-3 lead. Marty Biron got the start in goal for the Rangers and earned the win, stopping 28-of-31 shots on goal. The Rangers were able to stay out of the penalty box and get the entire team involved in the scoring. The team is playing very well and I hope that they continue to roll. The three stars of the game were Marian Gaborik, Jeff Skinner (Hurricanes) and Ryan McDonagh.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rangers Unveiled 2012 NHL Winter Classic Jersey at Wollman Rink in Central Park Monday

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Yesterday afternoon (11/28/11) at Wollman Rink in Central Park, the New York Rangers unveiled the jersey they’ll wear in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. The Rangers will play the Winter Classic against the Philadelphia (aka Philthy) Flyers (aka Effers) outdoors at Citizen’s Bank Park on January 2, 2012. The shield is a classic design based on the original shield worn from the 1920s into the 1940s. I have to have one! LET’S GO RANGERS!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

UConn Blows Out Rutgers 40-22 at Rentschler Field Today and Chance of BCS Bid Vanishes

Photo Credit AP
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights were blown out by the University of Connecticut today 40-22 on the road and their chances of a BCS Bowl bid have fizzled. Rutgers needed to win their last game of the season today, a Big East Conference game. Uconn came out blazing, scoring 21 points in the 1st half off of 3 Rutgers turnovers and took a commanding 24-3 lead into half time. The Scarlet Knights seemed completely out of it from the beginning and never got into the game. Rutgers finished their season with an 8-4 record, 4-3 in Conference and their changes of sharing a First Place finish in the Big East vanished. Starting QB Chas Dodd was brutal and was benched prior to the start the 4th quarter. Freshman QB Gary Nova came in and threw 2 TDs to Brandon Coleman. This was not the same team I saw last Saturday at home vs. Cincinnati where they won 20-3 on Senior Day. The Scarlet Knights will play in a Bowl Game, just not of the calibre in which they were hoping.

Rangers Defeated Alex Ovechkin and Capitals 6-3 at Verizon Center in Washington Friday

Photo Credit AP
The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 6-3 Thursday afternoon (11/25/11) by playing an excellent road game. Job One was to slow down Alex Ovechkin and the defensive pairing of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh did just that. Ovechkin was held in check but did score on a fantastic wrist shot from the left side, shooting through Girardi for the goal. The Rangers were held scoreless for the first period but scored 3 goals in the 2nd period in less than five minutes. Marian Gaborik scored his 10th goal of the season to give the Rangers the early 1-0 lead in the 2nd period. Ruslan Fedotenko scored two goals and captain Ryan Callahan had 3 assists to lead the way. The Rangers were able to move the puck well, cycle and generated scoring chances. Brad Richards and Artem Anisimov each scored a goal and added an assist. Girardi added offensively as well with 2 assists. Carl Hagelin played in the the game of his NHL career for the Rangers and scored his first point by adding an assist. The difference is this game compared to the two previous losses was that the Rangers played excellent team defense that lead to the offensive scoring chances. Goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist made 18-of-21 saves. The three stars of the game were Callahan, Girardi and Capital John Carlson.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rangers’ Deveaux Suspended Three Games for Illegal Check to the Head of Panthers’ Fleischmann

Photo Credit Getty Images
The National Hockey League announced today that Rangers’ forward Andre Deveaux has been suspended three games for his illegal check to the head of Panthers’ Tomas Fleischmann. The hit came at 10:59 into the 2nd period of Wednesday (11/23/11) nights game at BankAtlantic Center. I watched the game and thought the hit was excessive and knew the League would come down on Deveaux. It was the right call by Brendan Shanahan and the League. The Rangers called up forwards Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell from the Connecticut Whale and are expected to play in the game Friday afternoon at Washington.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Panthers Defeated Rangers 2-1 at BankAtlantic Center Wednesday

Photo Credit AP
The New York Rangers were defeated by the Florida Panthers Wednesday (11/23/11) night 2-1 for the Blueshirts’ second straight loss. The offensive struggles continue for the Rangers who only mustered 20 shots on goal. Jason Garrison and Kris Versteeg scored Florida’s goals and goalkeeper Jose Theodore had 19 saves on the night. Theodore did not live up to his nickname “Jose Three or More” unfortunately. Ranger forward Derek Stepan scored at 4:18 in the 2nd period, his 4th of the season, to narrow the score to 2-1. Ranger goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves and was easily the best player on the ice. The Blueshirts had their chances but just could not score. The Panthers made major personnel changes this year and they’re a much better club. Midway through the 2nd period the Rangers killed off a 5-minute major penalty called on Andre Deveaux, who skated across center ice and elbowed Fleischmann in the head. Fleischmann left the game but came back later in the period. Deveaux will most like be fined by the NHL for his hit. The three stars of the game were Fleischmann, Lundqvist and Garrison.