As someone who was asked to be part of this site a year ago, it saddens me to see Steve Lepore leave our fine site. Over the year, he has put in a lot of time and devotion to turn this into a fun and worthwhile blog about the three locals.
We've seen it grow and added some excellent bloggers who share our passion for some of the best rivalries across the metro area.
I want to give a shout out to Steve for all his hard work to make this happen and to Dustin as well for the best ever logo you'll ever find. Dustin is someone I also know off the board and is an extremely talented and creative individual.
As someone who enjoys what's happened here, I'm not going anywhere and I hope all our other bloggers follow suit. I will make it my business to find a suitable replacement who bleeds Devils black and red. Until then, I'll lend a hand in analyzing their games as well as the Rangers.
If anyone who browses this site has any suggestions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just cause the creator of the Battle of New York has decided to move on doesn't mean what we have here is over with. Did someone say over?!?!?!?!?!?! NOTHING is over until we decide it is! Animal House reference. Got carried away. Love that movie. I feel we have plenty of work to still do to make this a fun place for our diehard legions of hockey fans to visit.
So let's turn it up and give puck fans in New York and New Jersey the continued dedication our three teams deserve!
And with that, a kudos to Lenny for giving his take on the big Islander win. About damn time! And to think two miracles took place on 33rd and 7th the other night:
1.The Rangers doubled their quotient.
2.The Rangers defeated their most bitter rivals in regulation.
Maybe the well earned win should've been frozen in time like one of those Upper Deck hockey inserts. ;)
In all honesty though, it was an excellent effort by the boys as they outworked a weary Isles' team who was playing its third game in four nights.
It was nice to see the captain Jaromir Jagr finally step up and play like it. With No.68 flying once again scoring for the third straight contest earlier today in their 5-2 victory at Ottawa to elevate to first place in the Atlantic, it looks like the 36 year-old Czech's confidence is finally back which is great news for the Blueshirts (15-9-2).
You can't overlook linemate and countryman Martin Straka's importance in Jagr's resurgence. A teammate of JJ's for much of his career dating back to Pittsburgh, No.82 has always been a very smart complentary player who seems to know where Jagr is. He's a faster skater too and a very underrated passer and playmaker who can get the attention of the D which creates necessary space for the future Hall of Famer.
The two have combined with impressive rookie pivot Brandon Dubinsky to formulate an effective top line which has speed, size and can forecheck opponents to death in the corners. You have to be impressed with Dubinsky's on-ice awareness. He really seems to know where to go to make it work. Poise is the best word to describe the 21 year-old former second rounder's game which isn't lacking in physicality or two-way play either.
With Dubinsky fitting in, it's allowed Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to center two other scoring lines giving the Rangers better balance. Plus the fourth line is showing it can take a regular shift and play effectively.
Nice to see Blair Betts finally get rewarded for his stellar defensive work by hitting the open net to seal the Rangers' 5-2 win over the Sens.
Henrik Lundqvist (31 saves) withstood Ottawa's challenge in the final stanza to notch yet another win and hold another opponent to two goals or less.
Hey. There was even a Marcel "Stonehands" Hossa sighting (2 helpers for first points in 19 games).
In his first game back, Marek "Big Bird" Malik was solid but unspectacular teaming with Michal Rozsival in 18:00 finishing plus-one. If he's not noticeable, that's usually a good thing. It means he didn't make any glaring mistakes or panic with the puck.
Rookie Marc Staal still got almost 16:00 and worked very efficiently with the valuable Jason Strudwick as an injured Paul Mara sat out.
Things are certainly looking up.