We're a week into the new season. For the Rangers, they finally play their home opener tonight against the hot Maple Leafs who haven't lost yet. It's only Game No.3 for John Tortorella's club. The usual for a team that always gets screwed schedule wise late due to so little action this early. Thank the Knicks, who at least should be competitive with Amare Stoudemire. So, we can't make any Knick jokes this time around.
How will Tort's bunch react to a three day layoff following the disappointing 6-4 Islander loss on Columbus Day? Why does it feel longer? Funny how everything seems to have slowed down. Guess that's good but when you're itching for your hockey team to play, not so much. So, it'll be exciting to see what they come up with against Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Co. later at what's sure to be a pumped Garden. Will it be soldout? Seriously. They've been advertising season subscriptions all month. Embarrassing. Guess Dolan gets what he deserves. Just wait till the renovation's complete. For one night at least, I'll be there with the fam and friend taking it in from our usual Section 411 Row D seats. Love that section. Let the chaos commence!
So, what can be expected as they honor the franchise's 85th Anniversary with those cool patches? Well, there should be more offense if the first two games are any indication plus exhibition. It's nice to score goals but the D has been dreadful. An issue which could haunt this club all season long. Unless Marc Staal and Dan Girardi play like their new contracts, there won't be much to talk about defensively. Michal Rozsival is the third blueliner who logs important minutes. He was good in the win over Buffalo but struggled on Long Island. With partner Mike Del Zotto still very green in his end, it's imperative for Rozy to be strong this year. Especially with our coach insisting on keeping traffic cone/new booing target Steve Eminger in the lineup over Mike Sauer with Matt Gilroy getting his first game. Can anyone on the face of the earth explain what they see in this guy?!?!?!?!?! Anyone. Please. Quoting The Honeymooner's Ralph Kramden:
There's a reason why 33rd and Seventh is the land of confusion as I channel a little Phil Collins Genesis. Between the insistence on this two bit scrub continuing to play when Sauer's done nothing wrong and the organization dumbfounding the twitter blogosphere by keeping Todd White's heftier contract over Tim Kennedy, it's enough to make one wonder if they'll ever get it right. At least Derek Stepan hasn't gotten scratched yet. Chris Drury returns tonight for his '10-11 debut. I'm asking all Garden Faithful to cheer our captain, who's always willing to play hurt and sacrifice for the good of the team. It's easy to forget that Dru was good his first two years. One bad year doesn't mean the guy sucks. Let's support the do everything center who always brings his hard hat to the rink. It doesn't excuse what he makes. Place the blame where it belongs. On management. I for one am happy he gets a shot with Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov with Erik Christensen expected out. Here's hoping he scores.
"To the moon Alice or in this case Tort/Slats!"
Fans are already excited about Stepan, who also was strong in the second game generating chances around the net. The puck always seems to find him. Glad he's playing with Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedotenko. We should also like the second line of Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan who are all off to good starts. That line will be vital. Curious to see what kind of reception Derek Boogaard gets. Will he even get to fight Colton Orr after Orr was TKO'd the other night by Pitt's Deryk Engelland? If not, uh oh.
Finally, it's only the third game but Henrik Lundqvist needs to be better. By his own admission, he's let in a few softies. And please for the love of God, don't handle the puck. Well, can't wait to be in our seats and bs with our friends. If you're around, don't hesitate to stop by.