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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unofficial Notes from Around the NHL

"Milbury to Rypien: Been there, done that, color me unimpressed"

Hello Parade Nation! Welcome back to the blog! It seems like a long time ago that I last posted, or at least a long time since I posted anything about hockey. With the NBA season starting up and the MLB season winding down, I just had to get my shots in while the time was ripe. Now it’s time to buckle down and focus on the ice.

The regular season is starting to heat up and crazy things are happening all over the league. Since the sports world is completely mesmerized by Brett Favre’s ability to text picture messages, it’s possible that you’ve missed some of the action. So to bring everyone up to speed with the season so far, ’94 Parade proudly presents Unofficial Notes from Around the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings – Kirk Malby retires from the NHL after 17 years and 4 Stanley Cups. His decision to leave the game allows Detroit to get the number of players on its roster over the age of 35 down to only 20.

Vancouver Canucks – Winger Rick Rypien was suspended six games by the NHL for shoving a Wild fan after being ejected from a game in Minnesota. After being given the chance to cool down and reflect on the situation, Rypien admitted that it was one of the best “Yo Mama” jokes he had heard in a long time.

Los Angeles Kings – The Kings have had their best start in a number of years and are clearly building up a team capable of contending for the Stanley Cup. When asked his opinion on the Kings and their chances at long term success, Kobe Bryant answered, “LA has a hockey team? I wonder where their stadium is…”

Edmonton Oilers – After a strong showing in their first two games, the Oilers have lost 4 straight. When polled about what’s gone wrong with their hometown heroes, Oilers fans blamed rookie Jordan Eberle for not scoring the Goal of the Year on every shift, and top draft pick Taylor Hall for not scoring a goal at all.

Phoenix Coyotes – Kyle Turris, 3rd overall choice in the 2007 draft, was demoted to the minors for the whole of last season after playing 63 games as a rookie. The highly touted prospect is making good on his return to the NHL with 4 points in his last 2 games. Total number of people paying attention to this in the state of Arizona: See numbers listed above and pick one.

Chicago Blackhawks – The Hawks began their quest for a repeat in fine fashion by raising their fourth Stanley Cup banner to the United Center rafters. Spirits were dampened quickly, however, when fans recognized only half of this year’s team from the group responsible for winning said banner. Somewhere in Atlanta, Dustin Byfuglein is crying and listening to The Cure.

New Jersey Devils – Usually, it’s Marty Broduer who’s setting records in New Jersey with his stellar goaltending. This year, however, first year head coach John MacLean and Ilya Kovalchuk combined to set the NHL all-time record for Most Expensive Press Box Seat. From his own seat in the press box, Lou Lamariello could be heard saying, “Well, looks like it’s back to the bench for me.”

Philadelphia Flyers – Last year’s Eastern Conference champions have been on a surprise skid losing five of their last six games. Head Coach Peter Laviolette was quoted as saying, “To be honest, I didn’t even notice how low we had gotten in the standings. I literally blacked out from shock after seeing the Islanders in first place”. When Chris Pronger was asked his opinion, he stabbed the reporter with a broken hockey stick.

Tampa Bay Lightning – The Southeast Division is no cake walk for the Capitals this year. Steve-Y has taken well to his new position as General Manager, although some league officials are beginning to question if his tactics are fair. Playing center on the team’s power play in a fake mustache isn’t fooling anyone.

Atlanta Thrashers – After a slow start to the season, new GM Rick Dudley admitted that his off season planning was fundamentally flawed; “I now realize that it was more important to go after really nasty players from the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks, and not just players from the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. My bad.”

Montreal Canadians – Citizens in Montreal have been rioting almost continuously since Saturday October 16th. City officials aren’t sure if the chaos is due to some political unrest or just the fact that the Canadians won four of their last five games. “Either way”, Montreal Mayor GĂ©rald Tremblay commented (in a snooty French accent), “it’ll die down soon.”

Ottawa Senators – GM Bryan Murray is openly shopping the league for a physical, imposing defenseman (like the one they lost in Anton Volchenkov) after his team’s terrible beginning to the regular season. Rangers GM Glen Sather reportedly tried to contact Murray and offer up Wade Redden, but couldn’t do it without laughing hysterically at the thought of describing Redden as a physical, imposing defenseman.

Well, thanks for checking in with the rest of the NHL and with me here at ’94 Parade. It’s really cool to see Rangers fans supporting the Laughter as Therapy movement. Us Ranger fans are a great community of angry, dissatisfied people. To connect with that community is great, so please continue to tell any New York Rangers or hockey fan you know about this blog. The more people who read it, the happier I get, and the easier it is to forget that Marian Gaborik is injured.

So since this post had a lack of Ranger content, I’m going to leave you with what will certainly not be my last attempt at posting Ranger Poetry. This haiku is entitled, “Michael Del Zotto and Sean Avery Should Leaving the Fighting to Prust and Boogaard”.

Standing up for your
Team mates is all well and good.
But stop. You look lame.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yankees On Ice: All-Time All-Star Switch Up Team

Welcome back Paraders! Hope you all enjoyed the week since my last post.

Sure! What’s not to enjoy about a week where your team blows a lead because they enjoy climbing out of self dug holes and loses their best offensive weapon all in the same period? Oh, yeah, and Drury’s injured.

To top it all off, we only get one Rangers game since their Monday afternoon bout with the Islanders. Is this a joke? Is this the NFL? I’m used to the Rangers having a nine point lead in the division at this point simply because they’d played nine more games than anyone else. Then again, I’m used to the Rangers blowing said lead and hovering around the 10 spot for the remainder of the season, so I’ll just see where this road takes us before I freak out four games in.

Last week I delved into the differences between basketball and hockey. As fun as it was, I quickly realized that no one in New York cares about the Knicks right now. They didn’t get LeBron and until they sign four super ridiculous all-stars they won’t have a chance in the modern NBA. New Yorkers care about one thing this time of year, The Yankees.

It’s easy to see why. 27 Championships. Always contenders, The Yankees are a legendary team whose brand is recognized throughout the world, thanks to Jay Z of course. Watching the Yankees win over and over again is a painful process for the Rangers. In the kingdom of New York sports, Yankees are king and the Rangers their chef. It leaves Rangers fans not totally into baseball wondering, “Why can’t the blueshirts be this dominant?”

Well, I wondered the same thing! So I thought I’d lay down my All-Time All-Star Yankees-Rangers Switch Up Team.

The Yankees On Ice All-Star Team:

Left Wing: Lou Gerhig.

Lou is an obvious choice for The Rangers here. Known for his durability, longevity and clutch post season performances, Gerhig would bring a lot to the team. Plus, I’m told he’s known for his hitting, and the Rangers can always use more of that.

Center: Derek Jeter.
Jeter would make a great center. He’s always ready to start things off and as the leader of the modern Yankees, he’s a must-have for this team. Despite his lack of physical prowess, Derek would certainly be a menace on the ice. Can’t you imagine him threading passes on the power play for goal after goal? And of course, average female attendance will go up significantly.

Right Wing: Joe Dimaggio.
You know you need some Jumpin’ on this team! Joe would have made a great hockey player. His versatility and leadership is what the Rangers usually lack. Of course, he was very confrontational about his salary expectations, and we are living in a cap era after all. Either way, I make him my All-Time Yankee/Ranger All-Star right wing without any hesitation. Marilyn Monroe helps too.

Right Defense: Mariano Rivera.
Rivera is the ultimate defensive player. When the game is on the line and you can’t give up any more goals, Mariano is the guy you want on the ice. He’s a simple choice for starting D, and would most likely be the first Panamanian to ever play a game of hockey.

Left Defense: Lefty Gomez.
Vernon Louis Gomez would be like the Chris Chelios of this team; the aging veteran who adapts his style to still get the job done. Lefty was known as a great post season pitcher, so I have a feeling he would have been a clutch hockey player with a hell of a slap shot. And right off the bat, he’d be the best Gomez to ever play for the Rangers.

Goalie: Babe Ruth.
The Babe was a natural hockey goalie; a very big man who wouldn’t have wanted to skate too much. He was the Colossus of Clout on the baseball field, but for the Rangers he’d be the Colossus of the Crease. But with that water bottle right on the top of his net like that, he might be tempted to spike it and sip the game away.

Head Coach:
Mike Keenan.
If there’s anyone that can lead these baseball boys to a championship on ice, it’s Mike Keenan. The mastermind of ’94, Mike is a prolific coach who demands success from his players, so naturally he’s going to fill his entire team with Yankees.

Assistant Coach:
Joe Girardi.
Metal Mouth Joe would make a great assistant coach. His ability to connect with the players and his understanding of their talents makes him a great addition to Mike Keenan’s bench. Plus, he’ll be the one who can listen to all the players complain about how they don’t like all the physical contact and their skates are too tight.

Well, that’s it for this edition of ’94 Parade. If you like what you’re reading, pass the site along to any friends or fellow Rangers fans who like hockey and laughing. We’ve got some big, important games this week so hopefully the team can step it up and play like the Yankees would, if they knew how to skate of course.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Seasons Begin: Hockey vs Basketball

Welcome back hockey! The regular season started last week and Rangers fans all over the world couldn’t be more excited about the 2010-2011 season. Everyone agrees we’re a legit playoff contender with enough youth to feel good about the long term. But Rangeritis has been slow to catch on this off-season. Unless you’re a bonafide puck head who only hangs out with imported Canadian friends, hockey talk is hard to come by in this area. It seems that everyone spent their summer months jabbering on about that other fall through spring sport, Basketball.

It didn’t matter if you were watching CSPAN or PBS this summer, the NBA free agent storylines dominated the media and made everyone sick to their stomach. It hasn’t stopped either. With both the NHL and NBA season going simultaneously, many New York fans are going to find themselves wondering which team to watch and where to invest their hard-earned money this season. Fortunately, 94 Parade is here to help you understand the subtle differences between the two competing sports and where the promise for NYC Sports lies.

Free Agency:
NBA – Time of the year where superstars conspire to all meet in Miami and create a league that essentially consists of only two teams.
NHL – Time of the year where Glen Sather & James Dolan conspire and pay some hack-has-been millions of dollars to create a team that essentially consists of two NHL calibur players.

NBA – the violation of interfering with the ball when it is on its way to the basket.
NHL – the position Rick DiPietro occasionally tries his hand at only to be reminded that his bones are made of glass.

New York City:
NBA – The Dolans squeeze over a decade’s worth of money, hurt and frustration out of a fan base that wants nothing more than to win a championship
NHL – Oh wait, same thing.

New Jersey:
NBA – Russian billionaire attempting to turn a perennial loser into a perennial winner
NHL – Russian billionaire succeeding in turning a perennial winner into a perennial loser

The King:
NBA – An overrated playboy that has won nothing, turned his back on his home state and is now the most hated man in America thanks to “The Decision”
NHL – HENRIK! (Clap – Clap!) HENRIK!

NHL – Time of the year when everybody steps it up, sacrifices their body and gives 110% for the chance at winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.
NBA – Time of the year when everybody steps it up, sacrifices their body and plays defense for the first time all season.

Hope this helps those of you who were confused about what sport you were watching. Just remember basketball fans, you can’t spell nice without ice, so sack up and get with the Rangers so you can watch a winner this year!