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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last Night Lookback - NYR (1) vs NJD (2)

Apparently watching hockey is just like riding a bike; I hopped back on last night and rode that shit like my name was Lance Armstrong. I was edge of my seat on pure principal. My jump from the couch following Dale Weise’s tying goal was playoff quality and packed with enthusiasm. Sure, the passing wasn’t clean and almost all of our stars were missing, but I was on fire in my fandom and I dare you to doubt my mid-season form.

Despite the way my snide post-game status update may have sounded, I certainly wasn’t taking last night seriously. BUT! You do have to recognize the same old symptoms of frustrating Ranger hockey: mind-numbingly low scoring, wasted power play chances and untimely mental mistakes with the puck. Don’t get me wrong. I know exactly who was absent from the ice last night – Gaborik, Richards, Cally, Staal – I could go on for days. Even Coach was in the luxury box. Yeah Torts, screw that tiny Albany bench and its lack of basic amenities. “Call me when it’s time to go to Europe, I’m going to have a hot dog and watch it on TV.”

So I liked McIlrath last night; he had couple big hits and laid some Devils on the ice. Hagelin has wheels, no doubt about that. Talbot looked nasty. Not much in the way of scoring chances from the young oh-men, but I liked the look of Bourque and JT Miller out there. By the way, I missed the first couple seconds of that interview with Miller’s mom and didn’t see her face at all. She didn’t look at the camera while I was watching so I couldn’t tell if she was a MILF or not. Anyone want to weigh in on this one? It just seemed like she had the voice and the figure of a hockey mom cougar. Just curious…

And speaking of interviews with parents of prospects, everyone saw Sam Rosen’s seminal reference a la Ray Bourque, right? I heard “fatherly juices flowing” and went straight to the keyboard. Hysterical stuff. In fact, the whole announcing setup was really the highlight of the evening. Having both teams’ color guys in the booth provided balance injected with a light jesting humor. When Chico caved to the pressure and agreed with a ref’s call against his Devils, Joe Mic acknowledged the break from homer protocol by saying, “I haven’t heard that from you in, like, 7 years.” It's funny because it's true.

I’m being totally honest, I think that is how it should be for nationally televised games. Get Doc Emerick in there with both regular color guys and let the audience actually learn something about the teams they're watching. You don't even have to fire former Ranger Eddie Olczyk. Throw him back between the benches and fire Pierre McGuire like all of our lives depend on it. In fact, I kind of believe that my life does depend on the firing of Pierre McGuire. If year after year he keeps yelling through my TV and starting every statement by screaming “You know Doc and Edzo…”, I might just go ahead and kill him. Then I’ll spend the rest of my life in some Canadian prison playing hide the hockey stick with Mike Danton. Like I said, lives depend on this drastic change to the theory of color commentary.

So, yeah, we lost, but tomorrow should be fun. It'll be great when they get to Europe and preseason doesn't seem so flat. So to end this post, I was thinking I haven't done a haiku in a while. Why don't I leave you with a special poem designed to call out last night's biggest disappointment. I was excited to see what this guy would do and I was underwhelmed at best. This one is called, “Man, Michael Del Zotto Still Looks Mediocre”.

Giving up the puck
Just like last year all over
Hartford, here he comes(?)(!)

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