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A Shout Out To An Old Friend

November 28, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Its a busy Saturday with another full slate following yesterdays off Thanksgiving or as its referred to as Black Friday for the super sale madness/insanity. No. We didnt get anything, opting instead to grab some new jeans and cool shirts on Turkey Eve. Hey. We got great deals! Best of all, my new diet has me back down to 32s. I really am craving an Auntie Annes pretzel today at the Mall and plan to leave in a bit. Third time in a week. Thats like a record. Maybe Ill stumble upon a new pair of running shoes or more cool shirts. Well see.

Of course in a couple of hours, the Rangers will visit Mellon Arena in hopes of doing a 180 after last nights listless performance in St. Pete. One John Tortorella would soon forget despite a nice tribute to the former Cup winning coach by his ex-team, which he had little reaction to. Perhaps he knew early how brutal his team was. Ditto Vinny Prospal, who came close to tallying early. If only he had. On the plus side, Bobby Sanguinetti finally debuted and looked alright in 22 shifts (16:14 TOI) finishing just a minus-one with a shot, hit, takeaway and blocked shot. He was on for one goal against in which his man rebounded one home but it was hardly his fault due to another uneven Henrik Lundqvist performance which got him pulled. Ryan Callahan also found the back of the net with improving Artie Anisimov assisting. Tonight, Steve Valiquette gets the call. A tall order but Im sick of Lundqvist. Let him go admire himself in a 40 foot mirror with media scribes kissing his ass.

Anyway, that wasnt the purpose of this entry. But instead to give a shout out to an old friend of ours. If not for Steve Lepore, this blog never wouldve seen the light of day. It was almost four years ago that he asked me if Id be interested in helping him start up Battle Of New York (BONY) back in the blogged days. And so, an unlikely team was formed with a diehard Ranger fan joining a Kool Aid Devil drinker, bringing Mr. Lepores novel concept to life of covering the metro area teams. Of course, they hand out a trophy for whichever team finishes with the most points between the Devils, Islanders and Rangers.

The games take on a life of their own which makes the rivalries great. Yes. Even Isles-Devils has heated up some in Year 1 of JT91 since preseason. Sure. John Tavares and his hard working club got taken to school earlier, falling 6-1 to the Michael Myers/Jason/Freddy Devs, who never die no matter who they have out. Hasan probably has another pic of the scratches coming. :-P Its easy to respect what the Isles have done this season. Rarely are they ever out of a game. So, today wasnt the norm but an oddity which you expect them to bounce back from. If only our team would oblige. Im going to be brutally honest here. As much as it pains me, the other clubs give maximum E-F-F-O-R-T daily. The Islanders are much more fun to watch than the Rangers right now. Since we added Brians Sabres, its given us four teams from the NY/NJ area to keep track of. If were a little slow with Buffalo and the Isles, sorry. But its hard taking on more than one team. Both the Sabres and Islanders had great wins yesterday with each beating quality teams. The Isles comeback against the Pens was tremendous. Nothing better exemplified that than their lengthy penalty kill two men down and killing off a double minor before Sean Bergenheim tied and Tavares won it in an outstanding third in which they outshot the Pens 18-5. Did we mention Sid The Kid was held scoreless with one shot and a minus-two? Whens the last time the Rangers silenced him? He owns our so-called elite goalie. Maybe its not coincidence hes sitting out. Full credit to the Islanders.

As for Buffalo, they ended a four-game skid with a gritty 4-2 road win over the Flyers silencing Wachovia Center. Who doesnt like that along with the traditional Philly jeers? Well, unless youre a cheesesteak fan. The Sabres lost three players off their bench including second period scorer Paul Gaustad to injuries. The game also featured rough stuff with captain Craig Rivet getting into it twice with Daniel Carcillo. He later limped off after taking a shot off his foot. Good news is its not as bad as it looked. Despite being down players, the Sabres found a way with a healthy Tim Connolly in on all four goals with two goals and two helpers. What a player he is when he is on the ice. That he has Islander ties (Mike Peca trade) is fitting. No wonder we now include the team from Western New York. When legendary caster Rick Jeanneret termed the win, by far the grittiest of the season, we nodded in agreement because it was dead accurate. Its enjoying to see shorthanded teams not give in. No wonder we appreciated what Buffalo did. And believe us, theyll be there this time. No matter what our lurking Buffalo contingent says.

To think that weve been on wordpress for a couple of years is kinda odd. And sometimes, there are server issues. So, its far from perfect. However, without Steve, none of this wouldve been possible. He also is responsible for the cool logo we got at the top of the page, with some help from Dustin. Perhaps it needs to be altered. Especially with Buffalo in the mix. Being able to post in this space gives me great pleasure because it allows me to express my thoughts on the game. While its a mixed bag with us pulling no punches no matter the topic, its fun to have this little forum.

Thats why when I stumbled across Steves Best Blogs: Team-By-Team over at his outstanding Puck The Media, I felt honored. I dont view myself as anyone special. Just a passionate fan who loves the game and sits up in Sec.411 at MSG with Pop, bro and friend wearing his emotions on his sleeves. Lepore says Im the only tolerable Ranger fan. Eh. I believe there are others as evidenced by some very good blogs that we list in our Ranger section. Scotty Hockeys a daily read. I can be annoying. Especially when the team isnt performing. In a depressed sorta state. Earlier, I had a brief chat with close buddy Rob Kraze Davis, who was boasting about his teams continued success when it was 2-1. I deadpanned, Whats hockey, drawing the desired reaction before going into a bunch of jokes about the Rangers future. Perhaps Im letting down my brethren by not putting these ideas here along with my poetry which knows no boundaries.

A Heartless Team

by Derek Felix AKA D Flex

They played a game

Last night in St. Pete

One team showed up

While the other a scaregrow

Who forgot their brain

Skating like chickens without heads

While Lightning struck the opposite net

Firing bolts at our overrated goalie

Who stood and stared in another dimension

As pucks sailed by as he looked dead

Along with the rest of his overmatched team

That embarrassed their coach

Who couldnt even acknowledge a tribute

Standing on the bench beet red

Due to the atrocity

No words or screams could be heard

On this forgetful night few paid attention

Leaving this blogger in endless pain

To write a column in this space

Of the egocentric goalie

Who needs a full length mirror

So he can stare at his own face

Such is the state of Ranger hockey

With zero passion showed

And not one ounce of glow

Making us long for Jeremy Shockey

What will it take for them to wake up

And finally put on a consistent show

With December on deck

And an even more bitter winter ahead

Their season hangs in the balance

Will they finally show fight

Or should we just escape

To another place

Thats who I really am. Few know that side. The nickname D Flex stems from some fun freestyling at a Memorial Day party two and a half years earlier. P gave it to me and it stuck. Back to the original subject. Its because of Steve Lepore that me and Hasan- another unlikely duo are able to give our daily observations on our teams and the sport. Thank you dear buddy for even thinking of us.

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  1. Hasan on November 28th, 2009 6:11 pm

    lol I was tempted to do another picture of the scratches but I forgot my camera and was walking the halls with a friend at the time anywaybut I did notice that on the TV monitors in the hall they had to show two different pictures on the screen, one with the first four the other with the last five oy. At least the game was much better than looking at the scratch list :P

  2. Hockey » Blog Archive » A Shout Out To An Old Friend | The Battle of New York :: A Tri on November 28th, 2009 8:05 pm

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