Rangers Dominate Sabres For 2-0 Victory

Anyone who has watched the Rangers knew this game was going to go one of two ways – either the Rangers would dominate and win the game or the Rangers would dominate and somehow find a way to lose the game. Fortunately the Rangers chose option one allowing them to get their first win on home ice as two of their top defensemen played in milestone games. (Dan Girardi played his 500th career game while Marc Staal played his 400th NHL game.)

Before we get to the game, a couple of injury updates. Ryan Callahan skated this morning with the team in a bright yellow jersey (seriously, you couldn’t miss it) meaning that he’s getting closer but not ready yet. He was asked this morning if he would do it again that late in a 2-0 game and responded “I think you know the answer to that” with a laugh. Good to know some things don’t change. The timeline right now is 7-10 days which would put him exactly when they said he would be back.

Dominic Moore didn’t skate but is expected to be out the same time frame with a strained oblique he suffered at the end of the first period Tuesday night. And Rick Nash…well let’s just say when the time comes that we can write about Nash, it will be a good day.

The Rangers didn’t look good the first couple of minutes and I thought it was going to be a long night. Then the Rangers took over and began peppering Ryan Miller. Seven and a half minutes in, the Rangers drew their first power play. Halfway through, after choosing to pass on what looked like a wide open shot a couple of seconds before, Derick Brassard blasted one from the point to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The fans were screaming shoot and I wonder if he listened again. (He admitted his game winning goal in game 6 against the Caps last spring was scored cause the fans told him to shoot.)

Both teams got another power play before the period was over but nothing happened on either. Honestly, other than the penalty to Del Zotto with two minutes to go, it was a great period by the home team who at one point had 15 consecutive shots and ended the period outshooting the Sabres 19-6. The only reason the score wasn’t different was because Buffalo’s best player (maybe only good player) was Ryan Miller.

I usually don’t recap intermission but this comment by Al Trautwig needs to be documented:

“I feel like when Derek Stepan walks by here, I’m going to hand him a 20 so he can buy a goal because right now he can’t.”

Looks like he has to give him more as the twenty dollars didn’t buy a goal even though Stepan had seven shots in the game.

I wish I could tell you what happened during the first half of the second period. I did watch it. But it was more I was staring at the screen and not really registering what was going on because there was nothing going on. Just when I thought the entire period would be that way, Chris Kreider banked a rebound off of Miller that bounced behind him and into the net to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Considering how badly the Rangers were outshooting the Sabres at that point, it shouldn’t be a surprise it was a fluke goal that finally beat Miller.

Unfortunately that was all that could beat Miller even though the Rangers ended the period with another 19 shots for a total of 38 through forty minutes. The Sabres, on the other hand, ended the period with 18 but two really good ones in the last minute. The good news was Lundqvist hadn’t fallen asleep to keep the two goal lead going into intermission.

The third period basically mirrored the first half of the second which could be seen as good and bad news. The bad news was the Rangers weren’t able to extend their lead even though they ended the game putting 46 shots on net. (Miller wasn’t a star of the game but he should’ve been even with the loss.) The good news was that meant the Sabres didn’t get anything either giving Lundqvist his second 2-0 shutout of the season.

Honestly, it was nice to see the Rangers dominate this game as they should have. As I already said, the only reason this game wasn’t a blowout was because Miller was phenomenal. I feel bad for him as there is only so much he could do. But the Rangers will take the win. Next up, it’s Staalapoolza as the Hurricanes come to New York. I don’t care what the standings say. This is another game the Rangers SHOULD win.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

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Wolf Pack Hang On To Beat Sound Tigers 5-3

I think it’s safe to say it was a good 27 hours for the Rangers organization as the parent club and farm team took a total of four point from their division rivals during that span. The Islanders organization, on the other hand, would probably prefer to forget those 27 hours.

Jesper Fast made his debut with the Wolf Pack after being sent down by the Rangers earlier in the week. Stu Bickel (believed to be day-to-day with an undisclosed injury) and Arron Asham (I believe I saw it was an upper body injury for him) remained out.

Over the first twelve minutes, the main action involved Dylan McIlrath taking two penalties. On the second one, the Sound Tigers scored to take the 1-0 lead. Shortly after that goal, Andrew Yogan was taken down on a breakaway and given a penalty shot. Unfortunately he lost the puck and never got the shot off and the Wolf Pack went into intermission down by one.

That’s when Danny Kristo took over.

A minute and a half into the second period, Kristo chipped the puck to Kyle Jean who found Micheal Haley to tie the game at one. Three minutes later, with the Wolf Pack on their first power play, Kristo found Conor Allen wide open on the opposite side to give the Wolf Pack their first lead.

Five and a half minutes later, with the Wolf Pack killing a penalty to St. Croix, Aaron Johnson banked the puck out of the defensive end as penalty killers often do. The Bridgeport goalie (Rieter, who every time was mentioned I kept thinking they were saying Kreider) went to play the puck. It took a funny bounce off the back boards and came out right in front where Marek Hrivik was able to score one of the easiest goals of his career to give the Wolf Pack a 3-1 lead. Fast got the second assist for his first point in Hartford.

A little less than five minutes later, the Sound Tigers got one back on a deflection to make it 3-2. Twenty seconds later, Missiaen left a bad rebound and we had a tie game.

It remained that way until eight minutes into the third period when Oscar Lindberg got his second of the year after receiving a great pass from Fast. McIlrath got the second assist after some great work by the boards to keep the play alive. Exactly seven minutes later, Kristo decided assists weren’t enough as he got a goal his team-leading seventh of the season to seal the deal for the Wolf Pack giving them the 5-3 victory.

You can find the recap from the Wolf Pack’s site here plus the game sheet here. Here are most of the Wolf Pack’s highlights (something happened with the video that while there is sound for Kristo’s goal, there is no video):

Next up for the team is two games in Springfield this weekend on Friday and Saturday (both away games) against the Falcons (baby Blue Jackets). Springfield had the Whale’s number last year so let’s hope the change in name changes that as well.

 

(Photo: Screenshot from video on Blueshirts United)

Rangers Hang On To Win Wide Open Game With Islanders

Carl Hagelin returned to the lineup and the Rangers played a wide open game. Coincidence? Probably but I will say he looked best of guys entering the lineup without playing games this season.

With Hagelin returning to the lineup, the big question was where was he going to play. Vigneault decided to throw him right in by placing him on the first line with Brad Richards back at center and Benoit Pouliot on the other side. I still want to know how Pouliot keeps ending up on the first line. He’s played better recently but not well enough for the first line, at least in my opinion.

The first period was a lot of back and forth action with few stoppages as both teams came out flying. Halfway through the period, Carl Hagelin got his name on the stat sheet by taking his first penalty. A little over halfway through it, the Islanders negated their remaining power play by taking a penalty of their own.

After 43 seconds of 4-on-4, the Rangers power play entered the ice and it was an actual power play! Brad Richards took a shot from the point with the deflection coming to Chris Kreider who made a great move to put it into the net for his first career power play goal. You could tell a goal was coming soon for Kreider as he’s been flying since his call up. You could also tell how he relieved he was when the puck went in.

Other than Zuccarello and Stepan each getting a great chance to extend the lead (and missing of course), that was all for the first period. Even though the Rangers were outshot 9-4 (according to stat sheet which I don’t think was correct), it was a good period for the road team.

Early in the second period, the Rangers were given a power play. They didn’t score but it was one of the best power plays I’ve seen the Rangers run in years. Richards came up the ice and got a chance, then the Rangers kept the puck in the zone for the next minute and a half peppering Nabokov and the tired Islanders.

Shortly after the power play ended, Pouliot had a wide open chance…and passed. Mix the two and of course the Rangers were going to regret not scoring. It didn’t even take a minute for the Islanders to tie it on a bad play by Staal at the point. A lot of people will say it was bad luck for Staal but he’s been getting a lot of that recently. At some point, it’s no longer just bad luck.

And as per usual with the Rangers, once they let one bad goal in they forget how to play. The remainder of the period revolved around the Rangers scrambling in all zones with a number of horrible turnovers. I would name the players but there were too many to name. Girardi had some of the best though. Finally with less than a minute to go in the period, the Islanders got the goal they deserved to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. A lot of people will say it was a bad bounce. It was. But as with Staal, at some point you can’t blame that anymore.

Four and a half minutes into the third, the Islanders got caught with two many men. Capuno was livid at the call and almost grabbed a players stick to show his displeasure. Unfortunately he didn’t so it was only two minutes. It didn’t matter as the Rangers won the faceoff (surprising, I know) and thirty seconds later McDonagh let go of an absolute bomb to tie the game at two for his first career power play goal.

Then with a little more than six minutes to go, I made a comment that I didn’t like the Rangers line on the ice which included J. Moore and Del Zotto on defense and Richards, Pouliot and Hagelin up front. Their response? To come up the ice and score the game winner on a beautiful passing play between Hagelin and Pouliot. I would say I would’ve kept complaining about players but I’d been doing it all night so that was merely a coincidence.

The next six minutes weren’t easy to watch but somehow the Rangers hung on for the regulation win. I know a lot of people like the back and forth action of games but I don’t know how many more games like that I can take. Since the Rangers managed to win, I’ll say it was a good game but this roster is not meant to play that way. It is interesting that happened when Hagelin returned to the lineup.

While the points were great and the special teams were even better, the best news might have been the fact that the Rangers may have found some lines or pairings that will work up front. I really liked what I saw from the Kreider (goal), Stepan (two assists) and Zuccarello (assist) line. Pouliot and Hagelin didn’t look horrible most of the night either. But I’m not getting my hopes up as we thought things looked good in Washington a couple of weeks ago. Let’s see if they can keep this up against Buffalo in two nights. I also would like a little better defensive play from the six guys on the back end.

But a win is a win and right now the Rangers need wins. So we’ll forget about stats (and the fact Marc Staal is now a minus-11 on the season) and celebrate a good win against a rival.

 

(Photo: Introductions from opening night. Credit: Melissa Andus)

Referees Beat Rangers 2-0 In MSG Opener

The good news is it could’ve been worse. Honestly if I was giving a goal for every bad call by the referees, it would’ve been a lot worse. Granted the Rangers wouldn’t have been shutout but that’s besides the point. The truth is this game should’ve gone to overtime 0-0 if not for the referees.

First let’s talk about the Garden. I was ready to bash the changes and complain about my view and the money they spent…but I can’t. The scoreboard is absolutely gorgeous (as you can see above) and while I was told I would be blocked from seeing it, they lied. I can see it perfectly as well as the TV screen on the bridge right in front of my seat. Hopefully they will get them both working soon but at least there was video (and replay) available. Anyone looking for accurate stats were out of luck. (Funny moment – early in the second period, the building cheered on a random stop of play. The reason? They finally got the stat portions of the scoreboard sort of working.)

As for the lobby, that is beautiful too. It’s open and modern. It no longer feels like you’re walking into a concrete building. I didn’t see the video ceiling so am going to try and search for that next time I am there. But overall, as much as it kills me to say this, I’m impressed.

The only thing they didn’t fix was the ice. I know they said they got new machines and it’s supposed to be wonderful. I also know the Rangers are horrible at passing but that puck seemed to be bouncing an awful lot. I heard that the NBCSN broadcast mentioned that both benches were complaining about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. Honestly MSG, there’s no excuse anymore. You need to fix this.

Now onto the game…but only because this is a recap.

The building really wanted to get into the game. They tried. But the Montreal Canadiens put teams to sleep. I swear I’ve heard they are a fast, skilled team. I’ve seen them live two years in a row and I’m still not sure how I didn’t fall asleep either time. At least this time there wasn’t 10 icings in a two minute span. But overall, it was a boring, horrible hockey game. I guess we should thank the refs as they woke everyone up in the second period.

Look, I’ve seen bad calls. Murray’s interference call against Kreider in the third period was a bad call. But the call on Pouliot for “illegal check to the head” was ridiculous being that Pouliot hit his chest. It was borderline boarding but illegal check to the head? No way. Then the call on Boyle, that led to the first Montreal goal, for roughing was absolutely beyond me since he didn’t even touch him.

I figured once Montreal scored the referees would stop making up calls unless the Rangers tied it but then we had the best one of all – Kreider getting called for interference because Diaz and Gorges collided with each other. I kid you not. I don’t even think Kreider touched either of them. But he was standing there, they fell down and apparently that’s his fault. No really, it is according to the referees:

I don’t even know what to say to that other than I truly believe I will not see a worse call then that one the remainder of the year. Kreider was in front of them and because they can’t see each other, it’s his fault? I learned something new. Kerry Fraser does a column on TSN explaining calls. I really think I’m going to ask him about this one.

Then with three minutes to go, Galchenyuk deflected the puck into the net. I’ll let you decide how he did that:

Sorry the video is in french but it doesn’t matter what they are saying as they showed a replay of how the puck entered the net. As Lundqvist said after the game:

But let’s call a spade a spade – the only reason those calls mattered is if they didn’t happen, the teams would’ve gone to overtime tied at zero. The Rangers didn’t score a goal tonight and neither of those calls would’ve changed that. According to the stat sheet, the Rangers had 27 shots on net. Rough estimation, I would say at least half of those were right into C in the middle of Budaj jersey. Unless there was a hole there I didn’t know about, they weren’t getting a goal by shooting there. Of the rest of them, I would say half were shots that had less on them they I would put into the shot (and yes I shoot like a girl) and the other half were bad angle shots that weren’t going in if the net was empty. Basically the Rangers deserved to lose.

And sadly, this is what we will get every night. We thought teams of the past few years couldn’t score but this one makes those teams look like all-star teams. Looking at the minutes, I couldn’t even tell you who was on the second line and who was on the third. I think it’s some combination of Boyle, Miller, Zuccarello, Pouliot, Brassard and Dominic Moore, although Dorsett could fit in that mix as well. Who of that group is capable of scoring 20-25 goals a year? Maybe Brassard. Maybe. But otherwise, that isn’t a list of goal scorers.

The good news is the team gets Carl Hagelin back tomorrow. While Vigneault refused to say for sure he would be playing, the Rangers sent Jesper Fast to Hartford right after the game. I’ve been calling for that but he actually hasn’t been horrible recently. And I realized his purpose was to kill penalties so I’m kind of surprised he was sent down. Guess they don’t want him in the press box and Pyatt, no matter how hard he tries, still hasn’t found his way there.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Wolf Pack Split Weekend Away From Hartford

The Wolf Pack split two games this weekend with a shorthanded roster as injuries for both clubs are starting to affect the Rangers farm team. As has been detailed in Rangers posts, the parent club had both Pack goaltenders this weekend with Henrik Lunqvist not being able to go Saturday night.

They also lost a couple of veterans as Stu Bickel got banged up in their game last Wednesday and was out all weekend with an undisclosed (read: I can’t find information about it) injury and Arron Asham was hurt early in Friday nights’ game. Asham’s injury allowed Darroll Powe to get back in on Saturday night. (Note: Powe wasn’t being benched. AHL teams are only allowed to play six veterans per night. The Wolf Pack currently have a lot more than than on their roster as it goes by professional games played.)

Friday 10/25 at Albany Devils: 4-3 Regulation Loss

With both Wolf Pack goaltenders with the Rangers, things weren’t looking good for the team. Unfortunately it sounded like they had a bigger problem to deal with – the referees. Not being able to watch the game I can’t say for sure but two penalty shots, both going to the same player on the Devils, in the same game tells me something is off. Fortunately, they were both stopped (with each Hartford goalie getting a chance to face one) but the team wasn’t able to overcome other calls and a really bad second period.

Jeff Malcolm got his first pro start and was thrown right into the fire with the first penalty shot (a horrible call as you can see below) just five minutes in. Malcolm made the stop allowing the Wolf Pack to gain the lead four minutes later on Ryan Bourque’s first goal of the season from Brendon Nash and Kyle Jean. The Devils tied the game on fluke shot with two and a half minutes to go in the first but the Wolf Pack were still in a good position outshooting the Devils 14-12.

Then in the second period, the wheels fell off as the team was outshot 11-4 and outscored 3-0 allowing the Devils to take a 4-1 lead after forty minutes. Hoping to spark the team, Gernander made a goalie switch to start the third with Scott Stajcer, who apparently has healed from his hip injury, getting to play the final twenty. He was also thrown right into the fire with the Devils second penalty shot coming six minutes into the period.

Between the stop on the penalty shot plus goals from Andrew Rowe and Aaron Johnson, the goalie switch almost worked. Unfortunately Johnson’s goal came with only 13 seconds remaining and the Wolf Pack weren’t able to get the equalizer to lose their second straight.

You can find the game sheet here and here are some video highlights (the second penalty shot and third Wolf Pack goal are missing; I’d complain but at least the Devils posted something):

Saturday 10/26 at Hershey Bears: 4-3 Regulation Win

Next the Wolf Pack headed to Hershey for a matchup against the baby Capitals. Stajcer got his first start of the season after seeing twenty minutes in relief the night before.

The Bears scored first but Lindberg followed it up with a beautiful individual effort late in the first period to tie the game at one after twenty. While the video below doesn’t show it, the Wolf Pack took the lead early in the second on a power play goal by Aaron Johnson from Lindberg and Danny Syvret. Hershey scored two with less than five minutes to go in the second to take a 3-2 lead into the third.

Just three minutes in, Danny Kristo got his sixth of the season to tie the game at three. Johnson and Syvret got the assists. Then five minutes later, Andrew Yogan got his first of the season, which held up as the game winner, as he put in a rebound of a Andrew Rowe shot to stop the teams’ losing streak at two.

You can read a quick recap here, see the game sheet here and here are some (read: away team feed) highlights:

The victory keeps the Wolf Pack at first in their division and third in the Eastern Conference. Next up for the boys is a home game Wednesday night against their rivals the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (baby Islanders). Here’s to hoping both the Rangers and Wolf Pack take two points from the Islanders organization this week.

 

(Photo above: Screenshot from this video)

Talbot Gets First NHL Win In Arena Rangers Can’t Win In

Place this one in the record books – the Rangers won their first game in Detroit since January 1999. Sure it took overtime but being that they hadn’t won in Detroit since J.T. Miller was a five year old, a win is a win. It was a well-deserved one too.

I said in Philadelphia that the Rangers looked best when they were on the penalty kill so just a little over a minute into the game, they decided to go on one as Pouliot went off for goaltender interference. It was a bad call so I couldn’t yell at him too much. Fortunately the Rangers continued their good play down a man and were able to kill that as well as the penalty Pyatt took three and a half minutes after the Pouliot won ended. Their best penalty killer? Cam Talbot who doesn’t seem rattled by anything when on the ice.

A few minutes later, the Rangers got a chance on the power play. I use the word “play” loosely. It wasn’t a power kill as they did get some chances. But apparently the new thing to do on the power play is to enter the offensive zone and drop the puck back. I’m not a fan of it as it caused the Red Wings to get a couple of chances…and that was without them having advanced notice they were going to be doing that. If it continues, teams will easily be able to prepare for that. Add that to the fact that passing hasn’t been a highlight for the team (specifically at the point on the power play) and the’re just asking for trouble.

The two teams continued to go back and forth with both getting great chances and both goalies making even better saves. For the Rangers, those chances came from some expected sources (Stralman, who has been shooting a lot, and Kreider) and some not so expected (apparently Derek Dorsett likes playing against the Wings, which isn’t surprising when you think about where he spent his entire career before coming to New York).

With less than three minutes to go, the Rangers turned over the puck and the Red Wings made them pay with a shot on the near side that Talbot simply missed to take the 1-0 lead. (Honestly, Lundqvist may have missed it too so can’t blame the kid too much for the goal.) The Rangers got a couple of chances immediately after that but unfortunately weren’t able to capitalize. Then roughly a minute after the goal, the Red Wings almost doubled their lead beating Talbot but hitting iron allowing the Rangers to only be down by one after twenty minutes. Although they were down, it was a good period of hockey for the road team.

The chances continued to start the second but both goaltenders continued to stand tall, specifically Howard who made it seem like the Rangers would never get a goal tonight. It didn’t stop them for trying as they dominated most of the second period eventually drawing a penalty with just over three minutes to go. Since the first line drew the penalty, the second power play unit started the power play and it took only thirty seconds for the puck to somehow find the back of the net during a scramble in front. Even more surprising was the goal scorer as Benoit Pouliot got his first goal/point as a Ranger meaning the Rangers now had four forwards with a goal this season.

Of course a minute later, the Rangers gave it back as the Wings scored a power play goal with Pyatt back in the penalty box. I know most of the fan base doesn’t like Pyatt but I’ve tried to defend him. I don’t think I can anymore. Just put him in the press box when Hagelin is ready to return. Other than that blimp, it was another great period for the Rangers.

A little over two minutes into the third, the Rangers added to their list of forwards with goals as Mats Zuccarello somehow, while falling down, got his stick on a rebound to tie the game. Three minutes later, the Rangers got a chance to extend their lead with another power play. Again, the word “play” being used loosely as for most of it they looked great. But there were a few seconds right in the middle which I just have no words for. It also ended early as J.T. Miller took a bad penalty with 12 seconds remaining. Somehow, I’m not sure how, the Rangers killed it to keep the game tied.

It remained that way through sixty minutes guaranteeing the Rangers at least one point. Almost five minutes later, 4:47 to be exact, the boys got their second as Derick Brassard, after a great pass by Pouliot, broke in and beat Howard for the game winner. It was a beauty so let’s watch it again:

Honestly, the Rangers deserved to win this game. The Red Wings played well in the third but other than the game against Washington, this was by far the Rangers best effort of the season. And they needed a game like this to end the road trip as I was a little concerned what the crowd reaction would be Monday if they came home with another loss.

Plus with the win I get to prove that I know the team yet again as I said last week I expected them to lose to the last place Flyers and beat the Red Wings, one of the top teams in the conference. And while I now know what to expect, I will never understand this team.

 

(Photo: screenshot from post game interview/video on Blueshirts United)

“Bleeding Blueshirts” Episode 1 – John Giannone Interviews Martin Biron + More

Recently, the Rangers have been trying to get John Giannone more involved with game broadcasts. And it’s worked as Giannone brings his opinion and sense of humor from between the benches during the game or in the locker room afterwards. He comes off as one of the most friendliest guys in the business always answering as many questions as he can on twitter with as much honesty as he can. Thursday afternoon, he teased the Rangers fan base with this tweet:

I’ll admit, I laughed at the name as it was an obvious homage to his infamous moment when he took a Marc Staal puck to the face during a game and didn’t miss a beat of the broadcast. Fans connected to him then and he’s given them no reason to leave.

He followed that by saying his first guest would be newly retired Martin Biron. I was planning to listen to the broadcast anyway but that ensured that I would want to. Not surprisingly, it didn’t disappoint.

http://player.theplatform.com/p/TZlbt/raiMSG1/embed/select/RBZgnYVD9ugNW3h6lQSTcPkFLqxgwZF1?width=771&height=429&videoWidth=771&videoHeight=429&feedParams=byId%3D2414453231

If the video doesn’t work, you can find the 30-minute podcast here.

Thoughts:

* He begins the broadcast with his “opening faceoff” where he discussed the rise in suspensions and head injuries throughout the league. I was a little skeptical with that being the first thing he discussed but he was adamant on his views and it was clear he wanted to make sure his opinion was heard. I respect that. He also mentioned why this was so important to him – his son recently missed 100 days of school due to concussion symptoms. I didn’t know that and sincerely hope he is okay. Anyone who knows me, knows I refer to that injury as “the C word” and I don’t wish them on anyone.

* Then, roughly 4:15 in, he went into his interview with Biron. As expected, the two discussed everything and anything with Marty being as insightful as always. Some highlights:

* He explained that he retired not because he physically wasn’t able to play (as he felt veteran players can get past that), but because his heart was no longer in the game. When asked if there was a chance he could come back with so many teams needing goalies, he said no. His heart wasn’t in the game anymore and it wouldn’t be fair to try to pretend it was. (I said there was something going on with him. I just hope nothing serious caused this change of heart.)

* Giannone mentioned that no matter where the Rangers played, he noticed players always talking with Biron during warmups so asked him if there was anyone he didn’t care for. Biron didn’t hesitate to answer “Matt Cooke”. Apparently the two battled back in the AHL and then in the NHL with Marty saying he just wasn’t a big fan of his. I don’t think commentary is needed on this.

* At roughly 13:45 they played word association with Giannone asking him about Philadelphia, the Islanders, Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist. Some interesting answers. (I would give them but then you would have no reason to listen to the podcast and it really is worth the listen.)

* In regards to his relationship with Lundqvist, he mentioned a trip to the mall the two had just a few weeks ago in Anaheim and called it the most entertaining three hours he spent in a mall. Also told stories about how the two would watch TV shows together on the plane.

* Stating he didn’t ask him at the time, Giannone asked about Tomas Hertl’s 4th goal. Biron was honest in his answer saying first he looked to see if it was the kid who had been scoring all the goals. When he realized it was his initial instinct was to take a run at him if he stepped on the ice again not caring about the game since the score was 8-2 at that point. Then he calmed down and asked what he could’ve done and realized his job was to stop the puck and he didn’t. He mentioned how the game is a means of entertainment and that goal will be on highlight reels for years to come. It was an honest assessment that I think followed most logical fans’ view of the goal.

* Last thing he was asked was if he thought the Rangers would turn things around. I’m sure you can guess his answer but he did say it needs to happen soon as it will be hard to claw back if they are too far behind come the end of December.

* After the interview Giannone went into “overtime”. (I did appreciate the way he separated and titled the segments. It flowed in the same natural progression a game does.)

During this time he gave his view on the Rangers start (basically agreeing with what I’ve said all along that opening trip didn’t help team learn system of new coach), honest assessment of why Chris Kreider didn’t make it out of camp and what he needs to do to stay, as well as discussed his view on the new rules for hybrid icing and keeping helmets on during fights. The best comment of all came during the last part when he took a swipe at the league by saying:

“Now if concussions and serious head injuries was of paramount importance to the league they would think twice about that whole bare fists punch to the face and head thing, but I digress…”

It’s commentary such as that which Giannone brings to Rangers games and what will make this podcast a success. He’s completely honest and knows the sport just as well if not better than all of us watching at home.

I don’t know when the next episode will be but I know I will be listening. Until then, I will be following the advice he half jokingly / half seriously ended the podcast with:

“Take it from me, keep your eye on the puck.”

 

(Photo above: Melissa Andus)