Talking about the Rangers, unless I decide to talk about something else

Archive for April, 2012

Chris Kreider for President

Sorry, it’s been a while. My “E” and “3” keys broke on my old computer, and apparently that makes writing quite a bit tougher. I will now resume the regularly scheduled programming.

Chris Kreider is, it’s fair to say, the greatest player of all time. He will break all the Gretzky records and win 15 Stanley Cups in a row and he will date supermodels from Israel and Brazil until the day he dies. I’m pretty excited.

I’ll slow down.

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On the Hagelin/Carkner Suspensions

Now that I’ve had a little more time to think about it, the 3-game suspension for Carl Hagelin doesn’t bother me too much on its own. Even if he only hit Alfredsson with his elbow accidentally (Alfie did move his head and bring up his stick right before contact), Hagelin still would’ve caught him up high and done some damage. It seemed like he was leaving his feet. Alfredsson missed the rest of the game and still may not play tonight. 3 games for Hagelin is harsh, but it isn’t outlandish. Players were getting 5 games for elbows to the head causing injuries, and 3 for a guy who seemed to do it accidentally and has no history of disciplinary issues (honestly, he probably needs a GPS to find the penalty box) is fair.

Rangers fans are generally pretty furious with the suspension, though, because it didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened days after Shea Weber received a fine and no suspension for basically palming Hank Zetterberg’s head and slamming it into the glass. It also happened a period after Matt Carkner sought out Brian Boyle to get back at him for throwing some rabbit punches at an unwilling Erik Karlsson in Game 1. Seeking out Boyle for a fight would’ve been one thing, but Carkner’s attack was probably as close as we’ll get in the playoffs to felony assault. He came in high with a crosscheck on Boyle’s blind side, sucker punched him twice in the face, then punched him 5 times in the ribs while he was on the ground. Carkner’s defense was that he expected Boyle to fight back, which I wouldn’t have trouble buying if Carkner had actually, you know, given Boyle an opportunity to respond to a challenge as opposed to jumping him without warning and essentially trying to injure him. Carkner has been previously suspended for doing exactly the same thing earlier this year when he sucker punched an Islander multiple times in the face and broke his orbital bone. He got a game misconduct and is suspended for tonight as well.

Considering his prior suspension, his intent and the sheer viciousness of the play, the fact that Carkner is regularly healthy scratched, and in the previous 13 games he dressed he played more than 9:00 minutes only 1 time, a 1 game suspension seems light but probably wouldn’t have had much of an effect on the series even if he got more games. What makes it feel so shitty is that Dubi missed the whole game since the refs missed the attack on Boyle and he went in to rescue his teammate. A team leader and key special teams player for the Rangers missing the rest of the game for that feels… well, kind of yucky for lack of a better term.

There’s also the issue of suspending to injury. If Alfredsson is scheduled to play tonight, the Rangers will be able to appeal the Hagelin suspension (as of now he’s apparently 50/50) and probably get it reduced by a game. That would feel better. But what nags me about this is that intent is much less of a factor than result, and that seems like backwards logic. Objectively it’s pretty fair to say Hagelin’s hit was reckless but accidental, whereas Carkner jumping Boyle was reckless, intentional and wildly excessive. The suspensions differ because Alfie got concussed and Boyle wasn’t injured.

I understand the need to discipline Hags for his hit on Alfie, both for his actions and the result of the hit. But to suspend Carkner less severely than Haglein just because Boyle didn’t get hurt seems deeply wrong. I’ve never understood this approach to discipline on any level; for example, I don’t understand why an attempted murder charge doesn’t fetch the same punishment as a regular murder charge. Why do you punish someone less just because either (A) they’re shitty at murdering people or (B) the person they attempted to murder is tough as nails and survives? I don’t view the two crimes any differently because the intent was the same: to kill. The result seems irrelevant to me.

Obviously I’m using a hyperbolic example, but it still illustrates my point. Carkner wasn’t making a hockey play or trying to follow the enforcers’ code, he assaulted Brian Boyle to hurt him to get revenge. Hagelin was trying to make a clean hit and hockey play but he made a reckless mistake that ended up hurting Dan Alfredsson.

Accidental injuries will always be a part of the game, attacks like the one Carkner unleashed on Boyle are the sort of plays the NHL needs to get rid of. Neither of the incidents deserves to go unpunished, but it will never feel right to me that the message the NHL is sending is that intent matters less than result.

Reactions to NYR vs. OTT Game 2

This pretty much says it all:

Mark Messier, also not amused:

Playoff Predictions! PROGNOSTICATIONS!

So I meant to do this a couple days ago and I didn’t. But, then again, who gives a shit? The good thing about having a blog that no one reads is that I can play by my own rules, much like every action movie protagonist ever. Additionally, I think I could be described as a loose cannon. My life has gone to some weird places, much like this introductory paragraph (note: I realized after I finished this post that “Poorly Executed Introductions” is my 2nd most used tag).

ANYWAY, I’m going to make a few Rangers predictions and a few NHL predictions as well. I hope that you enjoy them and they all come true and I consequently look like a genius. Away we go.

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Playoffs Baby, Playoffs

Every Ranger fan should watch this video immediately. It is not optional.

16 wins to be a champion. I am unreasonably excited.

The playoffs are here, you guys. I’m going to drink celebratory beers and scream until I lose my voice even though I have a job that requires me to speak clearly on the phone all day. WINNING THE CUP IS ABOUT SACRIFICE, I’M GONNA DO MY PART.

PUMP UP VIDEO FOR THE PLAYOFFS

 

If they start playing “This is How We Do It” at the Garden before playoff games, I am going to be the happiest man alive.

Awesome Read: NYT Piece on Henrik Lundqvist

Here’s a link to an awesome story about King Henrik and his career so far.

I won’t get too far into it, but the highlights include:

  • Brendan Shanahan on Hank’s level of competitiveness: “Most psychiatrists would say he’s not healthy.”
  • Henrik’s conversation he had with his sister before the season started.“I’m going to be the best,” Lundqvist said.

    Taken aback by his boldness, Gabriella asked him what he meant.

    “I’m going to be the best,” Lundqvist said. “And that’s that.”

If you have 15 minutes or so, give it a read. You’re welcome.

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