No matter what anyone tells you, you can never fully be prepared for taking care of an infant. My daughter is now 5 ½ weeks old, and as a result, I am sleep deprived, nerves are ragged and I feel like I could snap at any moment, but the good news is I am watching a ton of hockey (while flipping between the damn Yankees proving that they should have bought some pitching in the offseason) and have really been enjoying most of the games…a couple of comments on the sabres vs. rangers as that is the series I have been able to watch every game of….
- Is it just me or have the rangers been the better team for a significant portion of this series? Credit to the Sabres for jumping on the Rangers and making them pay when they make a mistake, but Ryan Miller has been abused in this series…and keeps coming up with the big save. USA Hockey looks like it has the stud goalie they need for years to come…
- How good is Briere and Drury? Briere handles the puck about as well as anyone in the league and he rarely doesn’t at least get a shot off. Drury…the guy is a winner, have always loved watching him play and has been key on both ends of the ice. Reminds me a bit of Brindy in his play in all three zones. Have to wonder in the off season how much of a raise these guys are going to get….I have to believe that they are both in the $6-7M range for the right team, which if the decision is about money, it will be impossible for Buffalo to keep both.
- Matt Cullen. I loved this guy in Carolina. Can play in any situation you throw him into, and even though he is not a big guy is willing to muck it up in the corners and fight for the puck
- Roy and Avery…I have never seen so much diving by two players on opposite sides in my life. They both though should get Oscar awards for their ability to turn a slight push into it looking like they got shot from the upper deck
- Jagr – Man possessed… I have not seen him play with this heart or effort in a very long time. I actually think it may have been a good thing that he was absent some on the rangers in the past, because now his teammates see him pushing himself, which appears to be driving them.
- Shanny – the guy is an absolute force on the ice and if the Rangers do pull this series even, there is no doubt his play will have been a major factor
A quick comment on Ek’s proclamation about how HUGE this game was in the states….I will have to say I will be surprised if the game pulled better numbers than any other hockey game in the states, except in NY. Sad, but most in the states that are not hockey fans, are not flipping the game on…they would rather watch NASCAR or Fletch on USA for the 435th time.
Lastly, the Canes signed Ray Whitney and Jim Rutherford to extensions. Whitney was obvious…he is one of the best pure goal scorers this team has, and his personality fits in so well in the locker room that keeping him is a no brainer. Rutherford was also a fantastic signing. To be able to operate in a small market with a limited budget and make the cup finals twice in two years is simply fantastic. The real question is will he be remembered for trades that brought Brindy and Williams to Carolina? Or fantastic below the radar free agent signings of Stillman and Whitney? Or even great draft selections in Ward, Staal and Ladd (yes I think he will be a fantastic power forward in this league)? In all likelihood a big part of his legacy will be a result of Jack Johnson’s ability to deliver in the NHL. I have gone on record that I didn’t like the trade, and still don’t, even though I love Gleason. But I have to trust that JR knew something that I didn’t (the rumor has been the kid was not going to play here and had no intentions otherwise) and had to make the trade. Will never know the truth, but I am looking forward to seeing how JJ acclimates to his role…I am not ready to anoint him the next coming of Scott Stevens though…..yet…