TDR is a working professional in entertainment and is obsessed with the game of hockey. More four years ago, this site emerged as a means (or an outlet) to tell some truth'isms about the game post-lockout, rather than the crud fed to us through knuckleheads like Jimmy Dolan and his lemmings universe. Today, there are a hundred Rangers sites and is thankful and grateful to all those that have come after him, but honorable thanks go to his fellow Dark-writers, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed. And "Let's Go Rangers!"
Bio of Graying Mantis
Graying Mantis is in fact a graying legal practitioner by day (and sometimes, alas, by night). In the cobwebs of his memory, he recalls starting to follow the Blueshirts in 1970 and remembers watching pivotal playoff games against the Blackhawks on a snow-covered Hartford t.v. channel in their 1972 march to the Finals. Giacomin, Gilbert, Ratelle, and Hadfield seen skating on a small B&W TV screens always will be among his first Ranger memories. He is grateful beyond words for the opportunity to work with his colleagues here in their never ending battle to inform and entertain. Most of all, he appreciates the chance to engage with fellow hockey fans.
Bio of J_Undisputed
"J_Undisputed is an Information Tech Professional; a student, and on and off in his dreams, Mike Richter. He caught his first glimpse of Rangers Hockey when an overtime preempted his favorite pro wrestling broadcast on WWOR-9 one late saturday night when he was 5 and he's been hooked ever since. He's been watching the Rangers for 30 years despite family attempts to make him an Islander Fan (Rest easy...they're out of the will). What started as a minor annoyance has become a life long passion (and at times, a frustration...But he wouldn't trade it for anything). Lets Go Rangers!"
Bio of General Ganz
General Ganz is a cynical yet well-informed student of the human spirit. He's a professional of sorts, with a post-graduate education, some experience working in real companies, and some limited athletic ability. The total small package. He got picked on a fair bit as a kid, and he experienced his first human-non-relation kiss in his teens. He also grew up on the other side of the tracks, thereby helping to cultivate a healthy contempt for dreamers and optimists whose rosy upbringing gave them something to smile about, even when "life produced lemons." Like it or not, his only mission is to point out the potholes you're lucky enough to miss on your drive to work. To find the blemish on your daughter's carefully-stitched (and not-yet-paid-for) wedding dress. To take that little smidgen of hope that your favorite hockey teams fill you with, and pour orange paint on it. Oh, and he is a Blueshirts fan, and takes most of his fashion direction from Ron Duguay (whose name he dropped as a way to close the deal on that first kiss).
With the Blueshirts (36-32-10) picking up another two points against the Florida Panthers 4-1 this past Saturday, rounding out a total of four of four points on their Florida trek, they remain in 9th place knowing exactly where they are in the standings and trying to ignore it. This is just the type of pressure that tenses up their style, paralyzing the Tort's puck-moving-forward system. When this team thinks about it, they lose.
For a recap of the Panthers game (or just call it the '3rd period only Rangers Blitzkreig'), go here.
So the current points-a-plenty run of 5-0-1 is coming from a Blueshirts squad most of us are unfamiliar with this season - one whose current position is that they don't care about where they stand (or so they say) and are approaching each game as their last. Frankly, I don't buy into this mentality or press angle and think much of this winning surge is due to our much criticized coach.
For months we all felt that John Tortorella was washed up as Motivation Director in Blue, but it is obvious that it may be simply a matter of players finally getting comfortable actually playing for more than 20 minutes a game. Torts has been more recently critical of veteran players not giving their all, assaulting the media and (sometimes) benching them (players and, ah em...the media - i.e. see Larry Brooks), our controversial coach hasn't been afraid to substitute harder working minors from The Wolfpack in Hartford over the much greater paid roster. The experiment is working and much deserving commuters P.A. Parantheau and Aaron Voros have added the much needed sparks, an element of desperation every game -- a motivation that has fired-up all cylinders with the entire team. Even defenders Marc Staal and Dan Girardi have risen from hibernation, feeling more comfortable pushing the puck forward -- in many ways Torts has allowed them to learn it and make their own. Even 'The Horrible' Wade Redden is not as dreadful as the first 2/3 of the season, (I take back comparisons to Marek Malik -- a MUST-SEE goal by the way, M&M) - and his sidekick Rozsival still stinks as far as I am concerned.
It is refreshing to see the Rangers making a desperation run with eyes on the final playoff seed of the conference, trailing the ailing Philadelphia Flyers. After the Panthers win on Saturday, our hopes of Phllly's continued losing streak came to an end as they miraculously beat the Detroit Red Wings yesterday afternoon - giving them a 2-points advantage with three games left in the season. The Rangers have one game in hand. So providing the Rangers win one game against either the Buffalo Sabres (tomorrow night) or the Toronto Maple Leafs (Wed night) - and assuming the Flyers win vs. Toronto tomorrow night --- the Rangers will need to sweep the home & home series this coming weekend to make the playoffs.
We've done it before. We'll do it again. To the death. One positive outlook for the Rangers is Philadelphia's goalkeeper problems -- starter Ray Emery is out for the remainder of the season and even their backup Michael Leighton is out as well. Some half-ass minor goalies are in net, and that is a huge thing to take advantage of. If you can get past the monster Pronger line, the Rangers need to shoot twice the shots as they normally have and something is bound to go in. With the Wall in net also known as Henrik Lundqvist, our beloved goaltender will need to stand on his head and withstand what is sure to be an offensive onslaught of Orange and Black. Hang in there Hank -- it's going to be a long weekend.
And if you've ever wished a player to get hurt this week (and not that The Dark Ranger would ever wish this to happen to anyone) keep names like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in your thoughts....
Let's go BLUE and show 'em how to play playoff hockey in season.... Sabres tomorrow night, expecting the win.
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