Friday, November 25, 2005


1UP/1DOWN: Sharks and Rangers

The Ranger$ and a rejuvenated Jaromir Jagr continue to shock the hell out of me and most people with their winning ways. Dumping the cancer that was Mark Messier was the best bit of pure luck GM Glen Sather could have hoped for other than a Jaromir Jagr that is ripping apart the league again.

15-7-3? The New York Ranger$? Instead of a team full of overpaid and undermotivated veterans, we have the Czech mafia and some kids who are finally getting a chance and are showing some real work ethic.

Honestly, is there a more dangerous player with open ice than Jaromir Jagr? Methinks not. In the "New NHL", Jagr gets more PP time and more open ice. If you give Jagr an inch, he takes the proverbial mile and roofs a nasty wrister behind your favourite team's goalie.

Oh, and Michael Nylander...25 points in 25 games?? (jaw drops open)

The Czech Mafia (with the token Slovak, just like old times):
Jaromir Jagr RW 25 21-18-39 +6 22PIM
Martin Straka C 25 3-21-24 +4 14PIM
Martin Rucinsky LW 12 6 8 14 +4 6PIM
Marcel Hossa LW 24 5-6-11 +4 10PIM
Petr Prucha C 19 6-3-9 +2 6PIM
Michal Rozsival D 25 1-6-7 +8 32PIM
Marek Malik D 24 0-5-5 +6 28PIM

The New York Rangers seem to be a great place for Czechs to play. I mean, they managed to turn Jan Hlavac into a useful player.

As long as Jagr continues his torrid pace and stays injury-free, the Ranger$ seem to be in a good spot to get back to the playoffs. I know some people complained when Jagr refused the captaincy, but Jagr's also been an offensive on-ice leader. You don't want or need to saddle Jagr with any 'ra-ra' leadership stuff...just let him play his game.

San Jose - The Toothless Sharks

Did they get robbed in Vancouver last night? My girlfriend insists the game should have been tied at 3-3, but I didn't see (and I tried) the puck in the net and the video goal judge agreed. Did the puck slide perfectly under that white stripe-covering? Perhaps, but I won't complain :)
(She's also a Flyers fan and quite evil)

Sharks fans, however, are probably a bitchy lot these days. 8-10-4 and a nice long losing streak is not what this team was expected to do. In the "New NHL", I figured a speedy and aggressive team like the Sharks would do well. It seems that Evgeni Nabokov forgot how to play his position and the Sharks forgot how to score! Only 3 other teams in the entire league (St. Louis, Columbus, and Florida) have scored less goals and the Sharks lack of bonafide offensive snipers is really putting them in a hurt locker.

While I was impressed with their attention to defence (typical of a Ron Wilson team) against the Canucks last night, the Sharks really did seem like a team that has trouble generating offence at all. Alex Auld had a pretty easy night with just over 20 shots to stop.

Other than Patrick Marleau (22 points in 22 games), the Sharks are really lacking for some knockout-class offensive players. Nils Ekman? It seems he has come back to earth with just 4 points in 18 games. The same goes for Alyn McCauley who has just 5 points.

Scott Hannan? -15? You can kiss those Canadian Olympic Team hopes goodnight.

They are still within striking distance and they can recover, but I look at their offence and scratch my head. What did I see in them before? I know they are fast and speedy, but their roster really does like thin up front now. I guess the fairy godmother picked the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers and took her magical fairy dust back east.


Link of the Day: David Singer of The Ice Block takes a look at Sean Avery's little French moment :)

That Avery thing on the Ice Block is pretty darn funny. Thanks for the link!

Can they still be the "Ranger$", in this age of the salary cap?
The "token Slovak, just like old times" comment was very funny. So true.
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