Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy 90th Kids

The Rangers celebrated their 90th year in grand fashion. They beat the Islanders 5-3. However great that was the pre-game show was a knockout, boffo. They went back in history to introduce all the greats: Mark Messier, "the Messiah," Eddie Giacomin, "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie," Barry Beck, "Shoot the puck Barry." I was waiting, wistfully, for the ghosts of Chuck Rayner and Frankie Boucher. No luck.

While the old timers shone in the pregame it was the young guns, or more appropriate, young legs who took over. Kreider, a goal and assist, Pirri, goal and assist; Zibanejad, two assists, JT Miller, goal and Brady Skjel an assist. All young and all 25 or younger. So what does this all mean? It means the Rangers beat the Islanders in the first game of the season. It might mean the young legs might carry the team, just as the Yankee kids carried the Bombers in August and September, at least for awhile. It will all depend on how long the youngsters continue to get meaningful ice time. And remember the coach is two points oriented. On to St. Louis and on to bigger things. Hopefully the young guys will continue to play, skate, score and win. Let's Go Rangers!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Sad Truth: "Holy Cow the Rangers Are Worse than the Cubs!"

Cliff Asness, a big time PhD money manager, who appears to have a soft spot for the Blueshirts, has analyzed all the probabilities and statistics regarding the prodigious losing streak the Rangers have compiled. As you might guess, if you have been paying attention here, his mathematical conclusion fits our theme. The Rangers have punished their loyal fan base beyond anything known in modern professional sports.

Cliff's Perspective at AQR Capital Management:
Holy Cow the Rangers Are Worse than the Cubs --

I’m taking a break... to demonstrate something really important – that hockey’s New York Rangers not winning the Stanley Cup from 1940-1994 was a greater achievement (“achievement” being, you know, really bad in this context) than baseball’s Chicago Cubs not winning the World Series from 1908-2015.


I think the numbers are so strikingly different it’s hard to argue with the basic conclusion... The Rangers from 1940-1994 were just way worse than the Cubs from 1908-2015 (or, perhaps, were way more unlucky as their chance of no championships by random chance was way smaller!).

If Cubs fans are curious, they will surpass the Rangers in probabilistic futility if they can go until 2040 without winning the World Series, assuming major league baseball continues with 30 teams.
Thanks Cliff.

So, while our current MSG brain trust continues to build a new 22-year and counting monument of futility let us take some small consolation by knowing it will take some real serious work to beat the previous 54-year (plus small league) losing streak. However, we should also never underestimate them.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

One Cup In 76 Years!

So were you surprised? I wasn't. Counting since the famous "1940", you remember the chant, bellowed in every NHL rink, the Rangers have won one Cup and that one was won when we brought in the "gunslinger" Mark Messier and his band of desperadoes. It was 1994 and if the Rangers continue with their ineptitude and mismanagement and poor coaches that chant may be revived in about 5 years by Islander fans, who will enjoy a Cup before we do.

One Cup in 76 years!

The Ranger organization's mismanagement is legendary. Yes, I know the Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 but the Cubbies seem to be lovable, the Rangers laughable. The fourties started it. Following their '40 win, World War II broke out and the Canadien government in their infinite wisdom drafted almost the entire Ranger team, they were all Canadiens in those days, assigned them in Canada, and allowed them to play hockey for the Canadien teams, at that time Montreal and Toronto. The Rangers were decimated and spent most of the 40's in the basement of a six team league.

One Cup in 76 years.

In the 50's the Rangers ran into another obstacle, Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Circus visited the Garden every year usually in April so the Rangers had to play the 1950 Stanley Cup finals against the powerhouse Red Wings on the road. The kindly NHL gave the Rangers two home games in Toronto and five at Detroit. The Rangers get credit for taking the series to a seventh game and losing in OT on a goal by Pete Babando, after "Bones" Raleigh hit the crossbar for the Rangers. This to me, was the greatest Ranger team anchored by goalie Chuck Rayner.

One Cup in 76 years!

Having been treated unfairly by fate and the hockey Gods, the Rangers took matters into their own hands and put in place corporate heads and bench coaches that would keep them down trodden for years. Yes, occasionally there were bright spots. Emile Francis's teams of the 70's that were not quite good enough and the 1979 ill fated Cup run. But that was it until 1994. We still live in 1994. The rafters are filled with the stars of that team. The Garden exploits them at every turn, Mark Messier is the Messiah... bringing us our one Cup in 76 years.

And then, 'til 2000 and the great wrecker, the Stealth GM, Glen Sather. Fourteen years of ineptitude and mismanagement. Picking up older players at the expense of prospects. Being invisible to the press and public. Never answering to the fans or press his many inane decisions. Fourteen years. Fourteen long years of poor coaches, weak and inconsistent play. Oh yes, we made it to the finals in 2014 and even then fate stepped in and gave us a raw deal, incompetent referees who took the series away from us. Slowly the team began to deteriorate. A conference final loss to Tampa Bay and this years first round elimination by the Penguins.

Why, just one Cup in 76 years?

Why? Why did we let a speedster, PK specialist like Carl Hagelin go? Cap problems? A good GM would have been creative, worked something out and let one of the other players go. Why did we trade hot prospect Duclair for a so-so D-man like Yandle? Why did we let Stralman go and sign an over the hill, expensive Dan Boyle? Why does the coach play the higher salaried players over the rookies. D-man McIlrath should have gotten more playing time in the regular season over washed up Boyle and tiring, beat up Girardi. Game coaching? Our coach constantly gets out coached, whether it's a bad time out or getting the wrong guy on for a face off or not wisely managing Lundqvist's off days.

One Cup in 76 years.

Finally, Lundqvist. He is in no way to blame for the Rangers poor performance. In the last game I counted three Penguin goals where a Ranger defender was not within five feet of the Penguin goal scorer. I heard the news conference. Sorry Henrik, not your fault. Get that monkey off your back, the team collapsed. Too many aging players, making too much money being under coached by incompetents.

One Cup in 76 years!

This year I missed a lot of games because of personal issues. However, the coach and some of the players missed more. I don't wear rose colored glasses. I call them like I see them. I predicted in one of my first post's this year the the Rangers would not win the Cup with this coach. Look it up. Little did I know they wouldn't make it past the first round. I've seen a lot and I see how this franchise is going backward. A lot of people in the Ranger organization are making a ton of money and it's at the expense of the fans. The fans are shelling out big bucks to see an inferior product, bigger bucks to drink watered down beer and top cuisine prices to basically eat fast foods.

One Cup in 76 years!

Will it end? No, because corporate America, at least New York, has the place sold out every night. That's why the last four years I drifted over to watch my Grandson's high school team and am pleased to say that for the third year in a row he won an award, this time a scholarship award. Keep up the great work kid and let's hope I see a turnaroud in the Rangers fortunes in my lifetime.

One Cup in 76 years!