Scratchin’ and Clawin’

Friday, October 21, 2011

After a sluggish start with 2 losses in Europe (Shoot out/OT) and the first game on US soil against the hated Islander’s (4-2 loss) the New York Rangers have scratched and clawed their way to 2 straight wins.

On a 4 game swing through western Canada, The Rangers shut out the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 (Lundqvist stole the game) and dropped the Calgary Flames in OT, 3-2. Before I get too carried away I had to talk (Basically yell at) a few close friends and Rangers fans off the cliff about the Rangers slow start. I reminded them that 3 games into the season, and you are already chirping? Please! Passionate as they are, as Ranger fans, I believe they jumped the gun way to early. Look, it’s a long season and the Rangers have a ton of work to do that is clearly obvious. Ugly or not, give them credit for scratching out the wins out west.

So far here’s my take on what I‘ve seen. The offense needs work. You got give the King Henrik Lundqvist some help and how do you do that? By scoring goals, it’s that simple. The Rangers must get the power play going in this “New NHL” (Seems like every year I say that) penalties are being called by the bushel full and that can be a deadly weapon. Getting the team healthy would help, especially on the D (Staal and Sauer). What the Rangers have got out of their young D is quite remarkable. When you think about the ages of Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Tim Erixson they are gaining valuable experience. In the end though, they are going need Marc Staal, Michael Sauer, Dan Giradi to be the Rock solid foundation.

Some other thoughts. Love the Kris Newberry call up. If you are not going have Sean Avery (One of my favorites) in the line up then Newberry is a decent replacement. He’s got a little edge to him and will drop his gloves for his teammates. Something the Rangers need, in my opinion. Also what about the offensive production out of Ryan McDonagh? Those close to me know that I kind of predicted this. He got his feet wet last year and now feels comfortable with the speed of the game. In turn, he now has the confidence to join in on the rush which is something the Rangers have lacked in a long time. Still has a little trouble in his own end with giveaways, but I can live with that and I’m sure the coaching staff can as well. 2 games to go on the western road trip. Edmonton Oilers are up first and then the Winnipeg Jets (Doesn’t that sound good?) to finish the trip up before the home opener next Thursday at the new improved MSG against the Toronto Maple leafs.

Remember to check out the Quinnipiac Bobcats D1 Hockey team, who are off to a great start, and tune into the “The Instigators” radio show every Tuesday night 8:30 (subject to change). That’s it for now but feel free to opine if you agree or disagree. I might even answer back, you never know! Over and out!

Instigators Link

Quinnipiac Bobcats Radio Link


I'm Back

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alright everybody, I’m back, which could only mean one thing it must be Hockey time again. I apologize for the long wait of my first posting on Kotsy’s Korner and hope my followers will continue to check it out and opine. Unfortunately it’s been a very dark off season for the NHL and Pro Hockey in general with all the tragic events that occurred this summer. I’m not going to get into the how’s and why of what happened, But I do want send my condolences to all the friends and family of all players who passed away. It has to be a hard time for them and we in the hockey world feel for you.

Let’s start off with the New York Rangers as they open the season in Europe against the Los Angeles Kings Friday afternoon our time 1:00. Not going to get too detailed about the roster and who’s in and who’s out. Most pundits have had their say (Usually wrong) and I for don’t want to speculate what the starting lineup will be when the puck drops against the Kings. I do know that I expect big things out of the Rangers this year as the core of this team is at a point where the maturation level should start to provide the results we have all been waiting for.

The signing of Brad Richards once again proved that GM Glen Sather did his job by securing the number one free agent out there. The Rangers have needed a legitimate number one center to compliment Marion Gaborik and here’s to hoping things work out for Richards and the Rangers. I do have a concern like many others over the Marc Staal headache problems that have lingered since the hit he took from his brother last year. This is something to keep a close eye on and how it all unfolds only time will tell.

Some ramblings, on the selection of Ryan Callahan as Captain of the New York Rangers. Was there really a doubt? This man exemplifies what a leader means. He gives his all, hits, blocks shots, contributes offensively, and lastly is a great communicator with his teammates and media. The last part is extremely important, believe me. As a former player I know. Just hoping Callahan can stay healthy is all Rangers fans could ask.

Not sure what’s going on with Sean Avery, but I have been a huge supporter his for years now. Whether he passes waivers or not I feel it might be a mistake by the Rangers we’ll have to wait and see. I will say this though, Avery probably would have been better served playing back in 70s or the 80s. Things were not so politically correct and soft in life like they are now. What happened in the arena and ice surface back then stayed in the arena and ice surface. The things we said to each other back then… you have no idea.

One last thing NHL teams might have to expand their rosters to the NFL number of 45 the way Brendan Shanahan is handing out the suspensions. It’s quite clear there’s a new sheriff in town, but I’m not sold on his plan and decisions just yet. This could lead to no hit Hockey faster than we expected.

Well that’s about it for now, but yes I’m still doing color commentary on the radio with Quinnipiac Bobcats with my good friend Bill Schweizer as the play-by-play guru. I will also be doing some select Princeton Tigers men’s hockey games on television as well. I’m also looking forward to another great year with Paul Scaglione AKA Pauly Dee on the “Instigators Hockey Show” every Tuesday night. You can be sure of some off the off-the-wall opinions and fun with every show. Remember, don’t be afraid to have your opinion heard and respond on the blog. Should be a great year and let’s go Rangers. Till next, time Over and out.

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