Posts Tagged ‘Rangers

Sixth Sense

- February 3rd, 2012

The recent burst by the Leafs and slump by the Senators (losers of four heading into Friday’s date with the Islanders) only adds to the intrigue of the suddenly resurgent Battle of Ontario.

But here’s where Saturday’s game in the capital gets even more meaning. Granted, it is cart before the horse material and certainly other teams battling for the bottom playoff spots in the Eastern Conference could have a say, but the Leafs find themselves just two points behind the Sens with two games in hand.

At stake, right now anyway, is sixth place and a look at the standings gives clear meaning why that could be a coveted spot entering the post season. Whoever prevails in what looks to be a soft Southeast Division is likely to claim the No. 3 seed and meet No. 6 in the opening round of the playoffs.

Who knows what might transpire over the next couple of months, but avoiding Boston and the New York Rangers early on certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Twitter twits and other stuff …

- April 21st, 2011

I always laugh when impatient experts declare a game over when there’s still a period more to play. That or wish I could run to the casino sportsbook and make a wager on the other side.

Anyway, as the second period was winding down in Buffalo, I thought my laptop was going to explode with all the tweets shouting out the fact that the New York Rangers were back in the series. And it started when the score was 2-0!

The Washington Capitals came back to win in double overtime, of course. Not that I would have predicted it, but the game was far from over. Sure it was a big comeback, but that’s what No. 1 seeds are paid to do against No. 8 seeds.

On to the other stuff:

Some great, if slightly squeamish radio on TSN Wednesday night when Colin Campbell was the guest with James Cybulski and Dave Feschuk. Campbell, the NHL disciplinarian, sounded very much like a man fed up with the criticism of some of his recent decisions and he tore a strip out of the hosts. It’s worth a listen here.

And finally, more and more it looks like Chris Pronger will return to action sooner than later. The big Flyers defenceman, out with a broken bone in his hand, has been practising with the team and as my man Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports, Pronger is getting anxious.

Leafs-Rangers game day …

- October 21st, 2010

Some thoughts on tonight’s Rangers-Leafs game, less than a week after the two teams met in New York.

1. Among the many differences from a year ago is the enthusiasm about going to the rink for a midweek contest. Last season, you knew the team was going nowhere and on top of that, they were often dreadful to watch. Even if they lose, the Leafs will at least be entertaining most nights.

2. Big game for Jonas Gustavsson, who gets his second start of the season against the Rangers. The Monster was solid in his second and third periods in Pittsburgh and would like to build on that tonight.

3. The Leafs are big betting favourites Thursday night, perhaps the heaviest they have been in years. According to Bowman.com, the Leafs are the -160 choice meaning you would have to wager 16 to make 10.

4. Not sure about the fuss being made over Kris Versteeg’s scoring woes. While it’s true he has only scored once, he has been a dynamic player both with and without the puck and is a good set up man for Phil Kessel. Would he like to score more? Sure. But if he keeps playing the way he has, those goals will come.

5. No surprise here, but apparently Rangers pest Sean Avery declined to talk with the Toronto media this morning. Yawn.

Everyone’s a winner …

- October 18th, 2010

Add Sportsnet as the latest outfit to prosper from the early success of the Maple Leafs.

In its first Leafs gane of the season last Friday in New York, the regional (Ontario only) telecast drew an average audience of 920,000 with a peak of 1.5 million during the third period when the teams were tied at 3-3.

That total was some 40% higher than the team’s average last season as Sportsnet followed both TSN and CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada to get huge ratings from the Leafs so far. TSN, for example, averaged 1.6 million in its national broadcast of last Wednesday’s Leafs win in Pittsburgh with a peak late in the game of two million.