Big Ben Tuesday: Rangers Move on, Westbrook is the MVP, Daniel Murphy Tortures Mets Again, Eli Manning is Innocent

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Big Arm, Montana: There is a lot to talk about from the weekend, including, the New York Rangers moving on; Russell Westbrook banging out first half triple doubles, and Daniel Murphy continuing to be a thorn spike spear missile in the side of his former team. Let’s get to it.

This guy had a good series

The Rangers Move On

The NHL playoff format is stupid. The three best teams in the Eastern Conference had no chance of meeting in the Conference Finals because they all play in the same division. The Penguins and Capitals should be on a collision course to meet in the next round, but instead they’re squaring off now.

But who benefits from this terrible system – your New York Rangers! Thanks to the crossover format, they’ll now face the Ottawa Senators instead of one of the three Metropolitan powerhouses. Ottawa won’t be a cakewalk, but Montreal and then Ottawa is the clear path of less resistance. With any luck, the Caps and Pens will beat the living crap out of each other over 7 games and the Rangers can finish off whoever makes it out. If the Rangers get by the Sens, that is. I’m not assuming that, for the record.

Three maligned Rangers who deserve praise from that series are Dan Girardi, Alain Vigneault, and Henrik Lundqvist.

Girardi is a warrior and I promise to love him forever. His hit on Andrew Shaw was the moment the Canadiens realized they weren’t going to bully the Rangers.

Vigneault’s stubborn loyalty to his declining vets and reluctance to trust his youngsters is well documented. But AV made the big move in getting Pavel Buchnevich into the lineup, which was the turning point of the series. He jumped on the chance to get the Mats Zuccharello line onto the ice against the slow-footed Steve Ott line and third D pairing in Game 6, resulting in the go ahead goal.

And who doubted The King? It’s hard to think of one goal Henrik Lundqvist gave up that was his fault. Carey Price, on the other hand, let Zuccarello’s wrister get under his arm for the Rangers’ only power play goal of the series. And it was a big one. The King soundly outplayed his younger counterpart. Long may he reign.

The only choice

Westbrook is the MVP

I argued recently that Westbrook is the MVP over James Harden. Well, their teams are playing each other and the Rockets are going to win. Therefore, Harden in the MVP, right? No. Though Westbrook didn’t want to talk about it, a closer look reveals that the Thunder are minus forty in the series with Westbrook out of the game. He goes the bench with a lead, he comes back in trailing.

This is a lottery team without him. With him, they’re a playoff team. Harden has had a fantastic year. But the Rockets are in a great offensive system and have several other good players. No one is more valuable than Westbrook.

Murphy Crushes Mets Again

Whenever I bag on the Mets, Short Matt is quick with a corny retort of some kind that inevitably refers to the new Yankee Stadium as “The House that Greed Built.” He has a leg to stand on, it was of course philanthropy for the Mets to name their stadium after a bank. The Mets donate all profits to The Bernie Madoff Foundation in support of the effort to stamp out world hunger.

I’m coming for you, Short Matt

Too bad they can’t stamp out Daniel Murphy. Murphy crushed a grand salami off Zack Wheeler and now has 8 dingers in twenty games against his former team. Hey Mets’ Fans, would you take Murphy for $12.5 million per year or Yoenis Cespedes for $22.5 per year? Cespedes might be headed to the DL. He hurt his hamstring not sliding into home. The Mets are 8-11.

Max Scherzer had this to say about Murphy facing the Mets, “He wants to beat their brains in.” You can skip Short Matt, Daniel, someone took care of that already. It didn’t take long.

Free Eli

Eli Manning met with the press and spoke like a man who has been wronged. The last person to be judging Eli is Chris Christie, the fat turd who caused a massive traffic backup on a bridge for political revenge. Eli will be redeemed.

That’s it for me. Swing by tomorrow for our own declining veteran, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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