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.

  • Junoir Blaber

    Congrats to the Blueshirts and AV will need to continue to make big calls for the Rangers to come out the East. I am happy with this playoff structure debacle.

    • Matt McCarthy

      The ingredients for winning a Stanley Cup are hard work, talent and luck. The Broadway Blues have all the boxes checked, as per the match-ups.

      • benwhit

        There really is a lot of luck. That Kreider OT shot deflects in another direction, who knows what happens after that.

  • Junoir Blaber

    Murphy was not worth it at the time. He had a great playoff run but nothing in his past predicted he would be able to continue.

    • benwhit

      I wouldn’t say nothing. He had a dominant post season that last year. But I hear you, it could’ve been an aberration. Cespedes is overrated though. There’s a reason why he’s been traded all over the league.

      • If this were “another” Major Sports Network, you’d be jettisoned for undermining the company and its beloved founder. However, we do things differently around here and frankly, your points about The Great Short Matt are, well… spot on. Kudos. Just don’t expect him to be genuine with you around the watercooler.

        Pertaining to your comments about Short Matt & Daniel Murphy, perhaps you’ve forgotten our Founder’s pilgrammage of prayer for Murphy?

        • Matt McCarthy

          Neil Walker/TJ Rivera for President(s)!

  • AngryWard

    The Caps playing the Pens in Round 2 is a joke. Never should have happened. Westbrook is definitely the MVP, but a lot of good that does when your team gets bounced in the first round and you still have to play in Oklahoma City.

    Thanks, by the way, for the “declining veteran” comment. Someone had to say it. I’ll file my retirement papers at once.

    • Ben Whitney is the Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of our staff. He doesn’t speak for this Administration. Therefore your retirement papers will not be accepted, unless of course it’s a choreographed Sweep’s Week move and you’re our Brett Favre, Roger Clemens, Marshawn Lynch or Randy Moss.

      • benwhit

        Regarding my Short Matt and Angry Ward jokes, I kid because I care.

        • Matt McCarthy

          Tell that to Saul Goodman, our attorney.

          • benwhit

            Calling me Jeff Sessions was not a proportional response. Ouch.

    • Matt McCarthy

      Let’s decline together. Watch this modern day Sisyphus.
      http://deadspin.com/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed-try-again-and-again-and-a-1794602850

  • Matt McCarthy

    Daniel Murphy is “who we thought he is.” He’s also been inserted into a decent lineup for the first time in his career. THAT means the world for good-but-not-great hitters. Ask Jayson Bay and Curtis Granderson.

    Eli is the George Washington of the NFL; he cannot tell a lie… well.

    • AngryWard

      There’s only room for one Murphy on the Mets, and that’s Bob. Now and forever.

  • Dude

    Despite killing the mets i’m still fine with letting murphy walk over yo. Muprhy started to come on when he had cespedes behind him in the lineup. Everytime i see walker make a play at second i miss that homophobe even less. The problem is the mets continue to pitch to him. Throw him inside, bean him, brush him back, send tranny’s to his hotel room. make him thik twice about tuerning down the qualifying offer extended to him (one which would have resulted in a much bigger payday this year) In short f daniel murphy and the born again horse he rode in on. now get some f-ing hits in atlanta.

    yeah the playoff format is messed up in NHL but the Rangers deserve some good fortune being the team that has won the most playoff games with no championship to show for it.

    • Matt McCarthy

      He was in a 1-22 slump before coming to Citi Field. Must hit him. Must.

      • Dude

        plus he popped the ball up when the season was on the line last year in playoffs. Bean him early and often

  • Buddy Diaz

    I love the Murphy story. Average player goes crazy in the playoffs, goes from good to great hitter. The Mets didn’t resign because he couldn’t play defense, they didn’t resign him because they lost money to Madoff. The Mets had to pick their poison and went with Céspedes and correctly so but dont knock him. He protects Bryce Harper in the order… Bryce Freaking Harper! Sounds like sour grapes from Met fans. Don’t forget you haven’t made it back to the series without him and he was the major reason in that lineup for why they got there.

    • vinny from brooklyn

      you didnt see him every day screwing up

  • GrindingAx

    Have to admit, the Rangers are hitting everyone. Perhaps it’s the influence of Beukeboom. Either way, AV has pulled the right strings so far.
    I think the Rangers would rather play Washington, if they can get by Ottawa. Let’s hope that Derek Brassard does not do too well.

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