Big Ben Tuesday: The Virus and Noah’s Flood, the Rangers Likely Can’t Overcome Igor and Kreider Injuries

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Wuhan, China: I hope you all enjoy my last submission before I go to the bunker. Next week many of us will be dead. Except the kids. No kids are dying and hardly any are catching this virus. I’m not a religious man, but if there is some cosmic string puller up there, he probably got fed up with the last few generations and decided to rid the planet of all of us, except the kids. It’s a modified version of Noah’s great flood. Maybe He decided that:

I will wipe off the face of the earth these humans that I created. I will wipe out not only humans, but also domestic animals, crawling animals, and birds. I’m sorry that I made them.

was a bit much. Maybe sparing only one 600 year-old guy, his family, and a floating zoo was kinda cruel. Surely innocent children didn’t deserve the same fate as the sodomites? I believe He has mellowed over the centuries. Anyway, speaking of things sinking fast, let’s talk some NY Rangers!

Poorly Timed Injuries

Kreider’s and Igor’s injuries came at the worst possible time and this team may not be able to right the ship, so to speak, in time without them. They really don’t have anyone that can take on the Kreider role. Anyone else they put in there is like me subbing for Al Pacino in The Godfather. Sure I could say the lines, but it wouldn’t as be quite as effective. “Don’t ask me about my business, Kay.” Kreider has a unique blend of speed and size that you don’t find sitting around on your AHL affiliate’s roster.

Leaked footage of Igor Shesterkin trying to keep Pavel Buchnevich’s Porsche out of the East River.

There is no timetable for his return, but the season ends in about a month. It’s a fractured foot, you do the math. And the team has a rough schedule coming up with games against the Blues and Caps, and a road trip through Dallas, Colorado, and Arizona. There’s a winnable game vs the Devils in there too, but they have been much better of late.

Shesterkin was 9-1 with a .940 save percentage. It’s a small sample size, but that’s best percentage in the league. I know he couldn’t have kept up that pace, but the man is part cat and was straight stealing games. They say he’s feeling better and could return sooner than expected. But still, a broken rib seems like it might hamper a goalie. Just a hunch. Make no mistake, Igor is the best goalie on the team and he is the future.

Annoying Fans

I was at the Garden on Sunday and man was there a lot of annoying people in attendance. One guy behind me wouldn’t shut up on how Brendan Lemieux needed to start a fight to get the Rangers going. When Lemieux finally got in a minor shoving match before a face off, I thought the dude was going to orgasm into his nachos.

It was this guy’s fault they lost

Another guy was screaming for them to pull Henrik after the second goal in the first period. He kept making the joke “pull the goalie, he’s not stopping anything anyway.” He kept saying it as if it were hilarious and people must not have heard him or they would be laughing. We heard you pal. Maybe it’s time to go back to your empty apartment and send the child support to your ex-wife. It’s a strange world where a man who probably couldn’t run 10 feet if his kid’s head were on fire feels entitled enough to criticize one of the city’s greatest athletes of his lifetime.

I’m not bagging on Rangers’ fans. Well, I guess I am. But there were way too many people dressed in orange and they were just as annoying. Maybe it’s hockey. Or maybe I’m old. Perhaps I’ve gotten used to the quiet of the suburbs. Maybe all three. Whatever, pass the bourbon.

Even this guy couldn’t have saved the Rangers on Sunday

The King’s Reign Ends

It was not exactly a good spot for Henrik to be thrown in after a month off and hardly playing in 2020. When the Zamboni driver got into the game for the Hurricanes last week, my non-hockey friends were asking me “why can’t they just put another player in goal? Baseball has emergency QBs. Football has emergency QBs.”

Playing goalie is a different animal. Could you imagine Mark Staal or someone trying to get in goal? He probably wouldn’t even know how to put on the pads. Any with all due respect for Hank, it’s a young man’s position. I wish he would have gotten traded to Colorado or something to have one last chance at regular playing time and a Cup.

Long live King Henrik!

It will be hard to win without these two

Finishing the Rebuild

They need to find a way to get a little deeper up front, which might be tough with the cap situation still in tough shape next year. But if they kids continue to develop, and they bring up a few more prospects like K’Andre Miller, they could make a playoff push next season. And then the season after that when some salaries come off the books, they might be ready to bring in any missing pieces and make a real push.

If that’s how it works out, I’d take that rebuild any day. The other occupant of the Garden is on a slightly longer trajectory. Coronavirus or not, we’ll all be dead by the time the Knicks rebuild gets going.

Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who’s trying to make his own jump into respectability. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @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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