BLOOMINGBURG, NY – This past Thursday marked the 44th anniversary of the cinematic release of filmdom’s greatest movie ever to hit the big screen—we are of course talking about
Slapshot Slap Shot. It doesn’t matter what decade you watched it for the very first time because it’s brilliance stands up very well to this day. What is simply known today as the Greatest Hockey Shift, The Hanson Brothers were, as one of their teammates described them, “f***ing embarrassing” and simply kidnapped the acting performance of Paul Newman, who has stated in interviews that this movie was his most enjoyable role. Expect some of what you saw from the Charlestown Chiefs and Syracuse Bulldogs in the Federal League’s championship game today at MSG for the noon faceoff.
Now I don’t mean to burst the Rangers fans bubble but the Friday night victory over the Boston Bruins won’t be repeated today. You had the correct recipe against a visiting team on the tail end of back-to-back games who succumbed late versus the very heavy and physical Islanders the night before. Sh1t! Three “muckers” scored whom I never even heard of – and you all know how much I love hockey. Even Blackwell took a break from his Best Dressed List (Hansons made it!) and joined the tally sheet. Kazinski,
Greg Luzinski or something like that potted a pierogi as well. There was some chippiness as well and I guarantee some fisticuffs for today’s matinee, so cover the kid’s eyes. Sure, there are injuries/absences on both sides but when you’re the Bruins and are without three of your top four blue-liners, you’re asking way too much of the young replacements and the aging and extremely rusting John Moore to eat minutes they are unaccustomed. Faceoffs, as I’ve alluded to in the past as the Rangers main pitfall (they rank 30th), surprisingly were 50/50 against the top faceoff team in the NHL. Why? Second-line Boston center David Krejci is sidelined and while he won’t slot into the lineup today the Bruins will overcome this statistic.
There’s some trepidation in the Bruins play of late even with the outdoor Tahoe blowout of an undermanned Flyers squad and the subsequent extended travel. No excuses as the Rangers definitely got the Bruins attention on Friday. Putting on the foil for some Olde Tyme Hockey is what’s on the menu this afternoon. Lemieux, Lindgren and Fox are to find willing combatants in Frederic, Ritchie, McAvoy and even Marchand to mix it up. Not sure what the puck line is but my money is on the Black $ Gold here. I’d even take an over prop bet on the number of fighting majors. Can someone please post the Wild’s Marcus Foligno fight against the Russian kid this past week? We could’ve had a Duk Koo Kim incident if it went any further.
Speaking of Russians, this whole Artemi Panarin thing is suspicious and there’s a lot more to it than is being reported. The Ranger superstar’s trip to Mother Russia can be a blessing in disguise, as Alexei LaFreniere will now get the opportunity to move up and play more minutes with higher-skilled players. Unlike other sports, #1 overall picks in hockey are usually generational, can’t miss talent and the only way to let them flourish is to throw them out there with the best players on the team. Get the kid out there, he won’t let you down.
I’m done for today. Come back tomorrow for our own Dickie Dunn, Junior Blaber.