Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gloating Is So Immature and Unbecoming...

...but, ultimately, a lot of fun. So, cue the chicken:


Welcome to the off-season, Rangers. Come join us on the golf course (please tell Mr. Tortorella to stay home, because there might be taunting, and, truth be told, we don't trust him with a golf club).

So far, everything's come up roses for the Isles since the season ended: they won the lottery; the Pens won, so they get a better draft pick; the Sharks lost, so their late-first rounder is as high as could've been expected; and both local teams lost crushing Game 7s, with the Rangers' collapse one for the ages.


Making the Rounds UPDATED

The Rangers have found their way into the NY media. And that's no small feat considering both the Mets and Yankees stink and there was a big story for the Jets coming out of the NFL draft. Big-time Ranger fan Boomer Esiason with partner Craig Carton of WFAN talk about the Rangers and Glen Sather's letter. Take a listen

Update 4/28: All attempts to link to the clip have failed. If you want a listen, go to the WFAN home page (www.wfan.com) and navigate to the Carton and Boomer page. Listen to "Blueshirt Cry Babies"

While you're listening to audio clips, check out this beauty between Torts and Brooks.

And if you're still around, here's an interview with everyone's favorite undershirt wearing Caps fan.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Dear Gary Letter

I missed this, but apparently Glen Sather wrote a letter to the league which actually includes this sentence regarding the Game 5 situation with the fans: "According to Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay, one patron was screaming at the team, in graphic language, about whether Dan Girardi and Marc Staal have a sexual relationship. "

No matter who wins Game 7, that's gold.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Game 5 was nothing short of a godsend. Perhaps you all saw the game, but I have to preserve some of these moments all in one place.

First off, having Ranger favorite and chief punk Sean Avery benched was great news. Already things were looking up.

Early in the 1st, some guy named Bradley scores a shortie after some sloppy blue line and neutral zone play by the Rags.

Next we had a really weak goal let in by "the King."

But things were just getting started...

"Ohh! Ohh! Vechkin!"

"The King" abdicated for the third period. That's when I thought it couldn't get any better. I was wrong.

And now Torts gets suspended. Here's a great point made by Puck Daddy.

It's never felt so good to hate the Rangers.

And as long as I'm assembling a short history of game 5, here's some tweets from everyone's favorite spaghetti-bending Ranger fan:

Did Tom Renney sneak into the Verizon Center wearing a Torts suit tonight? Shorty & a too many men penalty? Not a good sign..."

"Holy crap. Matt Bradley WTF? #Rangers

Anyway, Jim Schonfield will be behind the bench for the Rangers. Lord nothing interesting could come of that... Oh, hell. Here it is for old time's sake:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Help us out

The Islanders finished last in the league, the Sound Tigers got bounced in the first round of the AHL playoffs, and the Rangers are one win away from making it to the second round of the NHL playoffs. Things are grim in Islanders Country.

So, please, please let's take the announcer's advice in the clip below and let John Tortorella fight the "overserved" (and overfed...as seen in the second clip) gentleman in the white T-shirt. Because, win or lose, that would be one entertaining fight.

If that guy's not available, I'll also watch a fight between Tortorella and the guy with the mohawk.

Thank you for your consideration.

(h/t to Puck Daddy)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Rewards of Fandom

Though I stand by my statement that this past season (and it is exciting to refer to it as past) was not nearly the worst I've experienced as an Islanders fan, I would be foolish to admit that it wasn't a tough one. It's not exciting to see the team you like finish dead last, and to have to hear the subsequent derisive (I'm using big words so the Rangers fans don't read this) comments from fans of teams who are in the playoffs. It's not easy to sit through a season of trash talking when you don't really have a great comeback. It's not fun to receive an e-mail from Ticketmaster breathlessly urging you to "Score great Playoffs seats & cheer your team to the Stanley Cup,' which I received on Friday.

But if you can make it through all that and still stick around, you will be rewarded. I know this now, because I got my reward Friday night, when The Mediocre One and I attended game 1 of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL playoff series at the Nassau Coliseum (lovingly described by a drunken fan wearing a Mick Vukota jersey at the last Islanders game we went to as "like a Kiss concert in 1978").

We got to the game a little late and missed the first goal, but luckily our arrival to our third-row corner seats ($19 each!) didn't disturb anyone. This was mainly because there weren't that many people to disturb and the people behind us were the most annoying bunch of children I've ever sat near at a hockey game. Toward the end of the game, one of them revealed himself as a Rangers fan and started debating that the Rangers' legacy was more storied than the Islanders and, for a second there, it seemed like the man in the front row was going to lose it. But he kept himself in check, though he was probably tired from yelling at the guy in the Gretzky Rangers hat, who, incongruously, seemed to be a Sound Tigers---or at least a Pascal Morency--fan. That man also withstood a confrontation with Sparky.

Another top-notch fan in our section was right up against the glass. And, at several points during the game, particularly in the pre-period skates, also up against the glass was his Yankees hat. For reasons neither TMO nor I could figure out, he would press his Yankees hat against the glass, bang on the glass, and try to get players to respond. The Mediocre One first saw this behavior while I was walking on the concourse prior to the second period (and what a walk it was...just wait). He said Jon Sim was the recipient of the Yankee Treatment, and it was one of the more confusing things he's ever seen. It sounded odd to me, but the true oddness of it didn't settle in until I saw it for myself prior to the third period. The Yankees fan got a couple of guys to look over and then hit paydirt when Penguin Paul Bissonette skated by, took a look at the hat, and then seemed to get angrier as he skated away. And by the time he was on the other side of the ice, he was yelling at the Yankees fan and was visibly upset. You probably had to be there, but it was one of the funnier (and odder) things I've seen at a hockey game.

But let's get back to my reward. No, it wasn't a Sound Tiger victory (they lost 3-2 and, in fact, lost Game 2 as well and now head to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight down 2-0). No, it wasn't hearing the "Sound Tiger Rowwwwwwwrrrrrrr" that is heard in Bridgeport when a Sound Tiger scores (they foolishly didn't bring that sound effect to Long Island). No, it wasn't seeing Kyle Okposo skate up close and see how strong he is on his skates (he dragged a guy almost all the way down the boards after he was checked in the offensive zone). No, my reward came as I was heading back to my seat as the second period began. The Mediocre One had decided to stay in his seat, so I was alone when I came around a bend and spotted The Man.

Yessir, last Friday night, I met Mitch Fritz.

He was taking pictures with kids as I came near (the above GQ photo was snapped after one of the kid photos, as I tried to control my excitement), and I debated just how embarrassing it would be to grab a total stranger on the concourse and ask that person to take a picture of me and Mr. Fritz. Then I realized that I had just essentially had him pose for a picture on the concourse, so how much more embarrassing could a picture with him possibly be? So I headed to what I think was a father and son, and the son obliged (I'm not sure they even knew who the other guy was, as hard as that may be to believe). After the photo, I managed to sputter out something that went like this:

Me: Man, you're, like, a hero, on our blog.

Mr. Mitch Fritz: What's that?

Me: My friends and I have a blog called the Palm Isle. It's a "Slap Shot" reference.

Mr. Mitch Fritz: Oh, cool.

Me: Yeah, and at the beginning of the season, I decided that you had the perfect chantable name.

Mr. Mitch Fritz: Yeah, I've heard that.

Me: All right, cool. Thanks. I hope you're back next year.

Mr. Mitch Fritz: Yeah, me too.

While I hope the Sound Tigers rebound and I get a chance to see them play again this year, if Friday night was the last hockey game I see this season, at least it ended on a high note.

Mitch Fritz! (Clap! Clap!) Mitch Fritz! (Clap! Clap!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You know what?

Fuck all of them.

Fuck Brian Burke and every Toronto fan who thinks it's such a crying shame that Looonnnnggg Isssllaaannddd, and not their pathetic fucking franchise, gets to draft a real hockey player. Fuck you. Fuck you all. This is how it works. Just like you got Luke Schenn, we get Tavares.

Fuck the Canadian media. Not all of you, but the ones who think Long Island hockey fans are somehow worthless compared to the exalted hockey fans of Toronto/Canada. Fuck you.

I will repeat: It is as easy to be a hockey fan in Canada as it is to be a baseball/football fan in America. It takes zero effort. Zero. Zero. Fashionable, trend-seeking, cock-chasing chump fucks watch hockey in Toronto because it is the thing to do, just like every asshole with a TV in America thinks he's a die-hard NFL fan. Go fuck: you arrogant, over-concussed assholes.

Tavares is coming to Long Island. The Islanders are going to be good. And you're going to fucking hate it.

Fuck you.

I posted this on a message board earlier today after being told the Islanders didn't deserve Tavares because the team doesn't have loyal fans:

"Loyal fan base = too stupid to realize there is more to life than spending money to watch a bad hockey team. See: Maple Leafs

It's that kind of newly prevalent mentality -- you've got to fill up the arena every night or you're not loyal -- that makes me want to largely ignore sports all together. I don't want to live hockey (or football/basketball/baseball), I want to watch it. And I watch the Isles when they're awful, as well as when they're decent, even when the owner is making mistakes trying to make the team better, the building better, and gasp! make some money. And sometimes I don't, because I'm busy. Can I still come back?

You buy a hat, check the message boards, watch the TV, go to a game or two every year -- you're loyal. And if you're not loyal, I applaud you. I applaud Long Island fans for filling the building when the team is good, and keeping it under capacity when it sucks. You speak with your wallet and your time. And when you wanna go, you're still welcome in the rink as far as I'm concerned.

There will be plenty of people there to see Tavares. And Charles Wang will build his crazy-ass mini-city (which a voting majority of Long Islanders seem to support -- holding them hostage? huh? the county supports it. the voters support it. do a quick google search on Kate Murray/Lighthouse, she recently floated the idea of federal stimulus funds being used to rebuild the Coliseum -- she's a little loopy).

Anyway, I'm wandering off-topic. Isles fans are good hockey fans. There isn't a lot of them (us), but they do support the team, go to games when they can, buy jerseys, hats, hate the Rangers, etc. And they're (we're) excited to get Tavares. Let us have that for a few days.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Preseason is over: Thoughts on the upcoming Season

Next year it begins in earnest. For realsy.

Here are the things I'm looking out for in the 09-10 season. First, the health of the team. I think the Isles had a few things going against them this year. Some of the usual suspects got injured for stretches (DiPietro, Martinek). They also had some bad luck with timing and I don't think they were rushing people back into the lineup. We'll see how these guys can turn the injury trend around next season.

Second, I'm sure they're going to take things a little more seriously. If Tampa Bay had their best defensive defenseman taking overtime shootouts, I would be sceaming. I know this was a fun season and they were trying some odd things out, but Witt on the penalty shot seemed like a bit much. Situations like that will be different next season which should add some more points to the total by the end of the season.

Third, nothing crashes quite as hard as expectations for sports teams in the NY area. Unless you're the friggin' Devils. Next year there will be a lot of pressure on the team to peform and everyone should be eying the playoffs. If they fall significantly short of the playoffs, it will be a disapointment. That can be a lot of pressure on a team that is already hearing whispers of a move. Let's see if the young guys can handle it.

And now for tomorrows draft lottery.

Why the Draft Doesn't Matter
I've made a big deal about the Islanders landing number 91. However, I'm really not going to lose sleep over the draft lottery courtesy of the NHL salary cap. Players switch teams constantly in this league and there's always going to be a great player ready to be scooped up by a big spender. Including, perhaps, Tavares down the road. If the NHL had a system that rewarded good draft picks, things would be different. But it's nearly impossible to keep good players so why even bother drafting them? Either that or superstars soak up so much of the cap room it makes it tough to field good role players around them. I'm still rooting for a 1st overall pick, but the NHL needs to rethink its cap.

Alright, I've got some stuff to do but I wanted to cap the season. I'm going to try and find some time to rate some of the season previews and predictions but don't hold your breath. It may be a June post...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Make the IL DIVO picture go away

I was just getting tired of that other picture.

Apparently tonight was worst loss in Islanders history. Grizzly balls. I was more pissed that I couldn't watch despite having Jiggs back. And I keep thinking about that guy Mr. Bad Example saw at a game a couple weeks ago with a Danis jersey. I like the kid, but talk about jumping the gun. In fact I still like everyone for the moment. We'll see how things are next year when I have expectations.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Make the IL DIVO Commercials Stop

Like Reservoir Dogs except they fight over who gets to be Mr. Pink. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Can someone please buy all the tickets to this f*&^ing show so I don't have to see or hear about it anymore? I mean really, this is not Carnegie Hall--it's the Nassau goddamn Veterans Memorial Coliseum. If two months of constant advertising doesn't sell out a venue then maybe it's time to hang up the viking helmet and die. Please.