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New Rangers VP Sounds Upbeat Note

New York, NY—In what observers are calling a “stunning” development, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, mere hours after tendering his controversial resignation to President George W. Bush, held a press conference at Madison Square Garden to announce that he had accepted the position of Vice President for Public Relations for the New York Rangers.  John Rosasco, who had previously held that post, revealed that he will become White House Press Secretary, as former Fox News anchor Tony Snow takes the helm at the Pentagon.

Mr. Rumsfeld brushed off suggestions that the Rangers’ opening-round series against the New Jersey Devils was not going well.  “We’re dealing with a few pockets of dead-enders in New Jersey,” he said.  “The series may take five, six, eight, ten, twelve games—that’s in the nature of these things.  But even though the Devils have slowed our progress, they haven’t stopped it and they’re not going to win.  The thought of their prevailing in this conflict is a terrible thought.”

Rumsfeld refused to confirm that Jaromir Jagr would play in game four, remarking, “You know that’s one of those unknown unknowns you can never know about.”

Speaking from an undisclosed location deep in the bowels of Pennsylvania Station, Rumsfeld’s former colleague Dick Cheney agreed that the Devils were in their “last throes,” and added that Devils fans were “objectively pro-evil, as their name implies.”

Posted by on 04/27 at 05:58 PM
  1. A tape has been released of Martin Brodeur speaking from a location (maybe somewhere in New Jersey) claiming victory over the Rander “infidels.”

    Posted by  on  04/27  at  07:38 PM
  2. "The area of the arena that the Rangers control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where the Devils, the puck and the goals are dispersed. We know where they are. They’re in the area around the neutral zone and between the boards and east, west, south and north somewhat.

    Posted by  on  04/27  at  07:47 PM
  3. JP may have won the internet for the day.

    (captcha: about, pronounced a-boot)

    Posted by  on  04/27  at  08:09 PM
  4. "Things really turned around when Rudy Giuliani--America’s Coach--came in and took control, issuing orders from the ice.”

    “Clinton officials were blamed for allowing Brian Gionta, Scotty Gomez, Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and others suspected of being members of the Devils into New York and failing to aggressively pursue them once they were inside the country.”

    Posted by  on  04/27  at  08:24 PM
  5. Let’s face it—Rummy and Cheney would be an improvement over the Dolan Administration.

    Posted by  on  04/27  at  09:37 PM
  6. In a hastily-called news conference at 1 Penn Plaza, Cablevision chairman James Dolan reiterated his support for GM Glen Sather: “Heckuva job, Glenny.”

    (capcha: “able")

    Posted by alice  on  04/27  at  09:53 PM
  7. What’s Halliburton done for the Rangers lately?

    Posted by Orange  on  04/27  at  11:36 PM
  8. ” You go to war with the Czechs and balances that you have..”

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  02:04 AM
  9. well, cheer up. I keep thinking this is the Mets’ year to win the World Series.

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  02:12 AM
  10. Rumsfeld: “Do I wish we hadn’t lost those games? Of course.  Is it a reason to go around yelling ‘Henny Penny the sky is falling’? I don’t think so.”

    Deputy VP of PR Rice: “Sure we’ve made tactical errors, probably thousands of them”

    </snark>

    Sorry ‘bout the Rangers, Michael

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  03:46 AM
  11. Sources say VP Dick Cheney has invited the entire NJ Devils team for a fun weekend of quail shooting.

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  08:33 AM
  12. I just hope he doesn’t use pre-emptive, nuclear creasebusters against the Senators before the Devil’s series is even over.

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  08:51 AM
  13. As I’ve said time and again on this blog, David, I couldn’t care less about opera.

    Njorl, I never said the Senators were an “imminent” threat. 

    Thanks, everyone, for the words of solace and outrage.  And thanks especially to JP for fixing the Internets.  Captcha:  left.  As in “if the Rangers do not play some decent hockey on Saturday there is no hope for a decent left.”

    Posted by Michael  on  04/28  at  11:16 AM
  14. Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3?

    The Devils may be a hard team for non-face-painters to love, but they’re also a hard team to hate.  Hockey Guys, in the best sense, top-to-bottom.  They certainly showed the Rangers due respect, as the Devils’ preparation, intensity and discipline showed. 

    The Devils’ “Rangers Curse” is dead, but then, it never was much of a curse.  Before the sweep, the Devils were 0-3 in series against the Rangers, over the last 15 years.  In one of those, the Devils were a Messier Miracle away from winning and in another series, they lost to the worst rule (in the crease) in the history of organized sports, as much as they did to an opportunistic and not yet ruined Rangers team.  The long draught was really the product of the conspicuous absence of the Rangers from the playoffs during the long period of Devils contending play.  And here’s a little know fact: before the sweep, Brodeur did have some small measure of success against the Rangers during a decades worth of regular season games.  During that time, while Ranger fans were drifting off to sleep to the receding echoes of “Mateua, Mateua, Mateua!”, Devils fans were wide awake and sweating out dozens of big games in real time.  My son has played youth hockey since 1998.  He was the captain of his first team as a mite.  After the season, his coach gave him a gift: a charcoal drawing of Mark Messier in his Rangers uniform.  It has hung on the wall of his bedroom ever since.  Yesterday, I walked by his room (he was sleeping over a friend’s house) and I noticed that the drawing had slipped out of the frame and had fallen to the floor.  So much for curses.

    To a man, the Devils credibly said good things about the Rangers.  It is in every hockey player’s and every hockey fan’s interests that the Rangers continue to build. 

    You have to take in mind the fact that the Rangers were coming off what should be viewed as the single greatest, sustained period of mismanagement in the history of organized sports.  Someone please point me to a worse management.  It was impossible for the Rangers, with their payroll and their built in advantages, to have missed the playoffs for as long as they did.  Impossible. 

    The best thing that ever happened to the Rangers was the strike shutdown.  Sather obviously functions better on a regime of rest and relaxation that would be the envy of the entire world (outside of Crawford).  And the Rangers more than anyone needed the enforced physic break in order to be able to make a new start. 

    Ranney did a wonderful job of coaching and of changing the character of the team.  100 Points and the Playoffs was off the charts.  At least a season early.  And lets face it, while the rest of us were rubbing our eyes in disbelief, the Rangers were spending themselves making that compelling climb.  They pancaked with 10 days left in the regular season.  It happens to a lot of teams, but with the Rangers having played over their heads all season, and having drained their tanks even of fumes, there was simply nothing left to re-ignite the team. 

    It would have been better for the Rangers if they had made it into the series in a competitive sense, and a win would have been gravy, but this is not a team that could win a first round series right now.  Against any playoff-quality team.  No shame in that.  The Rangers have found their goalie, their legs and their heart.  Someone needs to tell them that the new, post-strike rules did not formally outlaw defense.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  01:36 AM
  15. Esoth, you say: “Someone please point me to a worse management.”

    The LA Dodgers under Fox.  Bought solely to establish/lock out anyone else’s cable system in SoCal, with no interest in actually winning pennants or World Series championships.

    Posted by Linkmeister  on  04/30  at  01:48 AM
  16. Worse managemnt? Worst? Knicks.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  12:59 PM
  17. Alas, my Habs…

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  10:19 PM
  18. Esoth, you may not believe this, but I think the world of the Devils’ organization.  Especially when you consider where they started from . . . moving a moribund franchise from Denver and setting up shop as the third NYC area team in 1982, right in the middle of the Reign of the Islanders.  I only wish they had a real arena to play in:  that Continental thing is a barn. 

    And here’s a little known fact: before the sweep, Brodeur did have some small measure of success against the Rangers during a decades worth of regular season games.

    Not little known in these parts!  The regular-season Devils have completely pwned the regular-season Rangers for a decade and more.  From the days when Lemaire deployed the trap to cover for his team’s lack of offense, to the Cup runs of Robinson and Burns, the Devils have been smart on the ice and smart in the front office.  And they’ve done it without the Rangers’ budget and the Rangers’ fan base.  (True story:  when I saw them play Ottawa in game 3 of the 2003 conference finals, I bought my ticket a few days before the game.  Ninth row.  The guy behind me had gotten his ticket the night before.  It was the Devils’ first home sellout of that playoff year.)

    And now I think we’ll be seeing another Sens-Devils conference final, too.  Thanks for your generous remarks about the Rangers, and good luck in round two. . . .

    Posted by Michael  on  05/01  at  11:40 PM
  19. I confess to being a reformed Ranger fan, as I go back to the Eddie Giacomin era, and lived and died with that team.  Eddie and Brad Parks were my hockey heroes back then, but at some point, the Rangers poached on some of the Knicks’ glamor, which the Knicks had earned while the Rangers had not.  Now I don’t mind a star taking a star turn, but it is one thing for Messier, or Namath or Clyde Fraizer or Kieth Hernandez to be the toast of the town, another thing for chronic underachievers to be taking victory laps after hours.  For too long, the Rangers mantra seemed to be “We sell out the Garden.  Even our journeymen date models.” But they had become a hockey joke in the last decade or so, and it was no coincidence that the entire league followed them off the cliff.  The joke wore off and paper thin, but still the Rangers lost and lost, and the “hockey” press in NY just couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for the Devils.  With the Islanders during their great run, they at least had the Rangers as a foil, so they at least had some attention in the negative glare of Ranger coverage. 

    The Devils had to stand on their own, and were and are an admittedly bland organization when it comes to flash and pull quotes.  Lou L is masterful in his methods, but at times seem to engage in anti-marketing.  He seems almost to take it as a badge of honor that the Devils don’t generate a lot of attention.  They are a good team to watch however, and have played a bunch of truly great and memorable series over the years.  I don’t see how a hockey purist could miss the character they have displayed.  They’ve won and lost.  Some years, winning the Atlantic Division was enough and the team said so.  Other years were outright failures, and the team said so.  Back to work. 

    The Rangers, for reasons unknown, seem compelled to make excuses for their wildly successful season and have fixed on the Olympic Break as the villain.  In another startling development, it turns out the Rangers were not the only team in the NHL to have an interruption of their season during the Olympics.  When the break came, the Devils were in the midst of a 15-5 streak where they climbed back into the playoff race.  The break couldn’t have come at a more unwelcome time.  The Devils went 4-7 coming out of the break and almost didn’t recover.  But they did.  The post-Olympics period coincided with the period in every season when the NHL gets serious, when teams solidify their positions and set up their playoff runs, and when the pretenders get weeded out.  I wouldn’t say the Rangers were pretenders, as they had earned every point, but the post-Olympics, pre-playoff period probably reflected a truer picture of the Rangers than the first 3/4’s of the season.  That’s true of almost all the NHL teams. 

    There is no shame, apart from the lame excuse-making, in the Rangers not quite being their yet.  Renney did fudge a little with the Olympics stuff, but if you read between the lines, he seems to get that there’s still work to be done, and that it would be a big mistake to view this season in a way to make the club sit pat, as if but for the Olympics break, they would be on their way to the Cup finals.

    Posted by  on  05/02  at  10:09 AM

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