Eight is Great Too

Eight is Great Too

Photo Credit: bluelinestation.com

Rangers fans thought they were dreaming when they watched their beloved Blueshirts score nine on the rival Philadelphia Flyers. It in fact was not a dream and instead a prelude. Eight days after their first rampage against the Flyers, the Rangers followed with an eight-goal sequel.

After their nine-goal Broadway show at the Garden, the Rangers took their act down to the City of Brotherly Love. And they certainly did not show any of that love to the Flyers. Instead of potting seven goals in 18 minutes, the Rangers blitzed the Flyers twice. Once in the first, and once in the second period.

Carter Hart was able to hold the Rangers’ offense in check until Artemi Panarin threaded the needle to Ryan Strome to give New York a 1-0 lead. Panarin’s pass was so pinpoint, that I probably could have scored Strome’s goal.

The blitz continued 52 seconds later as Pavel Buchnevich found the net against Philadelphia again. The 2013 third-round pick has turned out to be quite a steal for the Rangers, with Buchnevich racking up 31 points in 33 games this season. Coach David Quinn has rewarded the right winger for his strong play, as Buchnevich’s average time on ice has increased from 16:56 last season to 19 minutes this season. I have said it before and will say it again. Buchnevich is a restricted free agent at season’s end and it would be wise of the Rangers to bring Buchnevich back to the Big Apple for years to come.

Anyways, it seemed the Rangers were in for another night of scoring endlessly on the Flyers. After Justin Braun tripped Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers were given a second straight power play. After coming up empty on the first, Mika Zibanejad made sure the Rangers would not fail on the back-to-back power play opportunity.

In the span of 5:35, the Rangers had put up three on the Flyers. And it would not be the last time New York pulled that act on the night.

As the game moved into the middle frame, it felt a lot like St. Patrick’s Day again for the Rangers. The Blueshirts, led by Zibanejad, began a barrage on the Flyers. Again.

Zibanejad racked up back-to-back power play goals to complete back-to-back hat tricks versus the Flyers. To boot, Adam Fox picked up his third and fourth assists of the night only 2:06 into period number two. The madness did not stop there as K’Andre Miller got in on the fun with a seeing eye shot from the point that found its way through. Three goals in 1:48 extended the Rangers led to 6-0. This has the feelings of a football drive. Three plays for 53 yards in 1:48 resulting in a field goal to go up 6-0. I am no rocket scientist, but I cannot imagine the 2,854 fans in Wells Fargo Center were too pleased. Well maybe not 2,854. Let’s assume some Rangers fans braved their way down the New Jersey Turnpike on a Thursday night. Boy, did they get their money’s worth.

The one rough spot of the Rangers’ night came throughout the final 17 minutes of the second period. The Flyers despite a six-goal deficit picked up their play with goals from Claude Giroux and former Ranger Kevin Hayes. Things could have gotten a lot more interesting had Igor Shesterkin not made 24 saves on 26 shots through two periods.

Photo Credit: foreverblueshirts.com

Taking a 6-2 lead into the third period, the Rangers kept their foot on the gas. Zibanejad again assisted Buchnevich on another goal, this one of the short-handed variety to go up 7-2. The goal completed another six-point, three-goal, and three-assist game for Zibanejad against the Flyers.

It is no secret that Zibanejad struggled for the first half of the season with only 11 points in 27 games. In the two-game 17-goal rampage versus the Flyers, Zibanejad compiled 12 points on six goals and six assists.

Filip Chytil put a bow on this one for the Rangers with 1:58 remaining to give the Rangers the great number of eight. The 8-3 victory propelled the Rangers 15-13-4 on the season, but let’s not forget about Shesterkin’s efforts in his first game back from injury. The Flyers outshot the Rangers 44-22 on the night, giving Shesterkin 41 saves on the night.

As fate would have it, the Rangers have dropped two in a row since their eight-goal parade. The Flyers responded on Saturday with a 2-1 win as the Rangers ran out of pixie dust vs. Philadelphia. Sunday saw Coach Quinn’s return to the bench in a 5-4 loss to Washington.

As painful as Saturday’s and Sunday’s losses were for the fringe playoff team, the Rangers will always have the memories of 17 goals in two games against the Broad Street Bullies. Yes Rangers fans, feel free to crack a smile.

Are The 49ers Back In Super Bowl Contention

Are The 49ers Back In Super Bowl Contention

After trading up nine picks, the San Francisco 49ersnow have the number three pick in the 2021-2022 NFL draft.

With a broad choice of players in the draft, fans and analysts speculate that the 49ers general manager John Lynch will use the third pick to draft either Ohio State’s star quarterback Justin Fields or BYU’s quarterback Zach Wilson.

Both Quarterbacks under Kyle Shanahan will shine in this offense. They have weapons from George Kittle to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

The 49ers haven’t had a mobile quarterback since Colin Kaepernick, so we can only imagine how explosive this offense will get drafting either quarterback.

Let me remind you that also under Jimmy G; the Niners strive well. Still, after dealing with a season-ending injury and a high ankle sprain to keep him out of the game, Garapolo hasn’t been the same, and it’s time to move on, and I think with this first-round pick a great way to begin their moving on process is to draft either Fields or Wilson.

With their recent signings as well, the 49ers’ defense is looking strong. The only thing I see is their slight downfall to this defense is new defensive coordinator DeMarco Ryans.

Taking charge of this defense in this powerhouse division, will he raise the bar higher than Robert Salah, or will he run this defense to the ground.

Guess we’ll have to see this coming up season.

The Free Agency Inner Monologues

The Free Agency Inner Monologues

Photo Credit: Winslow Townson | USA TODAY Sports

Bill Bellichick (Probably): I’m the smartest man alive. Tom still needs to get one more ring to catch me in the jewelry contest. Is Jarrett Stidham still looking at me? Ugh, he is just so terrible. Maybe if I don’t look over there, he will go away. Cam is just as handsome as Tom and Jimmy, AND more fashionable. Siri, remind me to get more baby oil for Jonnu’s abs. I bet Hunter Henry is self-conscious about his breath when meeting new people. I don’t know how to tell Bob that I need to stay wound tight and I don’t want massage coupons for Christmas. I’m sorry I got the wrong dog food, Nike, but did you have to bring Van Noy back? Are we on to Cincinnati, or onto Cincinnati? That kid with acne pushing carts at Costco has such a great attitude…I wonder if he can catch a slightly deflated football? Agholor can catch these millions falling from our burning building. We would have pursued Fuller if he didn’t get caught. Alexa, how much do ventriloquists make? Googling Tom Brady’s son’s age…

Photo Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski | USA TODAY Sports
Mike Mayock: (Definitely): This shirt looks great on me. I did run 17 miles before 6 AM, so there’s that. I’m gonna text a picture of it to Jon. Knock on wood if you think Jon will like it. He did. Rube. Maybe I’ll show it to my Soul Cycle group on Facebook. Posted. Can’t believe all the (expletive) moaning the media made over me signing Kenyan Drake. Don’t they know dual backs are gonna be the future of the NFL? Guess they failed to notice what Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt did last year when they dominated the league? And we beat them 16 to 6! They couldn’t do anything on the ground. Suckers became one-dimensional and we shut them down. Rubes. Now Jon’s texting me a picture of his shirt. He’s wearing the same shirt. Dammit! “Mandy! Bring me a new shirt!!” Just saw that Chet Gresham gave us a (expletive) terrible free agency grade. What kind of name is “Chet” anyway? What does he think he’s friends with the Hardy’s Boys or something. Now those were good clean wholesome books. Books a man could enjoy after a morning of church with the family and then refresh his thirst with sparkling pink lemonade. But not with too much sugar. And how dare he say that “The Raiders have done a number on their offensive line this offseason.” People act like Rodney Hudson, Richie Incognito, Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown are the WHOLE LINE. So annoying that no one but Jon fully understands my vision for this team. Rubes. The whole lot of them.
Photo Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast | St. Louis Post-Disptach
Ryan Pace: (Most Definitely): I was so close to ‘Cooking with Russ’ and now I’m ‘Down to Dalton.’ This isn’t good. (Throws bronze Bear paperweight across his office). Do you think people noticed? I already (expletive) traded up for Mitch instead of drafting Mahomes and now the Russell Wilson deal gets woodchippered. And now Kyle Fuller bolts to the Broncos. Unbelievable. (Peeks through office shades.) Do they know I’m only 42-54 over the last 6 seasons? (Catches a glimpse of himself in the full-length double-paned mirror, he smiles and runs his fingers through his hair.) Does it make me look smarter or dumber when I squint? I think smarter. But, I just can’t tell. Squint. No squint. Squint. Maybe if I just purse my lips together and furrow my brow at the same time. Yeah, that’s the Blue Steel look daddy needs. You are Ryan (expletive) Pace, the General Manager for the Historic Chicago Bear franchise and never EVER let anyone forget it. (Closing the shades he turns and walks to his desk, accidentally stubbing his shoe on the Bears paperweight on the floor). (Multiple expletives)!! Now how am I going to successfully sell Andy Dalton to the fan base? ‘Andy Dalton is the future of the franchise.’ That didn’t sound right. ‘Andy Dalton has a future with this franchise.’ Hmmm. ‘Andy Dalton is a member of our franchise.’ Nailed it…
Photo Credit: Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media
David Gettleman (Probably): Can you believe these people? First, they’re screaming at me with torches and pitchforks and now they’re calling me GettleGod because I gave a bunch of money to guys who barely play half of their team’s games. I liked it better in Carolina because they really didn’t pay attention when I cut the whole team after blowing all the cap space on brittle players the year before. Here’s hoping the NY media will be their usual understanding self when I do the same thing. I have no idea how we are going to keep Saquon here, so I hope they don’t ask. I hope the fans don’t mind that our only good player we can keep next year is Leonard Williams. Kenny Golladay’s hip can predict rain in the forecast, John Ross was hoping that the NFL was just running straight for 40 yards in Spanx, and Adoree Jackson is Ross on defense. I only signed Rudolph so the Eagles wouldn’t offer Golladay as much because they didn’t think we could afford him. Jokes on them, I never learned how to do math. Don’t get me started on my main guy, Dimes. His mom must not have warned him about running with his shoes untied. His dad must have skipped the poker lesson about not looking completely bewildered at all times. He also didn’t play pickup football because he holds the ball like a Fabergé egg. The media is honing in on the Yankees and Knicks while I piss away the 2022 cap, and the fans just like to see big names and dollar signs. I’ll do it my way no matter what anyone is reporting. Anyway, we might just still be alright in our trash division and I can get another extension out of the Mara family if we can win more than four games this year. God, I love this country!


David Ramos/Getty Images

Seeing as both greats of the sport, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are nearing the end of their respective, lucrative careers, both players have yet to lead their team to the highest honor in football, the World Cup.

Both players who have a combined score of 20 goals at the prestigious competition since 2006 have no better than a runner-up place by Lionel Messi at the 2014 World Cup where they lost to Germany in extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo’s best placing at a world cup was 4th in his first World Cup in 2006, losing in the semi-finals to eventual winners Italy.

At the latest World Cup in 2018, ‘CR7’ started the competition by storm scoring the first four goals of Portugal’s six at the competition which catapulted them into the round of 16, including a hat-trick against Spain: the first against the country in a competitive fixture in their history. Messi on the other hand started off struggling with a 1-1 draw with Iceland and missing a decisive penalty in the game. Things got worst when Argentina was humiliated 3-0 by runners-up Croatia, but they found salvation through their ‘Messiah’ as he scored in a crucial win over Nigeria to send them to the round of 16 where they also got eliminated versus winners France.

Even though both players haven’t won the biggest international trophy, they have other accolades to boast about. Cristiano has won the UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship in 2016, while Leo only has an Olympic gold medal which he won in 2008. They might not be prestigious as the World Cup, but they are trophies that people look at as major achievements.

But the burning question shall remain, will any of the two greatest players of the generation lift the elusive trophy seeing they’re approaching the end of their playing career? In 2022, it might be the last time we see either 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo or 33-year-old Leo Messi perform for their countries. Your bet is as good as mine.

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LA Lakers Legend Elgin Gay Baylor

Elgin Baylor was born in Washington D.C, on September 16, 1934 to parent Uzziel Lewis and John Wesley Baylor. He was following his older brothers Kermit and Sal who were both players. Since being in the D.C area at that time, African-American players were banned from using facilities so playing in that area wasn’t ideal for an upcoming NBA player. He then played his in high school for Phelps Vocational High School where he set a record 44 points against Cordoza High School. Even though he was a special and talented player, his academics faltered and eventually dropped out of school before the 1952-53 season when he then went to work in a furniture store and played recreational in the local leagues. Baylor received a scholarship to attend the College of Idaho to play basketball and football. A year after he averaged 31.3 points for the season, the school dismissed scholarships and fired their head coach, meaning Baylor couldn’t attend the school anymore. He was then recruited to Seattle University, but he had to sit out a year to register for his eligibility to play. He was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers 14th overall in 1956, which he turned down to finish schooling.

The Minneapolis Lakers kept an eye on him as a player as they then drafted him as the number one overall pick in 1958, which he accepted. As a rookie, Baylor finished second in scoring, averaging 24.9 points and 15 rebounds a game, and won rookie of the year. He scored 55 points in a game, which at the time was the 3rd highest score in NBA history. Elgin then took the previously 19-53 Lakers, to the NBA Finals in his first season, which they lost to the great Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics, which sparked the famous rivalry. Two seasons later he scored 71 points against the New York Knicks which was an NBA record. Throughout his 14 year career, the 11-time All Star scored over 23,000 points, 11,000 rebounds and under 4,000 assists. The 86 year old died on March 22,2021 and is remembered by his wife Elaine, and children Alan and Alison.