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01 JULY 2009 :: FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather opened free agency with a master stroke. A Jedi-esque move that no one could believe. How he managed to off load chronic underachiever Scott Gomez and his absurd contract is beyond me. But getting a couple of good prospects back was sheer genius. I would have taken a bag of straws and a bottle of vodka!

How he can go from this stroke of genius to..... to..... I can't even bring myself to say it: Donald Brashear

How?!?!?!

Gomez was always a questionable signing. Redden was always a bad signing. Signing Donald Brashear is sickening.

While it's sickening in its own right it defies any and all conceivable logic when you look at the facts surrounding it. We let Colton Orr walk away, without offering him anything. Colton Orr. Massive fan favorite, perfectly respectable 4th line player, and, AND one of the best fighters in the league. But not just one of the best fighters, one of the cleanest and most sportsmanlike to play the game.

We then paid Donald Brashear, Donald - there's that vomit taste again - Brashear $400,000 a year MORE than it would have cost to keep Orr. Donald Brashear, who was last seen trying to decapitate Blair Betts. Donald Brashear whose list of memorable highlights against The Rangers also includes punching Aaron Ward in the face while Ward was not even looking at him.

I talked about it being a sad day for The New York Rangers when they let Sean Avery walk out the door. Letting Donald Brashear walk into the organisation is a disgusting and sickening insult to anyone who has ever worn the jersey or purchased a ticket to a game.

26 APRIL 2009 :: NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE QUATERFINALS

I have to admit, I missed the final period of game 4. Having not seen Avery's performance, I can only go on what's been written up. I'm trying to keep an open mind about the decision to bench him for game 5. But I'm struggling to do it.

Let's start by looking at what's gone on during the course of game 5 with Avery on the bench. Gomer gives up a totally senseless penalty in the first 90seconds? So he's decided to step up and play the fool, who's going to step up and provide the spirit? If Gomer gives away another penalty will he sit in game 6?

Rozi and Drury combine to give up a short-handed goal. So the powerplay is as good as it's been all year. Who is going to be accountable for that?

The Rangers give up yet another too many men on the ice penalty. Shall we talk about that as an undisciplined penalty? Will Torts take responsibility for that? Who's running the line changes on the bench?

The other notable gaff in the first period was Antriprov (who I have to admit I'm a fan of) putting a very premature end to a NYR powerplay.

My flatmate and her partner arrived home, rolling drunk, at the start of the second. I had the volume down for most of the period, while I was having a chat with Charlotte and Sarah. Credit where credit is due, OV's goal in the last minute was excellent.

King Henrik, deserted by his NYR subjects was pulled at the start of the third. Probably a good idea. Hank's good, but he's not a machine, he needs at least some support from his teammates! Valley goes in goal and straight away gets repeatedly sticked and then run over. Am I the only one who sees this? We're down 4-0, our king has been chased from the ice, where is our spirit?

Now I've put in a fair bit of effort to watch this game, I'm several thousand miles and 5 time zones away. But I've turned up, I don't think the same can be said for most of The Rangers. I think this entitles me to say the following:

Sean Avery might have taken another stupid penalty had he been playing this game. But let's get the facts right here. It took 90 seconds for a so called 'team leader' to give up a stupid penalty. We took a multitude of undisciplined penalties throughout the course of the game. Goal tenders aside, we played the game with no determination, no spirit, no fight. Our spirit was sitting and watching from the press box.

Since he returned to the league it's been open season on Sean Avery. Tripping, slashing, cross-checking and several dangerous boarding shots. Time and time again he's been hit from behind and no penalty has been called. Time and time again he's chosen not to retaliate and give away a stupid penalty. Yes, he finally blew his cool, at a fairly unfortunate point in the game. Avery, like King Henrik, is not a machine. At some point he's going to make a mistake.

The undisciplined and lethargic play of the Rangers tonight, clearly demonstrates that the only "message" sent by leaving Avery on the bench is we are vulnerable, weak and ready to be taken advantage of.

I'm going to send my own "message" by turning off my laptop and choosing to get some sleep instead.

I like your attitude, feisty yet spineless
Mr Burns