The List Begins

I wasn’t planning on attending yesterday’s Rangers v. NJD game.  It was totally last minute.  I showed up without a laptop, and Dave Lozo of NHL.com teased me about not bringing my laptop to the ‘office.’  Hey, I didn’t know I was covering both NJD and NYR this season!  I found out 5 hours before the game.

On the way to MSG last night, I was thinking to myself, three years ago, the goal was Madison Square Garden, covering the Rangers.  Instead, I wound up covering the Devils at Prudential Center. 

Now that the moment is officially here, I really can’t describe how I feel.  I think the goal changed somewhere along the way…or maybe it’s just that the Devils have made me feel at home and more comfortable with them.  In other words, I feel accepted there.

With the Rangers, it’s different now.  But focusing on the season ahead during my shared duties, I think that I can bring some of the aspects that the players from the Devils enjoyed about my column to the Rangers.  Developing ‘growing up hockey’ articles and other stories that many of the players have grown to enjoy may be the way that I’m approaching the feature articles for the Rangers. 

Sure, there will be the game aspects, but keep in mind…everyone else does it.  How can I expect my work to have it’s own unique edge if I’m doing what everyone else is doing?  It’s branching out and doing your own thing, and asking the questions you’ve always wondered about, that sets you apart from everyone else.  You’ll either be respected or hated.

For instance, there are several questions I would love to ask Sean Avery to understand how he became the type of hockey player he is today.  That kind of story requires a deep discussion with Avery about growing up hockey.  If he can make me cry (not the hurt feelings, I’m gonna punch you kind of cry), we have a winning story on our hands. 

I mean…there’s that Devils aspect that I’ve always wanted to understand.  Why do you pick on Clarky?  Is it just a game or do you really hate Martin Brodeur?  What’s up with hitting goalies in the back of the head with your stick?  Why do you do it?  Those are all questions I’ll probably NEVER ask…but I wonder about. 

In the end, I just want to know why he decided on becoming ‘that’ hockey player, rather than going a different route.  These are the things I ponder about when I think of Avery as a hockey player.  He is unique.

Those are the kind of aspects I’m thinking about for this season.

As far as the list is concerned, I’m only going to discuss the Devils here.

I spoke a little too soon last night regarding Matt Taormina.  His turnover that cost a goal…completely forgiven when I saw something very interesting in the third period.  Not even Colin White picked up on this, but I pointed out to him that he should review it in the video.

Watch Taormina and White together when the blueline finally clicks.  The only word I can use to describe what I saw: symmetry.

This is Wikipedia’s definition of symmetry:

Symmetry generally conveys two primary meanings. The first is an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance, such that it reflects beauty or perfection. The second meaning is a precise and well-defined concept of balance or “patterned self-similarity” that can be demonstrated or proved according to the rules of a formal system: by geometry, through physics or otherwise.

Although the meanings are distinguishable in some contexts, both meanings of “symmetry” are related and discussed in parallel.

The “precise” notions of symmetry have various measures and operational definitions. For example, symmetry may be observed:

  • with respect to the passage of time;
  • as a spatial relationship;
  • through geometric transformations such as scaling, reflection, and rotation.
  • That was exactly what I saw on the ice last night with Taormina and White.  It was perfection…beauty.

    Did I just say that about a couple of defensemen on the blueline?  I sure did.

    Never in my life have I seen anything so harmoniously incredible as how those two are like the mirror image of each other on the blueline.  Even when one breaks the pattern to go into attack mode at incoming traffic, the symmetrical line instantly mimics the change.

    Yes, I’m saying this about a blueline!

    At first, when I saw it, I did a double take.  I thought, no…that can’t be what I’m seeing.  It had to be a fluke.

    But then I saw it again and again. 

    I have never in my life seen anything like this.  The symmetry between the two is the reason why Taormina tops my list of prospects that MUST be promoted to the NHL level.  More specifically, he would be there to complement White.

    Of course, now that I’ve pointed this out…watch them realize that they do this and freak out and never do it again.  But if they don’t let this get to them, and just play the game the way they did last night, it will fall into place.  They mimic each other’s every movement.  It’s like facing two Colin Whites at the same time (if you’ve seen how massive this guy is…that would scare you if you were the one on the ice).

    I was also impressed with the work ethic of Matthew Corrente.  Any defenseman that is not afraid to shoot the puck, can stay on the blueline.  It’s one more opportunity to score goals.

    Even though Adam Mair was issued 17 penalty minutes for his fight against Brian Boyle, this is the guy that should be given a contract.  READ INSIDE HOCKEY FOR REASONS WHY.

    I think his Devils teammates should warn him now…be careful what you think and feel around me, because I might print it.

    For Mair’s sake, he can put up a front and say that he doesn’t care to waste energy on thinking about whether he’s making the team or not, but this is the first time he’s encountered me.  I hear the other conversation going on inside. 

    Once he’s offered a contract, that quiet conversation he’s having to himself will go away.  I’m not going to say what I’m hearing…just that he should be given a contract and made into a New Jersey Devil.  He’s proven himself in my book.

    Am I liking the Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk line?  How could I not?  They scored all of the Devils goals last night.

    Zach Parise owes me a Jordan Parise update.  He said he’d get all the information I needed after the game [for those newbies, don't try this in the locker room...this is the first time a player has ever offered to get information for me].  When I left, they were still talking to each other.

    The only thing I can say is that Jordan was cut and heading to Hartford.  He is on a tryout basis, so it will be interesting to see if he does sign in Hartford. *keeping my fingers crossed*

    Because Marty knows…he just knows this one is coming…you should have seen the suit he was wearing last night.  I think he caught me eyeing the threadwork of the material last night.  It was a nice blue (kind of navy) suit.  The pattern of the threadwork on the suit was what caught my eye.  It was really nice. 

    Have to say, I’ve never seen a nicer suit. 

    My only thought was that Marty really needs to take David Clarkson with him when he buys his suits. ;)

    My last point of the day…the weird credential thing that’s happening across the NHL…

    So last night, after being told that the Rangers were one of the biggest proponents of color coding badges to prevent non-MSM writers from going into their locker rooms, I found it very interesting that it wasn’t color coded.

    Technically, if the color code existed, I wouldn’t have been allowed in the Devils locker room last night (even though I cover the team).  I would have only been allowed in the Rangers locker room.

    But alas…NO COLOR CODED CREDENTIALS!

    Also, weird news of the night…some guy asked me out on a date while I was talking to Mark Fischel (NHL), Jim McClure (producer for Howard Stern) and Borbay (artist that created the Brodeur masterpiece).  It was very awkward and embarrassing.  Actually, I think Mark and Jim were embarrassed for me.

    Found out later from Borbay that the guy was the producer for “The Hangover.” 

    Can I just say…the way he treated me was just what you’d expect from the big, hairy guy in the movie.  The guy was acting like I was the one hitting on him.  I could guarantee to you…he wouldn’t have remembered me or the fact that he asked me out when he woke up this morning.  Just like in “The Hangover.”

    I mean…that guy…that character from the movie had to have been based on him.  It had to have been!

    There…my Thursday recap is done.  Laugh it up…

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