Chiming In on NYR Bloggers

As the Rangers get set for Game 4 at MSG tonight, there was one topic I wanted to chime in on.

Yesterday, Steve Zipay said on his blog Blue Notes, (in so many words) that he dislikes the bloggers out there who pretend to be professional. This created a bit of a stir in the comments section.

Now, I have met Steve (though I am sure he couldn't pick me out of a crowd) and he was a gentleman. He is also well respected and a fine writer. Additionally, he contributes to Blueshirt Bulletin and always has very interesting insight.

I believe his mini-rant was taken a bit out of context.

My purpose for addressing his comments was that I am in a unique position where I am part blogger/ part professional and can see both sides of the coin.

When I began this blog a couple years ago, there were only a handful of really active up-and-coming blogs. You had Scotty Hockey, Rangers Review, The Dark Ranger, The Hockey Rabbi, just to name a few (didn't mean to leave anyone out, but you check ALL of them out over on the right hand side) and we all associated and grew together.

We each also had our own style and way of presenting our views. Scotty, for example, is very detailed and has a wonderful light-hearted humor aspect to much of what he writes. Inferno at Rangers Review is incredibly thorough and leaves no angle uncovered. The Dark Ranger relates to the fans incredibly well and makes you feel like you are sitting in the Blue Seats.

Myself, I fall somewhere in the middle. My journalism background keeps me a bit at bay with my opinions, but my "fan-hood" allows me to be emotional.

There is no right or wrong way to any of this, it's just what happened to work for each of us.

And our blogs have become a community. As I have transitioned over to Blueshirt Bulletin more frequently, I have had some contributors here. Scotty has worked with the NY Times and still continued his own blog. And we have all met new bloggers and websites that we have affiliated with or at the very least gave a link to.

However, as is the nature of the beast, blogging has grown exponentially and because there is no restriction or legislation, anyone can say what they want and how they want.

I don't believe Zipay was referring to those blogs who go out and share the links of the professionals or comment on the games themselves. I believe he was more or less talking about those who steal quotes as their own or present themselves to be authoritative when in reality, they are fans like anyone else.

The Blueshirt Bulletin, for example, has nearly the same press access as the major beat writers (we just don't get the premium ice level seats) and since I work with them, does that give me any more insight ? To a degree, as does my work with Stan Fischler and other various hockey outlets.

But at the same time, freedom of speech is an uncompromising ideal regardless of experience. If I am allowed to say what I feel, than anyone else can (and should) do the same.

What I think the blogging community and readership should strive to do, however, is keep the level of integrity as high as possible. If you use a photo or a quote, attribute it properly because someone worked hard to get it. If someone uses poor unnecessary offensive language, you don't need to visit or respond. And just because you disagree doesn't mean that the writer needs to be bashed for their view. That's why it's opinion.

Here, I have always cherished feedback and comments (though they come a bit less often now that I am here less) and if you disagreed with me, I countered with a point or gave you credit for your opinion. And that's all blogs are: a place for opinions and debate.

In the end, almost no bloggers have press access with the Rangers or are paid for their perspective. But many of them do pay to see the team and in this day and age, there's something to be said for that.

Blogging isn't going anywhere and all we can hope is that the standard that many exhibit are maintained by those who are getting into it.

Stop by Section 212 tonight to say hi...

Rangers to face Capitals


It was a matter of pick your poison. Do you want Alex Ovechkin or the Conference-leading Bruins?

In the end, Montreal's follies against Pittsburgh sealed the deal and a Washington D.C. match-up for the Rangers.

There are some interesting 1994 references embedded in this season's playoffs. First, the number of Rangers home record (26-11-4) is the most wins since the Championship season. It is also the first time the Rangers have faced the Capitals in the playoffs since 1994, though it was in the second round.

Could this season provide a similar magic? Well, it's not impossible, but it's certainly not going to be easy.

Over at BlueshirtBulletin.com, we'll have a full preview and comparison as well as game coverage of tonight's game at Philadelphia.

More to come this afternoon...

(Photo from Zimbio)

Tuesday Night a Must-Win

First off, I want to apologize to Pucks readers for my lack of consistent posting lately. Now that the baseball season under way, things at my internship are extremely busy. I've also begun taking an online class to fulfill a requirement toward graduation in May, so needless to say I'm not able to post as much as I'd like to right now.

On to the Rangers.

After a convincing victory over the Devils last week, the Rangers followed their impressive performance with back to back losses and fell to 8th place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Panthers have the same amount of points, but if the season ended today the Rangers would sneak in over them.

The term "must-win" is not one that I like to use on a regular basis. When used by broadcasters, anchors, analysts, and columnists, it's often in a context that is far too dramatic for the scenario in question.

However, I won't hesitate to use the terminology this time around. Tomorrow night's game against the Canadiens at MSG is a MUST-WIN.

The Rangers are clinging on to their playoff lives right now, and a home game against the team that leap-frogged them in the standings this week, and has a game in hand, can only be considered as such.

Yes; a loss tomorrow will keep the Rangers mathematically alive, and may not even bump them out of 8th. But, from a fan's point of view, it would be yet another devastating blow to their confidence in this team, which has been wavering for months now.

Beating the Canadiens on Tuesday will rely heavily on two aspects of the Ranger's game; special teams, and capitalizing on scoring opportunities. The Rangers take plenty of shots nowadays, but finding them in the back of the net has been a struggle as of late. If they can get the power play going for once, this could change drastically. The two go hand-in-hand.

If the Blueshirts find themselves saluting the crowd at center ice tomorrow night, it will act as a re-energizing shot of B-12 for them and the fans. The team could use a win of that magnitude to solidy their spot in the post season, finish the season strong, and carry momentum into the playoffs.

This would have been the hope after last week's drubbing of the Devils, but with the season now more "on-the-line" then ever, you can expect the Rangers to dial up their intensity to the highest level.