NY Sports Day

The Week That Was: All Hail King Henrik

Bill Menzel/NYSD

Last Wednesday’s Carolina Hurricanes-New York Rangers game marked the 1,000th for 37 year-old goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who was still able to turn away 41 shots in a 3-2 Rangers win. Many of his saves coming in acrobatic form because his team’s defense was soft.

     The game’s decisive goal was scored by rookie Adam Fox who grew up in Jericho and who exemplifies the Blueshirts’ youth movement.

     What has to be troubling indicator though was that in the game the Hurricanes won 60% of the faceoffs. Even worse, Carolina had 43 shots on goal to New York’s 25. In short, fluky wins don’t get a team to the Stanley Cup playoffs,

     The New York Yankees dropped frequently injured first baseman Greg Bird from their 40-man roster just before Thanksgiving. It proved yet again that the professional sports gods aren’t always kind. Bird is one of the friendliest athletes you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. When he was healthy, he was able to show his home run prowess and was a solid fielder. A team looking for a power hitter who won’t cost much such as the Tampa Bay Rays would be wise to take a flyer on him.

    The Bronx Bombers also cut another frequent habitue from the injured list, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. What was surprising is that the Yankees, who are on the hook for the remaining $26 million to him are seeking to void the contract and avoid having to pay him by claiming Ellsbury underwent a medical procedure that wasn’t authorized by the team.

    The Major League Baseball Players Association is understandably challenging the Yankees on their unusual action and my guess is that the union will prevail. Had Ellsbury missed physical therapy rehabilitation sessions then the Yankees would have a strong case but that’s not what happened.

     The New York Mets will hold their first-ever fan festival at Citi Field on Saturday, January 25, 2020. New manager Carlos Beltran will be on hand as will several current and former Mets players as well as air personalities from the Mets cable home, SNY. The Mets are promising a number of interactive activities. For more info log onto mets.com/fanfest

     Middleweight boxing champion Jermall Charlo will put his title on the line at Barclays Center Saturday night when he faces challenger Dennis Hogan. During a promotional press conference a few weeks ago, Hogan broke up the crowd of media by promising that he’s paint the town green after upsetting Charlo.

     Sports Illustrated’s new corporate owner, Seattle-based Maven, is reflecting the American economy by showing that there’s no middle class at least when it comes to journalists. Maven kept a few of SI’s best known writers such as Chris Mannix and Tom Verducci but fired nearly everyone else and replaced them with low-paid newbies.

      Las Vegas oddsmakers should always make the New York Jets a heavy underdog whenever they are scheduled to play a winless team.

     The Iron Bowl, the intrastate college football battle between Alabama and Auburn, has long been a Thanksgiving weekend tradition and the 2019 game lived up to billing as Auburn upset the Crimson Tide 48-45.

     Earlier this past Saturday, Ohio State continued its domination of Michigan as the Buckeyes romped over the Wolverines 56-27 in what has long been considered the top rivalry in the Big Ten Conference.

    While those rivalries attract national television audiences they pale in intensity to Harvard vs. Yale in what is simply known as “The Game.”

      Yale beat Harvard 50-43 in double overtime the Saturday before last. This could have been the most memorable football game of the year not because it was obviously exciting from start to finish but also because climate activists stormed the Yale Bowl at halftime to protest how investments in fossil fuel companies are negatively impacting the environment. This surprise halftime show delayed the game for a half-hour as New Haven police needed extra time to escort the protestors off of the field. The Yale Bowl doesn’t have lights so the Ivy League was lucky that the game ended just before dusk. The literal race against the clock enhanced the drama.

      “The Game” thus wound up getting more media buzz than any Ivy League football game in the past 20 years if not longer.


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