Having covered the entire pre-season, starting in Banff, all 23 regular-season games and virtually every practice and morning skate, it’s an understatement to say I’m thankful to be home for a Thanksgiving break. Hope everyone has a swell holiday with family and friends.

           Colleague Anthony Rieber is pinch-hitting in Tampa and Sunrise, so follow him @therealarieber.

            Me, I will be at TDBank Garden on Friday for the post-turkey matinee in Bahston.

           Before then, I’ll be tossing in some comments from in front of the fireplace at Chez Zipay on here and @stevezipay.

           First a question: Are Rangers fans past the hang-wringing October panic and off the ledge yet? Where’s the radical fringe who wanted Alain Vigneault out? Hiding, I guess.

             AV may not provide the dramatic quotes for Canada TV and the tabloids, but he’s got a veteran’s confident demeanor and a sense of humor. I mean, he’s a hockey coach allowing the assistant coaches and professional players to breathe, not wound nearly as tight as the New York version of Torts, who we are led to believe, has softened.  We will of course, run into him again on Nov. 30, when the Canucks arrive at MSG, where it could very well be that Cam Talbot (5-1 and two consecutive shutouts) starts in the second game of the back to back.

             Again, the Rangers are far from perfect, and fans are paying top dollar to go to the Garden, so they certainly have the right to be cynical and complain about players and suggest what the GM and coach should be doing.

              I get it. It’s sports in the 21st century, and everybody basically is a mobile media company and can provide (or simply steal and hijack) competitive info and toss in instantaneous analysis every day.

              But so many people (bloggers included) lose sight of the long season and react to every twist and turn to stoke the daily social media flames.

             What a world. To over-react before Halloween was laughable. The ink wasn’t even dry on the Tortorella walking papers, for Pete’s sake.

            And if you look around as we approach, my gawd, Black Friday (how inappropriately named for shopping), the Rangers are the only active New York-based team with a winning record.

             Again, I get the madness, but I don’t have to agree with it. Just like I hate the idea of putting the C and As on shoulders of jerseys, which the Sabres did on their alternates. Yeah, I’ve still got one foot on the old-school train and one foot on the new-school platform.

             Note: If you throw out that 9-2 rout in San Jose, which included Hertl the Turtle’s howdy-doody score on Martin Biron, the Rangers are plus-1 in goal differential in the other 22 games.

            Off the ice, you know what was a little surreal? Driving to the airport Sunday into the Tennessee sunrise on Highway 40 and listening to David Gilmour playing live on BBC. After all that country in Nashville, kinda cleansing in a way.  

              Done for now.

              Honestly, thanks again for reading here, on Twitter and in the paper. Will be jumping in tonight during the game, which I’ll be watching live, not a replay, on MSG for the first time all season. Maybe even tune in on the r-a-d-i-o.

              Everybody needs a change of pace, no?

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