OK, show of hands.
Who predicted that the Blueshirts would be leading the league in hits and blocked shots by Election Day? Yeah, right. The stuff of fantasy.
But that's where they are.
In the press box last night, Andrew Gross and I were grinning about a tweet from the Chicago webmeisters marvelling how the "Big" Rangers were playing so physical. Big? They're hardly the monsters of the Midway, folks. Yes, they have a little more size overall, but in truth, they are simply playing bigger and grittier.
There's a downside to all this puck-absorbing and deflecting, though. It translates to a significant amount of time without the puck, backing in and subjecting themselves to injury. In fact, soon after the press box random commentary went that route, both Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan were stung, and left limping.
The hits we love. They slow rushes, loosen pucks, make opponents hesitate. Especially since the zebras, unless it's a headshot, are allowing some banging and calling more stick fouls so far.
Granted, Chicago doesn't have the depth of last year's champ squad. Still, the mindset is a quantum leap from last season.
Rangers are off today, with a skate tomorrow at 10:30. And the other major (ahem) event for Wednesday is our FWC, the Fabulous Weekly Chat, at 2, which continues a lengthy string attended by loyalists and newbies stretching back to the Bush administration, I believe. I generally respond to about 50 queries, most of 'em Ranger-centric, some with an opinion, some actually based on facts. We kinda let it develop.
Finally, I heard Little Feat's "Apolitical Blues" yesterday, ya know how radio stations are so theme-oriented, and given the occasion, voters, remembered a vid from the old WLIR studios in Hempstead, featuring some of the late, great slide of Lowell George. Not "Apolitical Blues" but a short, cookin' snapshot of the era, circa 1974: www.youtube.com/watch.