Yep.  Bending the knee.  Kissing the ring.  Can’t argue with the king of Barstool’s NHL FanDuel.  Seriously, this dude’s been in the top of the table like every time we’ve run this thing; first time he’s outright won though.  I made a paltry profit in the first go and got pretty close to ‘osgoodblows’ in the standings in the process, but since then it’s been a trend of him taking my cash like a bully in the lunch line.  If the consistent money maker says I blow, then I guess I must blow.  Getting doubled up by my most dedicated of haters pretty much solidifies the scientific fact that I blow fantasy hockey bets like George Jung blew lines in the ’70′s, right?  Relentlessly and without regard for the safety or well-being of others.  Gobblin’ knob like it’s my goddamn job.

And I’ve been blowing the blogs, too.  I know it.  You know it.  Your comments aren’t news to me, theprodigy22.  Lately they’ve been night-of, rushed-in pieces of shit neglecting actual hockey analysis in a failing attempt to provide some semblance of humor in these sporadic posts.  So you want to see me dissect a hockey team without the fanboyish adoration that seeps into everything I write because I basically only write after entertaining Rangers wins?  You want me seriously analyze this underwhelming excuse for a team and prove to you that even though I can’t bet on fantasy for shit, at least I know the sport I’m blogging about?  Fine then…

They’re the dictionary definition of inconsistency.  They win when they play hard right from the first face off and dictate the game’s pace with a physical forecheck, but you can’t count on them to replicate that blueprint game to game or even period to period.  The stars disappear one game and the grinders don’t show up the next.  The rookies look like promising offensive talents and then drop of the score sheet for weeks on end.  The sad fact is that the Rangers still have the same problem as they did four years ago.  Even after picking up Gaborik, Richards and Nash, bringing up Hagelin, Kreider and Miller, nurturing Callahan, Stepan and Boyle, this team still can’t score goals with enough frequency to give Henrik a safety net every other night.  Last night’s loss was a prime example of their being lucky enough to take the lead but too passive and defensively leaky to keep it.  They have no defensive depth and end up stuck on their heels in their own zone for minutes on end like they’re shorthanded every single game without fail.  Lundqvist has returned to form only to find out that the whole of his role STILL is to act as the Rangers’ one goal insurance policy.

The fourth line and man-down units, which had been a huge part of the team’s decent play during their recent 4-0-1 stretch, are really missing Darroll Powe’s calming presence out there.  And don’t even get me started on the worst power play in hockey history.  Brad Richards needs to be taken out behind the pasture and put out of his misery, or at the very least bought out at the season’s end.  Beyond awful, forcing passes at penalty killers like a frat bro going after the last desperate, ugly chick still at the party.  They have no off-the-puck movement; no one making the job of covering passing lanes difficult.  They can’t win an offensive zone face off on the power play to save their lives, i.e. the difference maker in Stepan’s game winner on Sunday.  It’s a momentum killer, and when your power play is a momentum killer you basically have no means of seizing wins from other talented teams.  Watch some video of your ineptitude, compare it to a successful team’s power play and fix this shit already.

And they don’t go to the net with conviction, most likely because they know the chances of Del Zotto, Richards, Girardi, Staal, or whoever else they trot out there to effectively nullify any awarded two minute advantage, hitting the net are less than zero.  Improve in this one single area so that our power play stats look like the league leading Blues or Penguins and I guarantee you eighth place becomes fourth place in a couple weeks.  But they’re lazy.  They don’t capitalize on chances that championship teams bury.  They get pushed around defensively and can barely manage to clear the puck without giving up at least one golden scoring chance in the process.  They have no conviction, no character, no faith in their coaching perhaps.  Is it time to pull an LA Kings and dump the man whose hard-ass antics were once what we needed but now are wearing thin?  Is Torts’ time in New York past its most productive point?  I’ll tell you what, if I have to watch much more of this tepid, insecure, .500, horseshit hockey, I’ll gladly accept a pink slip as long as Torts is getting one too.  @PhilOsgood