New York Nine: NHL Players (7/28/11)

Honorable Mentions: Marc Staal, Travis Zajac, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Anton Volchenkov, Colin White, Dan Girardi, Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit

9) Michael Grabner

Talking about making an immediate impact. After being picked up on waivers from Florida, Grabner scored 34 goals in his first season with the Islanders. His main tool is his speed, which makes him a threat every time he touches the puck.

8) Patrik Elias

Patrik Elias has been a constant force for the Devils throughout the past fifteen years. During his career, he’s played in 961 games, he’s scored 335 goals, and he’s put up 481 assists. He’s still a strong as ever, as he put up a 62 point season in 2010-2011.

7) John Tavares

This 20-year-old sensation has already put up 121 points in only two seasons. If his game progresses and he reaches his potential, we could be looking at a future Hall of Famer.

6) Martin Brodeur

Brodeur has a 2.22 GAA with a .913 save percentage. He has been the most consistent goalie in the NHL in the past two decades, and the best goalie in NHL history in my opinion. Sure, he’s had great players play in front of him, but he has set the bar at a new level for goalies in the NHL.

He may be on the decline, but Brodeur is still serviceable for the Devils. With 20 shutouts in the past three seasons, Marty is still going strong.

5) Brad Richards

Richards could be the missing piece in the Rangers’ puzzle. His last two years have been his best, averaging well over a point a game. Richards, a center, is extremely skilled, and he should definitely help Marian Gaborik get back on track.

4) Marian Gaborik

When Gaborik is healthy, he can put up huge numbers. He put up a combined 85 goals in his last two fully healthy seasons. With Brad Richards feeding him the puck, there’s no reason Gaborik can’t score 35+ goals this season.

3) Zach Parise

After an injury-filled 2010-2011, many forgot just how good Zach is. Parise scored 176 points in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 combined. He is a scoring machine who will only continue to thrive with players such as Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac around him.

2) Henrik Lundqvist

Hank has played on some pretty mediocre teams, yet he’s led the Rangers to playoff berths five out of the past six seaons. My only complaint is that he’s yet to carry the team in a playoff series. Once he does that, he can become a Rangers legend.

1) Ilya Kovalchuk

Kovalchuk had a down year in 2010-2011, but he can put up 40-50 goals when he gets on a roll. Ilya is one of the elite players in the game, and he was worth whatever the Devils had to give up for him. Will he be just as good in 2025? Probably not, but I expect him to retire well before his contract is over.

Did we miss anyone?  Is there someone we should have ranked higher or lower?  Leave us feedback here or on Facebook/Twitter.

All three teams in the New York metro area have very talented players.


New York Nine: Yankees Teams (1976-2010)

Honorable Mentions: 1976, 1980, 1981, 2002, 2004, 2010

9) 2003

The 2003 World Series was very dissapointing thanks to Joe Torre and Jeff Weaver, but the 2003 ALCS was one of the most amazing things in Yankees history.

8) 2001

It’s panful to think about, but the Yankees were two outs away winning their fifth World Series in sixth seasons.  It would have been amazing thing, but we lost fair and square.

7) 2000

The 2000 Yankees were actually pretty mediocre in the regular season, but a weak AL East let the Bombers slip into the playoffs.  After a rough first two rounds, the Yankees beat the Mets four games to one in the World Series.

6) 1999

98 wins in the regular season and only one loss in the postseason.  Pure domination.

5) 1996

The Yankees hadn’t won the World Series in nearly twenty years and it seemed as if 1995 was going to be the team’s return to glory.  After things didn’t go their way in the ’95 ALDS, a 92 win campaign in 1996 was good enough to win the AL East.  After cruising through the ALDS against Texas and the ALCS against Baltimore, the Yankees faced off against “The Team of the Decade”, the Atlanta Braves.

You couldn’t write the script any better.  Down 2-0 in the series, the Bombers won three straight in Atlanta.  The comeback was completed in Game 6, as the Yankees won their 23rd World Series.

3a.) 1977

100 wins, first World Series win since 1962, and one of the wildest clubhouses in the history of sports.

3b.) 1978

After being down in the standings by fourteen games, the ’78 Yankees rallied back to force a one-game playoff in Boston.  You know the story from there.

2) 2009

After a decade-long wait, the Yankees finally were “back on top” (as Joe Buck said) in 2009.  That year’s World Series against the Phillies was one of the most exciting playoff series in team history.

1) 1998

114 wins, a World Series sweep, and another parade down the Canyon of Heroes.  The 2001 Mariners would break the single-season wins record, but ironically the Yankees knocked them out in that year’s ALCS.  Many consider the 1998 Yankees to be the greatest team in baseball hisory, although I think the 1927 Yankees would have something to say about that.

Did we go wrong anywhere?  Leave us feedback here or on Facebook/Twitter.


New York Nine: Modern Giants Players (1980-2011)

9) RB Otis Anderson

The MVP of Super Bowl XXV rushed for 2,274 yards and scored 35 touchdowns as a Giant.

8) WR Amani Toomer

Nearly 700 receptions, nearly 10,000 yards, and 54 touchdowns scored in 13 years with the Giants. He played in an unbelievable 190 games throughout his career, all with the Giants.

7) QB Eli Manning

With back to back 4,000 yard seasons, Eli has taken his game to the next level. However, stats mean nothing when you did what he did that fateful Sunday night in Glendale. His Super Bowl XLII heroics against the Patriots will never be forgotten.

6) OLB Carl Banks

In nine years with the Giants, Banks recorded 36 sacks. The two-time Super Bowl champion was a key part of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. He was voted into the 1980s All-Decade Team.

5) RB Tiki Barber

107 total touchdowns in ten years with the Giants. Tiki never won a Super Bowl, but his breakout year in 2000 helped the Giants make it to Super Bowl XXXV, where they were blownout by the Ravens.

4) QB Phil Simms

From 1979 to 1993, the Giants were Phil Simms’ team. Under Simms, the Giants won two Super Bowls (although he only played in one of them) and made the playoffs seven simes. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXI.

3) ILB Harry Carson

Carson was one of the most dominant players of his generation. The fourth round draft pick was selected to nine Pro Bowls and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

2) DE Michael Strahan

Strahan was a dominating force for a decade and a half with the Giants, recording 141.5 sacks in 216 games. His 22.5 sacks in 2001 is still an NFL record. Two seaons later, he recorded 18.5 sacks. Strahan was the definition of unblockable during his tenure with the Giants.

1) ILB Lawrence Taylor

Did we miss anyone?  Is there someone we should have ranked higher or lower?  Leave us feedback here or on Facebook/Twitter.

At one time or another, Giants Stadium was home to all of the players listed above.

New York Nine: The Coaches (7/23/11)

9) Peter DeBoer

DeBoer was just hired a few days ago. Let’s see if he can lead the Devils back to glory.

8) Jack Capuano

The Islanders had a nice little surge in the second half of last year, but Capuano and the Isles have proven nothing as of yet.

7) Mike D’Antoni

See Fire Mike D’Antoni.

6) Avery Johnson

He won the Coach of the Year in 2006, he made an NBA Finals appearance in 2006, and he had the guts to take over a sinking ship with the Nets. There’s not much not to like about Avery Johnson. I just wish he’d stop starting Stephen Graham.

5) Terry Collins

I really like what Terry has brought to the Mets this year, but let’s see how the Mets finish out the season. Collins’ real test will be next year, when he should theoretically have a better roster to work with, although I don’t think that will be the case at all.

4) Tom Coughlin

People are going to disagree with me for putting Coughlin this low, but I strongly feel he is the most overrated coach in New York. Under Coughlin, the Giants have often been good, but they’ve rarely been great. In seven seasons, Coughlin has only won four playoff games. Rex Ryan has won four playoff games in two years with a franchise that isn’t supposed to win anything.

Spin it any way you want, but his track record isn’t good when you’re talking about coaching what is supposed to be an elite franchise. Sure, he helped the Giants win Super Bowl 42, but he’s yet to win a playoff game any other year. Not only that, he’s let his team completely collapse over the past two seasons. Elite coaches aren’t supposed to let that happen.

Coughlin has also lost his players’ respect. His old-school style has caused players such as Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle to say they’d rather play for Rex Ryan. Not to mention the whole Osi Umenyiora fiasco that has gone on during the past few seasons. But perhaps Coughlin’s biggest mistake was essentially pushing Tiki Barber out the door. It’s safe to say that Tom isn’t exactly a guy that players are dying to play for.

3) Joe Girardi

Joe has been dealt a pretty easy hand in managing the greatest sports franchise in the world, but he’s done a pretty good job. Joe Torre was a pitiful manager in his last few years, and Girardi has undone his errors by doing things such as actually managing the bullpen. He also was the Manager of the Year in 2006 with the Marlins, proving he’d be great anywhere.

2) John Tortorella

Tortorella has yet to win a playoff series, but the Rangers have been an extremely competetive team the past two and a half seasons. He’s led the Blueshirts through injuries, controversies, and flat-out poor play. His fiery style makes him the perfect coach the lead the Rangers to the promised land in the near future. He’s also won a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay, which is certainly a positive thing.

1) Rex Ryan

Rex took over a team that was supposed to be in a rebuilding mode and turned them into perennial contenders. In his first two seasons, Ryan made the playoffs twice and won a total of four playoff games. Under his guidance, the Jets should be Super Bowl contenders every year in the near future.

Did we miss anyone?  Is there someone we should have ranked higher or lower?  Leave us feedback here or on Facebook/Twitter.

Rex Ryan has turned the Jets into perennial Super Bowl contenders.

New York Nine Power Rankings: April 18, 2011

Let’s look at how each New York  sports team stands compared to the others.  My previous rankings can be found here.  Feel free to leave a comment agreeing or disagreeing with me.

9)  Islanders

They need a new arena, a new owner, and a whole new team.

8)  Mets

Alderson has done nothing to improve this team, but I’ll give him one more offseason.

7)  Nets

The future is bright with Deron and possibly Dwight Howard coming, but I need to see the wins before I can hype them.

6)  Devils (-1)

Felt better about them a month ago, as now I’m not sure where this team stands.  Are they still title contenders?  This offseason will say a lot about how competitive they’ll be next season.

5)  Giants (+1)

The Giants need to pursue Nnamdi Asomugha and make major changes.  Will they?  Probably not.

4)  Knicks (-1)

The Carmelo Era has had a bad start overall.  Expect a sweep in this series, despite my prediction of a seven game win.  Still, they made the playoffs and are close to winning a championship.  If they sign Marc Gasol, they become title contenders next season.

3)  Rangers (+1)

People don’t realize how close this team is to a Stanley Cup.  All the main pieces are in place, now it’s about maturing and adding the right guys in the offseason.  For more on the Rangers, read what I had to say a few weeks ago.

2)  Jets

The new CBA will probably screw the Jets over, but the Rex Ryan Era has begun in New York.  The Jets could be the ones to install the perennial winning program that we have seen with the Yankees, Devils, Red Wings, Patriots, and Lakers.

1)  Yankees

With the Anointed Ones having one of the worst records in the league through the first two weeks of the season, the Yanks are once again AL East and World Series favorites.

The top four.

New York Nine Power Rankings: March 4, 2011

Let’s take a look at how each New York team is doing at the moment.  These rankings are a combination of each teams’ last few seasons and how their future looks going forward.

9)  Islanders

An abysmal front office has hurt this team.  I can’t see them competing any time soon unless things change in Long Island.

8)  Mets

See above, but hopefully Alderson can reverse some of the damage Minaya and the Wilpons have done over the past few years.

7)  Nets

The Nets will once again finish close to last in the league, but with Deron Williams, their future is bright.

6)  Giants

After two straight playoffless seasons, the Giants are at a crossroads.  They decided to bring back Tom Coughlin, but the locker room is clearly divided over him.  Despite this, they are still a very talented team that should make a run at a playoff spot next season.

5)  Devils

Every time we try to count out the Devils, they come back storming.  They probably will fall just short of a playoff berth this season, but their run over the past month has been historic.

4)  Rangers

Despite their recent struggles, the Rangers should make the playoffs this season and have a legitimate chance at winning a playoff series or two.  Their young talent will take them places the next few seasons.

3)  Knicks

The Knicks have two bonafide superstars, and have proven they can beat any team on any given night.  They’ll make the playoffs this season and probably win a championship within the next five years.

2)  Jets

With back to back AFC Championship Game appearances, the Jets are flying high.  A bad offseason could set them up for a mediocre 2011, but they should remain playoff material throughout the next few seasons.

1)  Yankees

Even though they had a rough offseason, the Yankees are still heavily favored every year to get back to the playoffs.  Out of all nine teams, the Yankees have the best shot to win a title this season.  That won’t change any time soon either.

New York Nine: The General Managers (2/15/11)

Original article

9) Sandy Alderson

N/A, but doing nothing is almost better than what Garth Snow has done.

8) Garth Snow

I thought the Islanders would be better this season, but they currently are the second-worst in the league. He’s also made a number of stupid trades this season.

7) Lou Lamoriello

The collapse of the Devils was inevitable, but Lou sped it up. He’s pretty much spent the Devils out of contention, and has no young talent coming up in the system. The Devils are dead, even though they will get a top-5 pick this offseason.

6) Billy King

Completely stuck out in the offseason, but he pulled off a nice trade to unload Terrence Williams. Not completing the Melo deal (twice) is a HUGE minus.

5) Glen Sather

He’s unloaded every bad contract he’s signed except Drury, who the Rangers can buy out and save money. Not the greatest GM, but the Rangers are good now and have young talent. I can’t be too hard on him.

4) Jerry Reese

Two straight playoff-less seasons. It’s not completely his fault, but this past draft was terrible outside of the first round.

3) Brian Cashman/Randy Levine/Hal Steinbrenner

Let’s be honest, Cashman is no longer the Yankees’ general manager. If this team was run the way Cashman wanted to run it, the Yankees would be spending less than they currently are, they would be set up nicely for the future, and they would have a quality team on the field based on smart transactions. Unfortunately, this offseason showcased the madness of the front office. $35 million for a set-up man? Giving Jeter whatever he wanted? C’mon. Cashman should leave for a small market team and rebuild them into a champion.

However, in all honesty, how many teams are better than the Yankees right now?  Even with all the failures this offseason, they will still make the playoffs and compete for their 28th title.  In my opinion, only the Phillies and Red Sox are better at the moment.

2) Donnie Walsh

Walsh is looking better and better by the day. He can seal the deal as the greatest GM of all time in New York if he can get Melo.

1) Mike Tannenbaum

Yes, he’s turned a dormant franchise into a perennial contender. He’s a cap genius, and he’s led the Jets to two straight AFC Title Games.