DeAngelo owns troll on Twitter, Thoughts on Lias Andersson

The computers aren’t happy with Tony DeAngelo or Ryan Strome for continuing to prove them wrong. DeAngelo was called a name by an unprofessional hack. He had the perfect response.

For a while now, there have been a few biased bloggers going after Tony DeAngelo for his political views. Personally, I don’t care about that stuff. As long as the player is performing on the ice and handling themselves well off it, that should never be brought up by anyone. Especially popular team blogs that churn out redundant rhetoric.

I’ve been mostly silent on this topic because it’s not my cup of tea to comment on such ridiculous behavior. However, given the unfair treatment the Rangers top leading scorer among defensemen has been receiving, I’ve had enough as have many loyal fans who root for the team. Loyalty. There’s a word that’s not in the Blueshirt Banter dictionary. A few clowns that write there are pathetic in their deliberate attemps to run smear campaigns against DeAngelo, Ryan Strome and to a lesser extent Brendan Lemieux due to off ice garbage.

This has nothing to do with on ice performance. Even if Joe Fortunato would have you believe that it only has to do with the beloved charts and Corsica they use to assess everything. Not when you have dirty rotten hypocrites like this tool bag hitting below the belt in this off putting tweet that was screen shotted.

Let’s give some credit to DeAngelo for handling the childish name-calling well that he received from the biggest loser this fan base has. It’s not even worth mentioning his name. That’s how embarrassing this person is. They don’t deserve the time or space. I don’t care which way you lean on politics. As long as you don’t cross the boundaries by lowering yourself to using derogatory insults as personal attacks, you’re okay in my book.

While I might not agree with Mr. Fortunato on his approach to covering the team through his blog by basically depending largely on charts, I’ve never seen him do what one of his bloggers did before. It’s downright offensive and unbecoming of any fan blogger to say what that sad hypocrite said. Especially on the heels of DeAngelo’s memorable game Friday in which his hat trick was the first by a Blueshirts defenseman since Reijo Ruotsalainen. His five points tied Hall Of Famer Brian Leetch for the most in franchise history by a Ranger blueliner. Leetch did it twice.

It isn’t nice to call someone names. In today’s PC world, we must watch what we say. Especially with social media so prevalent. It’s okay to disagree with someone. That’s called having a different opinion. Unfortunately with some of the BSB bloggers, if you do you’re cast out and not a true fan. They’ve created a divide among Ranger fans. Something that’s been unhealthy for a while. You’re either with them or against them. So much for having thoughtful discussions and rational debates.

It wasn’t always this way. Somewhere over the last few years, it became too much to even give a different opinion without getting the silent treatment or an immature response that lacked common decency. It shouldn’t be that way.

We all root for the same team. You’d think everyone would be happy when we see a virtuoso performance like the one DeAngelo had the other day. Plus Igor Shestyorkin had 46 saves in the 6-3 home win over the Devils. There was a lot to like. Artemi Panarin had another three point game. Chris Kreider continued his roll with his 14th goal and an assist to give him 16 points over the last 15 games. Ryan Strome bounced back from a benching for losing a defensive draw that led to a Devils shorthanded goal to set up two goals including Jesper Fast for his seventh to put the game away.

The main focus should be on the players. If you root for the team, you support the logo no matter who represents the Rangers.

Too much of sports have become political. Ever since the 2016 Presidential Election, the Democrats have turned it into a witch-hunt against President Trump. Even when he makes the right decision like he did with an evil terrorist and mass murderer in Iran, it’s frowned upon. Whose side are they on? As someone who was a registered Democrat, it’s appalling how disrespectful and divisive they’ve become. Israel is the only ally the United States has in the Middle East. As a respectful Jewish person, I really dislike what the Democratic Party has become. It’s too progressive and is being pushed further left by dangerous women. This isn’t the same party I supported. That’s why I’m an Independent. There are flaws with both mainstream parties.

That’s about as much as I’ll ever discuss politics. The reason I did was what we are seeing with a faction of deranged Ranger fans. Political views should be left out when it comes to supporting our teams. Sports are supposed to be enjoyable. A nice distraction from our everyday lives. I had a blast at my third game. There were good Devil fans in our section I had a good conversation with. That’s the point. If you can get along with opposing fans without the silly fights that used to be the norm, you should be able to do similar with friends who don’t share your political beliefs.

That doesn’t matter. Friendships do. Keep them because the older you get, the harder it is to maintain contact with close friends. I miss the days when it was easier to get together and do fun things. A friend recently became a father for the first time last Sunday night. He’s a loyal Democrat. That doesn’t matter. Even if we don’t share the same views, I love him. I’m so happy and excited for his family.

A final thought on DeAngelo. He’s having a great season thus far. He enters tonight’s game in St. Louis with 36 points (11-25-36) to place fifth among all NHL defensemen in scoring. Yet he isn’t an All-Star. Who cares. The current All-Star Game format sucks and so do the jerseys. Has anyone seen them? Yikes. Until they go back to the traditional five on five alternating East vs West or North America vs The World, I have no use for the ASG. I can find something else to do with my free time.

With the DeAngelo stuff out of the way, and good on him for having the sense of humor to handle what that hypocritical miscreant said, I want to comment finally on Lias Andersson.

As you know, he packed his bags and left Hartford. It didn’t go well for him after getting sent down. In fact, his final points came on my birthday when buddy Tim Daddio saw Hartford play Binghamton. Andersson had two goals and an assist on Dec. 8. After that, it was all downhill for the former 2017 seventh overall pick. He went 4-1-5, but slumped badly by struggling mightily.

What happened? We don’t know. Anyone who pretends they do is a liar. Andersson was promptly suspended by the team for essentially quitting. He went home to Sweden. For a while, there was total silence from the organization on Lias, which I felt was wrong. They do so much to prop these kids up. Especially after The Letter. The PR is a big part of the problem. They go into full spin mode. How’s Kaapo Kakko looking? He could use some time in the AHL.

After a good preseason that saw him have a better training camp than Filip Chytil or Brett Howden, coach David Quinn praised Andersson. There was even some thought that maybe we’d see Andersson get a real shot in the top nine. Instead, he started on the fourth line behind Howden and Ryan Strome, who shifted back to his natural position. That turned out to be a wise move. He’s been splendid putting up 41 points in 43 games while flourishing with Panarin and Fast. That’s allowed Quinn to reunite Kreider and Mika Zibanejad with Pavel Buchnevich, who remains frustrating to watch.

Chytil started the year in Hartford, but worked hard to get back. He also benefitted from a Zibanejad undisclosed upper body injury. He came back up and was a improved player scoring goals in six of his first nine games. Since then, he’s leveled off with only four more. I like him, but he needs to find consistency. Not just show glimpses.

As for Andersson, he never got off the fourth line and had just one assist in 17 games before being sent down. It was obvious that the demotion hurt his confidence. He recently finally spoke out about what happened in an article published back home. He was under the impression that he’d be the second center behind Zibanejad after his preseason. Keep in mind this was before Quinn committee to Strome as his second center. Based on what happened, you could actually see how he’d think this. Instead, he was dropped to the fourth line where his ice time disappeared. It got so bad that he was barely playing.

So, sending him down made sense. However, he didn’t respond the way Chytil did. He sulked and let it affect him. Hardly what you’d expect from a high character player the team sold the fans on when they reached for him at number seven ahead of Nick Suzuki and Martin Necas. This was a player who just two years ago captained Sweden to a silver medal in the 2018 World Junior Championship by posting six goals and an assist.

Now, we find out that Andersson wasn’t happy. He’s hinted at stuff going on behind the scenes. However, he denied having an anxiety issue or mental illness, which is positive. So, what the heck happened?!?! Nobody knows. It sounds like some kind of bullying or odd behavior resulted in the 21-year old center losing his mind.

Then, there’s the part about him admitting he played hurt with possibly two bad legs. That he took pain medication to play through serious injuries that could’ve hindered his skating. If that’s true, that’s an indictment on the Rangers organization. Painkillers are pushed like candy by doctors. As we are well aware, Daniel Carcillo raised the issue. We know about the terrible tragedies to Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak, Rick Rypien and a few other former players who are no longer with us. It’s a serious issue that the NHL continues to tiptoe around.

Now, we find out from Team President John Davidson that the organization have a lot of good people in place and never gave an inclination that anything was wrong with Lias. He has hinted at flying out to discuss things with Andersson, who even mentioned that his entry level contract expires in 2021. He says he misses playing hockey, but discussed the possibility of having to go another year plus without it. Crazy stuff.

Can he be salvaged, or is it too much for Davidson to convince him to come back and play for the Wolf Pack and regain his confidence? He’s only hurting his value which can’t be much. Is he a “bust” as I’ve seen other bloggers and fans call him or is it too soon for that? I put part of the blame on the organization for doing what they always do. Overhyping the kid and not being patient enough to develop him properly.

Meanwhile, Howden gets a free pass despite little production. He plays hard and is a solid fourth line penalty killer. Not exactly what they advertised following the trade of two established NHL players in Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller with the Lightning. Libor Hajek isn’t exactly anything special either. Nils Lundkvist looks like the best player in that deal and who knows if he will be ready in the Fall. He’s young.

That’s going to do it for now. Tonight, Henrik Lundqvist gets the start with Alexandar Georgiev backing up in St. Louis. Shestyorkin gets the day off. It’ll continue to be interesting to see how the Blueshirts handle the three goalies. I feel bad for Georgiev. He did nothing wrong. But this is what it is for now.

If Ryan Lindgren (lower body) can’t go, they’ll either shift Brendan Smith to defense or reinsert Hajek. The defending champs will be quite a test.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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1 Response to DeAngelo owns troll on Twitter, Thoughts on Lias Andersson

  1. Pingback: NYR/STL 1/11 Review: The Rangers Lose In The Most Predictable of Fashions; Lundqvist Bombed Like Soleimani, Rangers Listening To Georgiev Trade Offers Instead of Having “The Talk”, Racist & Psychotic Ranger Fans, TDA Pops Off Again, Whiny

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