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Rangers sweep the home -and-home series against Philly

It’s always interesting to see what happens when you have such a heated rivalry between the New York Rangers & the Philadelphia Flyers as both sides have tons of hate for each other and it always spills out on the ice. Especially during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when you have a national televised game down at the Wells Fargo Center & then a return trip to MSG the next day.

But the truth is that this was all Rangers in both games and the Flyers never showed that they were able to match the speed & the fire power that the Rangers were displaying out there. 

In fact the only thing that was saving the Flyers was their goaltending as Steve Mason prevented a possible blow out on Friday afternoon & Ray Emery tried his best to do the same at the Garden.

Power Play Goals were being served with extra gravy when the Rangers were converting chances in both games and in Philly a record milestone was converted as Martin St. Louis scored on a rebound chance in the 2nd period on Friday for his 1,000 career point in the National Hockey League. Undrafted from the University of Vermont and became the 5th player to do it in the NHL.
Of course Rick Nash converts a Short Handed Goal in the 3rd period down in Philly to continue his hot start to this season. Cam Talbot played in the first game over a week ago and shutout the Flyers 2-0, and did it again this past Friday 3-0. Over 2 hours of shutout hockey that Cam Talbot provided for the Rangers.

Even thought the Rangers took care of business on Friday & on Saturday with two big goals from Derick Brassard with Jesper Fast 1st NHL goal, a 5-2 win for the blue shirts climbed up the division to third place. But in these three games between these two sides, I have to say that the Flyers don’t look like themselves. There is no heart, no energy & honestly looking broad street bully-less. Since the deal sending Scott Hartnell to Columbus for R.J. Umberger, the Flyers look like hapless.

There is no heart on that team and to be honest this is not the fault of head coach Craig Berube, the players are just not themselves as it looks like General Manager Ron Hextall has neutered his own team by taking away their high energy agitator in Scott Hartnell and turned them into a rotted orange.

But for the Rangers they pick up four important points and take three straight games from the Flyers and once again they can’t get a win at Madison Square Garden.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Red Bulls fall short on Aggregate, Revolution advance to MLS Cup

This was the best playoff series within the structure of Major League Soccer as the two sides fighting for the Eastern Conference Title were on Gillette Stadium field turf to try and stamp their ticket to either Los Angeles or Seattle for the right to fight for the championship of MLS.

But sadly for the Red Bulls it wasn’t meant to be as they fell short in the goal aggregate series as they fell to a final of 4 goals to 3 in favor of the surprising New England Revolution, but at the start of this contest it was the Red Bulls who got on the board first as the most maligned attacker had a bad season.

Thierry Henry delivered a fantastic ball towards the New England area and saw Tim Cahill challenging Jose Goncalves for position near the goal. Then out of nowhere as the ball bounced Cahill shot a toe poke between Goncalves legs and past Shuttleworth to level the aggregate score in the 26th minute.

But the Revolution retook the aggregate lead in the 41st minute as they took a short corner and after the cross was made it looked like Charlie Davies handled the ball and deflected it past Luis Robles. Sadly referee Baldomero Toledo missed this, but from his position being so far from the area and a lot of bodies blocking his vision, there was no way he was able to see that hand ball and take away the goal.

But the Red Bulls once again were able to grab a second and force the situation on the Revolution and this time it was Peguy Luyindula who found pay dirt and got the lead back again. Lloyd Sam gets the ball at midfield and tries to cross it towards Cahill who was double covered, but it deflects of a defender and Luyindula sneaks in out of nowhere and retook the lead in the game in the 52nd minute.

That meant the aggregate was tied at three & the Red Bulls matched New England’s two away goals from the 1st leg, if the game ended in regulation with a tied aggregate this game was headed to extra time. But once again Charlie Davies took advantage of a mental gaffe from Ambroise Oyongo and converted his second of the game and fourth of the playoffs.

In the 70th minute Oyongo had a miscommunication with Luis Robles as you saw these two collide a bit & then Robles cleared the ball, but not far enough. The Revolution took advantage of the mad scramble and on a cross by Chris Tierney Davies headed in the aggregate winner.

After 20 minutes of regulation and 3 to 4 extra minutes of 2nd half stoppage time, the Red Bulls once again fail to make a trip to their second MLS Cup Final. But while this was another tough heartbreak by the club not getting to the promise land, this one is easier to handle.

Because these two seasons under the direction of head coach Mike Petke has shown plenty of progress for the 2nd year manager and local hero. He went through a tough and mediocre regular season with an early exit from the US Open Cup & crashing out of the CONCACAF Champions League, but made it up with a solid playoff run.
We shall see what happens during the offseason to rebuild this roster for the 2015 season, but you should be proud of how far this club has come and how far Mike Petke has come as a head coach.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Podcast: Dolphins at Jets Preview Show

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FansFavorite*com Jets Podcast on BlogTalkRadio

Join Daniel Feuerstein & Rick Laughland as they Preview the Monday Night Match Up as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium.

Podcast: Jets 3 at Bills 38 Final

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Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they Review the first game back from the Bye Week as the New York Jets were romped in Western New York by the Buffalo Bills.

Podcast: Jets at Bills Preview

Join Daniel Feuerstein & Rick Laughland as they Preview the Week 12 match-up as the New York Jets return from the Bye week and take a trip to Western New York & face again the Buffalo Bills with Rich Stadium Dreams blog writer Earl Reed.

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FansFavorite*com Jets Podcast on BlogTalkRadio

Revolution steal first leg with Jermaine Jones winner

This was a knock-em out, drag-em out type of game as the two sides that reside along Interstate 95 was going to battle it out to see who will take advantage in the 2nd leg at Gillette Stadium and with five minutes remaining in regulation time it would be Jermaine Jones who would slide into the ball and convert for the 2nd away goal for the Revolution and take a 2-1 lead on aggregate.

That one defensive breakdown that was so crucial for both sides went against the Red Bulls as Lee Nguyen made a nice pass to Teal Bunbury who stayed onside along with Jones and as Luis Robles came out to stop that ball, it was too late and Jones slid into it and converted.

It was a raucous start to the game as Red Bull Arena was 25,000 strong with over 1,200 visiting fans coming down from the Boston area that made you feel proud to be a fan of the game from the United States.

The first two goals of the match came quick and hard with a beautifully struck ball from Teal Bunbury who bent it from distance and splashed the inside of the far post for the first away goal of the match. But the Red Bulls found a way to climb back into this tie with a beauty of their own.

27th minute and the Red Bulls nearly lost the ball, but Ibrahim Sekagya found a way to retain possession and gave it to Ambroise Oyongo who sprinted down towards the net. A quick pass to Peguy Luyindula who took his first shot and a save by Bobby Shuttleworth, yet allowed a rebound chance to Luyindula again on the ground and a hard swing that nailed the post.

But it was Bradley Wright-Phillips who got to the rebound and headed it home to level the score and his 31st goal of the season in combined regular season & playoffs. But this game wasn’t just hard fought; it was also filled with Yellow cards that Referee Allen Chapman didn’t have to deal to both sides.

Questionable calls by this referee were aimed at both sides and once again this game which was a fantastic effort from both sides was ruined by Chapman who continues to fail as a so-called top official from either PRO or US Soccer. Bradley Wright-Phillips who was carrying a yellow card got booked for Encroachment on a free kick foul will now miss the 2nd leg on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

But for Head Coach Mike Petke he felt the start was a bit slow as usual for his side. “We usually start a little bit on the back foot almost every game. They stepped up and pressed, they had the header from (Jermaine) Jones which was one of about three of four clear chances they had and that woke us up a little bit. And then our passing was very good in the first half. Our ability to find Eric (Alexander) and Peguy (Luyindula) behind the line and free Bradley (Wright-Phillips) up, Lloyd (Sam)” had a good day.

Now with five days between games can the Red Bulls ratchet up their intensity and try to return the favor like the Revolution did against them. One away goal won’t be enough as the Red Bulls need two to force the situation on Aggregate, we shall see what happens.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Podcast: Jets 20 at Steelers 13 Final

Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they review the last game on the Jets Schedule before the team goes on the by week as the Green and White hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Nets knock off Magic 104-96

Sunday’s matinee at the Barclays Center was a seesaw affair that saw Lionell Hollins and company pull away late to earn their fourth victory of the season.
The Nets eclipsed the 100-point mark for the fifth time this season as 25-year-old rookie Bojan Bogdanovich dropped in a season-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with six rebounds.

Brook Lopez, in just his third game back from injury, added 12 points and five rebounds but proved to be a defensive liability as Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic poured in 27 points and 12 rebounds.

Hollins benched Lopez in the final quarter and moved Kevin Garnett to center, a defensive shift that paid dividends down the stretch.
The Nets embark on a three game West Coast swing facing Phoenix on Wednesday, Golden State on Thursday and Portland on Saturday before returning home to square off with Miami next Monday.

Brooklyn has feasted on bottom feeders this year earning all four victories against sub .500 squads.
The Nets new-look offense is producing results as they rank No. 5 in the NBA in scoring at just under 105 points per game. Deron Williams looks rejuvenated under Hollins’ leadership and has an extra bounce in his step following orthoscopic surgery on his balky ankles this offseason.

As the Nets prepare for the toughest stretch of their 2014 campaign, fans will soon find out where they stack up in a wide open Eastern Conference.

Jaiquawn Jarrett's heroics help Jets soar by Steelers

On this eight game losing streak the one glaring hole on the defense has been the secondary as the corners and safeties have looked absolutely dreadful and can’t seem to prevent a big time pass by the opposition's quarterback. General Manager John Idzik never upgraded that part of the defense with corners coming and going so quick there wasn’t enough time to corral or give the proper amount to sign a contract.

But in this game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and trying to get into the bye week on a positive note, there was someone who wanted a chance to get out there and prove that he is a part of this Jets team and make as many plays as possible who is a local kid out of Brooklyn in Jaiquawn Jarrett.

What an amazing game he had against one of the toughest quarterbacks in the league to face against and he made several fantastic plays to help the Jets earn that 20-13 win. Jarrett started the day with a sack on Roethlisberger for a solid 10 yard loss on a 3rd & 15, then after a T.J. Graham touchdown the Steelers tried to run the ball with Antonio Brown as he fumbled the ball and Jarrett recovers it on the Steelers 10 yard line.

The Jets with a 17-0 lead on the Steelers in the first half of this game had to get a bit worried if Roethlisberger was going to march down the field to get a quick score and get back into it, well it never happened on a 2nd & 8 on the Jets 10 yard line as the pass was deflected on the goal line and Jarrett dove for the ball and picked it off.

The final fantastic play by Jarrett was an interception for the Steelers first possession in the second half. Somehow a soft lob down the field was a jump ball and an easy pick for Jarrett to finish off his day and the easy pick for the player of the game as the Brooklyn native comes up big and his hard work has paid off to be a thorn in the side of Roethlisberger all game long.

Let’s hope after the bye week that Jarrett can perform that same type of magic when the Jets travel to Western NY and face the Buffalo Bills for a little revenge.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Luyindula’s Aggregate Winner puts Red Bulls in East Final

When you visit a place you haven’t won in during the playoffs that is venerable RFK Stadium in our nation’s capital and you haven’t beaten your big rivals in the last four playoff match ups, sooner than later you are due to break that jinx. With an aggregate lead heading into the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Red Bulls pulled out a big goal aggregate win and will await the winner of the other Semi-Finals.

After Nick DeLeon cut the aggregate deficit to a goal in the 37th minute the Red Bulls were looking for that crucial away goal to put DC United into a bigger hole and did so in the 57th minute as the magic of Thierry Henry was able to set it up on the far side. After DC United complained about the ball being out of bounds, the Red Bulls started to create an attacking run.

Bradley Wright-Phillips got into position to head the ball back towards Henry because he wasn’t in position to shoot at the net. As Henry collected the ball and assessed what he wanted to do, he made a run towards goal and took on Sean Franklin. A great cross in front of the DC net and Peguy Luyindula came out of nowhere to left knee the ball past Bill Hamid and the Red Bulls extended the lead back to two goals.

The atmosphere for DC fans were drowned, the far side seats that are used to being bouncy and wild were quiet and still. Even thought Franklin was able to pull another one back to make the aggregate 3-2 at the first minute of five in second half stoppage time, DC United needed two more goals to win the series since they never converted at Red Bull Arena on Away Goals.

For the first time in five tries in the MLS Cup Playoffs the New York Red Bulls Finally defeated DC United and they will now await for the winner of the second leg between the New England Revolution & the Columbus Crew, but sadly they will be missing defender Roy Miller for the entire series as he was issued a yellow card in the 42nd minute for a foul from behind that had him missing the 1st leg, but he earned a red card with a silly high boot to the right shoulder of Franklin that gave him a straight red in the 78th minute and put the Red Bulls down to ten men.

After so many playoff busts by this squad since the league began in 1996 and on to their best run since the 2008 season going thru the Western Conference Playoffs, the New York Red Bulls are on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals which will begin in two weeks after the International Break.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Podcast: Steelers at Jets Preview

Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as theypPreview the Week 10 match up as the New York Jets host the Pittsburgh Steelers before Gang Green's bye week.

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FansFavorite*com Jets Podcast on BlogTalkRadio

FOX Football Overtime: Rick Laughland

New York Jets and Giants Insider for Fox Sports and, Rick Laughland joins Chris Plank and Arnie Spanier to recap Michael Vick's loss to the Chiefs before previewing the Giants Monday Night Matchup versus the Colts

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Podcast: Jets 24 at Chiefs 10 Final

Join Daniel Feuerstein & Rick Laughland as they recap the Week 9 road match up as the New York Jets travel back to the Midwest and face the Kansas City Chiefs & talk about the Philadelphia reunion of Marty Mornhinweg & Andy Reid.

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FansFavorite*com Jets Podcast on BlogTalkRadio

Red Bulls dominate the first Leg and earn a shutout

Since the league got started back in 1996 the last time the New York Red Bulls earned a playoff victory over their hated rivals in DC United it was a shootout win with Peter Vermes limping on the Giants Stadium Astroturf field trying to convert a chance to win that game and he did.
But since then the Metros/Red Bulls haven’t had any luck beating DC United in that first playoff series and the next three as the team from our Nation’s Capital have found ways to defeated and befuddle this club every playoff chance they got.

But the first playoff win against DC United finally came to fruition as the New York Red Bulls within a 72 hour period came out on their home field and dominated the first leg of this goal aggregate tie with a 2-0 victory.

DC United came out putting a ton of pressure against the Red Bulls, but somehow the side that should’ve been out of breath started to turn it around and created plenty of chances to take advantage of the match. Their first tally came in the 40th minute with some pretty passing and a connection that has been perfect Since April 23rd.
Lloyd Sam from the far side gave Thierry Henry a beautiful ball down the field and just inside the DC area, but with a defender on him Henry was able to hold the ball and a quick back heel flick across the field. It had enough pace on it as Luyindula left it alone and Bradley Wright-Phillips took a hard shot that beat Bill Hamid for the lead with five minutes left before half time.

All throughout the game the Red Bulls were dominating the regular season Eastern Conference winners and every single time they had a chance to get a second Bill Hamid was right there to keep DC United in the game, till the 73rd minute when the Red Bulls put an exclamation point on the match. Another brilliant ball from Henry as he crossed it from the far touch line to the middle of the field as Peguy Luyindula with a gentle touch collected the ball with his right foot and when Hamid came off his line, all Luyindula had to do was slot it underneath Hamid’s leg and roll it inside the net.

“It was a big victory.” Said Head Coach Mike Petke, “It started off, in the first 10-15 minutes it was obvious that they were rested and physically up for it, and we looked a little slower than usual. They put it on us a little, great pressure by them, I think after that it opened up a little bit, and once we were able to find the wings and play a couple of penetrating balls, I think from then on, especially in the second half, we found a lot more success.”

But on the DC side of things Ben Olsen was not happy with the performance from his side. “I think New York put a whooping on us. They were very good and we weren’t. We weren’t great for large stretches of that game, they’ve got a lot of class out there and the way they pass the ball and I thought their midfield in particularly was very sharp and (Thierry) Henry, when he chooses to, is one of the best players in this league.

Now with the road goals rule being involved for the first time in the MLS Cup Playoffs the Red Bulls have a chance to take advantage in six days to convert on the road and force more pressure on DC United and advance to the Eastern Conference Final and that would be the next best thing for this run to get better.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

Fox Sports Radio: Rick Laughland

The Giants Beat publisher joins the Michael Harmon show to preview the New York Giants upcoming contest against the Indianapolis Colts and talks about the New York Jets Sunday afternoon match-up with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Podcast: Jets at Chiefs Preview Show

Join Daniel Feuerstein & Rick Laughland as they preview the next road game for the Jets as they head back to the Midwest and face one of the top teams in the AFC West taking on the Kansas City Chiefs and the reunion of their Philadelphia Days between Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg and Michael Vick.

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FansFavorite*com Jets Podcast on BlogTalkRadio

Wright-Phillips Brace brings Red Bulls 1st home playoff win

The clock was ticking towards the 90th minute and the score was tied at one a piece. It had to be the perfect moment for the Red Bulls to try and get that tally and hold on thru four minutes of stoppage time. A solid pass to Ambroise Oyongo towards the near side and a botched cross that popped up in the air put thoughts into everyone’s head that this game was headed for extra time.

But it was Bradley Wright-Phillips who scored the winner as he was left alone to create a glancing header towards the far post and caught Eric Kronberg off his line and no Matt Besler who failed to cover him as the ball deflects inside the net to bring an explosion from the Red Bull Arena crowd that no one expected.

After allowing a bad pass in the midfield and it was converted by Dom Dwyer in the 53rd minute, those feelings of past Playoff losses and the curses of yesteryear were brought back to haunt the fans that have been supporting this club since the league began in 1996, but for some strange reason this side never panicked and never lost their shape.

The Tying goal was scored in the 77th minute as the Red Bulls continued to face a Sporting Kansas City side that brought nine men back towards their net and tried to defend a one goal advantage, but that defending was unlocked as Peguy Luyindula gave Thierry Henry a fantastic pass through the defense and a quick cross to Wright-Phillips who toe poked the shot that deflected off a defender and past Kronberg to level the match.

“The guys showed resiliency and guts, which is perhaps something I’m more proud of than any goals, any tactics.” Said Head Coach Mike Petke, “Kansas City is a great team, they really are. Peter Vermes is someone that I admire, being older, having played against him in the league when he was going out of the league and now seeing what he’s done with them, they’re a great team. They’re a quality side, they got a goal and the guts we showed, I’m very proud of our guys.”

After ninety minutes of hard working playoff soccer the Red Bulls with their red hot goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips defeated Sporting Kansas City by a score of two goals to one and will now host their bitter rivals in DC United in a two legged playoff format in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this Sunday.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein

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