Okay, Chris Kreider just took over a lackluster game by the Rangers and won it with two 3rd Period goals. Those were his first two in 6 games and two of only 3 since he missed all that time with the neck, after his hot start. More on them later. This past week was more up and down for the Rangers and Knicks, and more winning without playing well for the Giants. The Yanks still haven't done anything stupid. The Winter Meetings start tomorrow so let's hope they keep their streak going.
Giants: The Giants have their first big test in some time tomorrow as they try to beat the Steelers and stretch their winning streak to 7. They're could crappy weather which wouldn't help the Giants anemic running game take over for it's occasionally high flying passing game. They're also taking a hit on their improving DL as Owa is going to miss the game with a knee. The Steeler, love them or hold them in the proper contempt, do always field a physically tough team. That's why it was so gratifying when the Giants pounded them in 2008. That's why this is a huge test for the Giants. We've seen them play down to everyone's level, now it's time to see if it works the other way.
Yanks: The Yanks are headed to the Winter Meetings with the news that Carlos Beltran, their purported target for their imaginary old DH need is going back to the Astros. I would much rather see Austin, Refs, Higgy, and whoever else is not on defense that day flow through the position, and I really don't want to see them give up the #17 pick in the first round to sign an old DH, or a reliever or an old pitcher. I suppose they could get Napoli or Holliday, but what't the point? Haven't we seen enough of the ups and downs of past their prime guys like Giles and Berkman to take away at bats from younger talent? It will be less odius if they don't give up the pick, but they should know by now Girardi has a long leash for veterans and short one for kids. He's not the right manager for this rebuild/reload, and they shouldn't be picking up players to further expose his weaknesses. We'll see what gets done.
UPDATE: The Braves announced today that they have signed Jacob Lindgren. This no doubt screws the Yanks chances of sneaking another guy through as they've done in the past. Still losing even an injured player of this caliber without compensation, is suboptimal. They should cut Hicks.
Rangers: The Rangers are really missing Mika and Buch. And until today, they were also really missing the Kreider of the preseason and the first few games. Earlier in the season, the Rangers were overwhelming teams with their forward depth, but now with two of their best forwards and best passers out, they are struggling to maintain the possession or two create the quick possessions that lead to all those quick goals earlier this season. What's more, they do not currently possess the defensive chops to hold onto one goal leads, or maintain ties. So, until they can tighten up the D, every game will be more of a struggle. But, if Kreider is really back, it will help quite a bit, because Nash and Stepan are also percolating.
Knicks: The Knicks are still a work in progress, but they just won back to backs against the really dirty TWolves, and that was fun. Kyle O'Quinn was a monster last night, and I think we all thought we'd see more of that when we signed him to that seemingly savvy deal, but last night was by far his best game as a Knick, and they need more of that. KP seems to be in a phase where, if he isn't hot early, he stops getting the ball. Of course, this has never happened to Melo, who was great again last night after a few stinkers. The Knicks seem much better so far with Jennings at the point and Rose on the bench. They are also 4-0 without Noah in a small sample. But this year is all about the next core of KP, Billy, and Kuz, so look it that way and don't worry about the playoffs till they are made.
Have a great week everyone, and I'm sure we'll have more Yankee stuff to talk about as it progresses.