Listen, I am just as heart broken and devastated as anyone after how the first two games of the Stanely Cup Final transpired.
I’m literally sick to my stomach knowing the Rangers could easily be ahead in this series 2-0 instead of the other way around. When the Kings have lead this series for exactly zero seconds and still somehow find themselves two wins away from the Cup it’s hard to swallow.
But some of you have to put this in perspective. Your NEW YORK RANGERS are in the STANLEY CUP FINAL. This is the same franchise that went 54 years without a Stanley Cup. The one that went eight straight playoffless seasons from the late 90s into the early 2000s. And the one that in early November looked like they’d be competing for the top spot in the draft, not the NHL’s top prize.
I get that now that we can taste it, Rangers fans are that much more maniacal about finishing the job that began with the hiring of Alain Vigneault last summer. However, I feel that I need to implore all of you to stop for a second and smell the roses. This team is playing their heart out on the biggest stage and are a few bad bounce, and calls, away from having control of the series.
I’m not for a second insinuating that we should accept losing or be happy with nothing more than a solid effort from our Blueshirts. I just ask that you enjoy it. Brad Richards’ deplorable play shouldn’t be ignored, nor should Rick Nash’s inability to be an impact player, but for some Rangers fans to be down on this team is laughable. THEY’RE IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS!!! Would you rather be a fan of one of the other 28 teams who are on the golf course right now wondering where it went wrong?
Yes, second place is nothing more than the first loser, but now isn’t the time to get frustrated, it’s the time to celebrate your team shedding blood, sweat and tears to get to the pinnacle of their sport.
Yesterday, while I was moping around with a serious Game 2 hangover, I came across this quote from Brian Boyle immediately after the excruciating Saturday night loss…
“I don’t give a sh*t about underdogs. That’s ridiculous. Give me a break. We’re not.”
You can just sense the anger and irritation in his voice. It put it all in perspective for me. I can’t ask for anymore from the guys representing New York. We’ve had to endure enough players who used the Rangers organization as a country club before hanging them up. We’re now blessed with a group of players with one goal in mind…to win the Stanley Cup.
On Saturday night, I was with Adam Herman of the blog at the We Bleed Blue viewing party in New York City and we started talking about how awesome this run has been. We discussed how, win or lose, we’re relishing in where the team began the season to where they are now. The memories being made this postseason justify why we’re so obsessed with the god forsaken team.
For the last 20 years, we’ve had to deal with all the free agent flops, draft pick busts and countless disappointments as the Rangers haven’t sniffed a Stanley Cup. Guess what folks? We’re here. The same organization that has caused many of us to lose years off out lives is competing for the Stanley Cup. Be proud of it. Revel in it. And I beg of you, enjoy the ride, because you never know when they’ll be back.