NY Ranger's fans are some of the longest-suffering teams in all sports. We went 54 years between two Stanley Cup titles, and now it's been 18 since their last one already. Going into the playoffs, they were surely one of the favorites to win it all, having finished the regular season in a tie with the St. Louis Blues with the second most points overall behind the Vancouver Canucks, and at the moment they are the only remaining team of the three still in it. But nothing comes easy for the Rangers or their fans.
The first round the Blueshirts faced the 8th seed Ottawa Senators, who played in a style much like the Rangers, and it turned out to be a really good, close one. The Sens played their asses off and took the series to the limit, before the Rangers moved on with a Game 7 win at MSG. The second round against the 7th seed Washington Capitals was much the same, with neither team getting up to a two game lead and the Rangers winning it in 7. Like I said, nothing comes easy!
Now it's the Rangers and the 6th seed, much hated Devils, and this series looks like it may go the full seven as well, especially after last night's game. So far, the Devils have had the best of play throughout, though the Rangers have managed two shutouts in Games 1 and 3 behind the brilliant goal-tending of Henrik Lundqvist. I've been a believer all season long and I think that the ability to be outplayed and still find a way to win is the mark of a championship team. Of course, nothing comes easy!
That being said, last night's game was UGLY! After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, hope was still alive that the Blueshirts would come back, but an early third period power play goal by the Devs' captain Zach Parise really iced their chances, and that's when it got ugly!
The Blueshirts were clearly frustrated with how the Devils were outplaying them and responded with stupid penalties that gave the Devils plenty of power play time the rest of the game, further diminishing their opportunity to come back. Fisticuffs erupted for the first time in the series involving McDonagh and Henrique, Rupp and Brodeur, and even the coaches Tortorella and DeBoer came close to getting it on. Yes it was ugly, and it was the Rangers, who've really been cool all season, that completely lost it.
The only redeeming quality of the whole game was the fact that the Rangers broke Martin Brodeur's shutout with a late goal by Fedotenko. I, and many of my fellow Rangers' fans really hate the Devils and I think it satisfied all of us that at least we could do that much last night.
So yeah, nothing comes easy for Rangers' fans. The top seed in the Eastern Conference has been met with the stiffest of competition from the 8th, 7th and now 6th seeds, which shouldn't be. The only thing I can say is that if it were easy, it wouldn't be as exciting. I'm still believing!
Let's Go Rangers!
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