So what does it take to be a NY Rangers fan? What sets us apart from every other fan in the universe? Anyone can say they are a dedicated fan…its easy to sit on the couch and watch 70+ games a season, and if you have a DVR u can actually watch every minute and every play from the entire season just like I have for the past 13+ years. So what makes that different than any fan of any team in sports?
Well if you are a NY Rangers fan you have endured what might be the longest parade of gut wrenching, tear jerking, and mind-boggling epic fails to end a season in the history of sports. Not only have the NYR failed to exceed expectations in any of their 5 seasons since the lockout, they have teased, toyed, and meddled with our hearts only to come up short at the very last minute every year. They have been consistently inconsistent, and there might not be anything worse than a team like that.
Now, all NYR fans will remember these 5 seasons, but when you put it into perspective and think about how fantastic each failure has been, its quite astonishing. It seems almost difficult to accomplish the failures that the post-lockout rangers have managed, and not a game goes by that I don’t remember each horrific ending. Throw all of this on top of the 50+ year Stanley Cup drought, and 7 consecutive years of not making the playoffs in a sport where more than half the teams make it…and then maybe, just maybe, you might understand what it takes to still be NYR fan.
Lets start with 05/06…
The first year post-lockout NYR team accumulated 44 wins, the most since winning the cup in 04’…
This would have been just peachy and all except the team managed to lose the division lead on the LAST GAME OF THE SEASON, therefore rearranging the playoff bracket and setting up a first round meeting with the rival New Jersey Devils. The result of all this…
…The Devils swept us in 4 games, and Jaromir Jagr (who was the league leader in points up until the last week of the season when he also collapsed) separates his shoulder in a pathetic and desperate attempt to rough up the devils Scott Gomez as the series ended.
Epic fail Jagr, Epic fail NYR
How about 06/07?
The rejuvenated post-lockout rangers make the playoffs again… WOOHOO! And even managed to hold off ranger killers dany heatley and ilya kovalchuck in the first round, and sweep the Atlanta thrashers in their first 4 playoff games ever. SWEEETTTT.
Now that would seem just great and all, even quite promising for a minute...queue up round 2 vs. league leading Buffalo Sabres
In a tight series, against a great team the NYR fought valiantly, but because of some questionable calls were ousted yet again, falling short of what started out as a promising playoff season.
What about the classic 07/08 season?
The rangers open the playoffs once again against the one and only NJ Devils… this time with a thirst for revenge.
The Rangers demolish the devils 4 games to 1, and Sean Avery provides us all with the unforgettable memory of his dance with Marty Brodeur.
We can finally put the 05/06 season behind us…and we are led to believe once again that the rangers might exceed our expectations and move closer towards a cup then they had been before
Round 2 vs. The Atlantic rival Pittsburgh Penguins
The rangers manage to go up by three goals on the penguins in the first half of game one. Ill never forget how excited I was, the blood pumping through my veins as I stood in my room holding my hockey stick, all decorated in my NYR gear. I thought this season could be different. It sure seemed like things were going in the right direction…
Its probably all my fault for thinking that, it turns out I jinxed the team and after that second period the rangers collapsed and never stood a chance against the future eastern conference champs. They beat the rangers in 5 games…s
Thanks for the illusions of grandeur guys…
Time for 08/09…this ones my favorite failure
The rangers make the playoffs again YEA BABYYY…first round match up vs. Washington
The rangers take a 3 game to 1 lead… I almost had the nerve to prematurely move them onto the next round on my playoff chart (yea I make a playoff chart every year, what of it)
I impulsively get tickets to game 5 in the hopes that I might be able to watch the rangers clinch while at my first ever playoff game, while sitting in section 420, on 4/20…my half birthday (and yes, I celebrate my half birthday every year)
The rangers take an early lead and my anxiety seems to disappear (although there might have been a correlation between my anxiety level and my BAC)
I even moved up and was sitting about 15 rows from center ice…It seemed as if things couldn’t be going any better…
It was at this point that I was once again involved in the jinxing of the rangers season.
This usher comes up to me and has the nerve to ask me for my ticket, assuming that I am not the proud owner of my awesome new seat. Even though there were plenty of open seats around me, and I wasn’t causing any disturbance (at least I didn’t think I was).
This usher, who I could tell from the minute he tapped me on the shoulder was going to do his job no matter what, was obviously not a rangers fan and not sympathetic toward my emotions or the game whatsoever. He told me I had to find my original seat…some kind of guy huh….
So like any intelligent NYR fan, I pretended to return to my 400 level seat, but instead darted quickly down again a few sections over when the usher wasn’t looking
No more than 3 minutes had gone by when I felt a tap again and heard another “ Can I see your ticket?” in the same urgent tone I had before
My heart sank, as I was forced to return to my original seat to threats of having my ticket ripped apart by the Nazi usher
Well thanks to him my anxiety returned, the rangers began to collapse, and alex ovechkin single handedly tore apart the rangers defense, and the capitals went on to come back and win the series in 7 games after being down 3 games to 1…
SEASON ENDING EPIC FAIL #4
..it is because of this that I recommend that MSG only hire NYR/NYK fans to usher their games, for the sake of each organization
09/10…do I even need to relive this one?
Once again because of an epic regular season collapse the rangers found themselves fighting for their playoff lives on the FINAL DAY OF THE REGULAR SEASON (hmm where have I heard that before)…
Well for all of those who aren’t rangers fans who are reading this, which is probably no one, the rangers lost in a shootout by one goal and missed the playoffs by a single point, by a single goal…
Come on….can it really get any more depressing than that.. if 4 completely catastrophic collapses in a row wasn’t enough…
Well the answer is yes.. it does get more depressing…today is Saturday april 9th 2011… and for the second year in a row the NYR and playing for the playoff lives on THEIR FINAL DAY OF THE REGULAR SEASON (oh no, not again…) because of another regular season collapse…we couldn’t beat the Bridgeport sound tigers, or the Atlanta thrashers in the last week of the season and now we are single point shy of controlling our destiny…
I don’t know how Henrik hasn’t shot himself yet, or been treated for chronic depression by team doctors after single handedly carrying the team each and every year, and being let down by his team, every single year…teams with goaltending that puts up those kind of numbers are usually guaranteed a playoff spot…
Will there be a chapter 6 to the Epic Fail saga that is the New York Rangers?…well, that’s now up to Eric Staal and the Hurricanes…who deserve to make the playoffs infinitely more than we do…
If you’ve made it this far through my first blog then thank you…you probably also know what it truly takes to be a NYR fan!
Lastly I’d like to say that I think it is completely ridiculous how shootout wins don’t count towards your record in a tie breaking situation… if the league has continued to keep shootouts as a part of the game, which they have.. then those wins need to be as acknowledged as any other…
All season long you hear players, analysts, and coaches’ talk about how import those points are (those points that are picked up in a shootout)
…then why the hell are they less valuable than regulation or overtime wins!!!!
the tiebreakers should go:
and then Regulation/overtime wins
…and it only suits me and my fellow rangers fans that because of this silly tiebreaking procedure the league has recently initiated, we will continue to be tormented…