Sunday, November 23, 2014

Game Night: Rangers Vs. Canadiens

A friend once advised me not to use the word “hate” when associated with rival hockey teams – that the term was hurtful and that it tended to perpetuate the same base human “caveman” thinking that can, if unchecked, lead to bigotry, war, and genocide.

After some soul-searching and careful thought - what I have learned from this experience is to stop associating with that friend.  But I don’t hate that friend – which hopefully is an indication of some sort of emotional growth on my part.  Or maybe not at all.

Anyway – in the world of hockey there are the Rangers – who we love – and then two other categories of other teams:

1 – Teams we don’t have much of an opinion about (Colorado?  Winnipeg? – Are they even in the league), and 

2 – Teams we hate (and this is a MUCH LARGER CATEGORY)

And for category #2 what’s interesting is that we hate these rival teams in all sorts of different ways.  For example – we dislike the Kings in a whole different way than we dislike the Flyers – which is in turn different from our dislike of the Penguins.  And don’t get me started on the Capitals.  Or the Islanders.  Or the Devils.

It’s really quite a testament to the human condition.   We Ranger fans - as living breathing feeling human beings - have such a varied, complex, and textured ability to dislike so many other teams in so many unique and different ways.  It’s really a beautiful thing when you think about it. 

 So.  Montreal.  I think what is interesting here is that the Habs (and no I don’t remember what that term comes from) (Editor – should I look it up?) (Dave Pucks – No.)….

Where was I?  What is interesting about the Habs is that they, in all probability, hate us much more than we hate them.  Now, the bad feelings about the 1979 Stanley Cup finals have kind of blown over by now (not for me – honestly – but for most of you) , but last year’s semi final round still looms large in our collective memories.  (Editor – you completely lost me.)  (Dave Pucks – that’s not hard to do, Ed) (Editor – who has a large loom and who is collecting memories from whom?)  (Ignoring you, Ed, and continuing on).

The reason Montreal hates us is that last year, in the Stanley Cup Semi playoffs – our new York Rangers defeated the Canadiens after injuring their start Goalie Carey Price in game one. 

(For the record – Chris Kreider was pushed from behind and didn’t have a whole lot of control as he skidded on what is designed to be a super-slippery surface toward a player who is covered in literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of padding.   And before they realized how serious the injury was – Price, his coach, and his teammates all told the press they realized the injury was accidental.  It wasn’t until they realized that Price was out for the season that they engaged in the worst sort of revisionist history – now claiming that Kreider hurt price on purpose – and using this as a rallying cry to try and ignite their franchise to raise its effort level.  It was disingenuous.)  (Editor – that means they knew they were lying and said it anyway) (Dave Pucks – I know that)  (Editor – I know you know that – I’m explaining it to the folks out there that don’t know that).

Anyway – Montreal hates us more than we hate them.  And they’re a good first place team over there in the Atlantic Division (a division name that as far as I can tell means absolutely nothing).  So – my point is (Editor – you’re finally getting to your point?)  (Dave Pucks – well I was until you interrupted). 

Anyway (again) my point is – the Rangers had better be ready to play their best game – or they will be pushed off the rink like those ice chips that are swept away by that guy with the little broom who – you know – sweeps them away.  (It sounded much better in my head than it looks on the page.)  

(Editor – feel bad about that, Dave) (Dave Pucks – Yes - I'm on it.)     

I’ll be at the Giants game tonight with Chris Crease – but I’ll be back to post the post game later on.  Lets Go Rangers – Pucks Out.

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