|The Rangers Win The President’s Trophy!|
To quote Ric Flair, “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”
I apologize in advance, I am jam-packed with emotion after attending last night’s game! This is going to be a long blog, so take your time, read it on the toilet, or whatever you need to do. I promise raw emotion here!
Welcome everyone to another blog here on DOINOW.com, where there is much cause for celebration and fanfare! As a result of the Rangers defeating the Devils, in New Jersey, at the score of 4-2, the Rangers have officially clinched the President’s Trophy! It’s been a fun season here on DOINOW.com. We all know the Talbot vs Lundqvist debates that I’ve had here. How fitting that it was Cam Talbot, being in net, as the Rangers celebrated their President’s Trophy. It should be him in net celebrating a Stanley Cup & Conn Smythe award, but yet I digress!
As always everyone, check out the right hand of the site for the live tweets, archives, search bar and all that other good stuff. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders, don’t drink and drive, pay attention to the direction you’re going when reading train schedules, and always and I mean ALWAYS, use “IN CAM WE TRUST” as your personal mantra!
|Cam Talbot was ready to become President Talbot today|
For all intents and purposes, the regular season is over for the NY Rangers. The futile regular season is dead and buried. As a result of their 4-2 victory tonight, the Rangers have won the President’s Trophy and have earned the right to have home ice throughout the playoffs, in the event they can last the four rounds.
I posted the official Ranger postgame news & notes in a separate post here on DOINOW.com. I urge you check it out. The stuff in those notes is just historic and stuff you can jump up and down about. If Coach AV doesn’t get the Jack Adams this year, then this league is seriously fucked up and rigged.
I hope you stay with me here for this blog. I’ve been a Ranger fan my whole life. I’m 32, going on 33 years old this year. I remember 1994, but I was a kid. No way was I as invested, hardcore, knowledgeable, and intense as I am about the team then, than I am now. I was a kid, who just turned 12 (June 13th birthday), when the Rangers won the Cup. I can remember how excited and happy my father and grandfather were. Sure I was happy too, but not at their level. I didn’t appreciate it like they did. I was a day over 12 years old when the Rangers won the Cup. To me, I thought this just happened all the time.
As I approached my teenage years, and going to so many Islander/Ranger games at the Coliseum, and once we got into our late teenage years, we had a license, so we could hit other places, I heard it all. 19-40! 54 More Years! My knowledge for the history of the team grew. At just two days over 11 years old, I just thought this is what happens, the Rangers win Cups. When you really examine the history of this team, you know it’s a rare occurrence to see this team win Stanley Cups.
I’m a Giants, Yankees & Rangers fan, with an indifference to the NBA. I’ve seen the Giants win 4 Superbowls, with the last two being the most memorable, due to my age. I’ve seen the Yankees win 5 World Series, with every inning being remembered in pristine condition. All I want to see now is the Rangers win their second Stanley Cup in my lifetime. It should’ve happened last year, but that was then, this is now. There has been no better time, other than the 1994 squad, to win the Stanley Cup.
|My view, from section 106, when the Rangers clinched|
If you know me, I don’t have to tell you. If you are just a normal guy like me, let me just confirm what you already know. I’m a sports junkie. I love it. It’s my hobby. The whole existence for this blog is my hobby to talk about my hobby. I’m a near 33 year old guy, with my own condo, car, job, girlfriend, and all the stuff you need. I don’t do drugs, don’t gamble obsessively (everyone gambles, I mean what’s fantasy football?), don’t buy fancy clothes, don’t have fancy cars, don’t vacation (outside of visiting other sporting arenas/stadiums), don’t have jewelry, don’t do expensive clubs (dive bars though, hell yea!) and live a normal blue collar life.
For me, I love my Yankees, Giants and Rangers. However, out of the three teams, I go to more Ranger games than anything else. How come? Easy. Hockey is the best sport live. You really do miss a lot of the action on TV, from plays developing, who started a rush, who played great defense, away from the puck plays, etc. I don’t have to tell you that. Football and baseball are perfect for TV. You don’t miss any of the action watching at home. However, hockey is the only sport that you really miss some of the game by watching on TV. I love being there live. Since I don’t blow my money on really anything else, going to Ranger games is my vice, along with the 12 beers I go through a game!
Nothing beats an NHL game live. You want to convert someone who isn’t into hockey? Take them to a game. I even have to give some credit to Penguins fan and my good friend & fellow DOINOW.com blogger, Joe DiLeo. For 10 years, I was involved in pro wrestling and traveling every weekend. I followed the games on TV/radio, but due to my busy schedule running my own wrestling company and the writing that went with it, I didn’t have much time for games live. I was already turned off with all the lockouts. When I started going to games again, I sold my wrestling company (If it was a stock, I sold at the right time, due to the DVD era going to the toilet & all the illegal pirating) and got back into going to as many games as possible, as I did in my teenage years.
Wrestling was a big part of my life and I made out very well with it, through the money and friendships (worth more than the money in the long haul, money comes and goes, a good friend lasts forever, and yes I know that sounds gay) but for all the good times I had with running wrestling events, nothing beats a hockey game live. I did attend games during my 10 years traveling with the wrestling, but now, since selling my company three years ago, I’m able to attend 35+ games a year, 40 with preseason/playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong, it would be a lot cheaper for me if I was an Islander or Devil fan. But what would be the fun in that? I know I’m rambling a bit, because I’m so excited with this team, but basically, all my disposable income goes to the Rangers, through games, jerseys, merchandise and all that nonsense. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot in my years, there are much worse vices out there!
I’m sure of the people reading this, like my friends, season ticket holders Mike B. & JEFFREY, can relate to this. We spend a lot of time, money and energy obsessing over something, when you break it down, means nothing in your personal life. We love it though. If you’re reading this, you love it too. Why else would you read this blog? You just want an opinion from another Ranger maniac like yourself! It’s funny what a winning team means to you! As I think about it now, and for my wrestling friends/fans reading this, selling my company was the best thing I ever did. Winning a game like this tonight meant more than any show or dollar I ever made with wrestling. It sounds so stupid and silly, but if you get it, you get it, if you don’t, no explanation will do.
|I got to see the majority of this season live, assisting on the play, JEFFREY|
Many psychologists will say the best way to tackle your problems with anyone or to assess what you’re really thinking, is to just write everything down and flow. I think I just did that right here! Thank you Rangers! When I look at it, the biggest problem I had in my life, was not getting out of wrestling sooner and doing this blog earlier in life! I’ve been very fortunate otherwise, through my relationships, finances, and in life in general. I could use more luck on those damn Broadway machines at the Bold O’Donoghues though!
I don’t know if I’m the only one, but do you feel closer to your Ranger fan friends during the hockey season than any other time in the year? Maybe I need help, but it’s funny how I hang out with people more during Ranger games during the hockey season, hang out with different people during the football season and hanging out with people during the baseball season. I guess it’s a sad state of affairs that my life is this way, but luckily, most of my friends are Yankees/Giants/Ranger fans, even that miserable SOB, the infamous JEFFREY!
Talk about a long and personal intro! Let’s talk hockey!
When the Rangers beat Columbus last night, the Rangers were two points away from clinching the President’s Trophy. With a game the next night in NJ, against the Devils and with my man Talbot starting, I had to be there. Brian Miller (real name being protected so it doesn’t come up in a Google search) was in the same boat as me. He wanted to see history. We were both kids the last time the Rangers won the President’s Trophy. We wanted to see it live.
For some of you reading this, you may be familiar with Brian “The Instigator” Miller’s comments on these blogs! Please be advised, if you haven’t figured it out already, that Brian, like myself, like to break balls! When I do these blogs, I am opening myself up for criticism and for people to take shots at my opinions. If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t give it! I am thick skinned literally & figuratively, and welcome all feedback to this blog. I even take the good constructive criticism and work on it. Half the time on these silly facebook or twitter threads, I am just riling you up for laughs, but we all know this needs to happen:
|2016 came a year early!|
Brian Miller (A closeted Talbot fan) & myself left Penn Station to head to Newark for this game. It was great seeing my other friend, that I haven’t seen in a while, another Brian, who we will call “Dixie” for this blog. Dixie is another friend I met through wrestling and a guy who loves his Rangers, dive bars and Kohl cards. We all convened at the Dinosaur Bar in lovely and sunny Newark, NJ, right outside “The Pebble”.
Major props and appreciation to Dixie, who was wearing a Talbot jersey like yours truly. It was funny, Brian Miller commented that we were the only two idiots who bought & were wearing a Talbot jersey, outside of Cam Talbot. You can imagine how hard I shoved Brian Miller, when we were leaving the building, after the win, and seeing another guy wearing a Talbot jersey! I told you Brian Miller, the Talbot Train has a long wait in our bathroom cars!
On the off-chance any Devil fans are reading this, what’s up with that Dinosaur bar? How do they not have one piece of Devils merchandise in that shit hole? What a way to embrace your customers. I know the Devils usually have those beer trucks outside, but I guess with the rain, they nixed that. You would figure a bar, right outside the Prudential center, would you know, cater to the people on their busiest nights. What a fucking ass backwards operation!
With tickets for section 106, row 6, seats 1&2, in hand, Brian Miller & I walked into the pebble. I was expecting it to be Blueshirt heavy. For starters, 1000 tickets on Monday night became 50 tickets left on Stubhub on Tuesday morning. Devil fans weren’t gobbling up those tickets. When I took the train to Newark & saw the make-up of the bar, you could see it would be a home game for the Rangers.
To the Devils credit, while it looked 65%-35% pro-Rangers there, as the first period dwindled down, it looked 50-50. I talked about this in another blog, but The Rock is a great place for hockey. I love that building. It is everything MSG should be. It is great for families. It is cheap. It has great sight lines. It is clean. There are bathrooms all over the place. The only thing that would bother me, if I had kids, would be the Devil fans. I must’ve heard about 38384834 chants saying “RANGERS SUCK, FLYERS SWALLOW!” Stay classy Jersey.
|We got photobombed by a Broadway Broad!!!|
We all know I’m a Talbot guy, yadda, yadda, yadda. The worst thing about my pro-Talbot stance is that every time he farts wrong, I get 383747347373737 facebook notifications, tweets & texts about it. It is the life I chose though!
Going into this game, I’m not going to lie, I expected a win and the President’s Trophy. Why else would I buy tickets? I also expected a tight game. I didn’t think the Devils would lay down, especially after the raping they received on Saturday at MSG. While the game was close like I thought, never in my wildest dreams, would I think that I would look up at the scoreboard, see the Rangers up 35-11 in shots and have a one goal game going on.
Many factors that make me nervous come the playoffs were all here tonight. The powerplay was a complete fucking joke. Horrendous. Terrible. Infuriating. AIDS-infested. I don’t know how much I can stress, this PP needs major work, come game one of the playoffs. The Rangers finished 1/7 on the PP, with one of those PP’s being a 90 second 5 vs 3 advantage. I’m sorry, the Rangers need to score on the 5 vs 3. I know, I know, the Rangers keep winning and finding ways to win every night. Can they string 16 more wins like this? The playoffs are a different beast.
The turnovers weren’t as bad as they have been recently. The few turnovers the Rangers did make, Talbot made the stop or Marc Staal took care of business. Marc Staal is never one of the three stars of the games or gets high praise because he isn’t doing much offensively. However, he is a lock down defender and has been making smart plays all season. While I’m sure AV & NYR management know this, I’m not sure if fans can truly grasp how great Staal has been this year. Ditto Carl Hagelin on the PK.
|Prediction: Hayes will not have a sophomore slump|
It’s funny and perhaps I let it escalate too much on these blogs, with the Talbot vs Hank stuff/Talbot praise, but someone I’ve been hyping up all season is Kevin Hayes. Hayes has been a stud all season. He is the reason the Rangers can trade a million draft picks. They got a fully developed NHLer, who is potentially a Top 6 forward currently and maybe a top 3 guy next year. He has been huge for the Rangers this year. I think he’s a guy you need to see live to truly appreciate him. I’m not trying to take a shot at anyone who can’t make the games, but he is so much better live, when you just watch him away from the puck, than what you see on TV.
The Rangers will have a busy off-season come June and will need to make decisions. Keeping Stepan & Hagelin are a no-brainer to me. The Talbot decision will be made with more confidence, once you know if the Rangers won the Cup or not. However, if Sather can, he needs to lock up Hayes ASAP. We could be talking about the future of this team and maybe a potential captain down the line. I don’t mean to over-hype him, but Hayes is that good.
Hayes got the scoring going, after Hagelin forced a turnover in the Devils zone. Hayes made a strong move to the net and bam, 1-0 Rangers, 7 minutes into the game. It was a sigh of a relief goal for us Ranger fans in the building, because the Rangers were peppering Schneider with shots and came up empty handed on some powerplay opportunities.
|It was the best of times, it was the worst of times|
The guy pictured above put me through a ringer tonight. I was laughing and hi-fiving with him when Hayes scored. However, he went to give Brian Miller a high five, this guy tripped on something and fell into the next row ass first! Suffice to say, the young lady and her Devil fan boyfriend, were not thrilled. He struggled to get up, finally got to his feet and screamed “I’M NOT DRUNK!” Later in the period, he was doublefisting beers! Gotta love it.
The guy, and if you’re reading this, I’m sorry, but it’s true, drove me nuts as the game went on. He was arguing with Devil fans left and right. It was like my twitter or Island Park Facebook page in real life. Sometimes I will say things on twitter or on FB to break balls and troll a bit, to see who will bite. This guy was the ultimate troll. It was funny, but if you’re a real fan, or someone who visits someone else’s arena, you know not to make spectacle of yourself. This guy would’ve been ass-raped and brutalized if he acted this way in Philadelphia.
I love my Rangers, but in no way, would I talk shit about how great they are the whole game. That is just asking to jinx them. While this guy was talking shit to everyone, I just kept knocking the wood on my seat the entire time. Mind you, this guy was running his mouth, after he drunkenly fell into the next row. Note to any fan, of any team, don’t talk shit when you’re in someone else’s building .Wait til after the game. This is how bullshit starts at games. Luckily, this guy was 60 years old and he was arguing with younger twentysomethings, who were smart enough not to physically assault a jackass. I’ve seen my my fair share of brawls at Ranger/Islander games, and this guy was lucky he didn’t get popped.
|Captain Mac got the lone PP goal despite 7 attempts|
With the Rangers up 1-0, Captain Ryan McDonagh, scored a PP goal, a minute later, after assists from Yandle & Hayes. How big have the Americans been recently for this team? I hate to tout the horn of USA USA USA, but man, it’s great to see Americans light it up on the ice.
The Rangers were just dominating the Devils at this point. They were out-shooting them 17-4 at one point in the first period. However, Tanner Glass took a Pouliot penalty, in the Devils zone. Bad penalty, just not a good decision by Tanner Glass. I know a lot of bloggers/fans hate him, and this won’t make things easier for him. The Devils were able to score a late power play goal. It was similar to the first goal Hank gave up on Monday. Elias one-timed a goal against an open net. It didn’t look good for Cam’s stats, (I believe that made the Devils 25%, shooting wise) but it was a goal on the team and not the goalie. The late goals frustrate you, because it should’ve been 2-0 heading into the second, rather than being a one goal game. Add in that the Rangers PP was horrible and how many shots they were firing off, you would expect a 3 goal lead by the time the period was over.
The second period was more of the same. Schneider came up big. Talbot stoned breakaways. It might shock you to hear this, but I thought Schneider deserved one of the stars of the game. Talbot finished with 19 saves on 21 shots, as Schneider finished with 36 saves on 39 shots. Both goalies made huge saves, but Schneider truly did prevent another another blowout. The Rangers went 0-4 on the PP in the second. That’s inexcusable to me. The Devils were basically short-handed for nearly half the period but the Rangers couldn’t capitalize. 2-1, a one goal game, as we purchased our last beer at the game for the evening.
|Stempy who? Hahaha!|
With Mats Zuccarello out with an injury, an injury that seems like it was more of a maintenance day than anything else, James Sheppard got back in the line-up. Many fans will argue Sheppard vs Glass for that 12th forward spot. Glass gives you some defense, where you get more offense from Sheppard. Sheppard has been here for what, 15 games or so, and he already has more goals than Glass does all season, with a 2-1 tally.
Sheppard scored an insurance goal, which held up to really be the game winner, when he beat Schneider scored 10 minutes into the third. I thought it was Dominic Moore’s goal live. The scoreboard at The Rock is terrible. It wasn’t until I got home, and read on twitter that Sheppard got the goal. To me, it looked like Moore took a shot and beat Schneider. I guess Sheppard deflected it. While I hate MSG for the bougiasness, pricing out the blue collar fans and one toilet per 5000 fans at a game, at least their scoreboard is huge and shows you multiple replays. 3-1 Rangers, and a sigh of relief.
Less than a minute later, Steve Bernier capitalized off a broken play, hit Brassard with his shot and the puck beat Talbot across the goal line. 3-2, Rangers, with 9 minutes to go. Talk about an asshole clenching experience.
|A Swede that I root for!|
The Rangers haven’t scored too many empty netters this year. After yesterday’s game, I was expecting hockey karma to get the Rangers back. It didn’t happen. How many times have we seen the Rangers protecting a one goal lead, with an empty net in front of them, only to not score? The Rangers weren’t having that shit tonight. As soon as Schneider was pulled, with two minutes to go, Hagelin took a pass from the “Say Hayes” kid and finished the game. 4-2 Rangers, game over.
I gotta tell you, I was so happy I could fart and cry at the same time. I ran into two of my Devil friends at the game, Beth & her boyfriend, and they knew to get the fuck out of town. The aisleways were full of red jerseys, hustling out of the building as the Rock belonged to the Blueshirts. The Rangers goal song was chanted, fans were cheering, people screaming about the President’s Trophy. I posted a video on my twitter, @NYCTHEMIC of the reaction after the Hags goal.
RANGER FANS, WE DID IT! Of course I use “we” very, very, very liberally, but you know what I mean dammit!
I’ve been to Stanley Cup games, 1-0 OT games, the Steve Larmer double OT 1995 playoff game vs Quebec, shutouts, hat tricks, jersey retirements, outdoor games; you name it all. I have never have felt as proud and happy after a game, when the triple zeroes flashed on the scoreboard. It was great that Talbot was the goalie in net for this, as it was his play that got the Rangers in this position, but as a Rangers fan, to see them win the President’s Trophy, on the Devil’s ice, nonetheless, was a magical moment that I will never forget.
I know, I know, I know. The President’s Trophy means shit at the end of the day. It is the bow on a great season. The goal is the Cup. You don’t have to tell me. However, after a brutal Stanley Cup loss last year, Hank’s injury and everything else, the Rangers are the best team in the NHL for the 2014-2015 season. It is all for naught, if the team doesn’t do what it did the last time it won the President’s Trophy. However, for this moment in time, how can you not be proud of the NY RANGERS?
As far as what lies ahead, NYR has games with Ottawa & Washington, two teams who are jockeying for playoff positioning. Ottawa is hungry, as they try to clinch the 8 seed. Capitals are looking for home ice in the first round, although that may be decided by the time Saturday rolls around.
For the Rangers, I don’t know what happens next. I assume you play the games out. However, is it worth trying new things out against Ottawa? Do you really want to see Boston in the first round? Letting Ottawa win wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. With the Rangers first playoff game tentatively scheduled for Thursday, I’m assuming everyone continues to play and continue the flow. It’s not Week 17 of the NFL in hockey. We will all find out, and I trust in AV, who has now won 3 President Trophy’s, and with two different teams. Check out the Ranger news & notes post that is up here on DOINOW.com
I talk to a lot of Ranger fans, whether it’s face to face, on the train, facebook, text, twitter, whatever. The common consensus is anyone but Boston. We all know why. Boston is bigger and the NYR have trouble with bigger teams. Boston is also 8-1 against Hank, in their last 9 games. The Rangers are number 1 in the league for a reason, but in the NHL playoffs, anything can happen. Just look at the two runs the Kings have had.
While you want to pump your chest out, go ahead, at least for one night, but we all know this all means nothing come next week. It is natural for fans to want the more favorable match-up for the first round and I won’t argue your opinions on that. However, the Rangers are number 1 in the league and need to be that way throughout these playoffs. Anything else will be considered a bust.
I’ll be back Thursday, with a much shorter blog, for sure!
Take a deep breath everyone and chant….
“LET’S GO RANGERS!”
PRESIDENT TROPHY WINNERS
NUMBER 1 TEAM IN THE NHL
THANK YOU TALBOT
WIN IT HANK
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter