Monday, April 21, 2008

It Does Not Matter Who They Play

Late News: Ryan Hillier is going to play in Game 3 against the Gatineau Olympiques. More Wednesday morning.

The title says it all as we at Prospect Park are so sick, so tired of the love fest that has been going on over the possible Crosby/Ovechkin matchup. We are so sick and so very tired about hearing how courageous the Canadians were in their series win over those pesky Bruins.

We at Prospect Park would like to have a love fest of our own and to be honest we really do not care who shows up for it. If it is Crosby and his Penguins we can live with that, if it is the Canadians then our reaction is the same.

Just show up folks and bring this foolish disrespect people keep having for the Rangers. It is bad enough that still Ranger fans have their own doubts but the talking heads on the television are a totally different story.

Where should we begin? How about that the Rangers are truly going 3 scoring lines deep so far in the playoffs. The Devils tried several different combinations trying to stop what appears to be a reborn Jaromir Jagr and a 2-6-8 on 20 shots on goal says nothing worked.

While everyone was so worried about Jagr, there was our hero Brandon Dubinsky chipping 3 goals and showing us that we can't call him a rookie anymore. What about Scott Gomez (3-4-7) or Sean Avery (3-2-5) or even better remember how anemic the Rangers were on offense during the regular season?

19 goals in just 5 games against someone that Ranger fans were kept being reminded was a Hall of Fame goalie. Really if the Rangers can put 19 goals up on Martin Brodeur then what goalie in the Eastern Conference is going to do better?

If the Boston Bruins can force the Canadians to 7 games missing so many players, why should the Rangers or their fans think they can't beat Carey Price. Price being a rookie more than likely gave Sean Avery a golden invitation to get under his skin when Price said these remarks in response to the Avery Shuffle:

"It's almost an unwritten rule," Montreal rookie goalie Carey Price said. "It's like when you're a kid in the backseat that's going, 'I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you.' When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I would probably try and get in your bubble like that."

Want to talk about a rookie mistake as Price is giving Avery so much material to work with and if Avery can get under Brodeur's skin then take it from us knowing Price from his days in the WHL that Avery will get under Price's skin so deep that Avery will be able to mess with Price's skeleton.

One day Price will be a fine NHL goalie but that day is not here nor is it here for Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins. Sure Fleury had no trouble against the Senators but truth be told, if the season had gone another week or so then the Senators would not have made the playoffs anyway.

Here is more to chew on, the Rangers had winning records against both the Penguins and Canadians during the regular season while Jagr was trying to find his game, while Lundqvist was dealing with all of his own struggles and while the Ranger rookies were learning how to play.

Who wants to face the Rangers now? Sure Alex and Sidney on paper make for great TV but push comes to shove it does not matter how you win, all that matters is that you win.

The Rangers have already made several statements with their first round series, one that they have a lot more firepower than they did in the regular season, two that King Henrik the Best is back in form, three that Tom Renney despite all his supposed faults has this team believing in each other and four that this is a team that believes in each other; that is an X factor that one must never discount.

Once upon a time there was a healthy respect between Ranger fans and Canadian fans but as we witnessed on Monday evening along with some of the behavior we have witnessed during the season, those days are long gone. Ranger fans are many things but they do not riot over a win.

As for the Penguins and their so-so fans, sorry but we have little use for those who follow the lead of their star player and whine about all the evil that is done to poor Sidney. The officiating stinks, it stinks for everyone so deal with it just like the rest of us.

So who cares who the Rangers face in the second round? We don't as we believe that this Ranger team can defeat anyone in the Eastern Conference.

Just pick a team to show up already.

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