Thursday, May 3, 2012

More than "a win"

John Tortorella can downplay the significance of the New York Ranger's triple overtime victory over the Washington Capitals but we can't. This was a huge win not only for the team but also for the fans as the Rangers were able to shed some demons of failures past.

Sorry coach but when the team has had so much trouble beating the Capitals in previous playoff years then this was a badly needed win. It was a badly needed win for your goalie who's heard the whispers about not being a playoff goalie.

It's a huge win coming off a bad loss when you knew that in game two; that you gave that game away with three critical mistakes. Forgive the rest of us who have been Ranger fans for decades as we have seen games like this end in heartbreak.

A loss in this game could be the difference between winning or losing this series because whether we want to admit it or not, your team has a very fragile psyche. Your fan base has an equally fragile confidence in this team so this win means a whole lot more than just one win.

This is the kind of win that good teams find ways to win, especially given the number of opportunities that the Capitals had to win it themselves. Sorry coach but as someone who has been a fan of this team since the 1960s, you don't know how many times a game like this was a Ranger loss.

When Brian Boyle accidentally played goalie for the Capitals and stopped Mike Rupp's sure goal. There were those of us who have seen these kind of plays come back to haunt us and we feared the worst.will

You will have to forgive us coach but this was more than just any win to us. If anything, this has energized us and it's offered the Ranger fans some hope, some real hope that the demons of days past are not going to raise their ugly heads and ruin our year.

We can talk about how Marion Gaborik needed this goal or how Brad Richards needed to make up for yet another poorly timed third-period penalty. This was in many ways as much of a "must win" as game six was against the Ottawa Senators.

And yes, coach we do understand why you have to take the short term approach, but we the fans do not have to. We can dare to dream and we can dare to think the unspeakable.

And if you caught the CBC version of the highlights and saw the reaction from Rangers General Manager Glen Sather, then you know this was more than just "a win" for him too.

And yes coach we do know that by all rights, this series should be 3-0 in favor of the Rangers. So at least until the sun comes up coach we're going to enjoy every second of this win.


Our vacation is over and it's time for us to get back to work as the finals of the three CHL Leagues gets underway Thursday. The New York Rangers are represented by Michael St. Croix (201 him who leads his Edmonton Oil Kings into the WHL Finals against our home team, the Portland Winterhawks.

We would love to sit here and tell you how St. Croix is going to be the reason why his team wins, but is not the truth.  The difference in this year's WHL Finals is going to be which team gets the better goaltending and which third line can make up the scoring.

As much as we are torn between rooting for the Winterhawks and everything they've been through, our honest belief is that the Oil Kings have the better goaltender and the better overall defense.

We thought Moose Jaw was going to take them out with their physical play and we were wrong, very wrong. We won't make that mistake again as Edmonton is going to win a championship in seven very hard games.

The New York Islanders have two prospects playing in the OHL Finals as Ryan Strome (2011 1st) and teammate Mitchell Theoret (2011 7th) who will lead their Niagara IceDogs up against the London Knights.

When this year began the current Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter was coaching the London Knights and this was the best team in the OHL during the regular season.

Nothing against London, but their young team and they can get better but not this year.  Niagara had five of its players playing for Team Canada in the World Under 20s.

And when the season started, Niagara had 12 of its players in NHL training camps, which got them off to a slow start. In our eyes, Niagara has too many weapons for a young team like London.

The IceDogs in our book will win this series in six games.

(New York Ranger logo courtesy New York Rangers)

No comments: