Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keeping Some Faith

Maybe it is because I am based on the west coast, maybe it is because as a NYC sports fan I have witnessed too many "miracles" or maybe it is because I simply do not want to go though another 7 years of hell like we all did.

It is really frustrating that the season has already been declared a disaster by way too many Ranger fans even before we have left the month of July. It is ironic though that we are half a year removed from the Super Bowl Championship that nobody thought the Giants could win.

So many have appeared to forgotten what the Giants did and yet so many Ranger fans are so down on the team. Where is the faith among Ranger fans disappeared to?

It does comes down to having something so simple as a little faith. It comes down to believing that the Rangers will not have a bad season. It also comes down to giving the franchise a chance to fail before deciding that they will fail.

Was it not at this time last year that Ranger fans were happy about adding Drury and Gomez? How so many were pumped about a possible cup run? Yet 12 months later can make a huge difference in how Ranger fans view the state of the franchise.

I am bringing up July a lot here and with good reason; a year ago Giant fans were screaming for the head of Tom Coughlin. They were so sure that Eli Manning would never win the big game; heck many did not think he would even win the little games.

The Giants were supposed to stink because Tiki Barber had retired and Barber was the BMOC (Big Man on Campus) so the Giant fans were counting down the days until the SS Coughlin sank. Giant fans were not even at their first exhibition game and the season was already doomed.

Yet here we are a year later and guess who is the defending Super Bowl Champs in training camp? Not a peep about how Eli can not win the big game or how Tom Coughlin must go. And as for Tiki Barber; bravo that the player that Barber trashed (Eli) on national television has something that Barber never will which is a Super Bowl Ring.

And before anyone screams about this being the delusions of a Giant fan, sorry but this writer just so happens to be a Jet fan (and a Met fan) which kind of makes me an expert on watching teams lose a lot. I just have a hard time in July thinking that the Rangers are as doomed as some believe.

The point behind all of this is that all of us need to perhaps stop take a deep breath and maybe wait until the team is on the ice before all the gloom and doom predictions come out. As CraigZ pointed out over at the Blueshirt Bulletin Plus, already the "experts" are so sure Zherdev is going to head back to Russia after this season.

The kid has not even gotten to work up a sweat at a Ranger practice and he is already heading back to Russia. What kind of nonsense is this?

Are the Rangers a sure fire Cup contenders? No not at all but at the same time in July nobody other than perhaps the Red Wings are. When you look at the moves of the Ranger rivals in the Atlantic Division, they are also not the worst team in the Eastern Conference either.

Cmon who here fears the Islanders? The Flyers? The Devils or even the Penguins? This is the time of the year when you are supposed to be dreaming about better days ahead not the biblical end of the world as some are acting.

Yes I do not like all of the moves either, I would have not seen the Rangers sign Naslund after watching his game the last couple of years in Vancouver decline. I also would not have given Rosy the contract he got after signing Redden but at the same time I am not going to predict the Rangers as the odds on favorites in the John Tavares sweepstakes either.

I choose to hope that the moves work out, as a Ranger fan I am hoping that with the changes in the roster will come changes in how the team plays. It does not mean that I am going to turn a blind eye either as I realize that this team still needs to find it's identity as well.

It does not mean that Tom Renney is off the hook with me either. If anything quite the opposite as I expect Renney to show drastic improvement this season or be sent packing. For now though he has a clean slate as I want to root for the Rangers to do well.

If anything as the person who covers the Ranger prospects, I actually gain more when the Rangers do not play well. A losing Ranger team can draw a ton of attention in my direction as fans turn towards looking at the future when the Rangers play badly.

I choose as a Ranger fan though to have some faith in the team, I choose to have some faith that Naslund did need a change in his career. I choose to have the same faith in Redden, in Kalinin, and in of course Zherdev will have the kind of seasons to in fact lead the Rangers out of the second round.

I choose to have faith that when you can send a Henrik Lundqvist out to be your goalie that you have a chance to win every time he plays. I choose to have faith the 5 young players who stepped up last season will do so again this year.

Heck I even have the faith that by mid-season that given the state of progression among Ranger prospects that we just might see any or all of Artem Anisimov, Greg Moore, Bobby Sanguinetti and Lauri Korpikoski wearing the Broadway Blue.

In case you have not noticed the Rangers have added at least 2 rookies to the regular lineup each of the last two seasons. I have faith that too will continue and if it does then the roster you see today will not be anything like it could wind up by next April.

So I choose to have some faith, I choose to believe that the Rangers are not going the kind of season so many are predicting.

Will you also have that kind of faith?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

have to agree with you Jess, I do not fear anyway in the east and only two teams in the west. the Rangers can win the east just as well as anyone else. and people tend to forget that rosy and redden tied for the +/- title two years ago. very intriguing team has been put together for this year. we will be faster and we will be bigger not bad things to be better at.