I argued this, and while it is true that the Rangers are the 6th most popular team in New York and rarely grab the public consciousness, it is also true that the Garden fans get on players way, way faster than fans in most cities. They were booing Tom Poti every shift for god's sake - Devils fans could never manage that. So in that sense, it's a 'high pressure environment', even if the papers aren't going to slam you nightly.
When I think of "high pressure environment", I think of Toronto last season when all the players were interviewed on camera and asked to apologize and explain what went wrong. Or Montreal comes to mind, when they were booing Price during one of his bad games, and when he made a very routine glove catch, they gave him a mocking standing ovation. Or even Philly, as much as I hate them, is a high pressure environment, a loud building in which you feel accountable for your play.
I've been to MSG, it's neither loud nor intimidating, for the fans or the players (aside from Brodeur, who at this point in his career LOVES it and thrives over there). Can't find anything Rangers-related around the city during the season: no one in jerseys, very few bumper-stickers or car stickers, extremely few hats (I see more Devils hats sprinkled around; maybe because the logo's cooler to people that don't have a clue about hockey), there's 1 or 2 semi-"Rangers bars", etc.... 40 minutes before a game, you can take a subway from downtown that passes through MSG with no one wearing a Rangers jersey. Half the arena doesn't even have jerseys on.
Just overall, it's my opinion that it's not this big exciting legendary hockey town. Obviously it's in the Post or Daily News' best interest to write about it this way, but it's not. A trip to Boston or Philly pretty much proves the difference. Just my honest opinion, because I'm in the city everyday and hang out here on weekends.
Edited by DJ Eco, 27 July 2012 - 11:41 AM.