Meh, what are you going to do? The nature of sports is cyclical. Hopefully, you get to root for a team like ours, where the truly awful down cycles are either nearly non-existent, or relatively short-lived (we'll see how long this one lasts, but at least in among the three non-playoff seasons was a memorable Cup run). In a perfect world (my version, anyway), the Rangers would suck every year. But in today's NHL, it's hard to be hapless season after season after season, unless you have a lot of drafts go belly-up, insanely rotten luck, or your front office is constantly making awful decisions. And with the playoffs having more of a crapshoot feel now than ever, it's all about getting hot (with a little luck thrown in) at the right time...home ice and seedings simply don't mean a whole hell of a lot. In general the Rangers are playing pretty well right now, and though the circumstances are clearly very tragic, St. Louis losing his mother seems to have somehow brought those players together...not in a "Let's win one for St. Louis and his mom!" way, but the way his teammates were there for him just seems to have brought them together and made them closer, and that appears to be helping them on the ice.
As much as I hate the idea, if the Rangers do win the Cup, so be it, but like others have alluded to, I don't want to hear comparisons to '94. Those teams are nothing alike...just let the 2014 bunch be the 2014 bunch without trying to create artificial parallels for the sake of manufacturing a storyline that isn't there. And I also don't want to hear anything about what a "genius" Glen Sather is, and how he never lost it after all of these years. Glen Sather has largely been a bad GM in his Ranger tenure, and I'm going to guess his earlier Ranger track record would've gotten him fired from at least 20 other organizations, if not more. No one has a 14-year-or-so plan to win a Cup.
Sometimes you get some random luck too. You don't draft a goalie in the 7th round (205th overall) thinking you've found your franchise netminder. Just like the New England Patriots got lucky with Tom Brady (6th round, 199th overall), the Rangers struck gold with Lundqvist. I'm not knocking them for it...more just saying that I don't want to hear revisionist historians now make it sound like Sather knew something everyone else didn't. If Sather or anyone else know Lundqvist had a definite future as a reliable top-tier #1 goalie, no way anyone takes a chance on him slipping through their fingers when he's there for the taking in the 3rd round, 4th round, etc.
But enough of that...I don't want to go into pure "sour grapes" mode. Yeah, the Rags are in the SCF. Yeah, I hate that they are. Yeah, I hate that the pendulum has swung the other way. I'm not going to start spewing accolates, but at the same time, I don't want to now start downplaying or minimizing what the Rangers have done to make me feel better about myself or the Devils. The Rangers have accomplished what they've accomplished, and all of the "yeah but"s we try to attach to what they've done won't change anything. They faced who they faced and they beat them.
For me, now it's about wondering what the Devils have to do to get back to where they were...actually, in today's NHL, it's what can the Devils do to get themselves back into the playoffs (where seemingly anything can happen)? I'll always hate the Rangers and the majority of their fans for the reasons I've stated multiple times, but now, instead of worrying about them (though I'll be rooting VERY hard for their SCF opponent), I'm going to concern myself with how do the Devils get back to being what they were (with new faces), regardless of the amount of time it takes them to get there. Hopefully that starts with Lou NOT re-signing Gio and Marty.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 30 May 2014 - 06:59 AM.