I wish I could feel bad, I really do. If it was any other team I would. In most cases I would say that a fanbase doesn't deserve this amount of disappointment, but every entitled brat that roots for the New York Rangers has had me patiently waiting for this day to come. Is the light getting dimmer? Starting to get a little bit hotter up under that collar Rangers fans? That's because your window is not only closing, but it's about to get boarded up. Pack your shit guys, because you're about to get evicted from championship contention.
It's ALMOST sad. I mean, the Rangers came into the season as an Eastern Conference favorite, and the Devils -who were picked to finish dead last by nearly everyone with an opinion and a platform for which to disseminate it- are TWO points behind them. The prime of a future Hall of Fame goaltender slowly approaching career menopause. In fact, a hot flash would probably be Henrik's best excuse for letting that game tying goal in last night. The Devils period of ineptitude and the Rangers period of relative success coincided perfectly and both returned the exact same thing, one Stanley Cup Finals appearance. The Devils just rebuilt the franchise over the course of one summer, as the Rangers are desperately trying to pick up the pieces as they come apart at the seams. Henrik Lundqvist looks like he is finally starting to suffer from the wear and tear of carrying a mediocre hockey team deep into the playoffs every year. Dan Girardi might be my favorite player in the NHL based solely on how much the entire New York fanbase loathes him. Chris Kreider woke up in cold sweats shivering at the thought of having to face Cory Schneider again in a week. The Devils row boat just keeps paddling on along while the Rangers yacht keeps taking on water. It's like the tortoise and the hare if the hare hadn't won a race in 20+ years.
I know it was only one game. However, it was one game where the Devils were without their leading scorer -and the lynchpin to their offense- who magically managed to hurt himself during a vacation week. It was a game in which one team didn't even show up until the second period. The Devils played the most mediocre brand of hockey possible and in the process proved what most people already knew. They have been just as good -or as bad depending on perspective- as the Rangers this year. Cory Schneider was once again the best player on the ice and the Rangers learned a valuable lesson. You can't depend on your goaltender to win you a game when you don't even have the best goaltender in the game. Oh well, at least they can rest assured that they were able to unload Lee Stempniak last year. It's always the small moves that make the biggest difference...