Uniondale, NY- In today’s politically correct, dodge ball-less, world of fairness, awareness, and removal of scoreboards from all athletic activities in Oregon (much to the chagrin of Coach Herman Edwards). It’s difficult for one to find a true old fashioned hateful rivalry in today’s utopian sporting world. One where it’s teams, it’s fans, even it’s peanut vendors can’t stand to be in the same room with one another. Rare indeed…
So in to town come the big, beautiful, hat wearing New York Rangers, and their eloquent fans who just light up any room with their wonderful economy of words, and bourgeois mentality
as they grace us with their presence tonight at 7PM actually allowing us to share the very same ice surface with them. What a privilege!
Tonight is yet another installment of the greatest rivalry on the planet between two organIzations, and their fans who literally cannot stand to be in each other’s presence. Which is why it’s a good idea to get 75,000 of them in the same place… But I digress…
We hate them, they hate us, no big deal, it’s all good. Two teams with a fantastic history steep in tradition with the still going strong “Potvin Sucks” whistle heard nightly at the Garden immortalizing an Islander great for over 35 years now. To the always fun to sing at parties “if you know the Rangers suck clap your hands.”
There is just nothing like an Islander Ranger game at the Coliseum especially when both teams are good, or in this case at least contending. Now true it is the Isles who have been the ones failing in this department as of recently, and trust me we are often reminded of that by our good buddies in red, white, and blue. Whom if you didn’t know have the greatest hockey team ever assembled yet again this season, which is why they are only 2 points ahead of us in the standings.
Tonight’s game has the beginnings of a little (dare I say it) “Playoff atmosphere” to it. What with the urgency of the season being half over already, and proximity to one another for the final playoff spot in the conference. Now I know with the condensed schedule and the in conference only games this can all be drastically different in just a weeks time, but that is irrelevant. The fact remains the two teams are in early March battling it out for a playoff spot tonight. The “why” is irrelevant, the feeling I have of waiting all day for the puck to drop is all that matters!
I defy you to find an Islander fan who would have not signed for this scenerio right after the lockout ended. I also would double down with a dozen doonut wager that I defy you to find a Ranger fan who would have done the same… And as my good friend made it ever so clear to me yesterday the Rangers aren’t interested in the 8th spot their focused on the 5th or 6th. They are so cool…
Now he may have thought that he was pointing out to me the fact that they are so awesome that they have higher expectations then us peasants in Nassau, that this isn’t as huge a game for them as it is us. Funny that’s not what I heard, what I heard was a concession speech for the Patrick Division, you know the one that they would automatically be given because if you didn’t know they went to the Conference finals last season, so….
Bottom line is thus far this season the Rangers have under achieved, and the Isles have over achieved yielding us this meaningful Islander Ranger game at home in early March to that FACT I say “awesome!”
Both teams head into tonight’s tilt playing their best hockey of the year. Both have been climbing in the standings respectfully. The Rangers skate in on a three game winning streak while the Isles arrive on the heals of their best performance, a 6-3 win over the Canadiens Tuesday night, and a two game winning streak earning 5 out of the last 6 possible points.
The Rangers have taken 3 out of 4 possible points thus far in the series winning the first meeting of the season at the Garden on February 7th (Lord Stanley’s Birthday!) 4-1. The Isles took the second contest a week later on the same sheet of ice 4-3 in shootouts.
Both teams have seemingly had multiple seasons inside this intensely shortened season, with both clubs really starting to hit their stride now. The Isles finally getting a lot of secondary scoring form Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, and Michael Grabner, with Brad Boyes impressing night after night, on the top line
As for the Rangers Rick Nash (whom they acquired for a song) has finally arrived on Broadway. He has by far been their best player scoring 8 points in his last 5 games and leading the Blue shirts with 18 points on the year. Clearly Nash has been the 3rd best player in New York this season tied with Boyes on the scoresheet.
John Tavares, “Jonny Franchise” has been just that, with a team leading 27 points and 14 goals, Tavares has arrived as the elite of the elite in the league. His independently scoring winger Matt Moulson is having his 4th straight career year with 25 points and 11 goals, 7 of which have come on the man advantage placing him 2nd in the NHL for power play snippering.
The Ranger take the ice 8th in the conference with 24 points, with the Isles nipping at their heels with 22 points, making this in like a lion early March tilt as meaningful a game these two have played in the John Tavares era.
There is nothing quite like an Islander Ranger game at the Coliseum in North American sport I feel. Every sports fan, and certainly every hockey fan should attend at least one of these games. They are truly unique with the building packed with no less then 7,000 Rangers fans the atmosphere in the stands is electric. The games on the ice tend to more often then not match the intensity in the arena as the player feed off of the electricity. This coupled with the rare proximity in the standings this late in the season, and both teams good play as of late, stir and bake at 375, and viola you’ve got yourself a recipe for a dandy this evening.
RIGHT IN THEIR MINDS!
Most Ranger fans have this underlining cognitive foundational quagmire when it comes to Islander fans that is important to recognize, then exploit. You see the Ranger fan can not for the life of him understand how anyone could even possibly be an Islander fan. To him we are a joke, we shouldn’t even be granted a seat at the NHL table, where mind you the Ranger fan has seated himself at the head.
So when we stand before a Ranger fan whether it be in person (do people still communicate that way? Weird) or on facebook, twitter, and the like simply not caring about the past 20 seasons of futility and professing to them how much we still love our team, it simply drives them bonkers.
Sure they’ll let you know how much they don’t care about the Islanders, and how it’s so much more a big deal to us then it is to them, because after all they’re the Rangers they have bigger and better fish to fry. But trust me folks they will take time out of their day to let you know how much they don’t care.
All we have to do is still be here, still love our team, still disregard all reason, and logic, and when the Ranger fan turns there head there we are to say HEEEELLLLLOOOOOOO how’s it goin??… And it drives them nuts. Like the artist formerly known as Anakin Skywalker would say, “All too easy.”
Herein lies the victory cause the bottom line is this. As an Islander fan we know full well that we can never compete with the Rangers off the ice, and until just this past week on the ice either but, we just don’t care. The fact that after all this futility, and all this failure WE ARE STILL HERE !! That my friends is what gets at the heart of every Ranger fan, some of whom mind you were all to quick to pack our bags for Seattle or Kansas City, or Moose Jaw for all they cared, only in the end to have us moves closer. HEEEEELLLLLLLOOOO. How’s it goin?.
You see deep, deep, I’m talking way deep down inside the Ranger fan questions whether he would have such unconditional loyalty to his club as we have demonstrated in the face of such fruitlessness. Causing him actual admiration for the Islander fan which in turn contradicts the unconditional makeup of hate therefore, leading to symptoms including, but not limited to that of anxiety, confusion, and frustration which manifests itself as insecurity.
How else could one explain how a fan who seemingly has everything in the hockey world (trust me!) being ever so overly concerned with a team which in his mind does not even have the right to stand in their presence?
It’s ok, it’s ok there, there, we are not here for you. Anything we can do to make it worse. On the flip side, there we are not even the size of David staring down Goliath day after day, season, after season taking great pleasure at causing all this inner turmoil, which they will undoubtedly deny.
You think I’m crazy? “No I’m not… No I’mmm noT.” try a little social experiment if you will today, the next time you are in a “discussion” with a Ranger fan just calmly express no matter what he say’s (cause it’s irrelevant anyway) that he is insecure about his club, about his love for his club… And brother watch the defensive mechanisms fly, it is so much fun it should be illegal I tell you. And the best part is, it still works even if they know you are doing it. Some know the play I’m gonna run, and can do nothing to stop it. Try it and let me know, if it doesn’t work then I will personally forfeit my self imposed sports fan PHDs in psychology and parapsychology.
The Rangers have all the glamour, all the glitz, and all the sexiness that comes along with being them. They are truly a powerhouse on and off the ice for the league. I’m not here to deny this fact. The bottom line is at the end of the tilt tonight they will still be them, and we will still be us. But if we win???
Trying to capture the Spirit of the thing
P.S. Have a Nice Day!! :0)
Follow Scotty @moosiestmoose42
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