I never much cared for Marty Brodeur of the Swamp Gerbils, even though he is one of the greatest goalies every to play in the NHL. I don’t like his smugness and I don’t like crybabies. To help end the Gerbil season, Marty made some really dumb comments about Ray Emery, the Ottawa goaltender. He then tried to spin it and back-peddle but, instead, wound up with filet of foot in his mouth and a 3-2 loss in Game 5 (Ottawa takes the series 4-1).
I fear that the Debbies’ departure from the playoffs may be a bad omen for the New York Rangers. The possibility of a Rangers-Debbies series for the Eastern Conference championship (and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals) would have been incredibly awesome. It would have been a fabulous boost for the NHL and hockey. Instead, the specter of a Buffalo-Ottawa final means that hockey season will be over for me (and the NY Metro market), but I will get a huge refund from Madison Square Garden (maybe I can finally buy that fishing rowboat!).
The Rangers face an awesome task. Game 6 at MSG will be a remarkable experience regardless of the outcome. The Rangers have overachieved and have outplayed the Buffies consistently. The have exposed every weakness in the Buff team. Should the Rangers take Game 6 tomorrow, they face the awesome task of winning Game 7 in Buffalo on Tuesday.
Personally, I am physically and mentally drained because every game the Rangers have played since late February has been a “must-win” game. I hope the boys can win tomorrow for only one reason: they deserve it. The fans will obviously love a win, but the Rangers have already rewarded us by beating the hell out of the league’s best team and favorite son for the Stanley Cup. The 2006-2007 Rangers have played harder and more intensely over the last two months than any other Ranger team I’ve seen (including the 1993-1994 Stanley Cup champs). Let’s win tomorrow and then we can worry about Game 7.
Despite the scoreboard, the Rangers have proved they are better than the Buff creatures but just aren’t as lucky.
There is only one thing that is certain. No matter what happens tomorrow, the Rangers will be cheered all afternoon. They will not leave the ice, even if they lose, to the chorus of boos that the fans at The Swamp Arena gave to their Gerbil team. What an awful way to thank your team for trying.