Mr. Smith's Neighborhood

It's a beautiful day in the Neighborhood for teachers everywhere! Anything and everything is fair game!

Hockey Season Is Over — 5/6/07 May 6, 2007

The hockey season is over. I don’t have to turn on NBC or Versus for a long. long time.

It is with sadness that my Brendan Shanahan jersey, the one that had an undefeated record of 14-0 (including four playoff wins), is hanging in my closet after suffering its first defeat. It will have to wait until next season to join a rotation with my Jagr, Messier, Esposito and Leetch jerseys. My lucky Brendan Shanahan shirt, the black one celebrating his 600th goal early this season, also suffered its first defeat and is in the wash.

The playoff beard is already shaven off, and I won’t have to shave my head for the Stanley Cup Finals. Although my 8th Graders were thrilled at the prospect of me shaving my head, nothing good can come of a fat, old white man shaving his head … it is too ugly to put into words.

As I wait for the refunds of my advance payments to MSG for the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, that fishing boat outside the sportsman store I pass everday is looking good. It will make the perfect 50th Birthday and Mother’s Day present for the wife. (No, really … she likes to fish … I swear!)

Yes, the better team lost the playoff series as the Rangers fell 5-4 to the Smelly Sabres today, losing 4 games to 2. The Rangers beat the Buffy Boys up and down the ice for six games but just could not rack up enough goals. Although the Rangers were haunted by bad luck and bad referees, hallmarks of every NHL playoff series so far, the Rangers also failed to take advantage of its best chances. They really lost the series when they allowed the Buffers to tie Game 5 with 7 seconds left, giving Maxipad Affingerfartoff a chance to win the game in overtime.

Today, they did not get the best goaltending that Henrik Lundqvist can deliver, and they really needed to have it for this Game 6 as they faced elimination. Their defense, which had beaten up the much ballyhooed Buffy superstars, made several critical mistakes. Ryan Callahan, who has played brilliantly since joinging the team, took a very dumb penalty, allowing the Buffoons to score on the ensuing power play. The fans at MSG were also left to wonder why Ranger rookie Nigel Dawes was allowed to make his NHL playoff debut in such a critical game.

All that aside, Ranger fans proved just how classy they were. Despite some points of silence during a long, self-destructive second period, nobody left and nobody booed. When it was over, the team was heralded with loud cheers and chants. Ranger fans knew who the better team was. Ranger fans know that their team is on the way up while Buff-and-Muff is struggling in this “do or die” season for them. This will be the Buffoons best chance at a Cup (however pathetic that chance may be). Ranger fans know that Buffyland will not hoist a Stanley Cup this year and likely will be eliminated in the next round by Ottawa.

There were two special moments that I will take away from today.  

First, during Buffy’s first power play, I watched the highly overrated Chris Drury in front of the Ranger net. He kept falling down and rolling over like a little puppy despite not being hit by a Ranger. It was obvious that this little weasel was trying to cheat by deceiving the gullible refs into giving the Rangers a second penalty. What a worm! The best part was watching the Rangers really hit the little Buffy turd every chance they got.

Secondly, during the ride home and while I was mentally preparing this blog entry, it occurred to me that Buffalo rhymes with hoe. It made me wonder if Chris Drury has a hoe. Based on his looks, you have to believe Lindy Ruff uses a hoe regularly. Daniel Briere looks like he would need help finding a hoe. I would bet that Ryan Miller’s mom knows something about hoes. The Buffy fans … well, that is hoe heaven. In any event, that is enough about gardening and farming. All of Buffland will have plenty of time to work on their hoe techniques after Ottawa eliminates them.

Besides, it is probably too early on the Northern New York tundra for these farmers to till the soil and plant their seeds (ahem). The flower beds will just have to wait.

Yes, I will always hate Buffy and the Buffettes. Let’s go Rangers! Thanks for a great season, boys.

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