Hockey Season is Over
The Rangers went down in defeat, blowing a 3-1 series lead and dropping Game 7 in Washington to the Capitals, 2-1. The Caps scored the winning goal with 4:59 left, completing what was undoubtedly to most hockey mavens a predictable loss for the listless Rangers.
The only thing that made this night sweet for Ranger fans was utter collapse of the Devils and “Mary” Brodeur in the last 1:20 of the third period, surrendering goals to Jussi Jokinen and Eric Staal, and giving Carolina the series with a 4-3 come-from-behind win. The Hurricanes have saved the hockey world from any more Devil hockey for the rest of the Spring.
Thus ends hockey in the New York market before the Second Round. Advertisers for Versus and NBC-TV need to be nervous, not so much because the New York area teams lost but because of the way they lost. These losses and collapses by the Rangers and Devils, although different types of losses, leave fans disgusted. The last thing they will want to see anytime soon is another hockey game.
The Second Round match-ups in the East do not bode well for future playoff TV audiences. Washington and Pittsburgh have little out-of-market pull other than having the two of the premier players in the NHL, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin (maybe you could include Evgeny Malkin). The troublesome part for advertisers and the NHL is that either Crosby or Ovechkin will make a second round exit.
While Carolina (formerly the Hartford Whalers) have congratulations from this ex-Connecticut resident for dumping the Debbies, it’s over in the Second Round for the Hurricanes. To quote George C. Scott as General George Patton, the Bruins will rip through the Hurricanes “like crap through a goose.” It’s four games and out.
The West does not captivate fans on the East Coast despite the presence of Orginal 6 teams from Chicago and Detroit going into the Second Round. Detroit draws Anaheim, the team that took out #1 Western seed San Jose in six games (Puke Daddy and editor Greggie Wyshynski predicted Sharks in 6). I have to give the Red Wings the edge here if for nothing else but the home ice advantage. The Vancouver Canucks, the only Canadian team left, draws home-ice advantage against the Blackhawks. This one is a toss-up.
Back to the Rangers … The Rangers have pretty much “sucked” for the last 11 years, a decline that started with the coaching of Colin “Soupy” Campbell. While I do believe the Rangers and the entire NHL would be better off if someone drove a stake through Soupy’s heart, this is not going to happen while he is trading hummers with Holy Bettman. However, there is only one other individual who has been a mainstay through the Rangers recent woes: Glen Sather.
Could this finally be the year that Sather gets a swift kick in the cojones along with a pink slip?
Sather dismantled the Rangers once again this season, fired the coach and then hired John Tortorella who mentally disemboweled his team. The highly-touted Ranger farm team, the Hartford Wolf Pack, went down the bowl in the first round.
Enough is enough.
Make no mistake: this was Ranger team destined to lose. It is a team that lacks confidence and drive. The young, talented players who are left have watched too many players come and go. It is obvious that too many players do not know where they fit in the organization or the game plan. Most of all, these guys never accepted responsibility for their own performance. They are physically weak and mentally immature.
Maybe a summer of realizing how badly they choked will halp them mature a bit.
The question that begs asking is “Were the Caps that good or were the Rangers that bad?” No, the Caps are not a great team and they are not a Stanley Cup finalist. I really don’t care who wins in the Caps-Pens series, but I am sure that neither team can take the Bruins. I am really torn as to who I want to see get his arse pasted into the boards by Zdeno Chara (either Crosby or Ovechkin will look great getting creamed on YouTube).
Were the Rangers that bad? Yes. Will they be bad again next year? That depends … if Sather is still at the controls, then this will defineitely be crappy year number 65 or so out of the last 70 years since 1940.
PS to Devils fans … Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Rangers and Devils Crawl on Their Bellies Out of the Playoffs April 28, 2009
Hockey Season is Over