Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things That Runneth Over

I cannot pretend to know how it shall play out but it was nice to see my beloved Broadway Blueshirts hold serve in Game One of their Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils on Monday night. To steal a phrase from Mr. Springsteen (I would say "borrow" but since I neither sought nor received his permission), "my ass was dragging from a passing gypsy wagon" on Tuesday morning courtesy of my decision to stay up and root, root, root for the home team. I usually have caught the last train to sleepy town well in advance of the 11:00 p.m. news coming on-air. Monday night I did not. A price to pay for loyalty I suppose. I hope I have to pay it again for seven more Rangers victories this season.

The resumption of hostilities between the Rangers and the Devils in this year's Eastern Conference Finals has evoked in many - including Yours truly - memories of the first such tilt, which occurred in 1994. Eighteen years later the only player from either team who still plays in the NHL is the Devs' goaltender Martin Brodeur. All of the other combatants have long since retired. Off the top of my head I can think of one who has died. Alexander Karpovtsev was a defenseman for the Rangers in '94. He was among the Russian hockey players and coaches killed when their charter flight crashed in September 2011.

Perhaps it is because the memories of the run that the Rangers made to the Cup that season remain so vivid in my mind's eye that I forgotten just how much time had passed. I remember where I was and what I was doing while absorbing all that was happening on the ice through all four rounds of the playoffs that spring, with the most vivid, most pointed recollections being those I associate with the Cup Finals against the Canucks and - of course - their pentultimate clash against the Devils. Almost two decades later, my favorite French-sounding word remains unchanged.

The distance between now and then is great. And it grows greater every day. As a child it sometimes seemed to me as if an hour would last for a week. Now it far too often feels as if each day passes by in an eye blink. Whether time is moving faster or I am moving slower I know not. It matters not at all. The result is the same.

Now there's so much that time, time and memory fade away. While I am fairly confident that neither time nor infirmity shall ever claim my memories of the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup, one can never be too certain. I would happily accept a companion piece in 2012 to serve as a refresher of my recollection....

....just to be safe.


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