Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Quest Renewed

Perhaps the weather gods have finally started to smile upon us - the people of the State of Concrete Gardens.  Just this week we have had several consecutive days in which the weather has coincided with the season and Spring has in fact felt like Spring.  Today and tomorrow are supposed to be fairly mild too.  As someone who is spending a couple of hours tomorrow morning be-bopping all over the campus at Rutgers University in the Unite Half Marathon, I find myself pleased by the fact that the race starts at 8:00 AM.  Tomorrow's day-time high temperature is supposed to be in the mid-70's.  There are any number of things I like to do on sun-drenched, seventy-five degree days.  Run 13.1 miles as fast as my little legs can carry me is not necessarily among them.

Spring's bloom coincides - pretty closely anyway - with the conclusion of the regular season in the NHL.  If you root as I do for the New York Rangers, this is the season in which hope blooms like the first flowers of the Spring.  The Rangers qualified for the playoffs again this year and shall commence post-season hostilities on Wednesday night.  I believe they are on track to play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round - although admittedly the NHL's newly revitalized playoff format is a bit beyond my ability to comprehend. 

As a Rangers fan, there is no other NHL team for whom I have as much historical loathing as the Flyers.  I hope that if they are the Blueshirts' opponent in the First Round the Rangers crush them.  Being a Rangers fan though means that you know before the puck is dropped for Game 1 of Round One of the playoffs, the odds are stacked against the Rangers being the team that wins the Cup.  As my Great, Great Grandpa Phineas used to say, "Don't be an idiot.  Pay attention to history."  If you are a Rangers fan and you are younger than seventy-five, then you have seen only one Stanley Cup in your lifetime. 

And still we hope.  And still we cheer.  Tonight the regular season ends in Montreal.  Then the real season starts.  Four rounds of Best-of-7 series one right after the other.  And irrespective of what history, Grandpa Phineas and my head tell me, my heart tells me that this could be the year in which the Rangers wake up the echoes of past playoff triumphs of Messier, Richter, Leetch and my guy Adam Graves and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Cup by winning the 2014 model.


Maybe.  Just maybe.  Every year has to belong to somebody.  May this year belong to the Blueshirts.


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