Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sweet Sixteen

The important part of the NHL season has finally begun.  While I was happy that at the conclusion of the seemingly-endless regular season the Broadway Blueshirts won the Presidents' Trophy, 'tis but a trinket that shall permit you to purchase a cop of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts.  As long as it is accompanied by the appropriate amount of American money that is.  Otherwise, not so much.   

Thursday night the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to take the first game of their best-of-seven first round playoff series.  There may be no sport in which the postseason is as much a a war of attrition as it is in the NHL.  Irrespective of however many wins you attained in the regular season, once the playoffs start, every team's magic number is "16".  Four rounds of playoffs.  Each round a best-of-seven series.  Only one team shall make it to sixteen.  Last year, the Rangers came tantalizingly close.  Thirteen wins proved to not only be unlucky but, more importantly, to be three wins too few to win the Stanley Cup

I have rooted for the Rangers for as long as I can remember.  Dad's passion for them proved to be not only hereditary but lifelong.  In the forty-eight years that I have prowled the Earth, skating tentatively on my double-runner blades, the Rangers have captured exactly one Cup.  In the past seventy-five years, they have captured exactly twice that amount.  One cannot be a Rangers fan without appreciating the delicate balance between hoping for the best and expecting something decidedly less so to occur.  We are easy to spot in a crowd during the playoffs.  Simply look for the men and women watching the game with one eye while using the other eye to scan the sky in search of the infamous other shoe.  

One down.  Fifteen to go.  


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