Why the 2015 Stanley Cup Final is a complete disaster for the New York Rangers and their fans.
Under normal circumstances, watching your team make yet another run to the Eastern Conference Finals could be described as one hell of a wild ride.
Unfortunately, for fans of the New York Rangers, these aren’t normal circumstances.
Recent history for these Blueshirts have been well-documented. They possess a young core, a dominant goaltender and have made moves to add that necessary veteran presence to take that next step.
However, due to the ridiculous amount of injuries to the blueline, and veterans Marty St. Louis and Dan Boyle stinking up the joint, they fell harmlessly to the Lightning in Game 7.
Now, Rangers fans have to endure watching the most tortured finals in recent history.
They’ve brought us so close only to have the world turn upside down in the cruelest of directions.
No locals, yet so rough
In 1995, the New Jersey Devils swept away the Detroit Red Wings in the finals. It was their first championship in franchise history.
Not only did it not sting, it was harmless. Just one year prior, “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau” and the epic 1994 run washed away anything negative that could happen in ’95.
OK, so Martin Brodeur and the Devils added two more cups after that, and during the early 1980s the New York Islanders put together one of the best runs in American Professional Sports history. Yeah, both team’s successes stung for Rangers fans.
Now, the locals were nowhere to be found during the 2015 finals, yet watching four-former Rangers play in these finals is tougher to take.
Mind you, they’re not just former Rangers, they were part of the fabric of their roster just last season that ended in a cup appearance.
Brad Richards, Anton Stralman, Ryan Callahan and Brian Boyle are currently playing stellar hockey for new teams, and as Rangers fans, we simply have tough time not throwing up all over ourselves.
Over the past four seasons or so, the description around these Rangers has been one full of heart, desire, resilience and championship fiber. The superlatives that are thrown in their direction mirror those of the Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.
The one tiny little problem is that they’ve yet to taste Lord Stanley’s champagne.
How is it possible that a team who’s showcased such talent and grit not gotten it done yet? How has a team led by Henrik Lundqvist failed to nab a cup? The numbers this squad has put up in elimination games are second to none.
Now, we have to worry about the face of the franchise.
At 33-years old, Lundqvist might only have one or two more superstar seasons left. It’s tough to keep playing the amount of playoff games they’ve put on their bodies the past four-seasons, and keep getting back to the same point.
As New York made their remarkable and unlikely run to the finals last season, we all thought Glen Sather had outdone himself with the Ryan Callahan-Marty St. Louis deal.
Captain Cally wanted a little too much against the salary-cap (including a no-trade) and St. Louis provided the squad with something a little more than Callahan ever did. Perhaps, he was that extra piece to the puzzle.
How wrong we were.
There’s no question St. Louis was solid upon becoming a Ranger in 2014. He was a contributor who led to many fantastic moments. However, it’s all over for him now, while Callahan is showing us what we’re missing out on.
The deal proved to be a “one-run” trade. One that the Rangers will rue for the next half-decade.
Due to the wild popularity of the guy, I find it hard to believe that any Rangers fan can watch Callahan hoist the cup (should Tampa Bay win).
That, my friends, is what true nightmares are made of.