Every year New York Rangers fans hold fast to Stanley Cup dreams. Why can’t this year finally be the year that we see a ticker tape parade?
New York Rangers fans have witnessed the same dog and pony show for the past 22 years.
Helmets, gloves, and sticks fly in the air, fans cry and hug.
Gary Bettman then walks onto the ice, accompanied by boos of course, and then a team that is not the New York Rangers is awarded the Stanley Cup.
The winning team is usually one of the “cup contenders” declared by fans before the playoffs even begin.
But every now and then a dark horse emerges victorious.
Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of the phrase:
- 1a: a usually little known contender that makes an unexpectedly good showing
- b : an entrant in a contest that is judged unlikely to succeed
Unlikely to succeed, little known contender.
What better describes the New York Rangers?
It’s no secret that fans and media alike believe that this Rangers team is not a true cup contender. But on a few occasions, New York City has witnessed a dark horse team make a run at championships.
If you are a fan of football then you know that the 2007 New York Giants had no business playing in the Super Bowl, at least that’s what a majority of football fans believed.
They won 17-14 against a previously undefeated New England Patriots team.
At the beginning of last year’s baseball season, New York Mets’ fans would be flat out lying if they told you that they believed their team would end up in the 2015 World Series.
Back in 2014, who really believed that the New York Rangers would make it to the finals?
Part of what makes the NHL Playoffs so great is that an inconspicuous team can make a run if they peak at the right time.
While the Rangers have played well for portions of this season you certainly cannot come to the conclusion that this team has peaked, not yet anyway.
The truth is that this Rangers team is battle tested and resilient, both of which are essential parts of any championship team.
The Blueshirts have the best netminder in the world, and arguably the best goaltender that the Ranger organization has ever seen.
Oh, and Henrik Lundqvist‘s 2015-2016 stats are eerily similar to what they were during the 2013-2014 season.
This year’s Rangers team has also surpassed that 2014 finals team in goals for, by 19 (214/233).
This year’s team can score.
While defense has by far been the biggest issue for the Rangers this season, it has certainly improved over the past couple of months.
Remember December? Yeah I agree, let’s not go there…
And then there are the unforeseen heroes that emerge in the playoffs. Players like these:
So why can’t it be the New York Rangers this season?
The truth is that past statistics really don’t matter now. As Rangers fans learned last season, previous records and presidential trophies mean nothing now.
Once that puck drops, all bets are off.
Helmets, gloves, and sticks fly into the air. Fans jump up and down, cry, and hug. And the silver chalice emerges.
Why can’t the New York Rangers finally be the dark horse that emerges?