Excellent post by cw. I agree with almost all of it, although I would contend that the Versus telecast was bearable because of the presence of Doc Emrick on play-by-play. Not quite Sam Rosen, but very good at what he does.
So, who the hell am I to take over Carp’s blog? Well, maybe this will put things in perspective. One of my vivid memories growing up was watching the final game of the 1988 season, when John Vanbiesbrouck shut out the Nordiques at MSG. I then climbed into bed in my pitch-black house and listened to the Devils-Blackhawks game on the radio until John MacLean scored in overtime to push the Devils over the Rangers in the standings and into the playoffs — ripping my heart out in the process. “Byfuglien” was the first word that came to mind.
As you all know by now, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I’ve gotten over that heartbreak — and all the other ones. I don’t get to watch as many games as I used to, not with a 4 1/2-year-old centering soon-to-be 2-year-old identical twins throughout my house. But I still feel qualified to comment about this team — and I possess an irrational hatred of the Flyers, which makes me doubly qualified.
Yes, this team has lost five in a row. Yes, this team has deficiencies (can we decline all penalties for the remainder of the season?). But, you know what? The Rangers are in every single game they play. There’s home-grown talent everywhere. They play hard, and they play for each other.
Are they good enough to win more than one playoff round? I doubt it. But after several seasons of oftentimes disinterested play, wouldn’t you have signed up for this at the beginning of the season?