You know. “Go West young man.”
I understand that the Rangers have to put up with some odd scheduling because they play in the World’s Most Famous and Busiest, which this week, for example, is hosting some basketball event.
But, geez, a West coast swing with 14 games left? When almost everybody is playing conference-only games? And not traveling across the continent? This one, I don’t get, and I even understand the whole starting next season in Europe, and then on the road because of the Garden renovation.
This odd-time two-game trip to California comes after the Ranger not once, but twice, played three in four days in which the third was a 12:30 matinee. Why The Face?
That all said, I love the West coast late starts now that I don’t have to make the trip and watch deadlines disappear. I’m a night person, so it’s kind of cool that I can watch the games late. Those of youse who have actual normal jobs, well, I feel for you.
So I guess all is well again? I spent the last five days, and will spend today, and most of the next two weekends, covering hoops all over the state, and didn’t see much of the last three games. But I have a good idea what happened, and it seems from reading the comments section that most of you have stepped back off the ledges.
I actually can’t believe how negative it got here — though it was sure good for the traffic numbers. I thought I was at Citi Field.
Especially crazy — only because I can’t find a harsh enough word — was the few who started talking about firing the coach. Huh?
This coach has gotten you all what you have wanted since, oh, 1997. He’s promised to run a program of rebuilding the core with young players, of developing and teaching those young players, and keeping them, and living with their hiccups and throwups, and not abandoning the plan and spinning the wheels just to make a desperate attempt to make the playoffs. He’s built — in his word — an identity, and gotten a team that plays hard, works hard, never gives up, never mails it in, is tough and physical and aggressive.
And because the Rangers lost a few in a row, because their playoff position had become tenuous, you wanted him fired? Heck, if they lose their last 14 and don’t make the playoffs, he shouldn’t be fired, because he has done the right thing for the organization, and not coached for his job. And he won’t be fired.
Plus, they’re going to make the playoffs. And if Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik step up, they’re going to be dangerous in the playoffs.
Two more things. First, a friend of mine, Nick Spano, has a pretty nutso sports blog, Floppingout.com. You can check it out here.
Second, our generous Bonehead ticket donor has another pair. So we’re going to do one of those simple contests where we predict the scores of one of the two games on the trip. Details to follow tomorrow or Thursday.
Games that matter tonight: Leaves at Islanders; Sabres at Penguins; Bruins at Habs.