Despite some questionable coaching decisions and lackluster performances in each game following a very important overtime win, the New York Rangers are farthest into the playoffs than they have been since 2007, when they lost to the Buffalo Sabres in six games. The first six games of this series has been a see-saw match, as no team has yet to win two in a row, and the largest margin of victory has been two goals. The team that has scored first has won every game, even after in the first five games, the opponent has tied the score at 1-1; the only exception so far being last night, when the Washington Capitals found themselves with their greatest lead of the series at 2-0. The Rangers have a habit of never making things easy. Though the playoffs are not what they used to be—the mantra of “just get in” has worked wonders—as seeding seems to mean absolutely nothing anymore, the Rangers had a hard time beating the Ottawa Senators, and have now taken the Capitals to the brink. Having lost the last two playoff match-ups against this very same team, the Rangers desperately need to get their act together with their backs against the wall on Saturday night. This series has been a microcosm of their season, where nothing ever came easy, and the Rangers always emerged on top. After two thrilling overtime wins and some spectacular play from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, all would unfortunately be for naught if the Blueshirts cannot close out the Capitals in Game Seven two days from now, a game that has become the hottest ticket in town…quite literally.
According to sources such as Rangers Tribune and TiqIQ, prices for tickets being sold through different outlets have skyrocketed, with the cheapest seats at Madison Square Garden starting at $289. The average cost of tickets in the 18,200 seat arena currently stands at $561, with seats around the glass and closest to the ice reaching a towering $2438. With the rest of today, a full day tomorrow, and even some time on Saturday before the 7:30 PM start, who knows how much higher these tickets can go, literally making this the most expensive hockey game to attend in the post-lockout era for the New York Rangers. This is why it is good for the NHL when the Rangers make the playoffs and get out of the first round, because it shows the true value of such a franchise, that even though they have not won a championship since 1994, and have not even made the Eastern Conference Finals since the Gretzky-Messier led squad bowed out to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1997, they can command such exorbitant prices. As a side note, after seeing these numbers, I was quite amused by the New Jersey Devils fans who were complaining last night, when they found out that their cheapest seats for the next round would be starting at $100 (a price that will no doubt grow higher if the Rangers become their opponent).
So, the question is, will you be willing to pay these prices to see your favorite team in action? And more intriguingly, if you already have tickets, are you tempted in the least bit to sell these and make a considerable profit? Win or lose, this is going to be the game of the season. Will the Rangers rebound like they have all year, and find a way to finally knock out the pesky Capitals, or will they fold and turn this season into another waste, and an offensive choke-job in front of their goaltender who has been playing out of his mind? Saturday night we shall know the answers. Saturday night’s Game 7 is going to be one for the ages.
UPDATE: In the time it took me to write this article, the minimum price for tickets went from $289 to $295. It seems to be fluctuating up and down, so where will it end up by the next game?