Just a quick post after tonight’s New York Rangers’ victory over the Washington Capitals to get to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. My third round picks will be coming up tomorrow.
Maybe it was fate. Maybe the Hockey Gods just wanted their preeminent league to make a ton of money as the best possible match-up for this series marketing-wise came into place. It does not matter. I am not going to offer a prediction just yet in regards to the series, but what I will say is, it is going to be a war. A guerrilla war—the cut, slash, and run kind. It does not matter who you root for or how confident you are in your team. If you are a true fan, you just may lose a few years off your life in the next two weeks. Both teams want to win, but each could accept losing…if it was not for the opponent at hand. The stresses experienced in these playoffs will only be magnified because of who each respective team is playing.
I happen to work at a school loaded with Devils’ fans, and actually coach in a league sponsored by that same team, something which has always been tough. Nevertheless, the next two weeks are going to bring out the best and worst of both fan bases. Smack talk on Facebook has already begun and the series has not even started yet. Friends will become enemies for the next two weeks. My own best friend sent me a message before saying, “Regardless of what happens in this next series, you’re still my best friend.” This is what an intense match-up like this does to people, and would you have it any other way? No, of course not! These are the NHL playoffs: do or die, and you might as well die immersed in the atmosphere that is going to sweep the Tri-State area.
Congratulations to the New York Rangers on their victory, and good luck in the series to come, though there is still plenty of work to do, and it will not be easy. It’s going to be a nail-biter, as the journey towards the Holy Grail is halfway complete!