Rangers Go For The Clincher
Chance number two comes tonight. The Rangers, on the verge of closing out the Eastern Conference, visit a place they have suffered many horrors. Yes, the city of Philadelphia and the Flyers host the Rangers tonight!
For a long time Rangers fan, even here in Albany, home of the arch-rival New Jersey Devils top farm club proves that love for the Rangers remains strong.
Yet it is Philadelphia that I loathe even more then Jersey. I can’t think of anything better than clinching the East and home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, then going for the clinch in the city I loathe against the team I detest the most.
I still have vivid memories of just two years ago, when the Rangers and Flyers battled the last day of the year. Winner gets into the playoffs with the 8th seed, loser stays home. 60 minutes, the teams battle with no winner decided.
Into OT they go, and 5 minutes later still no winner. To the shootout we go. The Rangers have their top scorer marion Gaborik waiting to take his shot. But his shot never comes as Ranger coach John Torterrella decides not to use Gaborik and they lose the shootout.
The Flyers go on to win that game, and then come off the deck against the Bruins, down 3 games to none and go all the way to the Cup Finals where they lose to Chicago. If not for lack of using Gaborik, the Flyers might not have ever gotten to the first round.
My point is this. Philly has been the city of horrors for the beloved Rangers. Tonight NY has a chance to exorcise some of those demons with a victory and a clinch. The Rangers lost their first attempt at it Sunday night at home vs Tim Thomas and the Bruins 2-1.
For me (and other long time Ranger fans), winning the Conference in Philly would be even sweeter. A victory also means the Rangers would sweep all 6 contests against their long-time rival, and how wonderful would that be?