On the day one of the most anticipated NHL playoff series is about to begin, you can’t help but wonder if it was all staged. I don’t know what’s more disturbing: that Rangers fans generally feel that the NHL brass is out to get them, or that we have all come to hate said NHL brass (just Gary Bettman really) so much that we actually think they would fix the sport we all love.
It got me thinking back to the Rangers opening series last year against the Devils. The general consensus amongst Rangers fans was that the refs were out to get us because all the higher-ups are so infatuated with Martin Brodeur, and would have liked nothing better than see the Devils advance. But when you consider the fact that the Devils can’t even sellout their own home arena for playoff games and that half the people in the stands were rooting for the opposing team anyway, why would the NHL rather have the Devils advance instead of an Original Six franchise. The Rangers wouldn’t be heading out to the Rock if the Devils were playing someone else. So no conspiracy there.
That brings me back to this year, and the feeling again that the NHL was out to get us. A sport pining for publicity, getting a second round matchup between the two youngest, brightest stars in the game. I honestly think they would only play two games a week just to get the games on NBC.
But how awesome would a Rangers-Bruins series have been? New York and Boston at it again except this time on 200 feet of ice instead of a diamond. Two proud, Original Six franchises meeting in the playoffs, an occurrence that almost never happens anymore with the exception of Boston and Montreal. The start of the series would coincide with a two game set between the Yanks and Sawks on May 4th and 5th. I could imagine Joe Girardi and Terry Francona being asked about the series, perhaps getting the die-hard baseball who casually watches hockey more interested. Using America’s pasttime for some publicity…I’m cool with that.
The point I’m trying to reach is that there are no conspiracies against the Rangers. While it may look that way because the officiating is so absurd and inconsistent, its just our paranoia as fans that gets the best of us. Its us trying to rationalize as to why our team is losing and why our team got eliminated. So the general belief that the NHL is a conspiracy driven league should end. Even though it was awfully convienient that Crosby had a chance to win a shootout on national television on New Year’s Day in a snowstorm during an outdoor hockey game huh? Hmmmm…….