The cure for Rangers withdrawal


Playoff hockey continues tonight in Pittsburgh. But a Game 2 between a team the Rangers should’ve beat in the Senators and the always hated Penguins just isn’t doing it for me. It only numbs the pain.

Sure. I’ll watch because it’s the Conference Final and hockey. But it’s very hard for any loyal True Blue fan to get too enthused over the boring Final 4. Yes. I went there. I don’t care for either Ottawa or Pittsburgh. I am pulling for the lesser of two evils. I’m in on Team Karlsson and Craig Anderson.

They only feature three former Rangers. Big Game Brass, Viktor Stalberg and the throw in in the infamous Gomez for McDonagh deal, Tom Pyatt. So I was happy Bobby Ryan scored to win Game 1 on a breakaway with a sweet backhand top finish from guess who. J.G. Pageau. John Druce himself 26 years later. Or is it 27? I lost count.

Isnt that how it works when your team gets eliminated in mind numbing fashion. Was that a week ago? Oh yeah. Once the calendar hits Tuesday. I was there. Many of us were. We were loud and extremely supportive even warn the writing was on the wall.

Has Kreider taken the open shot yet with Hank pulled? Or is he still circling the net taking away the angle and dashing our last hopes? Has anyone discovered the whereabouts of J.T. Miller? What about the always responsible and brutally honest Stepan? If only he Step’ed up like in 2015 doing in the hopeless Caps. At least we don’t root for them. My god.

To be honest, Nashville vs Anaheim is great hockey. I’m going for the Preds and P.K. Subban. Plus Lundqvist lite Rinne. They’re fun to watch. They also have the best 1-4 D in the league with my boy Josi headlining it with Ryan Ellis, P.K. and Ekholm. Plus ex-Cap first rounder Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and the pesky James Neal.

The Ducks got Game 2 because they’re resilient. They dug out of a two-goal hole and evened up the series with a 5-3 win. Getzlaf is in beast mode and Kesler is the most loathed American hockey player because he does the dirty work. Rakell finishes and Jakob Silfverberg is on fire. Randy Carlyle has it all working a decade later with Getzlaf and Perry the lone holdovers from that championship team. Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen are leading a good young D corps and USA hero John Gibson is stopping pucks.

So, it’s compelling hockey. But I can’t help but think it should be us vs Crosby, Malkin and the Pens. They likely would’ve gotten killed by the Pens speed and grit. Guys like Rust, Guentzel and Sheary would’ve driven us batty along with Hornqvist and that pest Kunitz. But with Marc-Andre Fleury in net? How soon does Sullivan pull him for Matt Murray if Ottawa gets the jump?

Missing our favorite Blueshirts? Lundqvist and Lindberg are repping Sweden at The Worlds while Purple Hayes had the good fortune to play with Johnny Hockey and Eichel yesterday.

Rangers withdrawal comes in all forms. Missing MSG’s over dramatic opening with the playoff intro. The pump up music. The players too. Some of who won’t be back in October. We only have to wait five more months. Can I bury myself in a Rangers playoff towel now?

Hockey continues and I am in a bad mood. Cheers guys. Golf or tennis anyone?

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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