Way to kick us while we’re down

I didn’t watch tonight’s game. I didn’t have to. Anyone with a brain knew the Wolf Pack had no chance against the Devils who are going to the playoffs no matter how inept Toronto is. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, so yeah. You’re better off. The NHL is a total embarrassment.

As big a fan as I am, I can decide when enough’s enough. The Rangers are fielding a AHL team with Jesper Fast done for the remainder and Mats Zuccarello likely too. So, they’re even worse than the outfit that got annihilated by the Tampa Blueshirts last Friday.

Since it is my week off and I haven’t been feeling well which doesn’t have much to do with the weather, I didn’t bother to put on the game. Why would any Ranger fan watch that crap? I believe in torment to a point but not in Game 80 against the arrogant Hudson rival that’s been waiting to kick us while we’re down.

This has nothing to do with the players on the Devils. I like and respect them. They’ve done the same thing we did in ’05-06 when the same biased media wrote our team off. Driven teams who are together feed off that and use it as a tool. Kudos to Jersey on accomplishing what they have. They kicked the Rangers’ ass all over Newark. The final score read Devils 5, Rangers 2. But it was never competitive. They could easily have ran it up and really humiliated them if they wanted to. A tip of the cap to John Hynes.

There’s something to be said for professionalism when you represent a organization. I don’t care who you are. If you’re employed by one, you should handle yourself a certain way. That certainly applies to the National Hockey League. In all my years on social media, I’ve seen plenty of things that went over the top. There have been worse instances.

Whoever runs the New Jersey Devils Twitter account should lose their job. Funny enough, I’ve taken some good natured ribbing by my Devil friends Online. They’ve coined the phrase that the official Devils account used after MVP Taylor Hart Hall whipped a penalty shot past a frozen Henrik Lundqvist. It was his second of the game (39th overall) and fourth point of the game. I was following the action on Twitter. So, after the friendly banter of, “What Time Is It?,” from both Rob and Chris in our Facebook chat, I made a startling discovery in a Tweet that was a lot more low class from a professional team who obviously may as well be run by a troll with no regard for anything.

The whole joke is something I’ve heard from Rob and Chris plenty of times. Especially the last couple of years when it comes to our egomaniac of a goalie. He can be but MSG will never go there. Lundqvist is more professional off the ice. He sits at his locker after every win or loss. There have been a lot more humiliating losses this year. He’s not the same goalie. How can he be? So, the Devils went there adding fuel to the fire that is the rivalry. Only they poured gasoline on it with more.

I don’t know what they were going for other than the obvious button push. I know plenty of Devils fans here and through Twitter. They’re nice. I will lend support to their team in the first round. Especially if they get the Pens and the crier. They have a likable team that’s easy to root for. Hall is up to 93 points. I predicted he would go for five points in a 6-1 rout. I was not far off. He needs four points to pass Patrik Elias’ single season record of 96 points set in ’00-01. I hope he gets it.

I don’t know if it’s good to be so self absorbed with our team. Do we matter that much? Are we really that important? It’s a rivalry. I get it. I don’t remember our social media account making any controversial tweets the last six years to tweak the Devil side. That’s because the Rangers don’t do it. I’ll admit their account can be a little boring. They don’t interact with fans much. I don’t know if it’s a Dolan mandate. But their reporters are very buttoned up.

My favorite MSG reporter is Steve Valiquette because he actually will respond occasionally to tweets and like ones. He even followed me. He also doesn’t pull any punches. He has a personality. I wish more did. Amanda Borges does too but she’s not going to show it on Twitter. Maybe she’s being watched or is careful. She’s very good at her job. I hope she’s back for a third year.

The Devils employees are more interactive. Maybe it’s a Jersey thing as one of my followers told me tongue in cheek. I have a very good relationship with our followers probably because I’m level headed and don’t lack humor or decency. I recognize that it’s a good thing the Devils will be in the playoffs. Even with the Rangers at the other end of the spectrum.

I find it strange that it was the other way around last year and for five others. But not a peep out of the Devils Twitter. I believe when you’re good, you win with class. Not act like a asshole. Maybe it’s me.

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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