TDR is a working professional in entertainment and is obsessed with the game of hockey. More four years ago, this site emerged as a means (or an outlet) to tell some truth'isms about the game post-lockout, rather than the crud fed to us through knuckleheads like Jimmy Dolan and his lemmings universe. Today, there are a hundred Rangers sites and is thankful and grateful to all those that have come after him, but honorable thanks go to his fellow Dark-writers, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed. And "Let's Go Rangers!"
Bio of Graying Mantis
Graying Mantis is in fact a graying legal practitioner by day (and sometimes, alas, by night). In the cobwebs of his memory, he recalls starting to follow the Blueshirts in 1970 and remembers watching pivotal playoff games against the Blackhawks on a snow-covered Hartford t.v. channel in their 1972 march to the Finals. Giacomin, Gilbert, Ratelle, and Hadfield seen skating on a small B&W TV screens always will be among his first Ranger memories. He is grateful beyond words for the opportunity to work with his colleagues here in their never ending battle to inform and entertain. Most of all, he appreciates the chance to engage with fellow hockey fans.
Bio of J_Undisputed
"J_Undisputed is an Information Tech Professional; a student, and on and off in his dreams, Mike Richter. He caught his first glimpse of Rangers Hockey when an overtime preempted his favorite pro wrestling broadcast on WWOR-9 one late saturday night when he was 5 and he's been hooked ever since. He's been watching the Rangers for 30 years despite family attempts to make him an Islander Fan (Rest easy...they're out of the will). What started as a minor annoyance has become a life long passion (and at times, a frustration...But he wouldn't trade it for anything). Lets Go Rangers!"
Bio of General Ganz
General Ganz is a cynical yet well-informed student of the human spirit. He's a professional of sorts, with a post-graduate education, some experience working in real companies, and some limited athletic ability. The total small package. He got picked on a fair bit as a kid, and he experienced his first human-non-relation kiss in his teens. He also grew up on the other side of the tracks, thereby helping to cultivate a healthy contempt for dreamers and optimists whose rosy upbringing gave them something to smile about, even when "life produced lemons." Like it or not, his only mission is to point out the potholes you're lucky enough to miss on your drive to work. To find the blemish on your daughter's carefully-stitched (and not-yet-paid-for) wedding dress. To take that little smidgen of hope that your favorite hockey teams fill you with, and pour orange paint on it. Oh, and he is a Blueshirts fan, and takes most of his fashion direction from Ron Duguay (whose name he dropped as a way to close the deal on that first kiss).
1. Two bad games in a row 2. Two points we didn't get.
The Dark Ranger and The Blueshirts are in a tight spot these days and after the second loss with only six games remaining in the season -- we find playoff qualification hardly a sure thing. Those deep conflicted feelings we all share about our Blueshirts are beginning to show once again - yes, they are a fast moving, puck pushing attack hockey team AND yes, they are certainly a better team with Sean Avery, Nik Antropov and (dare I say) Nik Zherdev actually playing hockey these last few months, AND yes, we have a fast no-nonsense talking coach in Torts that gives our players and the fans confidence that 'lazy' and 'defense hockey' is a thing of the past.
But....the defense cannot secure the center. This was the case this afternoon and it has been all season. Our D-men cannot hold back the onslaught of a playoff-minded Atlantic division rival. Roszival is out for another couple of weeks due to injury, Paul Mara looked like a version of Rocky IV and we are in desperate need for blueline recovery and much needed support. Ooh...look for call-ups from Hartford to secure our 'D'-needs, Corey Potter or Bobby Sanguinetti to take on the role at the most crucial and honest point in the season. That should be fun to watch against the final two games against the Philadelphia Flyers!!?
The Blueshirts have six games remaining, all against teams that are higher in the standings than the Rangers - so it's going to be a tough road ahead. No doubt, but I do believe they have it in them to be contenders in the final stretch. Everyone plays differently in the playoffs. Aside from some of the most atrocious referee calls and nine penalties called against the Blueshirts (all killed, thank you kindly), without discussing the moments of the game that led to our loss I wanted to fundamentally discuss the state of the New York Rangers.
Is this a team that can get past the first round in the playoffs? Are they capable of actually reaching the Cup? How might one answer without carrying the pessimism of the last seven months?
On a tangent, I was participating in one of the NHL media junkets where they typically interview someone important or relevant in hockey and allow media and bloggers to ask questions live. Because of the "critical Rangers' nature" of this site, The Dark Ranger has never been given permission to participate in a Rangers interview, but I was present when the Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ken Hitchcock, was asked about how it felt to potentially reach the playoffs for the first time in Columbus. I took interest in his words (also because he successfully coached the Philadelphia Flyers for years) and I enjoyed that he was non specific in his answers. He described what it felt like getting into the playoffs, the pride & glory of the experience, and the vindication of having worked so hard and being given the chance to win the Cup. He wasn't even sure his team could get far into the playoffs, but he did describe "those teams that you know really want it -- you know what I mean?....the teams that are playing their hearts out, burning up the ice with a knowing that there are bigger things ahead. Fear. Guts. Pride. You know which teams have it and which teams don't have it. My team has it!" Now this was Ken Hitchcock talking about the Columbus Blue Jackets.
What is John Tortorella saying? Do we have it? Can we WIN it?
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