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April 28, 2006

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Guys...I need your help. This is from one Ranger fan to another. I consider myself an absolutely huge fan of the team, without question in the top 1% in the world. Follow every game, every day, every move. And I love doing it. But honestly, right now, this is the first time in my life that I can remember not being excited about watching this team...and we're IN THE PLAYOFFS...I don't know how to describe it but it's like I know they are there but I can't get motivated for it, and this was after being amped to no end for games against Toronto back in February, for god sakes. It's the worst feeling, but I can't even really feel it; I'm just numb. I don't know what to say, how to react, anything when the Rangers come up after these 3 games against the Devils and the 5 losses before. Honestly, the loss to the Devils on April 7 (blew the 2-1 lead in the 3rd) was one of the worst losses I think I've ever dealt with...seething mad; couldn't even discuss it. But now, 7 more losses later, it's like I am indifferent, because I simply can't get into the games. The first periods have been so demoralizing that I can't get going.

I don't know, I just had to write something about this. I'm just still in disbeliefe of how everything changed this season just so quickly. I really hope I can get inspired after game 4.

Hi Ed, I don't have your exact feeling, but I'm feeling crappier than I would've expected. Mostly, my anxiety was rooted in not wanting this season to end. Or at least the part of the season that they were out there seemingly having fun and definitely winning games. I feel bad for them, because they look stagefrightened (?) and I feel sorry for us because they're doing this against the @#$%&! NJDs.

Recently I joked to a friend that maybe I couldn't handle a playoff berth for my team. But I doubt I'd feel this bad/sick/awful if we were down 0-3 to Buffalo. Or maybe I'm fooling myself. For the first game, I was totally amped up and hopeful, after all they put it in a terrific season. Now, I'm uncharacteristally relaxed and kind of blase and not surprised by a lousy outcome.

But that's only something I'd admit to a fan. Today in the elevator, someone making small talk asked "You're a De^!lz fan, right?" I grimaced and shook my head. "Oh! Rangers," she said as two guys behind me giggled. "Tough, huh?" Where I found defiance during a week I've only moped through the days, I confidently replied, "They're going to win tomorrow at home!"

Meanwhile, I put a new pack of tissues in my bag so I don't forget to bring them to the Garden tomorrow.

That's hardly help, but you should know you're not alone.

I'd say the uncharacteristically relaxed comment is accurate. Possibly too becuase I haven't seen playoffs since 1997; I sort of forgot that it's a different beast then the regular season. Also what has annoyed me is I have a ticket to game 6...and I was sure I would be able to use it...

In retrospect, the day Dubi put up the post about Henrik's day-to-day hip flexor injury is the day the music (Sweet Caroline?) died in New York. To my thinking, we really haven't had much of a chance since then. On the prior thread, some suggest Henrik is tired or psyched out; I believe he's still hurt, though certainly I can't prove that. Either way, given our goaltending situation, it really doesn't seem like a fair fight with NJ, which I think is the major reason for the feeling of resignation at this point.

But Ed, we'll always have Paris. That February game against Toronto that you mentioned was awesome, so when you reflect back on this season, reflect back on how good it felt watching the team play back then.

Aw, come on Ed, don't give up on game six just yet! Sure, it's pretty much a lock that the Devil's will be the ones to move on to round two, but I still think there's still a chance for the Rangers to make a series of it... even if they do it only to torture us! ;)

Seriously, though, I understand the "uncharacteristically relaxed" description completely. Through the end of season skid and first three playoff games my emotions ran the gammut: I was pissed off, nervous, sad, expectant, hopeful, shattered, confident, disapointed... you name it, I felt it. Thursday morning I woke up strangely at ease. Maybe the way to describe my feelings would be "calm acceptance". This just wasn't our year. Looking logically and dispassionately at this team, we probably all should have recognized it months ago. Somehow this team managed to play well above the level that reason suggested. And who can blame any of us for getting caught up in that? It sure made for a fun ride this season, didn't it?

I'll be going to game 4 tomorrow, and I'll admit that Wednesday night and for awhile on Thursday, I didn't even really want to go. To a playoff game! I was content to watch the season that made me fall in love with this team all over again end from the quiet and comfort of my own home. But then I started thinking of all the improbable things this team did this year... including, most recently, the come-from-behind win over Buffalo at the end of March, which I had the opportunity to witness first hand at the Garden. And I felt slightest glimmer of that old excitement start to build...

I'm not expecting or even hoping for miracles. I'll be satisfied if the keep the game close and score a couple goals. But I'm not quite ready to declare this dream season over on Saturday afternoon either.

In all honesty the only thing that gets me excited about the Rangers is the future not the today.

I am the lucky one as I get to see what kind of players the Rangers are going to have for tomorrow and beyond. When you see a Brandon Dubinsky show up in Hartford and scored 6 points in just 4 pro games, there is excitement building.

When players like Nigel Dawes, Greg Moore, Marc Staal and Colby Genoway are making important contributions to the Wolfpack there is a ton of hope for the future.

When you see prospects like Ken Roche of Boston U, Darin Olver of NMU, and Dylan Reese of Harvard coming back for key roles next season with their school teams there is a lot to get excited about.

When you are seeing a Ryan Callahan or a Jakub Petruzalek show that they want to get a shot at the next level then you have something to get excited about.

If you like a Marc Staal then boy are you going to love a Michael Sauer who possibly will be even a better defenseman than Staal. Then there is Brodie Dupont of Calgary who is a future power forward (and in my book better than Jessiman). Hey can't end this without mentioning Marc-Andre Cliche who is a sniper just waiting to break out.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, for a change there is a ton of hope for Ranger fans that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The draft class of 2004 could actually produce as many as 7 future Rangers (a good draft class is when you can develop TWO players).

IF they get swept out on Saturday in many ways it will be a good thing as the message will be sent about building too much of a finesse team that is dependent on one player as this Ranger team is. I for one hope it will open the door for some of these kids who I cited to earn roster spots next season.

Speaking of the future, wasn't Brodeur Lundqvist's age back in '94? That bodes well for many years of superior goaltending on our side.

There's a lot of young talent around this team and we saw some of it this year and even Renney mentioned that next season, they could be younger. Here's to seeing more of it tomorrow afternoon :-)

Thanks Jess for talking up our yutes. I completely agree with you about the talent that is on the rise in our farm system.
We weren't meant to compete for Lord Stanley this year anyway. Could have had a better end to the season but for those darn Olympics and those key injuries.
Our future though has never looked any better!

thanks for the rundown of what's to come, jess. i'm excited about seeing these guys at MSG and even more excited that management has taken to building a team the right way. let's hope they stay the course and the rangers become a force for years to come.

Ed, you have NO buissness thinking you are a the top 1% most die-hard ranger fans after that comment. Get off the bandwagon.

Pam

In my book Ed. throwaway, Lurker, Andrea and Laurie are the top 1% of Ranger fans.

Having read their comments all season long there is no way anyone can come here and try to tell anyone who is and who isn't a real Ranger fan.

In this and previous thread (as well as in other media)there are all sorts of speculations about Henriks weak performances lately. I´ve seen him play for allmost four years and have never seen any signs of him beeing anything but a big game goalie. I definately don´t believe that he´s having a mental collapse because of the play off. Neither do I believe he´s being tired or worn out. He has allways shown the signs of becoming hot when playing many games. Also is he normally bouncing back in the next game after a rare weak one. Some speculate that he is still hurting, but I really hope he´s not hiding a physical injury. That would be really stupid both to himself as well as to teammates and others. And even if he is a competitive player, I don´t think he is stupid.

Of the latest Rangergames, swedish TV only have covered game one so thats about what I´ve seen for myself. But in that game as well as judging from internet short clips of the Ottawa game and game three, I to have been stunned by what´s happened. By the way he has been acting (or not acting since he doesn´t show anything from his trademarks - charging, agressive and challenging) my speculation is that yes, it is mental and injury related. But not because of pressure or physical hipproblems, but because of uncounsiously beeing afraid of a new strain to the hip. Remember, he has never before had any injury that counts so this is all new to him. And even if he in his thinking mind believe he can play hard, it might not be so when the action really appears.

If my speculations are correct, and I actually hope they are, there are only two ways to react. Either put him in recurring situations at pregamepractice where he really needs to strech hard so he can be sure about the hip when the game starts. Or put him on an extended rest to really give him time to heal and trust the hip for future seasons.

Sorry guys that 1% comment was not to insult anyone or anything, but I just mentioned it because I've been a huge fan for so long, and this year was almost like nothing I've experienced, so to have it be SO deflating at the end is just completely bewildering for me. I'm always a Ranger fan through and through but like I said I just had to get some stuff out of me after this experience. BTW a special thanks to Dubi for a very well spoken email in response. Good luck Rangers tomorrow...get me to see that Game 6.

One of the most difficult side effects or is it affects of losing is the fact that Ranger fan is pitted against Ranger fan in a war of words. It's not just here, its everywhere, you will see in at the Rodent's site or where ever you may look. It's a natural reaction when tempers are short and the team is losing.
Ed, you may be putting some distance between yourself and the team to ease the pain of losing.
Funny when you think about it that way but it may be true. I don't doubt the loyalty of any fan that spends time at the BB. We are all here for one reason, we want success for this team. Looks like this won't be our celebration year but this team has a bright future. Tomorrow is a new game, lets see if Ed can get to game 6, you never know.
Go Rangers!

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