I think I actually had a couple of heart attacks Wednesday night. Sitting here in The Oracle office with no NBC Sports Network and orange walls that confine a group of people who don’t care much about sports created a much more stressful environment than you would think.
I don’t think I’ve ever checked nhl.com and Twitter so much in my life. It was just about the most manic experience, and I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t make either website crash. The Internet is stronger than I thought.
But then, around 11:30 p.m., it happened. I went to nhl.com for what must have been the 1,000 time and saw the picture of Blueshirts hugging one another. I screamed. Our Arts and Entertainment Editor Zan Strumfeld yelled at me. After the nerves passed, I could finally edit and layout my pages in peace.
The amount of stress the New York Rangers cause their fans is starting to get a little out of control. They’re a low-scoring team, so seeing a comfortable lead is rare. They have too many great opportunities that they are unable to capitalize on. And yeah, that power play.
However, they play hard and strong. They have the league’s best and most confident goaltender. They’re well-conditioned and have a winning-mentality.
This is why I’m starting to understand why fans and other hockey writers were talking about the possibility of the Rangers winning the you-know-what (how Harry Potter of me) this year.
I won’t lie, the thought of it frightens me to no end. It’s that exciting, nervous feeling; it’s like the first day of school when you have no clue about what your teachers or classmates will be like. It’s either going to turn out great or really bad.
Despite how good they’ve been all season, I’ve been skeptical of their cup chances. The power play needed to step up, the scoring needed to come forth, certain players needed to start producing more on offense (here’s looking at you, Brandon Dubinsky) and if the team was going to come out really strong, they had to keep it up for a full 60 minutes.
Well, those things improved, but not to the extent where you’d feel 100 percent safe. However, my faith in their sheer will-power is enough to make me forget the rest of the stuff that stands in their way.
I didn’t see game three (not yet anyway. Here I come “Rangers in 60”), but my crazed checking told the story. I started to feel better when I saw it was going to third OT. I knew that was it and Washington would end up being too run-down to keep up. That’s the thing about the Rangers and especially Henrik Lundqvist. They’re more well-conditioned than any of the teams left in the Eastern Conference. Their OT record in the playoffs is by no means stellar, but their victory on Wednesday feeds their confidence. And give some credit to the King, because there is a man who thrives and becomes bigger than he already is under pressure. That man deserves all the credit he gets.
I’m not saying anything else on this, but I will say I have become much more cautious and aware of my daily routines, what I wear on days the Rangers play and the company I keep when the Rangers are on.
Oh. And no shaving either. Hello, hairy legs and armpits.