So what if the New York Rangers are in a 1-3 hole against
the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into game 5 on Pittsburgh ice. The one thing
that the Rangers owe themselves, owe their coaches and even us fans is 60
minutes of effort win or lose.
Sure of course I want to see the Rangers try to bring it
back to the Garden for a game 6 but to me what matters more is seeing this team
reverse the ugly effort we saw Wednesday evening. If this team is going to fall
to the Penguins then go down fighting, go down giving a total team effort but
most of all go down with some pride and dignity to that Ranger uniform.
Losing a playoff series isn’t a new feeling for me as I have
been watching the Rangers lose playoff series in every possible way. Some were
heartbreaking like Bobby Orr’s goal in 1972 or JD’s unknown injured groin
against the Canadians as those were times where Ranger fans thought that this
really was going to be our year.
Then there was 1974 when Dale Rolfe took a terrible beating
from Flyer goon Dave Schultz in game 7 while his Ranger teammates did nothing.
It was a very dark day to be a Ranger fan and the second most embarrassing day
to be a Ranger fan in my eyes (The night Ed Giacomin returned and Ranger fans
turned against the team and rooted for Eddie and the Detroit Red Wings is
So that is why if the Rangers are to fall on Friday then
they need to do it by giving their best so no excuses can be made about losing
this series. Maybe that is the biggest problem in the salary cap and free agent
era as players don’t have the same loyalty to the uniform.
Ask any Ranger player from the 1970s and earlier and you
will see how much being a Ranger meant to them. The uniform, the city and the
fans meant something to the players and it would be nice if the current team
would understand what the bond between the team and its fans means.
Forget this “we have to take things one game at a time” as
this team hasn’t shown it can win back to back games so focus only on game 5
and give us everything you have if being a Ranger means as much to you as it
does to the Ranger fans.
It is the least the team can do.