5 Observations about the New York Rangers after a hiatus

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Filip Chytil #72 of the New York Rangers celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2022 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Filip Chytil #72 of the New York Rangers celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2022 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Rangers celebrate a goal by Lafreniere
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 05: Alexis Lafreniere #13 of the New York Rangers celebrates his game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden on December 05, 2022 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Blues 6-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

OK, I’m done

The hiatus is over.  I look forward to watching the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs come to town, riding a 15-game  point streak with an 11-0-4 record.  Which New York Rangers team will we see?  I have absolutely no idea.

But a loss to the Maple Leafs won’t be so bad, having suffered through the misery of the Islanders’ four straight Stanley Cups, the seven-year playoff drought, and the playoffs disappointments of the Lundqvist era.

It’s okay to be a pessimist if you are a Rangers fan.  My god, with one Stanley Cup in 81 seasons, you have to be.  But if you are a Ranger fan you have hope and you live for the great memories.  A short list includes Gretzky’s run to the ECF in 1997, Stepan’s Game 7 OT goal over Washington, the 2014 run to the Final, Herbie Brooks’s smurfs beating the Flyers in 1983, and many, many more.

The Blueshirts added a few great moments to their history last season.  All we can hope is that they find a way to do it again. And in a salary cap era in a highly competitive NHL, it won’t be easy.  But please, if they don’t make the playoffs or lose in the First Round, don’t say “I told you so.”  That’s not being a Ranger fan.

And again, right now, the Rangers are in the playoffs.

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