Randomly yesterday I decided to pick it up again and began working my way further through Dryden's well-written prose. I am still far from the finish but I came across a passage that I needed to share here. It was originally written about the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were in the depths of the ineptitude of the Harold Ballard era. I took license to change it to the Rangers as it certainly correlates with the current state of the Rangers and unequivocally describes exactly how I feel right now, with the Blueshirts' season over:
'It is easy to say that a fan can stay at home, or at home he can change a channel and watch something else. But it isn't as simple as that. A sports fan loves his sport. A fan in New York loves hockey, and if the Rangers are bad, he loses something he loves and has no way to replace the loss.'The playoffs start tonight and I'll hop on the bandwagon of my secondary and tertiary favourite teams by Dryden is right, something is gone and it won't be the same watching these games. The highs won't be as high and the lows certainly won't be as low.
It will be glorious to see the Stanley Cup raise, but with our boys not in the battle, it is somewhat hollow, and we can only hope and pray that next season will be able to fill that which went missing. Sadly, things being what they are here on Broadway, that feeling of loss as become all too familiar and those hopes and prayers have gone unanswered.
And yet still we hope, and still we pray, because us fans in New York love our hockey and that love can not, and will not, be lost.