So why should you root for the New York Rangers when there are fifteen other teams to choose from in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Right off the bat, I feel it is my duty to inform you that the other teams are run by reptilians and if any of their teams should win the cup we are one step closer to being in chains, building ornate pyramids out of cumbersome oversized bricks for our lizard overlords. Not buying it? Okay, well I have some other reasons why you should be rooting for the Rangers in the playoffs.
Because of Rick Nash. Remember that scene in the first Jurassic Park where the T-Rex is magically inside of a building and unintentionally rescues Dr. Grant and company from the creepily intelligent and bloodthirsty velociraptors? Remember how the raptors were all hanging on the T-Rex and were trying to bring him down but he just overpowered them by going into beast mode and ended up jacking them all up? That is what Rick Nash does to opposing defensemen though he doesn't feast on their sweet, supple flesh afterwards. Instead, he just humiliates and overpowers them and scores amazing goals.
Because of Ryan Callahan. If the human equivalent of Tyrannosaurs isn't your thing maybe you'll enjoy watching and cheering for the man we at Blueshirt Banter call Captain America. Ryan Callahan isn't the biggest player but he certainly has one of the biggest hearts in the league. Callahan is that guy who will do everything and anything to help his team win. Callahan is among the league leaders in hits, he blocks more shots than any forward in the league (66 on the year), and he never takes a shift off.
Cally plays the game the way it should be played, honest and hard. If you can't find something to like about Ryan Callahan than to be perfectly honest I don't want you rooting for the Rangers. Much like Wolverine, Cally isn't afraid to do the dirty work but unlike Wolverine, Cally doesn't have a troubled past or a penchant for smoking cigars. He also has the leadership skills of Cyclops. So... Callahan is more or less Wolverine with leadership qualities and possibly the ability to fire an optic blast from his eyes. Sounds pretty amazing huh? Of course it does.
Because of Henrik Lundqvist. Seriously, have you seen how handsome Hank is? Hank is so handsome he makes Jon Hamm look like Bill Bologna. Okay that was an awful joke but you get the idea. Lundqvist is the best goaltender in the world and he has a gold medal, a Vezina Award, and a charming smile to prove it. The only thing that is really missing from his trophy case is the Stanley Cup.
Lundqvist is an intense competitor and one of the classiest and most interesting players in the league. He's a rockstar that looks like a rugged man-model that just so happens to be best player at his position since the 2004-2005 NHL lockout. As King Henrik goes so do the Rangers go and it just so happens that right now the King of New York is on top of his game and is ready to carry his team deep into the playoffs.
Because of the storylines. The Rangers were on many lists as favorites to win the Cup before the season got underway, especially after the acquisition of Nash, but things have changed quite a bit since then. The Rangers are now a hungry team with a lot to prove both to the rest of the league and to themselves. How bad do the Rangers want the Cup? The Rangers shipped off star winger Marian Gaborik to #Lumbus for Derick Brassard, John Moore, and Derek Dorsett to bring more depth to a team that desperately needed it and sent a handful of draft picks to the San Jose sharks for power forward Ryane Clowe.
The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year but fell to the New Jersey Devils in six games. This year they're looking to improve on last year's playoff run and so long as the team gets healthy (Clowe, Marc Staal, Brian Boyle, and Derek Dorsett are all banged up) and Lundqvist plays like Lundqvist they are exactly the kind of team that can surprise people. It certainly helps that the Rangers are coming off their best month of hockey and are poised to carry it into the postseason. They have caught fire just at the right time, does that sound familiar to any recent playoff success story to you?
Because it's New York. Since 1926 the Rangers have called New York City and Madison Square Garden home. The Rangers, an original six team, have a long, storied history and more tradition than you can shake a stick at. Imagine having to play in front of diehard fans in the most influential, powerful, and famous city in the civilized world. It certainly isn't easy and when the Rangers do manage to win they deserve all of the love that a city as big and amazing as New York has to offer. I know that not everyone likes New York City (though it makes me wonder who the hell buys all of those I <3 NY tshirts) but you have to, at the very least, respect it. After all, as the great philosopher Keys told us, New York is a concrete jungle where dreams are made.
Hopefully I have convinced some of you to join the massive transcontinental army that is the New York Rangers fanbase, even if it is just temporarily. Maybe your team got eliminated, maybe you're new to hockey, or maybe you're one of those folks who just love the game and doesn't pledge your loyalty to any one team.
Some of us may be loud and obnoxious but we are, for the most part, friendly people that will be thrilled to have you join us in cheering on our Blueshirts and to share our deep love of hockey with you. Thank for your time. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here's to an entertaining and unforgettable 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Seriously though, the other teams are run by reptilians. Why am I the only one willing to address it? We should probably stay on top of that. Let's go Rangers.