The most notable thing for Boston sports fans regarding the NHL playoffs in the past week has been the Montreal Canadiens finally seeing an end to their Cinderella run that makes everyone with a 617 area code hate themselves. Thank God. I couldn’t see the Habs win in a year in which they beat the Bruins, which is also a year that they have Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin doing weasley things.
Side note: For whatever it’s worth, this year’s Habs team an fanbase has been very bearable, at least by Hab standards. Carey Price and PK Subban are respectable (the latter gets way too much vitriol, he’s just good and flashy, so people hate… he does dive a lot though), the players haven’t been the kind of tools they were in 2011 — except for the guys that Lucic wants to kill, and the fans didn’t do any BS things like call the cops on Chara or boo our national anthem. Everything about the Canadiens wasn’t actually terrible this year. So why is this just a side note? Because they were only good because of low standards. We don’t say that Brandon Prust is a really good NHL player just because you can compare him to Douglas Murray, right?
So it’s nice that the Frenchies are out, but there’s 2 reasons that the loss doesn’t feel as good as one would expect, only a round after they beat the B’s. The first is that Carey Price was injured, so now the Habs and their fans do have a legitimate excuse. Remember, as hard as it is to admit, this is the guy who outplayed Tuukka in the 2nd round, so there’s a definite chance he would’ve done the same against Lundqvist. It would be nice if the Habs went down in flame without a legit excuse to point to.
And the second reason is that it was the New York Rangers who beat them, and the Rangers play in New York. Surely, I hate a New York team, no?
Well, I never like seeing New York sports fans happy. That being said, as far as this Rangers team goes, it’s hard to hate. There are a lot of reasons that I just can’t, and I’ll show them off here.
- I love Derek Stepan. He is a beastly, two way, hardworking center at just 23 years old. He also had a hot girlfriend at the time of 24/7 2 years ago, and, here’s the big one, he’s American. That’s enough reason for me to like him.
- Ryan McDonagh. Without the part of his girlfriend, because I don’t know of that part of his life, he’s the defenseman version of Stepan. Right down to the American Olympic team part. Except he’s better. Anytime some mild idiot says that Dan Girardi is the best defenseman on the team, or anyone some complete idiot says that Marc Staal is the blueshirts’ best blueliner, remind them how big of a liar they are.
- I just gotta respect Henrik Lundqvist. It’s just hard not to.
- Chris Kreider. Boston College. Players better in the playoffs.
- I want idiots to stop giving Rick Nash shit for no reason. Yes, he’s overpaid. Yes, he probably should score a little more. But, if you’re going to say “I admit that he’s playing really well overall, but…” then there’s no “but.” If he’s doing well, hop off.
- I don’t like Alain Vingneault, but I never hated him from the Canucks. He, Cory Schneider, and Ryan Kesler are the only guys on that team who I don’t think really deserve that 2011 Canucks team stink.
Now, there are some things I don’t like. I don’t like how Marty St. Louis forced his way out of Tampa to NYC, I don’t like Benoit Pouliot, even if he was admittedly very good for the Bruins for the role that he had to play, and I still don’t like the fact that they’re in New York. But for a New York team, I don’t mind them.
Also, I have this weird need to hold out hope that the B’s will be the best team of the post-2005 lockout era, partly so that people will give Peter Chiarealli the credit he deserves, even if he does make some clear mistakes. If the Hawks win, the B’s can’t take that crown with a win next year. If the Kings win, it’ll be harder to do, since they’ll also have 2 wins like the Blackhawks. So I’m rooting for the Rangers in the finals.