Thursday, April 17, 2008
With a 5-3 victory Wednesday night, the New York Rangers have taken a 3-1 series lead over the New Jersey Devils. I stated a few posts ago that the Rangers have had a hex on the Devils all season long and it has continued in the playoffs.
This series is exactly what I thought it would be, close checking, great hitting, and some awesome goaltending by Lundqvist and Marty Brodeur. Each game really has been a toss-up, but the Rangers have continued to frustrate the Devils in the end (7-1 in the regular season, 3-1 in the playoffs - a 10-2 total domination). With game 5 Friday in Newark, it's going to be an uphill battle for Brent Sutter's crew. Personally, I think it's over, but you never know!
The best moment of the night (aside from the game itself) was a particular fan that had caught my eye. The fan was wearing an authentic Rangers jersey with the number 94 on it. It made me think, "Okay, that's nice - remembering the Stanley Cup squad in '94". But, when he turned his back towards me, it read "DEVILS FANS SUCK" - I burst out laughing! I've seen all the jerseys from various fans, but never have I seen a fan quite as creative as that. Just thought I'd share this little story.
Lastly, on a more personal note - my condolences go out to the family and friends of long time sports reporter Randy Smith. Smith had covered the Hartford Whalers when I was a player there and kept on going well after I was gone. He worked for the Manchester Journal Inquirer covering everything from hockey to golf. I was fortunate to have played golf and poker with him, as well as sharing a few beers and watching some Super Bowls back in the early 80's. He was one of a kind.
Rest In Peace, Randy. You will be missed.