What's a Rangers To Do?
Ah yes, the Stanley Cup Finals; where my team has failed to reach again for the 16th straight season. Instead I'm subjected to seeing one of our most bitter rivals attempt to break their long cup drought, deeply envious of their opportunity. As a hockey fan I have to have some interest in the outcome, right? Of course I do.
Let's see, Blackhawks versus Flyers, who to root for? On one hand you have an up-and-coming Western Conference club that hasn't won a cup in nearly 50 years battling a tough Flyers squad which is in the midst of a 35 year drought of its own.
The Blackhawks are also an Original 6 team but I wouldn't say they've ever really been a bitter rival of ours.
The Flyers on the other hand, oh yes, they are a bitter, bitter rival.
i've always believed if you are a passionate fan you will detest the teams that play within your division. They should be your biggest rivals and in the case of the NHL's Atlantic Division I believe that is definitely the case.
Flyers, Devils, Penguins, and Islanders. I dislike them all. Right now though, I hate the Flyers and Penguins more than anyone else. Why? Well truthfully the Penguins are just so talented that unless yo are a Penguins fan you just don't like them. For proof, ask a non-Penguins fan if Sydney Crosby is a whiner. I'm confident 90% will agree he is.
The Flyers are a different case though. I've never liked them. I wasn't even born when they won their last cup but I grew up with stories of the "Bullies." Then Eric "Wunderkind" Lindros arrived on the scene demanding a trade from the team that drafted him, the Quebec Nordiques. Imagine that the right to add Lindros came into conflict between the Flyers and Rangers. The Flyers won on an arbitrators decision.
No one knows how Lindros' career may have turned out had he become a Ranger. I do know that several of the players the Rangers would have parted with; Doug Weight, Tony Amonte and Alexei Kovalev, played key roles (some indirectly) on the 1994 team. Weight was dealt to Edmonton for Esa Tikkanen while Amonte was spun to Chicago for Brian Noonan and the now immortal Stephane Matteau. Kovalev had a nice playoff run too. Regardless, losing the arbitrators decision just exasperated the Rangers fans distaste for the Flyers.
So to recap, I have no ill-will for the Blackhawks. I thoroughly detest the Flyers. Hmmm, let's see, what to do. I guess I really have no choice. Go Blackhawks!!!!!!