Editor's Note: Today is apparently my six-year anniversary at SB Nation. And it's also apparently the amount of time before my father forced his way onto this space through his son. So without further ado, here is an article about the upcoming playoffs from my Dad.
Since my son runs this website for SB Nation and has written so many wonderful articles about his love for the Rangers and his experiences at the many games he has attended along with his insightful analysis I thought I'd write this personal article and hope he posts it for you all to read.
I'm not sure how to exactly describe the feeling every April as I wait in anticipation for the playoffs to begin. This year the playoffs were wrapped up pretty early, so I had more time to think and prepare for the journey as I wait for the games to begin. Interestingly enough this has not made me think about the things that can derail us more than usual. I still wonder what may come up and bite us along the way. Will the power play produce? Will we bury our chances?Can we be disciplined and dictate the pace of play and therefore the outcome of the game and the series? Will puck luck be on our side or against us? Can the fourth line be effective?
I do feel calmer than usual this year as I know Alain Vigneault will provide the proper guidance and calm from the bench for the players to feed off of. Keeping your head about you and not letting your emotions rule your thoughts are critical factors necessary to lift that precious piece of metal in two months and AV has that mentality down pat. We also have great leaders on the team with recent deep playoff experience that will help.
My hope is the Rangers will avoid serious injuries and get through the first two series in a reasonable amount of games. The run to the Stanley Cup is always a marathon rather than a sprint and you can run out of steam in the later stages of the playoffs if you have to tap out the tanks in the early rounds.
Being an avid sports fan I'm not entirely sure why nothing grabs me like hockey does. Sure being a season ticket holder most of my life and attending too many games to count helps, but it's something deeper and more meaningful. The players in hockey are so much more connected to each other than the other sports due to the number of games, the actual physical contact, the rivalries and genuine respect they have for each other. You also can't forget the skill they possess as they are doing everything at unbelievable speed on a sheet of ice with a frozen piece of rubber while someone else is trying to disrupt them every step of the way. It's also truly remarkable to watch and experience in person.
And there is also that energy that is in the building, growing with each game, working towards an ultimate goal, you feel like you are part of the will they need to find success. I can remember the feeling in 94' and again last year and all I can say is you have to be there to truly understand.
The other aspect is the bond I have with my son who has been attending games his entire life and has seen most everything the game has to offer in his young life. His love and knowledge of the game allows him to manage this site for SB Nation and makes me very proud of him and the fan and young man he has become. Last year in particular being the deepest run we had in 20 years created some monster memories for us to add to our growing collection. But in the end every year so far for him has ended in some level of disappointment. That's part of being a sports fan and rooting for any team, all but one group goes out missing out on the grand prize.
But this year is different for me. I feel the same way I did in 94'. Someone is going to have to take what we feel is rightfully ours away from us this year. Unless we have some bad luck or serious injury to contend with I'm hopeful my son will experience something that is truly not describable unless you actually live it. I know it's been a long time for me but I've had that experience and it's something you never forget.
LETS GO RANGERS