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Rangers Vs. Islanders: Open Game Thread

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This is your open game thread for the Rangers opening night matchup against the Islanders!

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

You wake up because the sunlight from the sunrise is shining through the holes in your tent.

It's been your home for the past three months, deep enough in the woods where no one could find you, but close enough that every now and again you could hear a train horn softly shouting in the distance that reminds you there is life out there. The black hole that is the Rangers offseason is close to ending.

You read Mike's summer survival guide and took it too seriously. You were done with jobs, responsibilities, bills and having your food cooked before eating it. You were ready for raw meat. The thrill of the hunt. The knowledge that your total ineptitude when it came to hunting live game might actually cost you your life.

But you survived. You survived ...

Exiting your tent is far easier than it should be. If you could even call it a tent, that is. The tarps you hastily fashioned together to make a structure worthy of living had become ragged and torn. The wolves got to it first. Then the bears. Dylan McIlrath stayed with you a while and though he was nice, he often knocked things over. He was there to "find his game" although he mentioned many times he couldn't figure out why "it wasn't good enough when it was clearly better than others." He was a tender man, who cried often and fought off a grizzly with his bear hands. Without him you would have died.

He had left long ago. You cried the first night you were without him.

Then that strange hitchhiker who promised you he could teach you to "survive on jam and jam alone" showed up. Maybe it was the harsh summer that led you to trust the man and share the warmth of your tent with him. Maybe it was the lack of water. Or maybe you shouldn't have ingested that raw squirrel meat you had scavenged from that bear den. Either way, when he revealed himself to be John Tortorella you promptly threw him out. He tried to "jam" you with a knife. You fought him off but not before he left enormous slash marks in the tarp. Rain leaked though them. You were often wet. It sucked.

The sun did little to warm your bones on this morrow. It was freezing, the nip in the air a cruel and welcomed reminder that hockey was in sight. That the sport you have hidden from the past three months is now there for you once again.

A rumbling in your stomach told you the berries you had been drying wouldn't be enough to stave off the pangs of hunger. Not on this day. No, on this day you must feast. And on this day, you would feast well ..

There was a wild boar den you had avoided these past few months. They were huge, angry and dangerous. If there was ever a day to take them on, though, today was it. Nothing but the sweet, savory boar hide would quench your hunger.

***

You should have chosen the weakest boar. You didn't. You chose the leader -- the alpha, who also happened to be the biggest boar in the cave.

Running into battle with nothing more than the cloths on your back and a hockey stick with a shiv carved into the butt of the shaft you welcomed the piercing danger of the boar's tusks. Cuts and bruises appeared on your body almost on their own, and the battle waged long into the night. Eventually you bested the beast, your stick finally piercing the hard exterior.

Too tired to truly enjoy the meal, you took a bite of the hide, stood up and bellowed "I am now the king of both man and boar and also a New York Rangers fan."

With the ritual done, you made your march back to civilization. You could still make out the "Rangerstown" sign you left for yourself months ago when you entered this forsaken place.