This is your friend @TheBroadwayHat. I hope you're all familiar with me and my shenanigans on Twitter. I have blown in from Twitter and have landed on TheNYRBlog.
About a month and a half ago, Kevin reached out to me and asked quite nicely (probably drunk), if I would contribute to his blog on a regular basis. I gladly agreed.
After thinking about it for quite some time, I realized I didn't really know what I wanted to say, or talk about. I've always loved writing, and once I started writing this article, it was hard to stop.
I started off with one topic us as Rangers fans can agree upon (I'll get to it in a bit) and just went from there. I have no experience (outside of my Twitter account) in writing for anything online, so I ask you to please be patient while I find my groove and niche.
Since, Kevin (@TheNYRBlog), James (@TheWrage), Adam (@Herman_NYRBlog) and Neill (@thenyrblogneill) have already been doing such fantastic jobs of reporting on the state of the league and the NY Rangers respectively, I did not (and still don't), want to take any focus away from what they've been doing.
I hope what follows then, will resonate with everyone reading this blog and with some luck, guide and shape this column into whatever it may become.
With that out of the way, I would like to start this off with this;
THE GOD DAMN POWER PLAY.
Yes, that's right. I'm sure just reading those words above made you sigh or groan in despair. Your face firmly buried in both your hands, while shaking your head.
Those words have invoked more rage, anger and absolute MISERABLENESS than any other event, or recent occurrence in the history of the New York Rangers'?
As soon as the play-by-play commentator (I don't care who it is) announces that the Rangers are going to be handed a power play of some sort, I'm almost 99.999% sure that every NYR fan currently watching, or listening into that particular game has done one at least one of the following at some point in time:
• Gone for a bathroom break
• Got up to get another drink
• Gone to their phone/laptop/computer, loaded up Twitter.com and proceeded to start typing angrily in all CAPS
All that, while never once taking your eyes off of the TV screen, so that you can agonizingly sit through the train wreck of what we're all now accustomed to experiencing. It's a disaster that you just can't look away.
According to the stats page on NHL.com, for the 2011-2012 regular season, the New York Rangers were awarded 280 power plays over the course of 82 games played and 463 minutes and 16 seconds of *TOTAL* power play time.
So for almost 8 hours last season, we were treated to our team, having the, supposedly upper-hand on our opponent. That's 8 hours of agony we will never get back. 8 hours of pure torture, of screaming, of yelling and throwing things at the TV, that we will never replace.
Missed passes into the attacking zone, being off-side, BLIND PASSES (this one truly pisses me off), bad line changes (the ones that lead to odd-man rushes and short-handed scoring chances by the opposing team), and of course;
The one us Ranger fans absolutely adore and love, the one that doesn't make you a *TRUE* NYR fan until you've experienced the frustration for yourself, in person, at the Garden, the one where everyone screams at the top of their lungs:
"SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!!!!!!"
Now look, I understand that our boys have a system to adhere to, a system that they believe will work. A system, that when setup properly and executed properly, *SHOULD* yield them a power play goal.
I know I wouldn't appreciate 18,200 people coming into my work and telling me *HOW* I should do my work. Most of the time, if I'm actually at the Garden and there's a power play unfolding before me, I'm actually pretty calm.
I've already watched them try to enter the attacking zone around... 7 times and failed. I've already watched them take the puck behind their own net to facilitate a line change, 4 or 5 times or so. I've already endured the blind passes to the forwards trying to enter the attacking zone and then going off-side about 10 or 12 times now.
So by the time they've actually managed to successfully enter the offensive zone and get set up, what's another 45 seconds of me watching them pass the puck around the outside?
When someone finally does get around to decide that they actually want a to attempt a shot though, you, along with everyone else watching the game, or in the Garden, will collectively take a deep breath as the entire arena goes dead silent, hold it, then exhales with a disappointing sigh in unison as the SHOT GOES WIDE.
I bet you are.
Mentally picturing the scenario I just described just made your heart beat a little faster, your palms a little sweatier, and you might not even notice that you've been grinding your teeth this entire time.
In the span of these various 2 minute blocks of time, spread out over the course of 82 games, us Ranger fans have experienced the lowest of the lows and some of the angriest moments we will ever face towards our boys in blue.
But yet... sometimes... just SOMETIMES, every once in a while, somewhere, in this train wreck that we're all so used to watching, something...
SOMETHING... will claw its way up from the depths of despair, something will rise up against all odds, against EVERYTHING that we've all been accustomed to watching, and somehow, these boys, OUR boys in blue, OUR New York Rangers will score that one elusive POWER PLAY GOAL.
And when that happens, we as a fanbase are at our best. The screams turn into cheers, unintelligible yelling, hootin' and hollerin', high fiving everyone and everything within a 15 yard radius around you (at home, or at the Garden).
I don't care who you are, I don't care how long you've been a Ranger fan. When our boys score a power play goal, when that feeling of euphoria comes over you, and just for that split second, you feel that our boys can go all the way, that our power play has FINALLY, FINALLY been fixed (even if that just made it 1-for-32) after all these years, that everything is right in the world and anyone wearing a blueshirt on the ice is forgiven.
To put it in perspective, last season this team was ranked #20 out of 30 other possible teams, scoring just 44 power play goals (Dallas was dead last, scoring just 33) and converting at a 15.7% rate. So it wasn't a complete and utter mess. It just feels like it since the Rangers power play has been broken for as long as any of us can remember.
The power play is just one of the many things that strengthens our love and passion for this team. After you've experienced the pain personally, live and in person, all the pain and frustration forges an unbreakable bond that can never be broken.
It creates a love for this team that will never die or waver.
Because once you hear *THE* one and only Sam Rosen... OUR Sam Rosen, screaming at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS, five words that we as fans, don't get to hear nearly enough.
It rights all the wrongs in the world and makes all the pain and suffering worth it.
You know the words, we all know the words.
You can even hear him screaming them in your head right now.
Follow The Broadway Hat on Twitter: @TheBroadwayHat.
For someone who supposedly doesn't have experience in writing, this is a pretty fantastic post. I think you hit the feeling we all go through when the power play, or as I like to call it power kill (since its more of a PK than PP), arrives perfectly. Can't wait to read more posts from you, Hat!
...last season I took to Twitter to type in all caps. My biggest issue with the PP is it becomes very predictable and so easy to defend. I used to joke that I could coach a team of pee-wees to defend their strategy. Another thing that grinds my gears is the overuse of the dump and chase when it's clearly not working. So many times I call it before it happens: 17 is bursting through the neutral zone towards the defenders- now dump the puck, don't get there in time for the 5th straight damn time- aaaand the Capitals penguins senators devils whalers whoever the heck it is break out up the ice dangerously. UGH!!
That was very well written and made me laugh. Yes I know those 5 words. I scream them with him ( on those rare occasions). Welcome aboard.
Hey Mr. Hat nice article, And spot on about the PP. That the Rangers really lacked.
But is it just me, that one of the main reasons why NYR acquired Rick Nash is to improve the teams PP system ?
@TheBroadwayHat That is the exact feeling I am going to miss due to the lock out. I couldn't have said it better! #itsapowerplaygoal
Great first effort Mr. Hat! Although with the all the lockout talk and now this column, I'm ready to slit my wrists.
@KevinDeLury Have a beer or two: you won't feel that way anymore.