Like typical Americans, Sr. Sports Editor Michael Kasdan and Sports Editor Wai Sallas casually step into the fray of the NHL just as the playoffs get started. Somehow they talk more about video games than the actual Stanley Cup in another edition of the Sports Exchange.
Sports Editors Wai Sallas and Michael Kasdan let you peer into the random workings of their collective minds as they wind their way through a stream of consciousness discussion of the NHL Playoffs, while touching on various and other sundry matters of great import.
The snow is finally melting on the East Coast, flowers are starting to bloom and another Duggar is having a baby. That can only mean one thing…it’s time for playoff hockey!
I’m sure you already know this because I heard the Rangers bandwagon circle my house, peeked out my window and declined to come aboard. Is it crowded on there, or are there just a bunch of Knicks fan thinking they just got on a really rowdy merry-go-round?
Oh yes, its time for playoff hockey. The time to actually pay attention to hockey. It’s beautiful to watch AND it counts.
As for the Rangers, NY is and always has been a hockey town. Especially when the the Rangers are primed for another run at the Stanley Cup, while the Knicks haven’t been relevant since the Mars Blackmon Administration.
But I don’t know what bandwagon you’re talking about.
I was there in ’94 in my Brian Leetch jersey. And I was there last year, weeping silently at home alone as the LA Kings dashed our dreams and sent us home in a series that looked lopsided, but was as close as can be.
So when I said on Facebook the other day, “Go Rangers, I want to beat the Kings this year,” and then found out the Kings didn’t make the playoffs, I was, um, totally kidding. It wasn’t because I haven’t spent any time whatsoever watching NHL hockey this year.
Funny you mention that ’94 Rangers team. My best friend’s family is from New York, and we really got into hockey that summer. Partly due to the Genesis game NHL ’94 and partly due to the Rangers, we played roller hockey all day long and then, due to living in Hawaii and national sports not being televised live we’d watch the Stanley cup in the evening. It was a fun series and fun summer.
I tried to stay with it, but never made the full immersion. That is until I jumped on the Kings bandwagon in 2012 and 2014. The Kings wagon needed an upgrade, so it was in the shop and missed the playoffs, but I’ll be back on next year.
My hockey video games of choice were Blades of Steel and – well before that – the original Nintendo hockey video game where you could construct your team of skinny fast guys, fat power shooters, or medium average at both guys. Just like real life.
I was a stud at Blades of Steel. Even if my dedication our season got me in big trouble with my college girlfriend. She just didn’t understand.
I mean I was like Jeremy Roenick in the videogame they played in Swingers.
And yes I am going with the videogame tip because I know very little about actual hockey.
But what a bandwagon seeking fan wants is (i) a goalie that can stand on his head and carry a team; (ii) a hot goal scorer; (iii) a team that likes to share the puck but also isn’t afraid to mix it up, and (iv) magic.
The Rangers have these things in spades. Especially magic.
I used to love Blades of Steel. I also loved lunchables, Z. Cavaricci’s, recess and Kris Kross, but that’s just me.
And that video game they played in Swingers? NHL ’94. It’s the Godfather of hockey games. There have been games before it and hockey games after it, but that particular edition stands alone. Dont believe me? We can take it to the mattress.
You also missed the three most important aspects of a good bandwagon; they have to have a chance to win, you need to be swept up in something bigger than you, and comfortable seats. If that bandwagon gets loaded, no one wants to feel uncomfortable.
I mean do you wanna ride like this?
You’ve made your point, the Rangers are an acceptable team to latch on to in the playoffs.
But let’s just say, for arguments sake, an axle breaks on The Rangers Raucous Ride to the Cup, who else can I ride to taste the sweet nectar of Lord’s Stanley Cup?
Seeing as how I was pulling for the Ranger to pull a rematch with the Kings…who, as we’ve established, did not – in point of fact – make the playoffs, here is The Mike Kasdan Hockey Bandwagon Pick our of the Western Conference:
Channeling Jeremy Roenick from NHL ’94 Pick: your Chicago Blackhawks!! Superstar Patrick Kane returns for the playoffs. They’ve got a stingy defense, and a solid tradition. They are the pick!
In fact, the Western Conference is easy. Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg are all disqualified on account of being from Canada ay? Nashville is also dismissed based on being a hockey team from Tennessee, leaving the choice as between Chicago, Minnesota, Anaheim, and St. Louis. Unless Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, and Mickey Mouse are playing for the Mighty Ducks, Anaheim cannot be the pick. St. Louis and Minnesota, both gritty talented teams, play each other in round one. Safe to go with Chicago. You know, with Jordan and Pippen and all. I mean, Kane. Patrick Kane.
You do the Eastern Conference….assuming the Broadway Blues are taken.
Your deductive reasoning is dizzying. To deflect all of Canada’s ire because of your casual omission of anything Maple Leaf, I like the Canadiens out of the East. The answer is simple: Carey Price. Despite your sound and thoughtful bullet point answer to hoisting the Cup, you truly need only one thing, and that’s a smoking hot goalie. And in the East, The Price is Right.
Unless, ‘Murica has something to say about it.
He was the best goalie during the regular season, and so far, he’s the best goaltender in the post season. He has the fifth best save percentage in NHL history. A recent poll of 20 NHL coaches, 10 from each conference, conducted by TSN unanimously chose Price when asked who should win the Hart Trophy as the NHL most valuable player. If Canada wanted to build a wall along the border, they would leave a space for Price, because nothing gets past him.
Not only that, I have an inside scoop. My wife travels for work. Last 2 years she was making a lot of stops in Connecticut. Who won the national championship in men’s and women’s basketball the last two years? Also in the past two years she has been flying in and out of Seattle. Who has represented the NFC in the last two Super Bowls? Well guess who started flying to Montreal in December?
So not only am I taking Montreal to come out of the East, I got them taking the whole enchilada. Also, it’s been 22 years since a Canadian professional franchise has won a Championship. The country is due. You know what else happened in 1993? NHL ’94 was released.
You can not make this up!!!!
So get your Alannis Morisette and/or Justin Bieber record ready, and stock your fridge with LaBatt Blue, because Canada is taking its sport back.
It’s money, baby.