Listening to a sports talk radio station earlier this week, I was dumbfounded by one caller's resolve that the New York Rangers were not built to win a Stanley Cup.
It was the caller's opinion that, after losing to the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, the entire team needs to be reconfigured in order to gain a championship.
The entire team needs to be rebuilt—what? Is there something I'm missing?
The Rangers finished tied for the most wins in the NHL during the regular season. They topped the Eastern Conference in points and were second only to Vancouver, which had 111. (The Canucks, by the way, were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.)
Further, New York was one of four teams that tallied more than 100 points in the Atlantic Division, a division whose teams recorded the most points overall in the league. New Jersey had 102.
Did this caller, or anyone else for that matter, think that the Rangers would roll over the Devils? Did anyone think that this series, against a rival from the toughest division in hockey, would be over in fewer games than it took the Rangers to dismiss the Ottawa Senators or the Washington Capitals?
The Rangers may or may not win Game 6. They may or may not win Game 7. They may or may not win the Stanley Cup. But please, the day before New York's most important game of the playoffs (which, by the way means it is still playing and still may reach its ultimate goal), let's not call for an entire overhaul.
Let's leave that talk to the fans of Vancouver or Pittsburgh or Boston or St. Louis or Florida, all top-three seeds no longer playing. Those folks have had lots of time already to consider how they need to reconfigure their rosters.
Should the Rangers win tonight, win Sunday and then beat Los Angeles, we'll be too busy celebrating to talk about rebuilding.
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