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12-12-2013, 10:36 PM
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Location: Washington, D.C.
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NYC is Why the Rangers Suck

First of all, this is not an excuse thread. I admit to being anti-Tortorella, and to believing that there was untapped offensive potential in last year's roster, and I'm now willing to admit that I was wrong. That said, I've done a lot of thinking over the years about possible reasons why the Rangers always seem to suck besides the obvious things like poor management and roster construction and I'm curious to see if you guys think there is any merit to a thought I have that it all traces back to one thing:

New York City

Now, it's pretty easy to blow up this argument by simply pointing uptown to the Yankees, but I think NYC itself is a major contributor to the Rangers perennial mediocrity for the following reasons:

1. Distractions - particularly for young players. There is just way too much to get into and too many opportunities for people from all walks of life to do things other than focus on their job here, especially when they're rich. These guys are also largely anonymous in NYC so they can get away with things they couldn't in a smaller, more hockey focused city. Isn't this why the dominant early 90s team needed to be Oiler-fied to finally get over the hump in '94? Do we really want to blow it up and bring in a bunch of high-potential kids with no guidance in place?

2. Motivated opponents. Rookie scores his first NHL goal. Backup goalie channels Patrick Roy. Is it possible that opposing players just "get up" more to play in NYC (and against a "storied" original 6 franchise) than they do in say Tampa, or Nashville? MSG claims to be the world's most famous arena, so do players try harder or do more to put on a show here than they might in other cities? Can this "phenomenon" also explain why the Maple Leafs haven't won in 45+ years?

3. Sponsor/Entertainment Competition Pressure. Maybe they really can't afford to go through a true rebuild because of business deals that are in place, or for fear that people will simply go find something else to do. I am firmly aware of the "dark days" pre-first lockout and the fact that attendance wasn't impacted all that much, but those teams were making splashes in free agency and at least trying to be good every season. What would happen if they made a real, honest commitment to rebuilding, jettisoned all the big name veterans, and finished in the lottery several times over a 5 year stretch. Would NYC still care about the team?

4. The MSG ice. We all know about this one, and it was very evident tonight. The ice at MSG sucks and certainly doesn't help guys who lack elite level skill to consistently complete the necessary plays to sustain offense.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you guys. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses and don't want to face the reality that we've just wasted a decade+ with a **** GM, but I do feel as though points one and two at least have some merit from a human psychology perspective.

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