by Steve Giacobello
During “Rangers Game Night” on Saturday, 10/26 before the Toronto game, Rangers GM Glen Sather said something that I never, in all my years as a faithful, die-hard Rangers fan, thought I’d ever hear. Mr. Sather had the nerve to blame the Rangers poor play at Madison Square Garden thus far this season on the fans. That’s right Rangers fans…according to Sather, we’re the reason for the 1-4-1 home record….we’re the reason for the Rangers earning only 3 points of a possible 12, and we’re the reason why the Blueshirts were embarrassed on home ice by the Nashville Predators, the Tampa Bay Lightning (without Vincent Lecavalier), and the L.A. Kings (without Ziggy Palffy).
Sather say’s the fans at MSG need to stop the booing of his players because it’s causing his team to “play scared at home”. He say’s the fans need to “start supporting this team and cheering them, and have and show some patience and confidence in them and not be out there booing every mistake they make”.
Correct me if I’m wrong…but the Rangers haven’t made the playoffs in 5 years right? Sorry Glen, but the patience for this team to finally get it together is long gone. The support is, has, and always will be here…but the patience is gone…and rightfully so…..we’re talking about a veteran filled line-up that cost Cablevision $80,000,000 to put on the ice. This isn’t a Minnesota Wild squad filled with a core of young kids and a payroll of $18 million, which by the way, just happens to have the most points and best record in the league right now…go figure huh?.
This is a $80 million dollar hockey club, that after 9 games, is showing that they were once again poorly put together, and are badly missing any type of depth and chemistry whatsoever. Sather is a smart hockey guy…we all know that….but right now Glen Sather is a scared GM. Sather’s comments were a desperate move by a desperate GM. He’s finally come to realize that once again the Rangers have put together a bunch of big names with nothing in mind except grabbing the spotlight from the rest of the NHL. The names like Bure, Lindros, Messier, Holik, Leetch, Kasparaitis and Richter look great up in lights and down on paper….but right now on the ice, which is where it counts, they don’t look good at all.
Rangers fans have every reason in the world to boo this team at home so far this season. The Rangers have been badly out played, out worked, out hit, and out scored by a weaker opponent in every home game this year….add that to the fact that here hasn’t been a playoff game at MSG since the 1996-97 season, and I’d say that those boo’s can be justified pretty easily.
Instead of criticizing, and blaming the fans for showing their displeasure and desire to have a winning team play in front of them, maybe Sather should use boos and frustration shown from the Garden crowds to wake up and motivate his team to finally realize that they have to earn our respect and start showing us that they care about winning just as much as we do. I’ve always said that if the Rangers played with HALF the heart, passion, pride, and desire to win as we the fans had…they’d be a Dynasty. Ranger fans care about winning….it’s time the players show they care also. From the very first time in 1973 that I walked into Madison Square Garden, right up to Opening Night of this season, one thing that always made me proud to be a Rangers fan was that no matter what the situation this team was in, the fans were always there, and we were always loud with support for OUR team!!!
Rangers fans like myself take great pride in our loyalty to this team. We may not agree with a lot of the moves, or the direction the club has decided to go in over the years with regards to winning The Stanley Cup…but we always continue to pull our Rangers colors over our heads with pride.
For Sather to criticize, and blame us for showing our frustration with this team, and then to also say it’s the cause for the poor record and play at home, is nothing but a cop out, and a slap in the face to every Ranger fan out there.
Sather needs to put the blame and point the finger in the right place. After that…he needs to apologize to the greatest, most passionate, loyal fans in the world. Until he does, his comments will stay with me forever.