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The Rangers and Hockey’s Rivalries

Eva Morreale looks into the rivalry between the New York Rangers and her beloved New Jersey Devils.

Since entering the world of hockey my freshman year of college I am constantly learning new things. In reality, though I follow the sport closely and have become completely enamored with it, I’m really a novice. Once you “come out” so to speak on the internet as a hockey nerd, friends and acquaintances come out of the woodwork vying to have their say, rattle off stats, and boast bragging rights when their team wins.

Now you may be thinking, “Duh, all sports fans do this.” Not so.

Hockey is not “America’s sport” like football or even baseball. Games are rarely broadcasted outside of cable and specialty ESPN channels. Hockey is Canada’s sport and gets the short end of the stick (pun intended) when it comes to fan base in the states.

I say all this to say it is a real treasure when you can discover a hockey community right under your nose. You feel united in your shared devotion. And it’s extra fun because most fans are quite serious about whoever they root for – which leads to great rivalries.

Facebook is a great proprietor of this. Usually, I get a good idea of the current hockey-related atmosphere by snooping around hockey friend’s pages. And I’ve noticed something about competing teams. Obviously there are rivalries among teams in the same conferences – for example, the Eastern Conference pits the Devils against the Rangers, the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadians, and more.

Long story short rivalries are not just an issue of proximity, but fights on the ice, and skill level like the rivalry between the two most hyped (and possibly best) teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

Which brings me back to the Rangers, who I follow and actually kind of like despite them and my beloved Devils being sworn enemies. They’ve been kind of all over the place this season, but still flaunt great players like Marc Staal and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. They even bested the Penguins this week, which that is most likely due to most of their team being out on suspension or injury.

One thing all of my friends can agree on is Sean Avery, who with his constant attempts to distract players and slimy behavior off the ice has been unanimously labeled a goon.

Despite all this, I’ve decided I need more information from local fans regarding the issue. And thus, I’m heading to the Devils v Rangers faceoff, Friday the 18th at the Prudential Center in Newark. Here’s hoping I witness a great game and garner some zippy quotes!

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