Hell.  Yes.  I don”t want to go all MasterCard commercial on you but last night’s Game 7 win over the Washington was down right priceless.  Because we’ve crashed against the Capitals in our past few postseasons.  Because we’re moving on to face our crosstown rivals in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1994.  Because I spent damn near $500 between the tickets, transit, food, and beer.  Because it’s the goddamn Cup, baby.  It all came together to create one special evening of sports spectating for fans of the New York Rangers.

So onward we roll, into Monday’s matchup with more at stake than there’s ever been before.  There’s so much on the line.  New York and New Jersey.  Hank and Marty.  The city and the sewer.  But before we rev up the rivalry engine and start chirping across the state lines at full volume, let’s take one last look back at the culminating game of a series that nearly killed us all.  My notes on the night are as follows…

- Metro North was crawling with Blueshirts, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered with talking puck amongst strangers.  I was too focused.  Jock Jams rocking the iPod, sunglasses on with my Callahan jersey, hydrating myself like champions are trained to.  My pessimistic mind was preparing for the worst, but my gut was telling me I was mere hours from mass celebration.

- Met the generous gentlemen of House Ziemer at an adjacent watering hole to quench a pre-game thirst and exchange pieces of paper.  Thankfully Brian, Derek and Colin were all knowledgeable dudes who could never be mistaken for bandwagoning fizzles so the whole orientation process went down as smoothly as an American made alcoholic beverage.  Into MSG we strode and onto section 114…

- Seeing as how the team that scored first had won every game of the series so far, it seemed rather important that the Rangers grab that goal.  And grab it they did, pretty damn quickly in fact.  Just like they drew it up, the pass through the neutral zone from MDZ was tipped in by Richards and hounded down by Hagelin who swung around the net and fed #19 for a slapped snipe past Holtby.  The early lead was ours and the Garden exploded.  1-0 Rangers, cue the keyboard smash.

- The quest to hold that lead got a little hairy, especially through the second period, but Henrik Lundqvist was in the Game 7 Zone and could not be bested.  As always, a team full of shot blockers were all there to sacrifice the body before him, but when one found its way through Hank was there to shut the door.  Rewatching the game this afternoon, I thought the cracking screeches of Doc’s near orgasms were going to break glass.  Lundy just makes bitches wet when he’s working that crease.  So hot…

- Despite the damn near perfect defense, we were still one bad bounce away from losing the lead and facing negative thoughts for the first time since Richards scored.  But our insurance goal came in the form of MDZ as the third dwindled down to the final ten minutes.  The pretty boy jumped into a typical Gaborik-into-three-guys rush and rifled a wrist shot past Holtby’s blocker.  With the extra cushion in place and only minutes from yet another game seven win at home, the place was going absolutely bananas.

- But that changes pretty damn quickly after Roman Hamrlik snuck one past Lundy’s shoulder before they could even finish announcing the goal.  Suddenly, we were right back where we started when one bad bounce can flip your world back upside down.  Of every game seven Torts has coached, six now I believe, the final score has been 2-1.  It’s almost like once we got the insurance goal he told Hank to let in the next floater or something just to keep the streak going.  Truly deflating, but at the same time it enhanced the enormity of Del Zotto’s goal times ten as it wound up being the game winner.

- I’ll never forget the feeling of counting down the seconds til another game seven on home ice win is in the books, but I’ll never be able to properly describe it.  Damn near twenty thousand strong screaming so horsely yet still loud enough together to shake the building, or maybe that’s just the chills I was getting.  A true sport spectating orgasm, one for the ages that I would’ve probably paid double for had I known how fucking awesome it was going to be.  You can crack on the streamers and fireworks all you want, haters, but it’s a pretty goddamn accurate representation of how my insides were feeling so don’t expect it to get to us at all.

- So I flipped the coin and came out on top.  It was money well spent as long as the Blueshirts won, but if they had laid a stinker like they did in game six than there would have been hell to pay I tell ya.  Had some post game drinks, met a few people who had heard of the stool, enjoyed engaging in some unprotected high fiving with hundreds of complete strangers, just a typical Saturday night after a Rangers game seven.  What’s that?  There’s never been a Rangers game seven in New York City on a Saturday night before?  Well, we’re undefeated then.

So that’s that.  The Capitals are finally behind us and it’s time to start focusing on the four teams left standing.  Full third round preview on its way for tomorrow, and then I really want to start ramping this rivalry up as we get ready for Monday night.  So Jersians, why not write up a little something to tout your Devils as true contenders?  Let’s get interactive with this shit, shall we?  I’m sure your sick and tired of having an admittedly witty Rangers fan dominate the Barstool puck discussions, so how about you take me down a peg or two and explain how a 98 year old Marty Brodeur is going to beat the best looking goalie the sports world has ever seen.  Email in your feeble attempts throughout the series and I may just show your sad, pathetic excuse for a writing style some love on the stool.  Wouldn’t that just make your day, Devils fans?!

We live to play another day.  LGR, baby…  @Osgood_StoolNYC

PS – Sticklers for spelling, please forgive me.  I’m still far too high from smoking down game seven that my proofreading ended up taking a hit.  Maybe “Broduer” will just be Barstool hockey’s version of torcher or something…