Ice hockey has all the trappings of an inherently hipster sport—it’s expensive and therefore exclusive; it requires a rather finicky, high-maintenance environment, and it’s played mostly by people who grew up in the Midwest. So why aren’t we totally freaking out about the fact that our city’s biggest professional hockey team, the New York Rangers, are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in exactly 20 years? Here, handily, we have listed all the reasons you should get up out of bed—hear us out—go into the living room—seriously, stay with us—and turn on the television (if you’ve got one of those) and watch game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight at 8pm:
1. As previously stated, it’s been exactly 20 years since the Rangers last made it to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, which they won.
2. When the Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens on May 29, the Empire State Building turned red, white, and blue. Who knows what they’ll do if they win the cup?
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 30, 2014
3. Because they are playing L.A.
4. L.A. sucks.
5. Because of the two teams’ ongoing Twitter feud, in which the New York Rangers have repeatedly grammar-trolled the LA Kings:
And then shit got real when the Kings made a Home Alone reference without realizing who they were dealing with:
Though all Tweets have since been deleted, it’s quite clear who won rounds one and two. People of Los Angeles, there are two things you should know in life: 1) We’re smarter than you, and 2) DON’T FUCK WITH HOME ALONE. IT’S OURS.
6. Hockey brawls are awesome, and even though there won’t likely be much brawling in this series, because that kind of thing doesn’t generally happen in the playoffs (which is probably about as much proof as we need that they could easily be outlawed entirely, but that’s a story for another day), they will constantly be on the verge of brawling, which is actually even better.
7. Because you can enter Rangerstown, which is exactly what it sounds like: A free “fan fest” in Bryant Park where you can get your face painted and pose for dorky photos with former Rangers players and watch the game alongside likely very loud, very large hockey fans from upstate who probably talk with their mouth full.
8. Or, you can go to 200 Fifth and hang out with Park Slope dads.
9. Because you can say cool stuff with said Park Slope dads like, “THAT WAS ICING!” and, “Maybe if McDonagh can get his shit together we could actually have a decent power play” or “He’s just got to get it to the point and shoot it in the five-hole,” even if you have no clue what any of these things mean.
10. L.A.’s goaltender is named Jonathan Quick, which means you can make mean Twitter puns when the Rangers score, e.g. “NOT SO QUICK, EH JONATHAN!?!?!?” (Copyright: Brooklyn Magazine, 2014.)
11. Because the Rangers are an especially, erm, comely bunch this season. Take, for instance, reigning King of New York Henrik Lundqvist, forever subverting the stereotype that goalies are total weirdos:
And Brian Boyle, the 6′ 7″ (!) center:
Or Raphael Diaz, who is of course named Raphael Diaz:
And the almost aggressively blond Carl Hagelin:
… who also appears to have a side job as a barista at Konditori:
… which somehow makes him even sexier.
12. Because this guy loves the Rangers so much, he literally shaved the face of right winger Rick Nash onto his head:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 17, 2014
13. Because “Bored Rangers Fan” is not a good look:
14. But like, did you see that picture of Carl Hagelin wearing a fedora? Go look at it again, and this time, remember how terrible you look in a fedora.
15. Because according to the New York Times, if the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, Governor Brown will send Governor Cuomo a history book about California “and some Lundberg organic brown rice cakes, lightly salted,” which we do not want. And if the Kings win, Governor Cuomo will send Governor Brown “a considerably more delicious gift,” including Dutchess County apples, Long Island oysters and red velvet cupcakes from Harlem.
16. Aaaand not to be outdone by The Gov, Mayor Bill de Blasio has bet L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti that he’ll sing Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! should the Kings win; naturally, Garcetti has agreed to sing the far superior “New York, New York” on the same show should the Rangers win.
17 – ∞. Because hockey is great, and is far less excruciating to watch than baseball, which is basically the only other sport that’s on this time of year. Unleash the grizzled, 62-year-old retired cop that all Brooklynites have within, and go to a bar, watch the Stanley Cup Final, and root for the Rangers.
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa