There have been a lot of high-profile New York-Boston matchups in my time in the greater Boston area. Of course, Yankees-Red Sox happened in the playoffs for the first time in a long time, I think, in 1999...then happened a lot through 2004.
But I didn't care all that much.
Then the Celtics and Knicks matched up a couple of times in the playoffs.
I cared slightly less.
The Jets and Patriots were high stakes - and there was a big win in there for my team.
But until now there had not been a Rangers-Bruins matchup in the playoffs...and it might end up being the most exciting of them all.
I texted with my friend Justin Monday night about the fact that I didn't think there had been a Rangers-Bruins playoff matchup since our college days...and he dug a little deeper to find it hadn't even happened in our lifetimes. 1973 was the last time the Rangers and Bruins met in the post-season. That kind of seems impossible.
But it makes this year's matchup a definitive New Thing.
And it'll be a good one - the past few years have featured a lot of tight games between the two teams...and they've both played a number of heart-stoppers in the post-season the past few years against other teams.
So I expect a lot of nail-biters in the series. Which is not something I am particularly looking forward to.
There's a whole lot that's troublesome about this matchup, in fact - if the Rangers lose I can expect to hear it from all sides (there is a very passionate Bruins fan base in Boston, which I acknowledge...but let's just say that since they won the Cup that fan base has spread wider and been more vocal), if the Rangers win I will only feel quiet satisfaction, and no matter what, I think the series will cause me some late nights and some more white hair.
I'll look on the bright side - the Rangers won their Game 7 against the Capitals Monday night. That means they have this second round series to play. For me that means that I have another week-plus of hockey that I care about. That helps me inch ever closer to the end of the school year - Rangers playoff hockey helps mark time through the month of May.
And it sure beats those years when they missed the playoffs.
And...who knows? Maybe I'll end up getting a ticket to a game in Boston.