With their 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators, the New York Rangers moved to 62 points in 44 games, tops in the NHL.
If that's not surreal enough, how about this: James Dolan addressed the media after the game.
Some organizations, like Washington, have ubiquitous owners. Some have frequently seen owners like Philadelphia and Chicago. James Dolan, on the other hand, hasn't spoken to the New York hockey press since the 2005-06 season.
And he didn't just stop and wave to the press — he called the Rangers "pretty close" to winning the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1994.
Coach John Tortorella's reaction to that observation?
"We just have to go about our business. I had my owner up here talking about a Stanley Cup, and that's a bunch of bull[crap]," said Torts after Dolan had vacated the room, to the laughing media.
Here's what James Dolan had to say about the New York Rangers during his brief but astonishing chat with the media (audio via Rangers Report Blog):
Q. What do you think of the way the team's playing? We haven't talked to you in a couple of years, and in that time the organization has really turned it around.
DOLAN: [Laughs] "This is very spur of the moment. We were just in the coaches' office and I'll answer the question…
"The answer is that I'm very proud of the organization. I'm particularly proud of Mr. Sather, because all the way back to 2004 — when things weren't going so well and we had a lot of free agents in here — and we decided to basically redo the strategy, Glen and I made a pact. I actually gave him something, and I won't reveal what it is today, but I gave him something to seal the pact and I said you can't give it back to me until we win the Stanley Cup. And I think we're pretty close to be gettin' that thing back.
[Tortorella: "Easy [now] …"]
"To me, it's all about the system … it's about great coaching, but it's also about the farm system and the scouting system and the development and going with the kids and sticking with the philosophy even though at times it didn't look so good.
"So I'm proud of them. I'm very proud of the organization.
How much did you know about John when Glen came to you and said this is the guy?
"I don't think Glen wanted to tell me anything about John. [Laughter]"
And that was it. In true George Costanza fashion, he left on that high note.
It was good-natured, but the last thing Tortorella needs is to have the Big Boss Man making noise about a championship when the Rangers have thrived on being a blue-collar team that's exceeded expectations.
Wouldn't you love to know what item Dolan gave Sather as collateral for a Stanley Cup? Our guesses: Either jars of tears from Time Warner Cable subscribers or the remaining 30 years or the soul of Sam Rosen.
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