Good Season, Not Great Season For The New York Rangers-Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
Well this season ended with a low thud. Not a loud thud as many a Rangers season has since last winning the Cup in 1993/94. Many of those seasons were marred by not even making the playoffs. Now that's a loud thud. However when you finish 2nd in points, almost win the Presidents Cup, struggle to beat the 8th and 7th seed and then succumbing to the 6th seed, and that 6th seed happens to be the hated NJ Devils then good is all I can give it.
Beating the Devils would have made it a very good season. A great season, as defined by the expectations that you set for yourself is capped with the Cup, and there will be no Cup or parade in Manhatten this year.
I don't have many negatives for the year. Perhaps Marion Gaborik's disappearance for the playoffs. Perhaps game 6 vs Washington. Game 5 vs Jersey. Lack of scoring in the post season but that would be nitpicking a bit. The Rangers were what the Rangers were, a tough team, an aggressive team, a team that gave you max effort EVERY game, just not a team that had any margin for error.
Perhaps Brad Richards should have and could have done more to get to the next step. Perhaps Henrik Lundqvist having a lousy game in game 5 vs the Devils. For King Henry his career solid but not spectacular unless he wins a cup. Fair or unfair this must happen for him to have a great career. He did carry the goal challenged Rangers much of the year and the playoffs but no excuses. You either win it all or go down in history as many others before him.
Perhaps the best thing for the Rangers and their fans are the young players this team was able to cultivate. Haglin. Kreider. Mitchell. McDonagh. The future is bright for the Rangers. Very bright indeed. The return of Marc Staal was wonderful.
However when you set a standard for yourself and then don't live up to that standard it is disappointing. The sting will wear off and the players can look back with fondness, but also with some regret.
The good news is the Rangers deficiency's are well known and easily definable. Scoring and speed up front. However it is simpler to define then it is to fill. Every team in the NHL wants more scoring. However the Rangers have a solid and could be great core to build around. The team didn't mortgage their future for a quick fix at the trade deadline, a tactic of many a Rangers team. Would they have gone all the way had they paid the ransom for Columbus wiz Rick Nash-maybe. But what they would have had to give up would have been steep.
There will be some changes but not wholesale. No reason for that. A better backup netminder would be nice so Lundqvist can get some more rest during the season, unless you are a fan of Marty Biron. The defense is stocked and loaded. Hopefully Mark Sauer returns from his concussion problems making it even deeper. It's upfront that GM Glen Sather will need to focus on and bring in some help. The Rangers have some pieces to dangle and a full year for the young Kreider helps big time!
Some will argue but now that it is done I say a good season for the NY Rangers but not a great season. A great season will be defined when the captain Ryan Callahan is skating with the hardest trophy is Sport to accomplish-The Stanley Cup!