All of the glory and attention goes to the top lines in the NHL. On the Rangers, the likes of Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard get the fans talking, because of their exciting ability to create offense and score goals.
The importance of the fourth line is often brushed aside, with many people not realize how important a team’s bottom six depth can be when making a long run in the playoffs. Having a great fourth line can be the difference between an early exit and a Stanley Cup Championship.
Looking back at the 2013-14 season, when the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994, the bottom six was tremendous. Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello were probably the team’s best offensive line for large parts of the season and playoffs. Read the rest of this entry
A promising season led to postseason disappointment for the Rangers, falling short of their Stanley Cup goals, and losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They came just 20 minutes shy of a second consecutive Stanley Cup Finals berth.
After acquiring Keith Yandle at the trade deadline, many believed that this put the Rangers in a “win-now” mode. The players had these same expectations, which is why they too seemed disgruntled during their exit interviews yesterday.
A lot of people thought that this was the year that the Rangers would finally recapture the Stanley Cup after 21 long seasons. But there were injuries, failed game plans, as well as a strong Tampa Bay team standing in their way.
Hindsight is 20/20, so here is what the Rangers needed to do differently or better in order to win. Read the rest of this entry
At the end of each team’s season, a breakup day is conducted, with players and coaches giving exit interviews, equipment being removed, and new information being released, regarding things like injuries.
To some extent, it was known that some Rangers were dealing with injures. But today’s interviews revealed a lot more than just bumps and bruises.
After Game 7, Alain Vigneault announced that Ryan McDonagh had been playing with a broken foot for a few games. It was obviously quite serious, because he came into his interview on crutches and wearing a walking boot. He fractured the foot while blocking a shot at the end of the second period of Game 4 against the Lightning. He’ll wear the walking boot for four weeks, and will then be reevaluated.
The Rangers were dealing with a lot of other injuries on the blue line as well. Read the rest of this entry
On Friday night, after 101 games played from October 9th to May 29th, the New York Rangers’ season came to an end, falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, seeing their dreams of hoisting the Stanley Cup fall apart.
Like other fans, I was heartbroken. This loss was much harder to swallow for me. Last season was a magical run to the finals, and after the Rangers went down 3-0, I was almost ready for a loss. This year, coming back home for Game 7, I was sure that the Rangers would move on. The expectations were high, which made the defeat all that more crushing.
With the loss came another realization. No more waking up early to write game previews, no more staying up late writing recaps and looking through all of the pictures from every game. There is no Stanley Cup Final preview, and no article on how to take down the other team. After eight months of writing and devotion to the Rangers, my daily schedule will change. Read the rest of this entry
For the first time in franchise history, the Rangers lost a Game 7 on home ice, getting shutout by the Tampa Bay Lightning as they continue their quest for the Stanley Cup, and the Rangers go home for the summer.
Prior to tonight, New York was 7-0 in Game 7s played at Madison Square Garden. They earned the right to play tonight’s game on home ice by winning the President’s Trophy in the regular season. But that effectively went to waste, as the Rangers lost three of four games on home ice, and were shut out in Game 5 and 7. They scored just four goals at the Garden in this series.
The loss also snapped a 10 game win streak at Madison Square Garden in elimination games for the Rangers, as well as a six game win streak in Game 7s. Read the rest of this entry