The Ranger Future Still Looks Bright

Say what you want about the Rangers, they went out fighting to the end.

It’s no consolation, of course, since they were so close, you could almost taste it. A couple of correct calls here and a few bounces – going the other way – there, and it would be the Rangers skating around with a bright silver chalice, rather than the Kings.

But ultimately, that’s spilled milk. For all the prognosticator and experts who said the Kings were just so much better than the Rangers, they should take note that Los Angeles only had a lead in Games 3 and 5 with two games going into double overtime and one in single OT.

So you cannot say, the Kings were just so mighty. They weren’t. The Rangers were just as good. Again, a few better calls and a few fortunate bounces, we would be writing a different story.

“Well, obviously everybody’s very disappointed in the outcome,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “That being said, I think in a couple of days, you know, we’re going to reflect.”

Ultimately, though, the story we should be telling is not about how valiant David was to Goliath, but rather, now that the Rangers have climbed almost to the top of the mountain, have they learned how to get there again.

There’s a reason why the Kings, who were hardly the best team during the regular season, came alive in the playoffs. They made that journey before and with almost the same team intact, they can climb the mountain again. Last year saw the Blackhawks and Bruins, another set of recent Stanley Cup winners facing off.

Only the Devils have taken a turn off the ledge, but they lost their best two players last year, so it is understandable.

However, the Rangers – perennial second rounders – are now in the elite of the league. Their 96 points in the regular season was probably lower than what it should have been because the team had to learn Vigneault’s system and was on the road in October due to the renovations at Madison Square Garden.

Next year is a different story. Brad Richards is probably gone – an amnesty buyout – but the rest of the core will most certainly be back with this experience under its belt.

Martin St. Louis will be on Broadway for a full season and Chris Kreider looks like he is blossoming into an elite power forward. Ryan McDonagh is at the top of his game on the blue line and of course Henrik Lundqvist will be Henrik Lundqvist.

Sure there will be changes, but Vigneault’s system is now mastered by the core, so there is a very good chance that the Blueshirts can make some serious noise in the East next year and maybe come back in play in the Final.

So even though, every Ranger fan has a broken heart today, there is always the promise of tomorrow, which now looks as bright as ever on Broadway.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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