Some bounces didn’t go our way for sure. The refs also made multiple questionable decision, but ultimately, Pierre McGuire said it best. This Rangers team IS “headed in the right direction.” We were just beat by a team that is further along in their quest for the Stanley Cup than we are. As weird/obnoxious/creepy as Pierre McGuire is, that is the truth. This is not like the 2008-2009 playoff defeat to the Capitals, where we were left wondering when our veterans would stop underachieving and questioned where the future of this team was headed. This is simply the end of what is a new beginning. This was the first year of a new chapter in the New York Rangers’ franchise, and it’s only going up from here. The playoff loss is tough, but put it aside for a minute and put things into perspective.
We saw Henrik Lundqvist have the best season of his career.
We saw Derek Stepan, who at one point committed to a senior year with Wisconsin, instead putting up 21 goals in his rookie year.
We saw Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh, two defensemen who didn’t even start the year in our lineup, prove that they are quality NHL defensemen even as rookies.
We saw Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky step up as leaders on and off the ice.
We saw Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust score more goals this year than anyone could have predicted; more goals than they had combined in their careers prior.
We saw Artem Anisimov prove he is a future Selke candidate.
We saw this team step up in times of adversity, whether it was making up for an injured player or giving a big “F U” to the refs.
There is much work to be done in the offseason, but we shouldn’t be spending so much time dwelling on “what could have been” with this playoff series and should instead focus on how bright our future is. Congrats to Capitals Outsider on their victory and good luck to them the rest of the way. I know a lot of you guys walk away unimpressed with Capitals fans, who showed that their fan-base is pretty unoriginal, but the guys who write at Capitals Outsider are QUALITY bloggers, hockey fans, and people, so I wish them the best. Thanks to all of Blue Line Station’s readers, who welcomed me in my first season with Fansided, and helped set all-time highs in views for this blog. Thanks to James for coming aboard and bringing some much needed fire power and for being a great side kick. Thanks to Frank at The Rat Trick and Adam and Zach Best, the co-founders of Fansided, for the work they put in this season. Stick with Blue Line Station throughout the offseason. We’ll bring you season recaps, player evaluations, prospect news, entry draft news, free agency news, trades, all of that good stuff that makes the offseason entertaining. For perhaps the first time ever, I’m incredibly excited about the direction that the Rangers are going. Don’t look back at the failures, look forward to the future! Many teams are jealous of where we stand right now!