Every year, legends are born in the National Hockey League. Their names get etched into the history books, and more importantly, the Stanley Cup. Which is probably the most coveted trophy in all of sports.
Everyone knows that the Rangers did not meet expectations this past season. After their unprecedented run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2012, this season they were expected to lead the pack and even make a run towards the Cup. But that didn’t happen. Instead, they were handed bad bounces and a 6th seeded finish in the Eastern Conference standings.
After their mediocre regular season, they weren’t expected to get far against their first round opponent, the Washington Capitals. They were entering the playoffs playing their best hockey and they had just won the Southeast Division. Once again however, the Rangers overachieved, and beat the Caps in 7 games. Winning in a 5-0 rout in Game 7 on the road.
This put them toe to toe with one of their rivals, the Boston Bruins. This series had plenty of storylines. The battle of two cities, Henrik Lundqvist v.s. Tukka Rask, and things of that nature. This time, it was expected to be a pretty even series, going at least 6 or 7 games. Instead, the Blueshirts came out flatfooted, and got slammed in 5 games. Their lack of production from top stars did not help much, and neither did going down 3-0 in the series to one of the Conferences’ most beastly teams.
The Rangers fell in Game 5, 3-1, and skated off the ice with that empty feeling in their stomachs. They had this feeling before, falling to the feet of the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the ECF after Adam Henrique scored the golden goal in overtime.
This team is built to win. They started at goaltending and worked their way out. Now with the addition of the Rick Nash, if they want to win it has to be now. Henrik Lundqvist is not getting any younger, and he is thirsty for a championship.
Now the question I pose to you is: who will be the player to step up and do big things this season? Will it be Nash, the dynamic super-forward? Brad Richards, the veteran? Lundqvist, who is considered one of the most elite goaltenders in the league?
Take some time to really think about this topic, and respond to the poll below. I am interested to see your answers.
As always, thanks for reading.