May 7, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) scores a goal on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the third period in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

2011-12 Was A Mirage

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

One thing I’ve noticed on twitter, is that fans of the New York Rangers seem to reference the 2011-2012 season that the team had as if it were some sort of gift sent from the hockey gods. Now of course, the season was good, John Tortorella coached the team to 50+ wins, they won the Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers, they finished first in the east, Atlantic Division champions, and Henrik Lundqvist was the Vezina Trophy winner. Despite all of that however, the 11-12 season not only had a horrid ending, but was the beginning of this team’s spiral downward.

The Rangers had brutal struggles in the 2012 playoffs, being pushed to the very edge of elimination against teams we should not even have struggled with. You could almost tell that the team was getting worse as the playoffs dragged out further and further, and the bad part about that being they didn’t really look that hot to begin with. First against the 8th place Ottawa Senators, and then again against the 7th place Washington Capitals, being brought to game 7′s against both teams wasn’t really ideal. Later, having to play our bitter rivals from across the Hudson you think would’ve shot the team out of a cannon and made them say  “We really can’t lose in the Eastern Conference finals to New Jersey Devils,” but no. In fact, that series is where the team looked the most fatigued. Now look, I understand it gets tiring to play so many games almost back to back, but seriously? There’s no excuse against an arch rival during the Conference Final. Continuing, that tiredness did not go away, it only remained all the way through game 6 in overtime as our defensemen and centerman stood around and watched as forward Adam Henrique put an end to the Rangers’ Cinderella Season.

Now, you don’t have to win the Stanley Cup every year, and the ECF would be a great step towards that, so that season would’ve been ok if we improved afterwards. However, we did not, the season after we barely made the playoffs clinching a spot with only a few games left, coming in 6th place, and almost getting swept in the conference semi-finals. Then we move on to this season, now of course there are many factors that affect this season, it’s also only 7 games in so I won’t go too much in depth, but 2-5 is not ideal by any means.

The 2011-12 season, despite being a good regular season, had an embarrassing end and only foreshadowed the down trend that this team seems to have taken, but I, like you, hope the team can pick it up.

P.S. Putting that picture in seriously killed me.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist John Tortorella New York Rangers NHL

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