New York Rangers Daily Dose: Brian Leetch Still Believes in Blue


Here’s your daily dose for Saturday:

Brian Leetch Still Believes in New York – ESPN

Joe McDonald for ESPN reports that Hockey Hall of Famer, Brian Leetch, believes the New York Rangers still have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. In his interview, Leetch reveals, “The big key is Lundqvist and he’s still in his prime. When you have one of the best goalies in the world you’re always going to have a legitimate chance if he stays healthy, and the core is ready to go in the playoffs.”

Leetch was a part of the New York Rangers’ last Stanley Cup championship in 1994 and won the Conn Smythe trophy that year; The guy knows what he’s talking about.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist had arguably the best playoffs performance of his NHL career in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, if anything, falling short of winning the Cup has made him even more determined to win the next time around.

The Rangers made a couple of big trades this year, the biggest in sending Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks. Additionally, Martin St. Louis retired. Yet the core of the team remains familiar.

Also, more than half (11 out of 19) of the original players on the Rangers’ roster for the 2014 Playoffs are still in New York today, assuming the arbitration hearing goes well and Derek Stepan re-signs. So with most players having the experience of the last two years, the Rangers are poised for much of the same success this year.

Plus the newer, younger players hold a lot of promise. Emerson Etem is expected to make up for some of the speed lost in Hagelin while Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast are becoming phenomenal NHL players.

Like Brian Leetch said, the Rangers still have a legitimate chance.

Antti Raanta is Stoked to be a Ranger – Blueshirts United

The former Chicago Blackhawks backup-backup goalie, Antti Raanta, is ready to play in the Big Apple. Raanta is so ready that he is in full gear at MSG, right at this moment, patiently awaiting October (just joking).

As you can tell by the above tweet, the 26-year-old native of Finland is going to do everything he can to make the most of his time in the Big Apple. And as he told Blueshirts United, Raanta “can’t imagine what would be a better place to come than New York.”

In 14 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Raanta recorded an astounding 1.89 goals against average and .936 save percentage last season. However, Raanta will most likely have more responsibility, starting in more games this year with the Rangers since he will be Lundqvist’s number one backup goalie.

Here’s what he had to say about the King of New York: “I have always watched him, and everyone in the NHL knows that he’s one of the best goalies in the world… so to see what he does differently and to learn what he’s doing better than me and how he prepares every day, I think that’s a really nice situation for me… My job is to push him to his limits, too, of course, but it will be great to learn from Henrik–learn how to be the best player on the ice always.”

You can see how passionate he is already. There’s no doubt that when he arrives, Raanta is going to go above and beyond to make New York proud.

And that’s all for you daily dose today.

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