Final thoughts as Rangers outlasted by Kings

Unofficial Conn Smythe winner. Photo: Willens/AP

Unofficial Conn Smythe winner. Photo: Willens/AP

The Rangers came up short, for the fourth and final time in the Stanley Cup finals on Friday night. Dustin Brown hoisted the Cup for the Kings for the second time in three years and the Rangers are left to think what could have been. Sorry for no goal breakdown today but here’s a few thoughts and reflections on game five and the Rangers in general. Chin up Rangers fans, our team did us proud.

The World’s best: Henrik Lundqvist cannot do more than he did last night or in the entire series. He has emphatically proven he is the best goalie in the world and should have been a Conn Smythe contender even on a losing team.

Lundqvist’s rivals for the best goalie in the world tag all arguably have better supporting casts; Rask in Boston, Quick in LA… maybe Price in Montreal is perhaps the only goalie as critical as Lundqvist is to his team. The other contenders; Bobrovsky, Bishop and Mike Smith are not in the same stratosphere as Lundqvist.

Help Henrik: The goals last night; particularly on the first goal, we saw yet again how the Rangers have struggled to clear the space in front of Lundqvist when bigger stronger forwards set up shop.

The Rangers couldn’t move Dwight King all series and it cost them and they allowed Gaborik to get in front and get prime position on the game tying goal. Kevin Klein has helped the Rangers in this area, but this is an area that still needs attention this summer.

In the regular season, Alec Martinez averaged the EIGHTH most ice time among Kings Defenseman. Yet, he had 11 goals in the regular season, scores the cup winning goal and had five goals in the playoffs. That’s the depth that wins you Cups. That’s the depth the Rangers don’t quite have just yet.

Why did the Rangers get to the Cup final? Two huge reasons combined to score the second Rangers goal last night. Carl Hagelin’s speed and intelligence allowed him to steal the puck and Brian Boyle’s desire, surprising ability on the puck and great shot past Quick gave the Rangers hope. It was a great shorthanded goal and the PK is an area where the Rangers absolutely excel. Boyle is a must keep – if the price is right.

(Own opinion alert) If the Rangers were going to lose in the Finals, then I would have wanted Marian Gaborik to have some success. A classy guy who has rebounded in a huge way in LA and someone who I thought tried hard and played well as a Ranger.

Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh or Derek Stepan… The Rangers had enough grade A chances to win this game and take the series back to New York. The McDonagh shot off the post sums up the series (a series which the Rangers were second best for the most part). This series could simply be looked at as ‘what could have been’. That’s why this hurts so much.

The Kreider breakaway chance is an example why Kreider is not the finished article. He’s a huge, fast guy who always gets or creates chances but he has to get Quick moving there, go side to side and get Quick to commit. If Kreider can improve his finishing, he’ll be even more dangerous.

The Game winner; The Kings break out with Martinez leading the rush, the puck goes right and every Ranger drifts over to the right while Kevin Klein forgets about Martinez. With Lundqvist beaten after stopping the initial shot the Rangers are done. They simply have to do a better job at tracking the open man on the goal but hey; it’s double over time and every player on the ice is probably gassed. I’m finding it hard to be too critical right now.

What did we learn?

  • Brad Richards played his last game as a Ranger last Friday night.
  • The Rangers need to improve their center position and beef up a little more.
  • Brian Boyle is getting paid people. Don’t get too attached just yet.
  • Henrik Lundqvist is still very much in his prime. The window to win is wide open folks.
  • John Moore and Dan Girardi struggled mightily again. The Rangers need to add a little more depth on the blueline to ease the pressure on the top three.
  • This Rangers team have a bright future folks. Believe.

72 Responses to “Final thoughts as Rangers outlasted by Kings”

  1. Ray says:

    Pretty much agree across the board. Regarding John Moore, I think we learned that he is simply not that talented. He is good enough to play defense in the NHL, but we can stop dreaming about who he will be someday. He’s not the talent Del Zotto was (not that unrealized talent gets you very far).

    • Ray says:

      I don’t understand why this attracted so much negativity. I actually like John Moore. He can be an exciting player to watch. But he is a third year player and the best forwards can still consistently beat him. And he doesn’t seem to offer more than he did a year ago. I think third pair is his ceiling, MDZ, on the other hand, clearly has (had?) top four talent. But he wasn’t going to harness that talent in a Ranger uniform and Sather was right to deal him (just as many GMs were not wrong to lose patience with Pouliot).

  2. Gary says:

    Agree Chris… Boyle a must keep unless some team gets ridiculous. Excellent post by the way.

    We need beef on D and we need a prime center. Problem is, how do we get those things? Barring a surprise by JT or Oscar, center’s gonna be thin.

    On the plus side, Kreider and J. Moore are far from finished products. Hopefully next year we start to see some finish on these bag, fast products.

    The AV system is a good one. The team is probably not done modeling itself to the system. I don’t think Nash fits, but can they get a bag of pucks+ for him? I really think he was solid in the PO’s, but a big and lumbering spinnerama machine in the middle of this system looks out of place.

    Sign the 3rd line. Give McIlrath every chance to prove he can stick as a 3rd pair. Hope for some kind of left field surprise to develop over the next couple of years… Skjei, Duclair, Ryan Graves, etc.

    Also, need MSL to have gas left in the tank since they traded the 1st’s and with Hanks window open, it’s a Tom Bradyesque WIN NOW situation. This could go either way next season, next step up or beginning of the ‘closing window’ phase.

    • Walt says:

      Gary

      Agree with everything you said, plus some!!

      We need size, let me say that again, WE NEED SIZE!

      LA came at us in waves, won most of the battles along the boards, and were immoveable objects. That’s why we need size. Am I getting to the point where I’m repeating myself??

      Or defense is very good, J Moore will get better, and Strahlman should be replaced with a gritty guy, with SIZE might I add!

      Boyle has to be re-signed, I loved his game in the PO’s, if he rest of the team had that much heart, and emotion as Boyle, we could have won.

      Over all, the future looks bright, a few tweeks here, and there, but be smart about it. Let’s not pull a Neil Smith here and give away our youth, for a shot again at next year’s show!

      • HARLMBLUES says:

        I agree size is needed Walt.I want players with size,speed and skill.The Kings for the most part shot the puck on net created chaos with their big forwards and scored.The Rangers now have more skill than the past few years.We still have too many big players who play small and small players like MZA play big with skill.I like Boyle’s game but his price will be Prust like.I wouldn’t over pay for Boyle.He still is slower than i would like.Girardi looked lost really lost.We may need to look at moving him now while his value is high.We need a big,fast,skilled number 1 center.I wouldn’t resign DMoore.I want the bigger younger more skilled Lindberg nxt year centering the 4th line.Thank you BRICH(buyout).Can the big,rugged,Kyle Beach play bottom 6 minutes? Can JT Miller take Pouliots spot with Brassard and Zuccarello? Will big Dylan Mc be given time to develop with the big club and be ready come play off time.Just some things.

  3. TxRanger says:

    I hate Marian Gaborik. I thought he always looked so apatheic and uninvolved during his time in NY.

    Other than that, I agree with this post. It’s on point.

    • Scully says:

      Lol maybe that was because Torts brow-beat him for 3.5 years. Kind of a like an abused animal.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Torts gets fired year 1,Rangers,AV make the SCF and Gaborik helps the Kings win the Cup.

    • Agentsmith says:

      he is in a very good spot in LA. he doesnt need to be the difference maker. they have 4 lines who can score.

  4. LFOD Bleeding Blue in NH says:

    Already see posts about sitting back with the lead. Ever consider that isn’t the plan and they just struggled with LA? Doesn’t it strike these usual suspects odd that we were “sitting back with the lead” while we were down a goal? Anyone want to check out the shots on goal in the first period when we didn’t have a lead? Nah, don’t think, why start now?

    • Ray says:

      I don’t think they sat back at the start of the third period, but they did adopt ridiculously short shifts and they were frequently changing lines when they normally would have rushed. I think it cut the number of rushes in half.

      • Puck Luck (@Centerman21) says:

        For whatever reason, the Rangers tried to play prevent and that’s what cost them. Not enough shots or time in the LA end. The Rangers didn’t score a 3rd period goal in 8 straight going back to games 4-6 of the ECF. That killed them in this series especially.
        The Kings took away possession from the Rangers by forcing turnovers when they tried to carry the puck in the LA zone. So they went to a dump and forecheck game which they were pretty good at with their speedy wingers. But in the 3rd period, all 5 of them against LA. The Rangers stopped forechecking aggressively in favor of a moderate neutral zone at their own blue line. I guess they hoped for LA to over committ and force turnovers. The Kings size just kept coming in waves. They were especially good at finding the 4th attacker in on the rush for open attackers. The Rangers played their game in the OT and it looked nothing like the 3rd period of any game. NYR were out-shot 61-25 in the 5 3rd periods. That’s almost 3-1 overall. To me that falls on AV not the players.
        McIlrath would have played an integral role in this series if he could skate with NHL forwards. I hope he’s able to work enough on it to be a dependable 3rd pair D.
        I think JMoore should be qualified and kept as a depth defenseman. Let him play for injuries. He needs time to develop his NHL tools but I thinks he’s gonna be a very good 2 way defenseman.
        I think it’d be cheaper to resign Strahlman than to negotiate a new deal with Staal this summer. He’s gonna want Girardi’s contract. Strahlman could be kept for less than $5 mil per. Don’t know how much less but less than the $6.5 mil Staal will want for 6 years. Maybe they just let Staal play out his final year and trade him at next years deadline. He’s gonna go all out looking for that next contract in a walk year.
        Trade for ROR from Avs and nab Stewart from Buffalo. Stewart doesn’t wanna be there in a rebuild and if he hasn’t already will ask management for a trade. I’m sure of it. Perfect for Sather to pull a Gomez move on the Sabres. Adds size, grit, and a right handed shot.
        ROR, Stepan, and Brassard make a nice top 3 Centerman. ROR scores 60+ points at will. The Avs have too many Centerman and his $6mil QO Might turn the Avs away. On a puck possession team based on speed and the rush ROR & Stewart will have monster seasons. Stewart on Nash’ right will open the middle for Nash just like King and Kopitar did for Gaborik in LA. Nash needs time on the left side.
        I also think making Nash captain will force him to lead on the ice would be best for the team. Mac is Mac no matter what letter he wears. He will get an “A”. Nash is not a loud guy in General but he was dominant leading a sub-human CBJ team for years as captain on the ice. That’s where he led. Thanks for reading my latest novel!

        • Walt says:

          Puck luck

          Did I write the post above?? You hit every point I was trying to make for the last couple of weeks. The only thing different would be resign D Moore. He proved that he can fill many roles for this team!!

    • Walt says:

      What would you call dumping the puck in the offensive zone, and sending no one after it??

      I don’t know if they were tired, or if it was planned, but they sat on that one goal lead, and got their asse’s burnt! As soon as LA scored they found their energy, and started playing again. You can’t turn this on, and off when you changed the momentum of the game by letting LA score. I guess we disagree on your post my friend!

      • LFOD Bleeding Blue in NH says:

        That was happening BEFORE the lead, and when they were down. That was just LA dominating, for whatever reason.

  5. LFOD Bleeding Blue in NH says:

    What a great season. Is it October yet?

  6. JerseyRanger says:

    My youngest son is graduating high school next week. In two months he leaves for college. Last week for Father’s Day he got me an Eastern Conference Champions hat. He reminded me how we laughed about hats and shirts with that title on it and how meaningless they are. But then he said the thing that got me…”Dad, its really to commemorate the season. No matter whats happened, we’ve had a great time and its been a great memory”. And that it has. So we watched the game together last night and sat in silence when it was over. Then I told him that even with the Giants and the Mets and the 1994 season this was the best and most fun season I have had following one of my teams. He agreed. We didn’t have to say why, we knew. Because we went through it together. We went to some great games: Yankee Stadium, Game 7 against the Flyers, and though it was brutal: game 3 against the Kings.

    This morning I am sad. Not so much because the Rangers lost, though that is a huge disappointment. I am sad that the season is over and I will never quite have another season to share with him that will be like this.

    And while it hurts, I do realize that the bond we forged, which has always been there, is stronger because of what the Rangers did this season. It makes him leaving hurt that much more, but so grateful that the Rangers helped strengthen our bond.

    So this season ends but a new season awaits me, my son, the Rangers, all of us. It promises to be filled with new thrills and challenges and victories. I can’t wait!

    Thank you NEW YORK RANGERS. For a truly wonderful and meaningful season.

  7. iceman9999 says:

    I was speaking with my brother during the game last night. I told him we need to get 2 big D-men to help hank and 1 big bruiser to take care of business.

    If we had at least 1 or 2 big guys back there in front of hank things may be different. Also if we had a real big tuff guy, Clifford would not have gotten away with some of those bullcap hits if we had someone to challenge him right away.

    I think Zuccarella proved his point that little guys can still play this game. ( love that guy).

    Stephan finally showed he can score and help the team in a big way. (a lot of respect for him).

    Poilut, brassard, zucca need to stay together next season. poilut hopefully will get 1yr contract but needs to slowdown on Penalties.

    girardi had a LOUSY! series hopefully next year he will be better. not sure if he get cup jetters

    Hags, Boyle, Moore, Dorsett, hats off to them they played there hearts out. good job.

    Richards!!! good bye!! he cost way to many games and -10+ regular season. He should NOT have been on the point as much as he had been, cant keep up with the play, falling all over the place, just another Tortarella reject past his prime…

    Hank needs some help to win a cup! we need to get bigger on backline..

    1) At least 2 bigger D-men
    2) get our core guys signed
    3) big enforcer needed
    4) good bye Richards

    Other than that I respect an love the rangers, its been a great exciting ride!. we got a years experience as a team in the playoffs.

    I always said you have to learn how to lose before you can win!!

    THANK YOU FOR A GREAT SEASON…

    HATS OFF TO THE RANGERS!!

  8. Leatherneckinlv says:

    The Rangers were a good team. They had a chance and from this chance they learned what it takes to win the Cup. That is priceless.

    My thoughts: We have our 3rd and 4th lines in place. I would still add a bigger winger for the 4th line winger and I truly believe Kyle Beach could be that player. Sign all 3 of Brassard, Pouliot and Zuccarello.

    Zuccarello, Hagelin and St Louis is redundant. That is 3 small forwards on the top 9. Zuccarello is the best of the 3. Stepan is not a 1st line center and Girardi, Staal, Moore and Klein are also redundant on defense.

    We need a hitter (McIlrath) and a puck mover (Niskinen)
    We need Zach Kassian and Brendan Sutter for the top 9 (both Righties).
    Stastny for the number 1 center I like, however I am not sure if he would be a fit. Who would he play with to match their skill level?

    Kassian, Sutter, McIlrath and Niskinen would reduce some of the problems.

    So that means we have to turn some of the roster over. Who stays and who goes?

    I am Sather I would do everything humanly possible to replenish the draft choices we have lost. A trade for Kassian should not be too pricey.

    1st line of Stastny, Nash and Kassian
    2nd line of Stepan, Kreider and Sutter
    3rd line of Brassard, Zuccarello and Pouliot
    4th line of D. Moore, Boyle and Beach
    Dorsett and Miller as extra forwards

    McDonagh and Klein
    Staal and Niskinen
    J. Moore and McIlrath
    Allen as extra D

    Note that St Louis, Hagelin, Stralman and Girardi are not there.

    • Scully says:

      If you think that St. Louis and Hagelin won’t be here next year then you’re smoking some serious dope.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        Watch….first I do not smoke dope and 1 of the two has to go, preferably St Louis. We need to be bigger and frankly we were not faster than the kings. Had the Bruins advanced we would not have made the Cup Finals. Love the player but love your team more. Zuccarello, St Louis and Hagelin on the top 9 is a weakness. Size does matter in Hockey. We need the dirty guys. we have skill in Nash, Zuke, Kreider, Brassard but we need the crease crashers.
        It is a mistake to keep those three on the same team on the top 9. Zuccarello is by far the best of the 3 with Hagelin the 2nd best. St Louis has to go.

        • Scully says:

          St. Louis has one year left on his deal. We gave up draft picks in order to get him. He tarnished his legacy by demanding a trade to New York, and he’ll be our next captain in the interim before we give it to McDonagh.

          Hagelin is the fastest guy in the league and has 30 goal potential.

          All three of our small guys played well in the playoffs. Where our lack of size was evident was on the blue line.

          St. Louis will be here in the fall. He’s got one year left on his current contract and still has 30 goal, 80 point skills. Also Hagelin and Zuuc can learn from him over the course of a full season.

          • Leatherneckinlv says:

            He has got to go. He is not bringing the cup to the Rangers. If so the Rangers would have been hoisting the cup this year.
            I have watched the Rangers play for longer than you were born Scully. I was once where you are at now. They were called the smurfs and they were always dominated by the bigger Islanders. I have learned over the years that you need grit and dirty players to win the Cup. Some things do not need to be changed, like what type of players are needed to win a Cup.
            I recall Pavelich, Routstaleinen, McClanhan and you can add a ton of names from 80 to 86 that were talented but lacked the size. In the 70′s they had talent and were dominated by the Bruins and Flyers.
            In the 90′s we had solid teams but we were still one and done. Then came the mid 90′s to 2003 where we were home to big free agents and no playoff appearances.
            I think I know what I am talking about. I not only look at my team, I also look at Champions and their model to win.

            here is homework for you, go look at the Islanders of 78 to 85 and look at that Roster
            then go look at the Oilers from 83 to 89 and look at the roster which they emulated from the Islanders and then go look at the Canadians from 72 to 80 which was a dynasty unmatched.
            To win a Cup you need goaltender…us check
            You need a mixture on defense of hitters and puck movers…us, almost there and finally forwards you need talent, grit and dirty players…us, not even close

            • Leatherneckinlv says:

              A championship team needs the a Gillies Lupien, Gordie Lane and Marty McSorley and Rod Langway, Dennis Potvin and Paul Coffey, meaning a hitter and nasty D Man and a puck mover.
              A championship team needs a Jaques Lamaire, Bryan Trottier and Wayne Gretzky (number 1 center)) but also needs a Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy and Jarri Kurri, however these guys had something else. Dough Risebrough and Steve Schutt, John Tonelli and Bobby Nystrom and Glenn Anderson and Esa Tikkanen. So show me the Ranger equivalents

              • Scully says:

                Leatherneckinlv, I apologize for being condescending, I shouldn’t have taken that tone, and agree with a lot of what you’re saying in terms of tough guys, but you also have to remember that in a league where clutching, grabbing, and a lot of the grit has been willfully taken out, guys need to be great skaters to keep up with the “new” NHL’s pace.

                I have a feeling that guys like Beukeboom, Jay Wells, Glenn Anderson would be marginal players at best in a league that has as much speed as this. I could be wrong of course, but I’m just looking at the overall pace of hockey. That also is kind of like comparing apple to oranges in a way because we have no way of knowing how a Bryan Trottier would have fared in today’s game, or if Wayne Gretzky would be able to get 212 and 215 points in a season in today’s game. So maybe that’s all a moot point?

                You definitely need guys with size, but overall I didn’t think we were very small upfront. Yes, those three guys – Hagelin, Zuuc, St. Louis are three of the smallest players in the league, but they’re also three of the fastest and most adept at avoiding checks. St. Louis is a very good two-way forward and I think you’d agree, from a big picture standpoint, that he’s a hall of famer based on his career. He’s got 1 year left on his deal, and we will have cap space coming back our way come 2014-2015. To make a knee jerk trade like that we’ll wind up having to take back years + salary while having no compliance buyouts and be stuck with less cap space because of it, much like the Rangers of 10-12 years ago operated (without the cap). That’s a formula for disaster. St. Louis couldn’t bring us the cup himself, but he certainly did a hell of a lot in the playoffs, especially when you consider his mother died midway through.

                With all of that being said, I think once again, that we’ve got enough size up front even with those 3 small guys… Hagelin is amazingly fast, and he’s still very very young. I believe when he learns to shoot more, which we started to see in the playoffs, he’ll have 30 goal potential. He also, like Zuuc is fearless and doesn’t shy away from the big moments. I think if we resign Boyle and put him between Hagelin and St. Louis, you’ll see a very dynamic line, the likes of which Brad Richards wasn’t able to contribute to. Gretzky had guys like McSorley to open up space for him. Boyle could be that for St. Louis and Hagelin next year.

                I think where our struggles were consistent were in our own zone based both on the system we were playing and our defenseman’s inability to clear the crease. John Moore is still only 23! That’s incredibly young. He’s only a year older than Mcllrath. Kevin Klein is very steady. McDonagh is 25 and he’s ready for the keys to the kingdom. He needs a more responsible defenseman on his wing. I like Girardi’s heart and soul, but he’s got deficiencies in his game that McDonagh makes up for. Much like around these parts when we were told “we’ll win a cup when Boyle is on the 4th line.” I think we’ll win a cup when Girardi is no longer our Top Right Side D man. We need a big boy on that side to clear the crease, watch McDonagh’s back, and play steady D.

                I keep coming back to Dion Phaneuf. I don’t buy into the “baggage” rumors surrounding him. He’s been a captain in Toronto for 4 years now. Of course, his contract is ridiculous and what he might cost is a ??? right now. There are consistent rumors coming out of Toronto that they want to deal him to clear up that space.

                I can’t believe i’m suggesting this but, Girardi + Cam Talbot + Jesper Fast/Jt Miller/Oscar Lindberg for Phaneuf and backup goalie James Reimer might get that deal done. Also, like i mentioned this morning, Phaneuf’s been a guy who’s shown he can have a lot of offense in his game and he’s only 29. Much like Gaborik in LA, I think if he (Phaneuf) doesn’t need to be THE guy on the back end he’ll thrive. He’s that nasty D man who’s also a puck mover that you mention. Can you imagine him and McDonagh as our top defense pairing? We’d have the best shutdown pair in the league. Remember, he’s also mean and likes to be a villain. He ended Sauer’s career on a clean hit that just looks dirty because it’s of the Scott Stevens, bone-crushing elk.

                Of course, math would need to work out and with a hard cap there’s a ton of other factors that would come into play making this kind of a deal, on the surface, unlikely, but it’s something I keep coming back to in my mind. I feel like this is something that will, or something like this, will happen.

              • Walt says:

                By the response of thumbs down, it shows how few on this site remember the names mentioned, and their collective styles. You and I are relics, old farts, who’s time has pasted us. We shouldn’t even post anymore because these young guys know all the stats, Corsi bull shit, and want to let us know how bright they are.

                Like you, I have in the past asked for players with size, a mean streak, and skill. If we are to win it all, we need a mix of skill, closers, and some pac mules who will do the dirty work. MSL is nice, we over paid, but I didn’t like the trade then, and still don’t now, but then again, who are we to know??

                We lived in Houston for some 7 years, when John Tonelli played on the same team as Gordy Howe, sons Mark, and Marty. The Aeros were the champs for two seasons, and not too many years later, the WHA was dissolved, 4 teams coming into the NHL. Gretzky, Mess, Mike Gartner were a few of the names that came into the NHL when that happended!!

            • Spozo says:

              Let’s look at this from two perspectives, the only two that matter.

              The Rangers traded their captain and two first round picks for MSL, then went to the Stanley Cup Finals

              MSL requested a trade and would only accept one to the Rangers. He gets traded to the team then goes to the Cup Finals

              So on what planet does A) Sather then trade MSL after a cup finals appearance.
              B) MSL actually OK a trade after making it to the finals with the only team he would have accepted a trade to.

              The guy has a NTC. He’s not going anywhere.

              • Scully says:

                Agreed. Any other perspective point is just opinion, wishful thinking after a disappointing loss, and not semantics.

            • Spozo says:

              Genius. Let’s build another 85 Oilers team. We just have to somehow get 6 hall of famers on this team and the top two points leaders in the history of hockey. Get on it Glen!

    • Pavel-burrito says:

      Niskanen re-upped with the flyers. So we’re not getting him. Not that we need a 39 year old D man to use the rangers as an ATM

    • Ray says:

      You do know that Kyle Beach was a complete washout at Hartford this year, don’t you? The Rangers won’t resign him and he’ll be hard pressed to stay in professional hockey.

  9. Scully says:

    That was one hell of a ride.

    I am a native Brooklynite who decided in December that I’d be packing up and heading for the West Coast come the fall when my lease is up. Brooklyn has gotten impossibly expensive and I’m 27 with no kids or wife so if there’s ever a time to take a risk it’s now. Seemingly running parallel to that, from December on I knew this New York Rangers team could go to the Stanley Cup, and the run they went on felt so good as a New Yorker to be a part of, knowing that I’m leaving.

    I’m going to throw a name out there. My gut instincts seem to be very strong lately when it comes to hockey. This is just me consulting with my oracles, but I think that Glen Sather will make a big trade for:

    Dion Phaneuf.

    My instinct tells me that we’re going to resign Stralman and deal one of our current blue liners (Girardi or Staal) to Toronto as part of a deal for Phaneuf. I’m not a big Dan Girardi hater, but I’m also not a big supporter. He isn’t a 1st line defensive pairing, he’s a very good 2nd line defenseman. Phaneuf plays the right side and would be a hell of a pairing with McDonagh. Now, I realize his skating and attitude have come into question in Toronto, and that he’s about to have a massive cap-hitting extension kick in. I’m just saying this has been a gut feeling of mine since April. If he’s back there last night, the crease gets cleared. He’s also a guy with a ton of offense in his game that AV would tap right into, much like in his early Calgary days. Also, he’s only 29.

    •Carl Hagelin has 30 goal potential and Chris Kreider has 40 goal potential. This cup run will do wonders for them.

    •Brian Boyle needs to be resigned. I want him to center MSL and Hagelin on the 2nd line. He will not disappoint there. Dominic Moore also needs to be resigned to center the 4th line.

    •We’re deeper down the center than people think if Stepan starts to live up to his potential and I think he will. He came back so strong in 2012-2013, and played well down the Stretch this year. Remember he’s still only 24.

    •Brad Richards, who people want to sh*t on, gave it everything he had, it just wasn’t enough. He’s lost a step. He’ll be bought out. I’d rather not talk about the man as if he shot my dog like some people do. He brought in respectability, and in his three years here we made runs every year. Brad Richards helped us win 6 playoff series’ during his time here. We hadn’t one a single playoff series since 2008 before he got here. Thanks Brad. Sign with San Jose so we never have to see you again haha.

    •I think even with the acquisition of another big defenseman, you’ll still see Dylan McIlrath as a 3rd defense pairing next year. I’d also try Klein on the 1st pairing if little changes are made, and possibly keep Klein’s steady presence with Mcllrath on the bottom pairing as well to help nurture him. Klein, is signed through 2018 btw, and I’m happy about that. Thank you Barry Trotz. The dude is a very steady presence and plays a competent game.

    This year:
    McD – Girardi
    Staal – Stralman
    Moore – Klein

    Next Year’s only given right now, to me, is that McDonagh will be the 1st line Left D, John Moore will be the 3rd Left D, and Klein will be playing somewhere. No one else is a gimme.

    •Speaking of Ryan McDonagh, he needs to QB the power play. Give him the keys. He’s ready or will be ready come the fall.

    •Rick Nash is part of the solution, not the problem. He’s only 29. He’s big. He’s fast. He’s got hands. He went to the front of the net a lot last night. He’s needs to be angry after this and he needs to play angry. I think he will. People forget he draws 2 defenders every time he touches the puck. If Kreider or Stepan started potting goals, Nash would have drawn more 1 on 1 coverage. He’s competent in all three zones, something that couldn’t have been said about him in 2009.

    •I think you resign Zuccarello and Brassard, but maybe not Pouliot if only for cap reasons. We need Brassard and we need Zuccarello, but I think Pouliot’s penchant for having small moments as well as big (not counting last night’s BS goalie interference call – Quick was well above the crease), as well as the hard cap, and other moves will leave him the odd man out and Jesper Fast or Oscar Lindberg (let a young center learn the NHL game on the wing like Messier) will take his place.

    •Henrik Lundqvist was sobbing in the locker room last night. SOBBING. The Rangers need to run roughshod on the league next year. The King is the best goalie in hockey. His window hasn’t closed (even if it feels like it has to him right now). His window is WIDE OPEN. He’s 31 and will be 32 come next season. He’s going to take this and get better. The best goalie in the world will come into next season even better. Also, Cam Talbot is an awesome backup who can caddy for another year or two. Killer Cam can start 20 games a year, easily. Then, Cam Talbot will be an awesome trade chip for some stud. Or… Cam Talbot will be included as part a the trade for say… Dion Phaneuf now, (and Toronto can never seem to have enough goalies) because it’s obvious he’s an NHL ready goaltender.

    Training camp is only 10 weeks away! That’s one of the nice parts about this cup run. Other teams’ fans have been in “offseason” mode for 8 weeks now. We’re about to jump right into free agency, and then, unlike in 2012 when the lockout ensued, we’ll be right back to training camp in the same amount of time that this playoff run took. We won’t have the same team next year as we did this year. There’ll be tweaks, and maybe a big non-Richards shakeup as well.

    Everyone needs to Stay angry about this defeat all Summer – Players, coaches, fans. I know I will. Only 10 weeks until training camp.

  10. Chuck A says:

    How long will the “what if” sting last?

  11. What happens to MSL if Richards is bought out. He’s got 1 more year on his contract. The Rangers need a top 6 Center that can win a Faceoff and help with puck possession. I also think they need some right handed shots and depth on the right side. This team is too top heavy on the left side. I think the Rangers can pluck Chris Stewart from Buffalo. Add Ryan O’Reilly to the top 6 in the middle.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      What is the price for O Reilly? That is the question. If they can do it for the right price…go for it. I would take Stastny and build a line around him. Stastny was lights out for the AVs in the playoffs. Nash and Kassian would be a breath of fresh air for Nash. Kassian will get dirty. We need dirty players. Sutter has time after time shown his playoff acumen. He would be a great fit for Stepan and Kreider.

  12. bayman says:

    We need a center and Joe Thornton is very available. Thoughts?

    • Spozo says:

      I too would like to see Big Joe in Ranger Blue but between the Nash and MSL trade, we are pretty meager when it comes to 1st round picks. And I’m sure San Jose would want a 1st rounder plus a prospect and a roster player, atleast, for their franchise centerman.

    • Scully says:

      Eh he’ll be 35 at the start of next season and still has 3 years left n his contract. I wouldn’t touch him with what he’ll cost.

    • We know that how? From what the press has said? If they are in fact shopping Thornton than he could be had for an even trade. If not then no reason trying to coax him from SJ. I doubt Thornton, a big scoring Center that puts up numbers every year. Is on the trading block. If he were I’d absolutely grab him for 3 years and put Nash on his right side. Or the Left if it’ll make Nash perform better. The two have a good report.

      • Bayman says:

        I’m in the SF Bay Area. The Sharks want to get younger and it’s no secret Thornton and Marleau are available.

    • Walt says:

      Never won anything during the PO’s. With all the great talent he was playing with, he could never carry a team. Besides he’s almost my age 68???????

    • HARLMBLUES says:

      Old to much mileage.What has SJ done.

  13. Dan S says:

    Tough, tough way for this magical season to end. Had been extremely disappointed after last Saturday night’s game, then emotionally detached myself just a tad so that Monday’s didn’t hurt as much. Watched Wednesday in an almost fatalistic way, especially as the Kings seemed bound to come back from yet another 2 goal lead. Lundqvist wouldn’t let them. I went into last night with a similar realism. But then out of nowhere the Rangers scored 2 late in the second and suddenly I felt that surge of hope again, hope that we would pull out one more game, back at MSG, where Hank would stand on his head again, and…wasn’t to be. The Rangers were the victim of two terrible calls, no doubt. The first was much worse, because it directly caused a goal. Even then, the Rangers still had a lead. They couldn’t hold it. Credit the Kings, a deserving champion that plays admirably. My only complaint, and it is relatively minor, is with some of the post game quotes from Doughty. No reason to disrespect an opponent that played you valiantly. LA was better, but anything can happen when 3 games go into overtime and 2 to double.

    There will be time to discuss ideas for going forward. I have some thoughts, but for now I’d just like to echo what Jersey Ranger said so eloquently above. There’s definitely sadness in my heart today. I play it down, because I’ve seen enough to know its only a game, and at the end of the day you need to count your blessings if you’re fortunate enough to live a life where this is a source of heartbreak. For me, though, it’s not so much about losing the SC. It’s that it’s over, this unbelievable ride that began with a 4-1 victory in which Richards was the #1star (!) more than 8 weeks ago is over. The nights of watching with my 9-year-old son, jumping up and down with him when we held on in that Game 7 against the Pens, or when Dominic Moore finally got the goal we needed against the Habs. That feeling of finally, after 20 years, a few weeks shy of my fortieth, going back to the SC. The knowledge that, win or lose, there still was another game to be played. All the players who overcame terrible physical pain or devastating personal loss to contribute to this run. Guys like Boyle and Hags and Stralsy who got better and better with each series. And Lundqvist, one of the greatest ever. Don’t ever let anyone tell you professional athletes are just mercenaries. If I had that surge of hope last nite a lot of it had to do with the belief that Hank was determined to will us to a victory and would not be deterred. That belief, like many that exaggerate what individual agency and resolve can achieve, turned out to be wrong. But not by a lot.

    So I’m sad all this is over. The joy even from championships only affects your daily happiness level for so long. I care deeply about the history of this franchise, and wanted another cup. But more than anything else I’m sad there’s no game Mon nite. I’m sad today goodbye to these two unbelievable months. I hope we can get back here. But if history is any guide, it won’t be easy.

  14. Walt says:

    Dan

    Beautiful my friend!!!!!

  15. prole30 says:

    Champions start with two main elements: a great goaltender and a savvy coach. The Rangers have both. Richards was okay until the last series but his contract means that they can’t keep him. Nash has been a bust in two playoff seasons. He was hired to score goals. Carcillo in cameo appearances got only one less than he. He didn’t create much either for others. I’d trade Nash if possible. Maybe if AV has a good relationship with Kesler, I’d start there. He’s a Selke winner, good for 25 goals, goes to the front of the net on PP. Boyle should be kept if at all possible. Ryan Malone might be a cheap pickup for size since he’s played well with St. Louis in the past. I don’t think they have to break up the team nor sacrifice depth as they did for Nash. And what was Columbus thinking when they dealt Gaborik?

  16. Ray says:

    I think Nash is playoff-snakebit. Next year, we can tell him “Relax, we can get to the Finals without you.” and he’ll find his groove long before the playoffs roll around. Notice the one goalie he scored on was not the weakest goalie, but the goalie with no reputation.

    As for Gaborik, he’s a UFA and Columbus is building for the future.

  17. mikeyyy says:

    They gave it their all… Av first season cup final. Nice job.

    Now that stings real good. Lets not forget it and win the next one.

  18. Al says:

    Rangers need to get bigger meaner and younger and need a real heavyweight

  19. supermaz says:

    Don’t over rate players based on one playoff performance.
    Boyle is not worth the contract he will sign…PASS
    Stralman. ..ditto.
    Stepan needs to step it up.
    Nash will be fine….relax.
    McIlrath needs to earn a spot on D.
    just my 2 cents.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Boyle ALWAYS steps up and plays his best hockey in the playoffs. I am all for resigning him for another 3 years unless his contract gets to be absolutely ridiculous.

      Would you resign Stralman for 4 mil per yr if we could then trade Staal to say, Edmonton, and perhaps bring back a younger player with offensive potential? Something like Staal and a prospect (say Kristo/Fast) for Eberle?

      I might sign up for something like that.

  20. supermaz says:

    Also, Chris…Klein left Martinez to follow the player closest to the net, he played it correctly.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      MZA such have taken Martinez.He went towards Toffoli but JMoore was there and Klein took the player driving to the net to prevent the give n go.MZA such have stay high and pick up the 3rd man Martinez.Kings hockey put puck on net,drive to net and clean any loose pucks.Good shot low far side any rebound or save would kick out to 3rd man.

  21. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Why sign Pouliot when you can sign Gaborik for 3yrs.He’s a better fit and a more dangerous threat.

    • Walt says:

      For what kind of money???????

      Also, would Gabby want to come back?????

      I liked Gabby, but for 3 years, with his health history, is it worth the risk??????

      We need to get bigger, meaner, not softer, sorry to disagree on this my friend!!

  22. joe719 says:

    I don’t know how any of you can even begin to think about next year, less than 24 hr.s after the world came to an end. Do you realize the enormity of what occurred last night? It took 20 years to get back to the Show. You’re all talking about trading this guy and signing that guy as if that’s going to guarantee we get another shot at Nirvana. Its not that simple. You have to replace Richards, a lockeroom leader and elder statesman, respected by the whole team( or so we’ve been told). We traded our # 1 pick and our captain, for a guy who the GM tried to tell us was the final piece. A 39 year old final piece. Both Dan Girardi and John Moore were exposed as nothing more than avg. at best. In Girardi’s case, well below avg. Boyle is a free agent who you know Sather will not overpay; so he’ll have to be replaced. Ok, bring in Oscar Lindberg or JT Miller to fill the void; as if they’re both locks to earn a spot. Zucarello needs to be signed to a long-term deal; again Sather is going to try and get him on the cheap. How might that play out in the lockeroom after the Callahan and Stepan situations. Stralman is gonna get a big payday; and you just know Sather will walk away. Fine, you say, we got McIlraith. Really?? Based on what? Then we come to the most important piece of the puzzle: our goaltender. After the game, he was shattered. He made some comments, that ‘sooner or later, you need somebody on your team to score the big goal for you.’ In other words, ‘guys, can’t anybody here play this game; am I breaking my ass here for nothing?’ My point is not that the future is hopeless. Not at all. But some of you talk as if overnight we’ve become a power house in this League that will challenge for the a Cup for the next 5 years. From your lips to Gods ear. I just don’t see it. Unless I’m missing something, this will be the same club who has to fight their way into the playoffs, and then elevate their game even more just to stay there. Crosby and Malkin are still in the League. Philly has not disbanded. Boston is still in Boston. And LA and Chicago are still LA and Chicago. And the Rangers will still be the Rangers: only now, with even more questions going forward. Only until those questions are answered will I even begin to think about next year. To do anything else would be to ignore the enormity of last night.

  23. Leatherneckinlv says:

    John Moore is going to get better and better. This Cup run was invaluable to the growth of this team to include Lundqvuist. Now they know what it takes to win a Cup. I had a hard time liking Pouliot at the beginning of the season. He grew on me. I like him. He needs to be resigned along side his line mates. Pouliot goes into the paint and gets dirty for that line. Zuccarello. Brassard and Pouliot have wonderful chemistry and should stay as a line for us.