Game Wrap-upsUncategorized

Rangers swept by Hurricanes, and the 2019-20 season finally ends

The NY Rangers entered Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Qualifiers series against the Carolina Hurricanes needing a win to stay alive. Even with Igor Shesterkin returning to the net, it was difficult to envision the Blueshirts turning this series around. Especially given how stifling and dominant Carolina was in games 1 and 2. But the Rangers surprised us for two periods at least. They gave us a brief glimpse into the future of this young team that’s still at least a step or two away. In the end, the Rangers were swept by the Hurricanes.

The first period was the Rangers’ best of the series by a wide margin, as they took the play to the Canes. But James Reimer made several strong saves. The Rangers outhit, outshot, and outplayed Carolina in the first, but came away with no goals to show for it.

A lot of players had performances that were night-and-day comparisons from their early series showings. Chris Kreider was at the top of that list. He played like the forward that earned a contract extension last winter, and scored an absolutely vintage Kreider goal just 12 seconds in the second period. Jacob Trouba’s smart one-touch transition feed sprung Kreider, who dipped the shoulder and finished off his patented power move.

Unfortunately, the Rangers didn’t build on that lead, nor did they hang onto it for long. Just 3:06 later, Carolina had an extended shift in the Rangers’ zone. It started with the Canes’ fourth line dominating their Blueshirts’ counterparts, but a Marc Staal broken stick enabled Carolina to complete a line change and get their big guns on the ice. With the Rangers running around, Teuvo Teravainen was able to walk into the slot and roof a backhander past Shesterkin.

The Rangers bounced back from the goal though, and continued to show signs of a team that had finally adjusted to the demands of playoff hockey. They generated an incredible sequence of chances on Reimer late in the second, but couldn’t break through. Of course, that would come back to haunt them.

The third period was an unfortunate reversion to what we saw from the Rangers in games 1 and 2 of this series. Carolina simply dominated the Rangers, .Once they took the lead at the 5:07 mark of the third, the rest of the game (and series) felt like a foregone conclusion. Warren Foegele (so many E’s… why so many E’s?) tipped in former Ranger Brady Skjei’s shot for the winner. It was another goal that came off of extended time in the Rangers’ zone.

Then Sebastian Aho embarrassed both Trouba and Tony DeAngelo. Not much more needs to be said here, though outside of this moment, Trouba had probably his best game as a Ranger.

In the end, the Rangers were second-best to the Hurricanes in all facets of the game. Carolina’s top players stole the show, and the Rangers simply had no answer for them. The Canes’ depth also prevailed, as the Rangers over-reliance on their top players was exposed as a critical weakness. The bottom six and defense must be addressed this offseason.

Speaking of the offseason, it’s here (again), and we’ll have plenty to discuss as the Rangers look to build on the progress they made this season. Because the end of a season is always upsetting, here are a few reasons to be excited about the future New York Rangers: Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Lindgren, Vitali Kravtsov, Nils Lundkvist, K’Andre Miller, and of course a 12.5% chance at the #1 overall pick in the NHL Draft.

Gifs courtesy of Shayna Goldman.

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  • C’est la vie. They were outplayed by every metric. Reimer lol. Aho did indeed embarrass Trouba and Tony, but he also embarrassed Igor. That was a weak attempt from him. Otherwise he was just fine. Goaltending was not the issue in this series but it wasn’t a game changer either which I think most of us expected it to be. Hank came closest with his Game 1 performance imo. On to next season!

    • I think Igor was just shocked at how poorly two “good” NHL defensemen played Aho there that he couldn’t react in any capacity.

      • Reimer looked like Dryden…lol..same ole story year after year of watching average goalies look like Steel walls against the Rangers…..

    • Typically, for Hank in the last 5 years, he gave up the first softie in game one. tough playing from behind against this, or any NHL team.

  • I’ll just repost from last night because my thoughts haven’t evolved since then. ps great work BSB staff keeping up on things through the shutdown and into this very short play-in series. thanks as always!!

    well, the rangers didn’t make the playoffs this year. If the goal was to make the playoffs and they came close. Maybe would have done it if the season wasn’t interrupted, maybe not. Good progress by a bunch of our kids, changing of the guard in net, and saw some flashes of what the future could hold with the big guns performing. Reasons for optimism but still lots of wood to chop with this roster before it is a contender.

    And I won’t miss DQ after next season.

    • Great point, Eugene! JD did not hire DQ so I hope DQ is on “notice” and on the clock next season after this playoff debacle.

    • Eugene, I am shocked that you are actually asking this question. I would have thought that this series would have answered it for you.

      • It’s not considered answered until it voiced, I had enough answers with the quinn by march year ago.

  • Even with the sour ending it was a promising season. That they couldn’t match the Canes play, especially with Reimer playing out of his mind, was not all that surprising. They laid it on the line last night and still lost.

    We have one more rebuilding season while we let the Staal, Smith Lundquist contracts expire, absorb the Shattenkirk cap hit and let our young prospects mature.

    The future is bright! We should be legit contenders in 21-22.

    • good points Orlando. And I hope we don’t buy out any of the 3 players you mentioned above. with over $7mill in cap penalties next season we don’t need any more of that as we move forward. We have a solid future and a lot of cap relief is coming. It’s not easy being patient but it’s necessary. Let’s hope we win the draft lottery…

    • 2021 and beyond is for NJD. They already have their own version of Aho in that Swiss kid who is as young as Chytil. Nico Hish will be a 65+ shutdown centerman. That one two punch with Hughes is going to be nast-y.

      Sorry but we should be realistic about this time frame. This team isn’t good enough to clash with the end days of the Crosby/Malkin and Ovi/Backstrom era. Above those teams are Philly, NYI and probably Carolina.

      The clock is ticking for this Zib/Panarin era. New top 6 and bottom 6 cast would do wonders. I have a feeling this team doesn’t make the playoffs next season.

  • No Walt or Peter telling us to like fringe 7th man Smith?

    Yesterday was a clear example on why Kreider isn’t captain. We saw why none of his coaching staff or teammates never speak highly of him to the media.

    • Gecko, WTF are you talking about troll? You don’t even know of any real opinion of mine, so please, stuff it.

      No one cares about your battles with other people who post here. No one cares if you think other people are wrong. No one cares if you think you’ve played more hockey than others. No one with a functioning brain takes any of your gibberish seriously. No, no one cares at all.

      How about trying something new: Talk about hockey, specifically Rangers hockey, not about former Rangers players who you have a man crush on, and stop attacking other people who post on the site and maybe you won’t be so deservedly ignored? Just a thought.

  • Lets get real about our team. They are young, many played their first PO game, with one hand behind their backs.

    Fast going down the first minute of the first game was a back breaker.

    Hank didn’t live up to his former standard, a one eyed d-man who is also immobile was forced to play even though he is a shell of himself.

    A rookie coach, who got his clocked cleaned by an experienced one, and the major skilled players were for the most part absent.

    Now the positive side of the ledger:

    Hank, Smith, Staal are coming up on their last year with the team, if not this season.

    We could see Miller, Robertson, and Lundqvist in the line up shoring up the defense within two years at the most.

    We have two more #1 picks this great, deep draft.

    Kakko showed he can play, and will improve as he gets older.

    Howden may get exposed for the expansion draft, or at least we can pray that happens.

    Next year will be the last with cap monies being dead money, because Shatty, Girardi’s contracts come off of the books.

    DQ should have learned a thing or two by reviewing how bad he coached this PO series.

    Morgan Barron, and two other free agents, who all are big kids, were signed to replace some of the smaller, non physical types.

    The future is bright, and I can’t wait to start next season, it should be fun!!!!!!!!!!

  • Here’s where my mind went–immediately–what happens if they get the #1?

    Would trading the opportunity to draft Alexis Lafrenière be worth Quinton Byfield, Turcotte and say one of: Anderson-Dolan, Akil Thomas, Rasmus Kupari, Arthur Kaliyev or Tyler Madden?

    • Are you kidding? Yes times 1 million that you pull off a trade to get Byfield. We let go of 6 ft 5 200 ft center already. If Rangers win the top lottery pick than they better package that up and get Byfield + another draft pick.

      Chytil is never going to be that top 6 center. They don’t have time to wait for him with Panarin and Zib knocking on their early 30s soon.

      Byfield would give them a chance to trade Kreider.. PP1 would be loaded with Byfield centering Kakko and Panarin. Zib and Fox or ADA on the points.

      • NotsoAvery

        If Rangers win the top lottery pick than they better package that up and get Byfield + another draft pick.

        Another example of your brilliance that you use the wrong word constantly, it should read : lottery pick “THEN” they better package. You can’t be too swift dude………………..

    • Winning the #1 is a long shot. Assuming the Kings would make that trade is pure imagination. However, if a trade like that did happen Chytil could move to the wing.

  • ADA disappeared. He could be a great trading chip for a quality forward.

    We can’t keep him, Fox, Trouba and Nils Lundqvist.

  • Geez, chicken little, the sky isn’t falling.
    We got beat by a better and more experienced team.
    DQ was not hired to only win, he was hired to develop youngsters.
    Look what you got from AV. He didn’t give a damn about prospect development, all he cared about was winning, at the expense of younger players, who could have used NHL ice time to develop. And for those of you who will counter with, ‘development is what the AHL is for’, there are plenty of young players who are talented enough to hone NHL skills in the NHL. Hughes, and Kakko as most recent examples.
    This elimination showed the powers that be just what we need. I will say that had we beat Carolina, perhaps JD and JG might think we are actually ahead of where we truly are.
    We’re still rebuilding, let’s not lose sight of that………….. Ahead of schedule, sure but we are not a Stanley Cup contender yet. Next year we will make the playoffs and cause a bit of noise. Give it a few years and if we stay the course, we’ll be an annual SC contender!
    Patience people, patience.

  • The Rangers did not have a good series, that is rather obvious. The Canes had a lot to do with that. They played very well and executed their game plan perfectly. On the other hand, the Rangers had about one or two good periods of hockey out of the 9 periods played.

    The Rangers are a young team. They played well after December and seemed to have things clicking, so our collective expectations were raised, mine included. But, except for the first period and perhaps part of the second period of the last game o the series, they never effectively countered the Canes’ forechecking. I don’t know for sure whether it was because the Rangers’ players didn’t execute a strategy or if it was because there was no good strategic plan in place. When their inability to counter became so consistent it then made me think that it was in large part due to a lack of a good strategy. If so, then a lot of that falls on the coaches.

    That is, however, all about the Carolina series. Altogether, there is a lot to look forward to on the Rangers. Igor will be an excellent goalie. Kappo Kacko, who is only 19, is already showing some signs of what he can do. Chytil is maturing. Fox is already mature. Panarin will play better than he did against the Canes, that is a given. So will everyone else who struggled. So I am disappointed, but not gloomy. I look forward to enjoying the rest of the playoffs, but I especially look forward to the Rangers’ coming season.

  • I’m fine. A little disappointed with the series that Mika and Panarin had, as well as Strome, etc. but all in all I’m happy they got the experience and played some truly meaningful hockey. This is part of the maturing process. I hoped for better, but this is what I realistically expected (not quite a sweep, but a loss). Let’s be honest, playing without Fast, Lemieux and Igor those first two games didn’t help — we’re just not deep enough (yet) to absorb those losses.

    Chytil and Kakko look ready to bust out sooner rather than later (or never). Lemieux provided what we expected, saw some good flashes out of Gauthier. Fox’s play was underwhelming, Lindgren was strong … and Igor looked just fine, even though it was just one game it will serve him well down the line.

    The consolation prize is a 12.5% chance at the Number 1 … those are much better odds than we would have received if we had just not made the playoffs and the season had continued normally. I’ll take those odds and hope for the best.

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