So, as I wrote last year…
THE REBUILD: Sunday, June 12, 2022: It is the morning after the New York Rangers last attempted to move to the FINALS in search of their first cup since 1994.That to me is a monumental, positive statement. As a fan I must admit these past 40 days (20 games) were an emotional roller coaster ride. Back in September past (2021), who in their right minds would have suspected the RANGERS to be where they landed up, two wins from making THE FINALS. All the hockey pundits alluded to the fact that The Rangers were good, however most wrote the team was “one year away”, what ever that means. Then, Chris Drury pulls the trade(s) of the year by adding Vitrano, Copp, Motte, and Braun without giving up one regular. Grit, experience, determination added in one week’s time. And the new guys added help with the “five on five” play which left a lot to be desired throughout the season. (April 5 the Blue Shirts ranked 26th (46.85) at 5X5 play, which was not good).The “new” guys gave space for the regular studs to do their thing.
We cheered as Kreider scored on the PP throughout the year yet knowing that power plays would be limited in the playoffs.Therefore, his “lighting the light” would be severely tested in 5×5 in the playoffs. And without a doubt, it should be noted that The Rangers have the best goalie (2021-2022) and he proved his worth in most of the playoffs.
So the building blocks are there AND yes, The Rangers are “one year away”. The rest of the league beware.Bring on 2022-2023, We Want The Cup…
The New York Rangers have come a long way from the “the letter”(February 8,2018) when it was announced the “organization” was going through a re-build. For the longest time the team did not have a designated leader AKA “Captain”, then the league had “the bubble games” and at the end of 2020 HENRIK was let go (WTF?) As we finished the 2020- 2021 season, the May 3, 2021 game to be exact, the one where Tom Wilson fights (beats) Buchnevich and then Wilson dumps Panarin to the ice like a rag doll which lead us to the May 5, 2021 brawl at the opening face-off when it was noted The Rangers needed a “Nick Fotio” kind of enforcer. Changes had to and were made. Me, I dumped my season tickets.
What a crazy NEW YORK RANGERS hockey year (2022-2023) it has been, the team finished last year two wins away from making the finals, the same team according to the pundits were “a year away” from making said playoffs.The RANGERS were on a high for sure. This season the team picked/appointed/designated a Captain, actually a player who would proudly wear the “C”, not the “A” (Associate) Captain, but a true leader, JACOB TROUBA. And what a captain he is, more on that later.
The new 2022-2023 season starts off somewhat poorly. I am questioning the guts of these guys. After 26 games they are 11-10-5 and to be truthful they are not what one would label a “playoff bound team”. Then, “it” happened, December 3, 2022, playing CHICAGO, the Captain Jacob Trouba levels Andreas Anthanasiou. A Captain on Captain fight ensues as Jonathan TOEWS (Chicago) goes at TROUBA. Penalties assessed and TROUBA on his way to the showers threw his helmet against the glass and shouted at the RANGERS, “Wake the fuck up”. To which they did over the next few weeks.
It’s February, playing against CALGARY and TROUBA is hitting anyone skating with his head down, two great hits with two fights. The NAZEM KADRI hit with the DUBE retaliation fight had the crowd at MSG going nuts.Then, PATRICK KANE is traded to the RANGERS and the RANGERS subtract Vitali KRAVTSOV, good riddance, and here we are, tonight, Game 1: April 18,2023: NEW YORK RANGERS @ New Jersey Devils:…to be continued…
Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.