Remember last year in the last game of the year, the Rangers lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout to get eliminated from playoff contention. The Flyers would wind up losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks.
But no one really knows why the Rangers lost that game.
I will tell you why.
Henrik Lundqvist started the last nine games and 12 of the last 13. He didn't get any rest down the stretch because the Rangers didn't have a reliable backup goaltender.
Here's another reason: They couldn't score. They relied too much on star forward Marian Gaborik. They had no real first partner for him. Now they have acquired Alexander Frolov from free agency.
Here are five reasons why the New York Rangers will make the postseason:
Quick, name me one team that has a starting goalie as their backup besides the Capitals and Bruins.
Okay, you can't.
With the Rangers having one the best goalies in the NHL as their starter, they can now give him even more rest with a backup like Martin Biron. He was so-so with the Islanders last year, but he was better than any Rangers backup goalie. Expect Lundqvist to have a great year for this reason.
Wade Redden is Gone
News from this weekend was that the Rangers waived veteran defenseman Wade Redden. When the Rangers signed him to a six-year deal, I was freaking out. He sucked ever since he came. It is about time they got rid of him and now this leads the way for the young guys to work hard and try to make the team.
Eastern Conference Falling
There are great teams in the East like the Devils, Penguins, Flyers, Bruins, Sabres, and Capitals. But you also have bad teams like the Islanders, Thrashers, Panthers, Hurricanes,and Maple Leafs. Then you got the bubble teams like the Canadiens, Senators, Lightning, and Rangers.
Only four teams will be competing for two spots. Should be interesting.
The Rangers had a great offseason highlighted by the signing of Alexander Frolov. The offense will look brand new.
Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik
Two of the top 30 players in the NHL. Yes, the Capitals have about five and the Penguins and Devils have about three each, but the Rangers have something special going for them with these two players and they should lead them to the playoffs.
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