Mike Hume of ESPN New York wrote an article today saying that the time is now for the Rangers to win. The Rangers certainly have the talent to compete with the best that the Eastern Conference has to offer, but can they hold-up in a seven game series against these teams?
The playoffs call for a team's depth to take over a game. The stars are expected to do their part, but the dirty work and grind-it-out players are needed to provide for a team to get the 16 wins necessary to hoist the Stanley Cup.
The Rangers were a grind-it-out team last year, and with the same players who personified that back this year, I expect nothing less. The Rangers also picked up more skill by signing Brad Richards.
The youth of the Rangers shows a bright future, but there is no reason why this team cannot be a major competitor in the East right now. If some players can step up, the Rangers may be able to do some damage in the playoffs.
So here are my 5 key players for the 2011-12 Rangers season.