It is easier to write objectively once the emotion of the season wears off a bit. This morning, over at The Hockey News, I wrote about how the Rangers were really the second best team in the Eastern Conference. At least that's one possible interpretation.
Feel free to debate me.
Now, however, comes one of the most fun times of the NHL season, the Draft and Free Agency. Why is it so intriguing? Because teams can change drastically in the matter of a few minutes and most players are now signing on the first day of free agency, not waiting around all summer.
Remember the excitement of the Drury and Gomez signings? This blog was in it's early stages and it drew a lot of hits as I was checking every press source and media outlet for updates.
I think this year will be much of the same. Perhaps the talent is not as deep as last year's pool, but the Rangers need some speed and some defense and both are out there.
So over the next few weeks I'll be doing my season wrap up and gradings as well as keeping an ear to what's going on. My early guesses: Shanahan, Straka, and Jagr all come back. I am more confident about Jagr, though, than the other two.
Oh well Ranger fans. Again you can look to the defense. Tyutin, late in the third, shoots high and wide. Staal passes up a golden opportunity. Girardi makes an ill-advised kick leading to the season.
But let's be honest, did anyone not see this coming? The Rangers were slower, tired, and had an ineffective defense. Specialty teams? Well, you saw.
The Rangers, from the onset of the season, were overrated. Defense wins championships and the Rangers don't have a dominant defenseman. They failed to address it during the season and in the end, it caused their demise.
So now it's time to retool. We'll get started on that this week, but it's been fun fans and our future is bright!
It's been difficult to write as of late. Not just work, but the utter dissapointment that has become this Rangers team.
Yes you can cite unfortunate bounces, inconsistent officiating, etc. But the Rangers beat themselves and as they stand one period from the golf course, the same plague will cost them this game.
Bad penalties at bad times. A less than mediocre defense. A pointless power play.
So as Ranger fans cling to their most likely final period of the season, we are left to wonder whether we will see the same weaknesses fail to be addressed this off-season.