Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Cerny of BlueShirtsUnited,
It could have been that the Rangers spent Monday preparing to play Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals later that evening at Madison Square Garden. Instead, Ranger players, coaches, and staff took part in break-up day at the MSG Training Center, while 3,000 miles away the Los Angeles Kings were feted with a championship parade.
Head coach Alain Vigneault, who met individually with each player on Monday, said his team's four losses to the Kings--in particular the three in overtime on the road, including Friday's Game Five double overtime defeat...would "haunt" the Rangers because the club was so close to winning each and every one.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
D Anton Stralman: Question is whether the Rangers will have the space to accommodate the $4-4.5 million per on a multi-year deal the right defenseman would attract on the open market following his cash-register playoffs.
D Raphael Diaz: Righty could return for a deal in the $1 million neighborhood if Stralman departs.
LW Benoit Pouliot: Two years in the $2-2.4 million per range for the erratic winger who responded to coach Alain Vigneault’s early tough love and was an effective complement on the line with Brassard and Zuccarello, but who did take 10 offensive-zone penalties in the playoffs.
C Brian Boyle: Will have numerous teams pounding on his door. Questions are whether, a) the Blueshirts have the space to commit $3-3.3 million per for a fourth-liner that Boyle is likely to command as a UFA; and, b) whether Boyle will look to sign with a club that would offer the opportunity for a larger role.
C Dominic Moore: Fourth-line engine should receive in the neighborhood of $1.5-$1.75 million per on a two-year deal.
RW Dan Carcillo: Unlikely to return unless the Rangers deal Dorsett.
more on the the off-season the Rangers face...
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
One minute later, Richards was asked if there were pride in the Rangers’ accomplishments, despite how it all had crashed down.
“There will be,” Richards said. “Not tonight. But there will be. Tonight’s not a night to reminisce. But there will a time this summer when you think back about what an amazing run it was. It has to be amazing to get this far: To come together, and no one will ever know except for us how fun it was and how we came together. But you lose three games in overtime in the final, it’s tough to explain.”
What seemed to hurt the Rangers the most was how close they felt they had been. The series ended 4-1 Kings, but the Blueshirts had led all three games in Los Angeles that they eventually lost, all in extra time.
They couldn’t believe it was over.
“We all want to go back onto the ice,” center Derick Brassard said.
Chris Kreider was angry, pacing a bit to the side behind where Richards had conducted his interview. Further back to the right corner, Derek Stepan sat crushed at his locker.
“It sucks right now. This is so tough to swallow,” said Stepan, who has not been able to swallow solid food since breaking his jaw in the Eastern Conference Final against Montreal.
On the other side, the LA Kings talked about winning the Stanley Cup while still on the ice, watch below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
General manager Glen Sather and his staff have the responsibility of bolstering the personnel to attain the three victories by which the Rangers came up short, and without first-rounders for the next two seasons — gone to Tampa Bay in the deadline deal that brought Marty St. Louis into New Yorkers’ lives — to either regenerate the operation or to dangle as trade assets....
The Rangers simply have to get bigger. The Kings’ size and ability to get to the net and cause havoc for Henrik Lundqvist was the decisive factor in the finals. If the Rangers are playing with the big boys now, it can’t only be about players putting on their big-boy pants. It’s about Sather getting bigger boys who can go toe-to-toe with the Jeff Carters, Dustin Browns and, yes, Milan Lucics of the world.
It is a fait accompli that Brad Richards has worn the Blueshirt for the final time. It is only a matter of timing as to when management exercises its final amnesty buyout on the team’s de-facto captain, whose tenure over three years added class and a substantial presence to the organization. Richards will leave the Rangers in a far better place than when he joined them. His contract has paid for itself.
Derek Stepan elevated his game throughout the tournament, during which he was matched consistently against the opposition’s top line. Stepan’s compete-level was exemplary. In his fourth year in the playoffs, and while playing the final seven games with a contraption affixed to his helmet to protect the broken jaw he sustained in Game 3 against Montreal, Stepan got it. The Rangers have no worries going forward with No. 21.
The same cannot be said regarding Rick Nash, who played extremely hard, but not well enough by any definition in order to justify his status as the go-to difference maker Sather thought he was in acquiring from Columbus two years ago.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 14, 2014 – The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last night with a double-overtime 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The thrilling contest averaged 6.0 million viewers; making it the most-watched Game 5 in six years and helping NBC win the night in primetime, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company. Los Angeles and New York both scored their second-best local-market ratings ever for an NHL game on NBC or NBCSN.
We'll close out this season with the Stanley Cup game winning goal called by Jim Hughson of Hockey Night in Canada.
added 2:24pm, The French version of the goal by RDS is below...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
They fought to the end, showed a ton of heart. But the Rangers got as far as heart can get you in this Stanley Cup Final that ended in double overtime in Game 5 Friday night.
The Kings, champions in two of the last three seasons, have the will. The Rangers were in no mood to think about lessons learned in a solemn, red-eyed visitors' locker room as the Kings celebrated on the ice, but the biggest one the many Final neophytes should take away is this:
You need will to win a Cup.
Heart and effort gets you plenty. The Rangers, of course, have tons of skill, too, primarily in goal, where Henrik Lundqvist could have stolen a few Conn Smythe votes as playoff MVP had he stolen Game 5.
But the Kings are built on will. They wear teams down. And even with three overtime victories in a series that was far tighter than any five-game series could be, the Kings wore down the Rangers, especially in the third periods of games.
from Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post,
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider with the full transcript of Darryl Sutter post-game,
On an inclination in 2012 that the team would be capable of winning multiple Cups:
We did it a different way in ’11-12. That’s something that I don’t think could ever happen again if you go back to that because of winning as a road team all the time. This year was totally different. A lot of new players in our lineup. We knew we had to at some point. During the Olympics, I always thought about this, ‘How are we going to beat Chicago? How are we going to beat Chicago?’ Dean got Gaborik. We were able to put some kids in, go from there.
Alain Vigneault post-game...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Cup was on the ice, and the Kings were celebrating. It was 40 minutes after the dagger had been plunged into Lundqvist’s heart, and the franchise goaltender was still wearing his hockey pants, pads and skates. He sat in his stall in the locker room, his hands — left hand still taped — first clasped over his head, then covering his eyes and what had been a vacant stare, the King intermittently shaking his head, perhaps imagining what might have been.
In defeat, this was Lundqvist’s grandest hour, nearly an hour of hockey in which he had made 48 saves and had been a pillar of strength in repelling wave after wave of Kings attacks. But that does not change the outcome. That does not change the fact Lundqvist will go into his 10th NHL season searching for his first Stanley Cup, and the Rangers will start next season 21 years removed from their last title.
Nothing changes that reality for King Henrik.
“I knew going into this series that it would end in tears,” Lundqvist finally said after pausing to collect his thoughts when asked to articulate his emotions. “Tears of joy or tears of heartbreak.
“Right now it’s extremely tough.”
Below, Darryl Sutter and Henrik Lundqvist in the handshake line...
Nick Nickson, radio play-by-play man for the LA Kings with the OT winning goal..
After that goal comes one of the greatest traditions in sports, the handshake line. Watch it below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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