Kukla's Korner Hockey
Under the cool, calm and collected Vigneault, the Rangers remained a work-in-progress even after they clinched a playoff berth.
Pleasant surprises out-numbered disappointments, particularly in goal where Cam Talbot expertly took over as back-up to Henrik Lundqvist without missing a beat. Not to mention Kevin Klein, who replaced Michael Del Zotto.
The departure of Ryan Callahan hurt not a bit as Martin St. Louis stepped in, providing leadership and key goals throughout the playoff run. Marty was second to McDonagh in Rangers scoring throughout the post-season.
Last September, when the sport's bible, The Hockey News, viewed the Rangers chances, it called them 17-1 to win The Cup. Clearly they did a lot better than anticipated and, therefore, this must be viewed as an upbeat season!
Rangers fans should have no fear because there's a surplus of hope looking ahead to 2014-15.
-Stan Fischler at MSG where you can read more on the Rangers.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Boyle has made it clear he is looking for a bigger offensive role, although he was proud of what he did this season as a member of the fourth line.
“I was on the fourth line, and I didn’t really like it, but it wasn’t the fourth line I was used to,” said Boyle, who had three postseason goals (one empty-netter) after six in the regular season. “We had three lines that could score on any shift — it was different, it was just different.”
After saying how much he loves the Rangers and the opportunity they gave him, Boyle relayed the message sent to him from coach Alain Vigneault.
“I know what my role would be coming back here,” said Boyle, likely looking for a two- or three-year deal in the range of $3 million to $4 million per. “In the playoffs and on a team that’s going to win in May and June, it’s an important role. But everybody wants to score more goals.”
Stralman was a top-four defenseman for the past two seasons, and is likely looking at an open-market value between $4 million to $5 million per on at least a three-year deal, if not longer.
“The only thing in my mind really is security for me and my family,” Stralman said. “We’ve been moving a lot — four teams in seven years. All we’re really looking for is stability, to stay in one place. This is obviously where we want. I’d like to stay. I hope it can happen. We’ll see.”
more on the Rangers...
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...
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.
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