Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Monica McAlister on 06/14/14 at 04:25 AM ET
Everyone is sending their congratulations to the LA Kings for their much deserved Stanley Cup win. Writing up the story that is Justin Williams winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the 2014 NHL Playoff MVP.
Justin Williams takes home the Conn Smythe Trophy, not to mention his third Stanley Cup. Unreal.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 14, 2014
All is great, all is deserved, all is heartbreaking at the other end of the rink as the New York Rangers watch their Stanley Cup dreams come to an end for this season.
Dan Rosen from NHL.com captured the story from the other side of the championship:
The coping started with heartbreak and blank stares.
Dan Girardi and Carl Hagelin, still wearing their white New York Rangers jerseys and all of their pads, sat in front of their dressing room stalls staring ahead, looking blankly across the room. Derek Stepan sat alone in the corner, his arms crossed, head down. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist, his jersey off but pads on, buried his head in his sweaty palms. Ryan McDonagh was shaking as he answered questions.
The scene looked like something out of a nightmare for the Rangers. It felt like one too, one caused when Alec Martinez and the Los Angeles Kings cut their dream short with a 3-2 double-overtime, Stanley Cup-clinching victory in Game 5 of Final on Friday at Staples Center.
Martinez scored the winner at 14:43 of the second overtime off a rebound. Lundqvist made 48 saves, but it wasn't enough.
"This is one of the worst feelings I've ever had as a player," Girardi said.
The Rangers had made plenty of moves with their roster and coaching to get to where they are right now. Not to mention how they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 in the first round and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the same fashion in the second. Not much made of their Game 7 heroics in the first two rounds since defeating Montreal Canadiens in Six; now after five games in the Stanley Cup Final their season is over.
Morning papers are at press, ink still trying to set and already the talk is how the New York Rangers will use their compliance buy out now that the 2014 buy out season is upon us.
So Brad Richards has like 2 more days left as a Ranger, right?— CJ Gates (@ceejgates) June 14, 2014
Brad Richard's isn't the only one that is popping up in the post game discussions.
There is no way the @NYRangers can bring back Rick Nash next year, You have to trade him. Buyout Brad Richards and pray for good luck— Equipment Guy (@DHamptonEqMgr) June 14, 2014
It was a long road for the Rangers to get to where they are at this moment. As one of the Original Six teams the New York Rangers hold four Stanley Cup Championships - the last of which came twenty years ago when Mark Messier helped the team defeat the Vancouver Canucks in Game Seven. There is still a long road to go.
Starting goaltender Henrik Lundqivst is locked up long-term for the Rangers and they have young talent with Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello (may want to start talking contracts soon). Head coach Alain Vigneault did what John Tortotella could not and got the team to the Stanley Cup Final.
The team is still without a captain after trading theirs for (at the time captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning) Martin St. Louis.
They may be heartbroken now but if they learn from this final; like the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins did and find the piece that are missing rather than blowing up the team and starting over, the Rangers will see better days.
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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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