The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, May 06, 2007
2006-07 New York Rangers
It's hard to assess a season hours after its disappointing end, but something tells me that time won't make this Rangers' season any less of an enigma.
Going into the season, we didn't know what to expect from the Rangers. Sports Illustrated ranked them highly, and the Post's Larry Brooks predicted a Stanley Cup victory. But after last season's collapse, fans were more cautious.
As usual, in its late September preview, The Zionist Conspiracy got it exactly right, posting:
Unlike last season, when the Rangers were excellent from opening night
The opening night victory over Washington came just before the Succos holiday, on October 5, 2006, as the Mets took Game 2 over the 2006 NLDS over the Dodgers and the 2-2 Jets prepared for what we be a Week 5 blowout against Jacksonville.
The Rangers had several terrible stretches, including a seven game losing streak that dropped them into 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Things turned around after the trade for Sean Avery and the demotion of Darius Kasparaitis.
Led by Lundqvist, the Rangers played excellent hockey in March and April and the feelings of gratitude for the excitement they provided is mixed with deep disappointment that their run has ended. The Sabres are good, they are more talented than the Rangers, but in this series they were beatable. The Rangers had the hot goalie, but squandered a great opportunity.
The Rangers remain an enigma going into the offseason prior to 2007-08. Lundqvist has reemerged as an elite goalie, but this team clearly has deficiencies. With some top free agents on the market, they will have a chance to improve their top two lines, and Marc Staal should be ready to help the defense. Unlike in the past, the Rangers should be able to attract top players without needing to overpay. Glen Sather has made lots of mistakes as Rangers' President. That will be forgiven if he can find the remaining pieces necessary for this team to join the NHL elite and become perennial Stanley Cup contenders.