BOS:

0

CAR:

0

1st

14:58

WSH:

0

TOR:

0

1st

20:00

Rangers: Season in Review

For only the fifth time in the franchise’s 94-year history, the New York Rangers have eclipsed 50 wins in a single season. It’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself, but it’s even more impressive when you look back on where the franchise was merely a year ago. The sudden upheaval and firings of Jeff Gorton, David Quinn, and the beloved John Davidson sent shockwaves through the organization and fan base. More chaos ensued a few months later when new General Manager Chris Drury traded away fan-favorite Pavel Buchnevich. The tepid responses to the Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Reaves additions didn’t quite put out the fire. That fire was stoked even more when blue-chip prospect Vitali Kravtsov refused an assignment to Hartford after not making the team in October. When Drury was hired in exchange for Gorton, he didn’t hide the fact that the mission in 2021-22 was to make the playoffs. Newly minted head coach Gerard Gallant had his work cut out for him, with the Metro Division being one of the toughest in the league. Many believed the best this team could hope for was a push at a wildcard spot.

Fast forward to the end of the season, and that same Rangers team has a home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Not many, if any, could have predicted this level of success for the Rangers this season. Chris Kreider scored the same amount of goals as the team had won (52), and the team finished 2nd in one of the toughest divisions in the league. Igor Shesterkin emerged as the undisputed Vezina Trophy front runner. Artemi Panarin had an “off-year” with 96 points. Mika Zibanejad became a point-per-game player for the first time in his career. Jacob Trouba played his best hockey in New York and materialized as a leader on a stable blueline. In mid-January, Braden Schneider replaced Nils Lundkvist and never gave the front office a chance to second guess their decision. K’Andre Miller took multiple steps in his development to become a top-flight defenseman in this league. Adam Fox is still Adam Fox and will continue to do so in a Rangers sweater for the next seven years. Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil made strides in the right direction and, at times, seem like they’re each a breath away from breaking out. While on their way to clinching a playoff berth, Chris Drury brought in multiple reinforcements. Andrew Copp and Frank Vatrano have both fit into this lineup like a needle in a groove.

However, not everything was perfect on Broadway. Kaapo Kakko’s season was marred with injuries. Sammy Blais and Tyler Motte gave everyone a glimpse of their potential before succumbing to season-ending injuries. Alexandar Georgiev struggled for a large portion of the season before finding his game in late March. Since then, he’s won 7 of his last 8 starts. Patrik Nemeth’s season suffered a similar trajectory. Nemeth struggled early in the season only to be sideswiped by COVID in December. It wasn’t until after the faux “Olympic break” that Nemeth started to show signs of significant improvement. Since then, he’s helped stabilize the 3rd pair along with newly acquired Justin Braun.

A lot of fortuitous bounces have transpired in the last 12 months, which is why the Rangers will be headed back to the 16-team tournament for the first time since 2017. The ill-advised narrative going into the previous offseason was that Tom Wilson “broke” the Rangers. Tom Wilson didn’t break the Rangers, and he galvanized them. Thanks, Tom.

In this weeks episode we discuss the Rangers contender status, offensive problems, Gallants questionable decisions and more.Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Contenders or Pretenders
  2. Guest Josh Khalfin
  3. All Star Smash Mouth
  4. Our Line Starts?
  5. Recap, Cap Space and Big Picture

Luca Perito

Born and raised in New York. I've lived in Arizona, Maryland, Delaware, and California. Love all sports. Twitter @elbigcalzonelp -- Instagram @thebigcalzone

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