As a die hard true blue Rangers fan for over 30yrs, I want to say to the 2010/2011 team.....thank you. This may sound strange seeing that we were just eliminated by the Caps. But I have taken several things from this season into consideration and I know greatness is just on the horizon.
Firstly, remember last off season. The Rangers were picked to finish last. They were counted out before the season even started. They had ups and downs this season but they put it together. This team found a way to win.
Secondly, this was a rebuilding year. Expectations even by me were few. The team could have tanked and played mediocre hockey and nobody would have said anything about it other than....we're rebuilding. But this team found a way to win. This team showed heart.
Next, taken the aformentioned into consideration, the team played through some serious injuries. Prospal, Gabby, Drury, Callahan twice, Dubinsky.........The Rangers called up players who filled in the void and they managed to be respectable, almost as if it didn't matter. This team found a way to win. This team showed heart. This team played exciting hockey.
This season we saw something we were not used to, an infusion of youth and the jettisoning of albatross contracts and older players. It was good to see Redden banished and Rozi shipped out. But more importantly we got to see Sauer, Stepan, Mc D, Zuke. Guys form our system getting it done. It seemed like we were unstoppable for a while and a shoe in to get to the post season...then we lost to the Isles and it seemed like we were not going to make it. The team pulled together and found a way to get in. More importantly we didn't get beat by the Devils, who have never beaten us in a game that really mattered. This team found a way to win. This team showed heart. This team played exciting hockey. This team showed a will to want to win.
I'm not going to argue about what playoff game we should have won or how the series should still be going on. We should be proud of this team. A few tweaks here and there and we will be better next season. Sather seemed to "get it" this year. Hopefully that continues. Hopefully he addresses the need for scoring.
Thanks again Rangers.