Bantering Points: 4/30/24

Here are today's news and links:

Rangers News:

Mollie Walker chatted with Erik Gustafsson about the satisfaction in contributing to the Blueshirts' advancement to the second round after sitting out the majority of his 2023 playoff run with Toronto as a scratch (NY Post)

Walker also heard from Igor Shesterkin about the work New York still needs to do as the postseason continues (NY Post)

Dave Blezow examines how the Rangers stack up with other Presidents' Trophy-winning teams that secured first round playoff sweeps (NY Post)

Colin Stephenson writes about the tougher opponents Peter Laviolette's squad will encounter in the playoffs now that Washington has been disposed of (Newsday)

Peter Baugh al$o di$cu$$ed the $tronger team$ the Ranger$ will encounter in the $econd round and beyond (The Athletic)

Around the NHL:

The Seattle Kraken relieved Dave Hakstol of his duties as head coach following the team's second season missing the playoffs out of three since joining the league (NBC Sports)

The Florida Panthers became the second team to advance to the second round of the playoffs, cruising past the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 6-1 margin in Game 5 and securing a 4-1 series victory (TSN)

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the question becomes whether the franchise icon has played his final game in Tampa Bay (Sportsnet)