New York Rangers playoff setback not a reason to lose hope on a still promising season

New York Rangers
Apr 9, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders with defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no pretending here that last night’s loss wasn’t devastating to the Rangers playoff chances. Mathematicians over at MoneyPuck have dropped the Blueshirts post-season odds to a paltry 6.8%. Yet there’s still a ray of hope in the next four games.

Blueshirts are still in it

As bleak as it looks right now, especially considering all the teams ahead of them won last night, there’s still a slim chance. However, there’s no more runway and four straight wins against the Flyers (2x) and Sabres (2x) are absolutely imperative.

Because right after that, the Rangers will get a chance at redemption with two more games against the team that thrashed them 6-1 yesterday. A home and home sweep against the Islanders for the Rangers could have them still playing meaning full games all the way to season’s end.

For the rebuilding Blueshirts, that’s what this is all about. Not necessarily getting in but being in the fight and establishing a winning culture. We know there are holes in the lineup – but anyone who can separate the emotional aspect of sports will clearly see the Rangers are building something special here.

Promising season foretells of brighter future

Colin Blackwell
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While there’s a lot of gloom and doom being written about the team after yesterday, I wanted to put together a list of things that point to a bright future.

  • Igor Shesterkin is the real deal
  • Adam Fox is a Norris Trophy candidate in his second year
  • Artemi Panarin is one of the best players in the game today
  • Kaapo Kakko has made tremendous strides and looks close to putting it all together
  • Alexis Lafrenière is going to be a complete 200 foot player built to win hockey games
  • K’Andre Miller will be patrolling the blue-line for a decade
  • Pavel Buchnevich has developed into a complete player and top penalty killer
  • Ryan Strome has proven he can be a top 2 center
  • Ryan Lindgren is a top shutdown defender
  • Mika Zibanejad still has elite talent
  • Vitali Kravtsov is going to help this team (either here or via trade)

That’s just what’s obvious and on the surface. There’s still the pending debut of Zac Jones coming. And Nils Lundkvist’s arrival next season. Their prospect pool is deep and they are positioned cap wise to make a monster trade for another elite center this summer.

Bottom line, whether they get in this season or not – the Rangers are not building to just make the playoffs next season. They are building to challenge for Stanley Cups for the next 5-7 years.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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