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I will do a complete season wrap in a few days, but let’s first just talk about this game. I know everyone is upset that we lost in the shootout, but come on, let’s get real people. The better team won. Honestly, the Flyers outplayed us to badly, I’m quite frankly amazed Henrik was able to get it to the shootout. This wasn’t a case of 2 teams playing even hockey and 1 team winning in a skills competition. This was the case of 1 man on 1 team keeping his team in it, while the rest of them fell flat on their faces. It’s a sucky way to lose….sure, but getting into the playoffs on the back of a 1 man show is not the way you want to get in. Besides, everyone with even the slightest bit of realism knows the Rangers would be incredibly lucky to win 1 game against the Caps. If they managed to win a single game, I would have called it a successful series, that’s how bad of a mismatch it is.

Getting back to the game at hand, essentially the Rangers were led, once again, by their 4th line. Chris Pronger effectively shut down Marian Gaborik (which is why having a secondary option, a-la Kovalchuk is so huge) and that led the Rangers to have to lean on the trio of Prust-Anisimov-Shelley. Seriously, if I told you going into the season that the Rangers would have a line with Prospal, Jokinen, and Drury, and they were not even remotely counted on to score goals anymore, you would have said this season is lost. You can no, I repeat, can not win with key guys like Jokinen and Drury being absolutely horrible. You just can’t do it…not without another guy to carry the load.

It’s a shame the season had to end, but their are plusses to this. First and foremost, the Rangers get a higher draft pick. If they would have made it, they would be picking at best at 15th. Now the pick anywhere from 6th through 11th depending on how the lottery goes. That is not an insignificant development as the Rangers would have a legit shot of picking up a first line player with that high of a pick, particularly with one of the best scouting directors in Gordie Clark. Second, the Rangers now have the onus on them to get rid of these horrendous contracts. Redden, Brashear, Jokinen, and theoretically Drury can all be moved (Drury would have to accept a trade). If Sather can pull of some of his magic, then the Rangers will be in prime position to fix their flaws. And finally, there is a chance that because of the loss of revenue, Sather could be fired. I won’t hold my breath, but man oh man it would be great if it happened.

Ok, that’s all for now, I will be doing an in depth analysis of each and every player probably in the next week or so.

Enjoy the summer, and Go Yankees!

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