3 takeaways from the New York Rangers’ playoff run

The New York Rangers embarked on their first playoff run in 5 years this spring and made quite a bit of noise. Registering an Eastern Conference Finals appearance while playing 20 games along the way. The Blueshirts eventually lost to the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but there is a lot to be excited about with this Rangers team moving forward. What can the team take away from this magical run? Let’s dive into it.

Mika Zibanejad is the Rangers’ best forward

After a tough start to the Rangers’ opening series vs Pittsburgh, Mika Zibanejad found his way. He was far and away the Rangers’ most impactful forward throughout the playoffs and was respected by his opponents as such. Opposing coaches were constantly trying to match up their best defensive center against Zibanejad. Rod Brind’Amour deployed veteran Jordan Staal, while Jon Cooper relied on defensive wizard Anthony Cirelli. Despite this, Zibanejad came up huge with multiple game-tying and go-ahead goals, while also being New York’s most impactful forwards in every other aspect of the game. Zibanejad finished the postseason with 24 points (10G – 14A) in 20 games, and while point totals can be deceiving at times, the 29-year-old Swedish center man certainly rose to the occasion.

Filip Chytil is ready for an expanded role

Throughout his first 253 NHL games, Filip Chytil showed flashes of being a special player, but he struggled to replicate such flashes on a consistent basis. That all changed this postseason, as the 2017 1st-round pick provided a huge spark for the Rangers’ offense. Chytil along with fellow former first-round picks Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko formed a trio commonly referred to as “The Kid Line.” Although many Rangers fans were concerned about the trio’s lack of experience heading into the postseason, there’s a good chance that after Mika Zibanejad, Chytil and Lafrenière were the Rangers’ best forwards. The Rangers are tight on cap space this off-season, with Andrew Copp, and Ryan Strome’s free agency looming, Chytil may be the Rangers’ best bang-for-buck option to be the teams’ 2nd line center next season.

No moment too big for Igor Shesterkin

The newly crowned Vezina trophy winner got off to a fantastic start this postseason, putting up historic numbers en route to a 79 save effort in the Rangers game 1, 3OT loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Shesterkin followed up the historic effort with a win in game 2 and looked to be rolling. Then the series transferred to Pittsburgh where disaster struck for the 26-year-old goaltender. Shesterkin was yanked in both games 3 and 4, both games resulting in losses. This blip in the road caused many to question if the moment was too big for the aforementioned Shesterkin, and boy did he answer the bell. The Rangers netminder went on to put up all-world performances night in and night out throughout the remainder of the postseason. Shesterkin finished the playoffs with a remarkable .928 save percentage, to go along with a record-breaking +18.6 goals saved above expected, per moneypuck.com. If there was any doubt left, Shesterkin passed every test and proved he is the best goaltender in the National Hockey League.

Overall, this season was a huge success for the New York Rangers organization, and should serve as a huge stepping stone en route to the ultimate goal of building a Stanley Cup winning team.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles


Get in Touch

Latest Posts