The New York Rangers made it through the 2021-22 season. Now they have to make it through the postseason. At the beginning of the season, many fans were hoping for a chance to make it into a wildcard spot for the playoffs. However, as the season progressed, this Rangers team was in it to win it. Records, both franchise and personal, were broken this season, and right now, there is no stopping the boys in blue.
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Igor Shesterkin was named the Rangers’ Most Valuable Player. Media members vote on this one, and he is the first Rangers goaltender since Henrik Lundqvist in 2017-18 to win the award. Also, Barclay Goodrow and Jacob Trouba were named co-recipients of the Players’ Player Award. The team votes for the winner selecting the teammate that “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.” This is the first time the award has been shared since Chris Drury and Blair Betts earned the honors in 2008-09.
The winner of the John Halligan Good Guy Award was Ryan Strome. This award recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season and is chosen by media members who cover the Rangers during the season. Congratulations are in order for all of the winners who are deserving of the recognition they have received.
Kreider Did It
Chris Kreider was the recipient of two awards near and dear to the heart of the organization and fans. First, he won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, which is voted on by fans. It bears the name of New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986.
The second award was the Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award. This one is given to the Rangers player “who best honors Rod’s legacy by exemplifying leadership qualities both on and off the ice, and making a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.” With his contributions both on and off the ice, Kreider is deserving of the accolades bestowed upon him.
In addition to these awards, Kreider is also nominated for the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy, which is given “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
April 26, 2022
Madison Square Garden
07:05-Vincent Trocheck, Brady Skjei & Nino Niederreiter
13:48-Jordan Martinook, Derek Stepan & Martin Necas
16:56-Chris Kreider & Frank Vatrano
18:19- Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck & Brady Skje
00:32-Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis & Jaccob Slavin
13:12-Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller & Mika Zibanejad
18:58-Alexis Lafreniere, Chris Kreider & Adam Fox
Going toe to toe with the best team in the Metropolitan is not an easy thing to do. Despite having beaten them earlier in the season, this game was all Carolina. Both teams did well in the first, and it looked like it would be a low-scoring game. However, there was a storm brewing, and the skirmish between Patrik Nemeth and Niederreiter was only the beginning.
The Hurricanes scored first, almost midway through the second, and it was not for lack of chances on the Rangers’ part. After the second goal by Carolina, Barclay Goodrow and Ian Cole dropped the gloves, which resulted in both getting five minutes for fighting. Not long after, Kreider was able to get the Rangers on the board with his 52nd goal of the season. This made him tied for second place with Adam Graves for second place in the Rangers’ single-season scoring record.
The third period was still a Carolina show despite the Rangers being the home team. Always the kings of comebacks, the Rangers almost did it with the goals by Trouba and Lafreniere. However, they could not get the tieing goal for overtime, and the final score was 4-3.
New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens
April 27, 2022
Madison Square Garden
18:45-Ryan Poehling, Michael Pezzetta & William Lagesson
04:14-Ryan Reaves, Patrik Nemeth & Kevin Rooney
19:51-Jeff Petry, Christian Dvorak & Josh Anderson
04:15-Frank Vatrano & Barclay Goodrow
12:08-Mike Hoffman, Nick Suzuki & Joel Edmundson
15:41-Ryan Strome & Barclay Goodrow
19:29-Jeff Petry & Christian Dvorak
The Rangers faced a Montreal team without their star players, Artemi Panarin, Andrew Copp, Ryan Lindgren, Zibanejad, Kreider, Fox, and Trouba. Their play looked like it. Despite the Canadiens performing better in the latter part of the season, the Rangers should have been able to win this game. It’s not surprising that the veterans Reaves, Vatrano, and Strome scored the three goals in the game.
Without their major stars to drive the play, the team looked a little lost or rusty at times. The Rangers’ line of Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, and Kaapo Kakko did not show much, mainly because they have not played together a lot. It was an interesting experiment to see if the kids could play together and have any chemistry. Speaking of chemistry, the Rangers had three power play chances in this game and looked like they did not know how to deal with it. They missed Fox and Kreider there. The Rangers almost had their comeback with Strome’s goal, but a last-minute goal by Petry gave the Canadiens the victory.
New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
April 29, 2022
Madison Square Garden
03:26-Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko & Braden Schneider
04:01-Justin Schultz & Trevor van Riemsdyk
05:13-John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov & T.J. Oshie
15:44-Alexis Lafreniere, Ryan Strome & Braden Schneider
06:42-Dryden Hunt, Kaapo Kakko & Adam Fox
It was a very different game against the Capitals without Alex Ovechkin. Washington needed to win this game and have the Pittsburgh Penguins lose theirs to secure the third-place spot in the Metropolitan. Unfortunately for the Capitals, neither one of those things happened. Instead, Pittsburgh won, and the Rangers got the victory.
Coming into this game, the Rangers had dropped three straight. They needed a win to finish the season, and some unlikely players provided those goals. Chytil, Lafreniere, and Hunt all made impressive goals, allowing the team to go out winning. Thankfully there were no more injuries sustained by the Rangers, and at the end of the game, everyone knew they would face Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
What We Learned This Week
Star players do make a difference.
After the loss to the Hurricanes, the rangers were comfortable in knowing they would be in second place. Therefore, resting some of their star players, at least for a game, was something worth doing. Also, we learned that though it took two games, the young boys on the team were able to step up and show that they were capable. However, it will be good to have the starters back and healthy. Then, they have to get ready to face the Penguins in Game 1 on Tuesday.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images