Champagne On Ice

Posted: April 4, 2012 by Keith Stone in hockey, NHL
Tags: , , ,

The Rangers won the Atlantic Division and clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference last night with a 5-3 win over the Flyers (to sweep the season series 6-0!). It’s a major accomplishment for a team that struggled to make the playoffs the last few seasons and hasn’t been considered a legitimate Cup contender for 15 years. The Rangers are young, but make no mistake, they can win it all. The core of the team has grown up together on the ice. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Henrik Lundqvist is the best goaltender in the world right now. I can’t say enough about this team. Yeah, they have their high priced free agents but for the most part, the squad developed organically through the draft. And it’s not like the Rangers ever had the #1 pick. Glen Sather has done a great job taking young players that contribute.

So in the toughest division in the NHL, it’s not the veteran Penguins, Flyers, or Devils that emerged, but the the team that barely made the playoffs last year and was thoroughly dismissed in five games. The biggest take away from it all was that after a small celebration in front of the King’s crease, the players skated back to the locker room. They know there are bigger challenges to overcome and are ready to face them head on.

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