The New York Rangers’ 2017 season has officially come to an end. The Rangers were eliminated by the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 in the second round of the playoffs.
What went wrong with the New York Rangers? In short, they didn’t want it enough.
Over the last few seasons, the Rangers have struggled defensively. In this year’s playoffs, the Rangers allowed a ridiculous number of shot attempts at 652 in only 12 games. The Rangers won’t always have Henrik Lundqvist, who had a .927 save percentage during the playoffs, defending their net.
Alain Vigneault struggled with putting the right guys in at the right time. Rookie Brady Skjei was on the ice for 13 of his team’s goals and only six against. Instead of keeping Skjei on the ice in tight situations, Vigneault threw in veterans like Marc Staal. Yes, veterans with playoff experience are more trustworthy. But, if they aren’t producing for the team, why take out the player who is just because he is a rookie? For example, Staal and Nick Holden were on the ice for all of Montrel’s goals in Game 2. With the Rangers leading by one and only a few minutes left, Skjei was taken out and Staal and Holden were put in. The Canadiens scored, forcing the game into overtime where the Rangers evidently lost.
On offense, the Rangers’ key players came up short. Rick Nash had, once again, underwhelmed in the playoffs. He has just 15 goals in a 77 playoff games. This year, he scored just three goals and two assists. One of the Rangers’ top forwards J.T. Miller had zero goals in the playoffs after having 22 goals and 34 assists in the regular season.
Overall, the Rangers did not show up to the playoffs. The Rangers blew leads at the last minute, failed to score on power plays, and Vigneault did not put up the best line up in dire situations.