How far will the Rangers get this season?

Optimism About These Rangers Is Justified, But Patience Is Also In Order
Taking the temperature of the club...

It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement over young players like Derek Stepan

It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement over young players like Derek Stepan

There are still two long months to go between now and the start of the 2011-2012 NHL season, but expectations for the Rangers have already been set very high.

Thanks to a group of hard-working, overachieving youngsters the 2010-2011 Rangers took a big step forward and snagged a playoff berth.  The addition of Brad Richards will only put more pressure on the team, but we must remember that this is still a growing group.

If all goes right next year: Henrik Lundqvist continues to be one of the best goalies in the world, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik lead a much-improved attack and the young defense continues to play well beyond its years, the Rangers could be one of the league’s surprise teams and make some noise in the playoffs.

However, if the development of some key young players stall, Gaborik can’t rediscover his scoring touch, the injury bug continues to bit the Blueshirts and Lundqvist doesn’t perform at his usual level; the 2011-2012 season could turn out to be a huge disappointment.

It’s not hard to imagine either scenario unfolding, but as with every debate in sports, the truth will likely lie somewhere in the middle.

With good luck, the Rangers could be knocking on the door as contenders, but they could just as easily be battling for the seventh or eighth playoff spot.  As the summer progresses it’s easy to get caught up in one way of thinking or another, but remember that every season is a crapshoot and the performance of every player and every team varies from one year to the next.

There’s no such thing as a given and even though we’re pretty sure the Rangers have made dramatic improvements, there are a dozen other fan bases in the league that think the same way about the direction of their clubs. 

We’ll just have to wait and see how the year unfolds, but keep in mind that this group of Blueshirts is ahead of schedule and that patience may be in order.  The talent level on Broadway is improving all the time, but the results may not immediately translate on the ice.

There will be ups and downs in 2011-2012 and the season could go either way.  As long as the franchise continues to move in the right direction it’s hard not to be optimistic about the team’s future, but it may not be fair to expect an Eastern Conference Finals berth nine months from now.

Click here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >

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Posted by Kevin Baumer | August 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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