Ah, hockey season; how we have missed thou! A new season bring new hope for all 30 NHL teams, especially for a team that was oh-so-close to winning the Stanley Cup last season, but was eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season was the second for the Frenchie, Alain Vigneault in command for the Rangers. He was hired June 21, 2013 to be the 35th coach for the Rangers in all the years of their existence. Their former coach, John Tortorella, was coincidentally hired away to be Vancouver’s new coach. Vigneault signed a five-year, 10 million dollar contract. The start of the 2013-2014 season didn’t start off so well, to be quite frank, for the Rangers. They were getting used to a new system that only had about three months to be put into place by Vignuealt, so struggles were to be expected. Through the middle of the season and end of the season, the Rangers had become a perennial team to be reckoned with. Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, and other players were a part of a critical role on the team to make such a serious push to the playoffs. In the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, they faced off against the Los Angeles Kings, a worthy foe. Alas, a valiant effort was not to be. The Rangers lost to the Kings in the Stanley Cup FInals in five games. Enter the 2014 season, and the Rangers win the President’s Trophy, where the team with the most points in the entire league wins the trophy. They played the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals game, and what a series that was! Derek Brassard came up clutch in game six with a hat trick, and two assists to keep them from the brink of elimination, after the two teams split the first four games, and the Lightning took game five. Games seven was not as good, as the Lightning won game seven 2-0, and the Rangers season was over. Now the 2015 season is here, and it feels like Stanley Cup or bust this season for the Rangers and Alain Vigneualt. This team is loaded with veteran talent, as well as up-and-coming youngsters such as Hagelin and McIlrath to help support this team.
My prediction: 46-29-7: 99 points, 2nd in their division
But will they win the 2015 Stanley Cup? That, my fellow fans and readers, is anyone’s guess.