Top 5 New York Rangers In Strike-Shortened 2012-13 Season
Top 5 New York Rangers Last Season
Many ups and downs to the New York Rangers season last year had fans thinking they would miss the playoffs one day and then thinking the team could get as high as the no. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference on another day. From one extreme to the next, the team took the fans on a ride in a season some thought would not even exist because of the NHL’s second lockout in second years — something commissioner Gary Bettman can be so proud of.
Back to the topic at hand, the Rangers ended up finishing in the middle of those two extremes last season, as they finished sixth in the conference and made it through a whole two rounds before getting eliminated from playoff contention.
During this 48-game strike-shortened season, the Blueshirts did manage to have some players excel despite going through a whole lot of speed bumps along the way, which leads me to introducing this slideshow.
This list takes a look at the top five Rangers of last season. Please view all the slides and feel free to comment and leave any opinions if you agree or disagree with anyone or anything on my slideshow. Thank you and enjoy.
5. Rick Nash
As soon as Rick Nash was acquired by the Rangers in the offseason last year, the high expectations for him were established, and unfairly so.
Nash was playing in a defensive system and was not allowed to display his full potential on offense at times due to those restrictions, resulting in an up-and-down season just like the team.
With that being said, Nash was still first on the team in goals with 21 and second in assists with 21, which makes me think that under a more offensive coach in Alain Vigneault, that next season could prove to be Nash’s best yet.
4. Ryan McDonagh
Ever since being called up by the Rangers back in 2010-11, Ryan McDonagh has proved to be one of the best shutdown defenseman not only on the Rangers, but in the entire NHL. Last year's strike-shortened season proved no different.
McDonagh added four goals and 15 assists to his offensive numbers to go along with his top-notch defense; and being only 24 years of age, he should continue to get better and better and could be a future Norris Trophy winner. The sky’s the limit for McDonagh, and I think he will continue to amaze for years to come.
3. Derek Stepan
Derek Stepan had himself a breakout season last year and was arguably the best Rangers forward on the ice.
He finished the year second in goals on the team with 18 and first in assists with 26, making him not only the Rangers' top center last season, but also their top point-getter in a year where everyone expected Rick Nash to own that role.
With the type of year Stepan had last season, he is fully deserving of being on this list and will hopefully continue to improve. Expectations for him will be extremely high in 2013-14.
2. Ryan Callahan
The captain of the Rangers, Ryan Callahan, simply had another Cally-type season.
He finished the season with 16 goals and and 15 assists in 45 out of 48 games played, but with Callahan, it is never just about the stats. He continues to be a leader on and off ice and leads by example.
Callahan sacrifices his body on every play possible and puts himself at risk of injury almost every second he plays. He is truly an inspiration to everyone that puts on a Rangers uniform along with the man who is no. 1 on this list.
1. Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist was once the best player on the ice for the Rangers last season, like he is every year.
With the Rangers playing a defensive/conservative style of hockey ever since he has been in the NHL, Lundqvist is depended upon way too much to keep the Blueshirts in games. Without him, the Rangers would not even make the playoffs as the team gives him little to no goal support on a nightly basis.
Hopefully this turns around next season under new head coach Alain Vigneault and his more uptempo offensive system, which would take some pressure off of Hank since he has to be almost perfect every night for the Rangers to win a game. He's an easy choice at no. 1.