I have to apologize for this being a bit tardy. The loss to the Devils stung, and it took me a bit to write this objectively.
So here we are. It’s late May, and the Rangers playoff run has come to an end. No matter how much a bitter fan wants to spin it, this was a miraculous season. The Rangers simply were not supposed to be this good so early. I had them penciled in to make this run next year, after a full year of Chris Kreider, and after kids like Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan got some years under their belts. But this year? Total shock, and a great ride.
But with that great ride came expectations. Ottawa was a tough draw, but if the Rangers can get past them, then the rest should be a breeze. After all, the Bruins were gone and the Penguins were gone. Those were the only two teams that had a realistic shot at beating the Rangers, right? Even the Caps were a tough draw, but the Rangers were just better.
Peter Deboer made the difference for the Devils. He didn’t necessarily ...