When a team has a losing record, it is generally considered not a good season for said team.
It usually means that the team was outplayed a lot, had inconsistencies in many areas of their game, made a lot of mistakes, and just were not good as a whole. It also means that there are usually a lot of disappointed fans.
The New York Rangers have a losing record. They are currently 29-32-13 and with several games remaining against good clubs such as the Pittsburgh Penguins (2), Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers (2) and the Columbus Blue Blue Jackets, this means that their record has a good chance to get worse.
For any other team, this would be considered a bad season. When you don’t make the playoffs, your team has not accomplished their ultimate goal. Heck, it means that they never really gave themselves a real shot to win the Stanley Cup.
This was not the real goal for the Rangers this season. The franchise is still in rebuilding mode while also trying to see what kind of players they need moving forward to help this team have success.
The Rangers accomplished this to a degree this season. They saw that a player like Mika Zibanejad is the perfect forward to build around. He can put up points (as of March 25 he has 67 points), he’s a leader in the locker room, and he is a consistent player.
This season has also shown that guys like Filip Chytil (21 points as of March 25), newcomer Brendan Lemieux (currently has 5 points in 12 games with the Rangers), and Alexandar Georgiev (11-12-3, 3.02 goals-against average, .909 save percentage, and one shutout) have all proven that they are NHL players and are going to be solid for years to come. They are starting to develop a solid young core and that is something that is important nowadays.
Another reason why fans should be happy is that they have a head coach that is not afraid to play the team’s younger players. David Quinn has been terrific this year.
The team’s bench boss holds players accountable. Good players such as Kevin Shattenkirk, Filip Chytil, and Pavel Buchnevich have all been healthy scratches due to inconsistent play and as a result, these guys have usually come back and have played pretty well.
Quinn has also gotten his team to buy into his system. Despite not having a winning record, this team has been competitive all season long as they have played in a lot of one-goal games, overtime games, shootouts, and have shown that when they play the right way, they can compete with anyone in the league.
As mentioned above, he has shown that he is not afraid to play his club’s youngsters. He gives his younger players a chance to succeed, gives them a lot of ice time, and let’s them make mistakes so they can learn from them in the long run.
Lastly, because this team is currently is 27th in the league’s standings, they should get a great draft pick. This team needs to continue to get younger, faster, and more talented up front so getting a good draft pick should certainly help that.
Their record may not show it, but it’s been the kind of season that the team needed to have this year in order to continue moving forward.
*Photo: New York Daily News