Defeats are always hard to take and for sure, it sucks, even more, when the loss comes in such a convincing way.
However, there could be a silver lining in for the New York Rangers after their 3-0 series loss against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Avid fans will no doubt be angry. They will criticize the overall team performances during the Playoff qualifiers, point accusing fingers at players who didn’t live up to expectations, and question tactical decisions made by head coach David Quinn.
Nevertheless, once the dust settles and the cold light of day is clear for everyone to see, most fans will probably realize an obvious truth.
This Rangers team was never going to challenge for the Stanley Cup this year, they weren’t even going to come close.
Coach Quinn: “It was a great group to coach. It’s been a unique and odd 4 1/2 months since we stopped playing on March 11th, and this hurts.” pic.twitter.com/sVCIEwhCaL
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) August 5, 2020
To reach as far as they did, there should be a measure of praise for this organization. After all, there has been progressing this year and, lest we forget, you could still dangle an “Under Construction” sign over the roster.
Following their potent and powerful display against the Rangers over three games, the latest NHL betting odds for the Stanley Cup has the Hurricanes priced as +1400 outsiders, although they could still make a deep run in the Playoffs. Meanwhile, the organization from New York City will enter a period of reflection, pondering their future.
Sure, any true fan of the Rangers would have loved them to continue their journey in the Playoffs this year, although the most realistic will admit that exiting was probably for the best. Now that participation in the 2019-20 season is over, it’s time to move on.
This talented young team, which is by no means an exaggeration, will keep learning and improving.
What’s more, the Rangers now stand a one-in-eight chance of landing that much-coveted first pick at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Indeed, if they’re lucky enough to get that first pick, it could be worth much more than going another round or two in the Playoffs this year.
All the leading ice hockey journalists and experts are drooling about the upcoming Draft, scheduled to take place in October this year. Some even claim it could be the strongest field of prospects in 30 years. This means that a host of talented players will be up for grabs, and Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will surely have detailed reports on all of them.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Canadian winger Alexis Lafreniere, who tops the Draft rankings pretty much everywhere you look. While he’s an exceptionally talented prospect that any team would love to have, he might not be the best option for the Rangers.
There are plenty of other talented players to choose from this year, who may suit the team better.
That’s also an opinion Larry Brooks of the New York Post shared discreetly, as he reflected on the qualification defeat against Carolina. He suggested that rather than go for the obvious choice of Lafreniere, the Rangers might want to look at center Quinton Byfield instead, following his remarkable progress with the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL.
Of course, any discussions about Draft Entry picks are entirely theoretical at this moment in time, at least until the draw for the first pick is known on August 10. That said, early elimination from post-season could end up working out well for the Rangers if they’re lucky enough to get that first pick.
The chance to land one of the leading prospects this year, that’s an exciting opportunity, especially considering the host of promising talent already on the roster.
Looking ahead and with a few more quality additions, this is a Rangers team packed with potential and all the hallmarks that in years to come, will be genuine challengers for the Stanley Cup.
Featured Image: Russian Machiene Never Breaks