Favorite season since 04-05 lockout
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07-21-2013, 11:17 PM
Blue Seat Spartan
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Richmond County, NY
It's pretty hard for me to rank my favorite post-2005 lockout seasons for the Rangers, but here are my choices:
- Supposedly the start of a painful rebuild period, instead the Rangers surprised fans and critics alike behind a rejuvenated Jaromir Jagr and a rookie Henrik Lundqvist. It was a joy to watch a winning hockey team at the Garden after SEVEN long & cold years. The Devils stole their thunder - first the Atlantic Division title, then a sweep in the first round - but the Rangers Renaissance was a sudden turn from the Dark Ages at MSG.
- Truly an underrated playoff run for the Rangers. Trading for Sean Avery reinvigorated the Rangers down the stretch. And unexpectedly, they swept a Southeast Division champion Atlanta Thrashers team for their first playoff series win since 1997. Who knows what would have happened if the Rangers held on in Game 5 of their semifinal series against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres... Not a favorite to win the Cup that year, but certainly a dark horse that could have made it to the Conference Finals at the very least.
- A joy of a team to watch. Had the privilege of seeing the 85th Anniversary squad develop a cohesive identity from the 8th Ave Blue Seats. Certainly earned their wins, and made the opposition earn theirs. Highlighted by their comeback against the Bruins which propelled their playoff push.
- ATLANTIC DIVISION CHAMPIONS! First such honors since the 1993-94 Stanley Cup season! A Winter Classic appearance in Philadelphia ends in victory! And there were high hopes as the Rangers led the Eastern Conference through the majority of the season. High drama during the playoffs, two consecutive seven-game series and sudden death OT heroics. All heart, all hustle, all grit. It's a shame that the Rangers succumbed to their Hudson River rivals from Newark, especially with the wacky way the Stanley Cup Playoffs turned out.
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