I will rate on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a loss filled with pride and "good job boys", 10 being a suicide threat.
We made the playoffs. That's all that mattered after 7 years of missing it. Although we did get swept, but still.
I, um....I don't wanna talk about it.
We lost to the Penguins. We blew a 3-0 lead in game 1 and Ryan Hollweg pretty much lost game 3 by himself. That *****. I will never forgive him for that and I hope he rots in the stocks. It was just a mess.
Yes we did have a 3-1 lead in the series, but honestly Lundqvist had a 3-1 lead in the series, not the Rangers. We didn't deserve it. So when we blew the lead it hurt but it wasn't your normal blown lead devastation. Ultimately I rate this as pretty much your average everyday playoff loss. It ****in hurt like hell at the time, but not the point where I'm still boiling mad years later like I am about some other years on this list.
We missed the playoffs after losing the last game of the season to our arch-rivals in a shootout. All the ingredients of a 10, and all the devastation. But it's not a 10. Why? Because it needed to happen. The team got younger and formed newer,better policies after this one.
This was a fringe playoff team to begin with and I was just really pumped that they made it. I knew they had no shot at the Cup and I knew going in they'd get rolled in the first round. Which they did. No false hope, no tears, a clean getaway.
This was the most fun I've ever had. I actually stood up and applauded my television during the handshakes. I had a lump in my throat right at the moment that Henrique scored but that was about the extent of it. It was more of a realization that it was over than actually being upset. I was too proud to be upset. My initial reaction after watching the handshakes and turning off the tv was literally "Man what a ****in season! *fist pump*"
I know it said “recent history” but Tampa has not been around the playoffs much so I did full history.
1995/96 Made the playoffs for the first time. Despite winning games 2 & 3 Philli was clearly the better team but was fun for the 6 games it lasted . (acceptable loss)
2002/03 Finally made it back to the post season and a nice 6 game win over Washington was great. Devils showed us what separated being happy with making the playoffs and wanting to win in the playoffs was as they won in 5. It would be a lesson well learned (Good loss because…)
2005/06 Were “defending Champs” and barely made the playoffs. Then Ottawa obliterated the Lightning in 5. (Bad loss)
2006/07 Had a chance to take a 3-1 lead in the series against the Devils but lost in OT. Never recovered and lost in 6. (Bad loss)
2010/11 Great comeback against the Pens in round 1 after being down 3 games to 1. Beating a division rival in the Caps in 4 straight, wonderful. Losing in 7 to the Bruins in one of the best series I have seen, very disappointed as I know Tampa could have beaten the Bruins but Thomas won the goalie battle in game 7. (Very disappointing being so close but Tolerable/Acceptable)
2006 - swept by Devils in 1st round. Despite not making the playoffs in 7 years, this is a bad loss because they got freakin' swept by the Devils. Hurt pretty bad.
2007 - beat the Thrashers 1st round, knocked off by the 1 seed Sabres after a tough series. Finally won a playoff series which made this tolerable. Since I only started following hockey seriously after the lockout, the Rozsival 2OT winner is one of my first great memories. The Drury goal was a heartbreaker. Since I was relatively new to hockey, I probably don't rank this series as frustrating as other fans will. Still put up a great fight against a tough Sabres squad.
2008 - beat the Devils, lost to Penguins. Living in NJ at the time, the Devils series for me was a huge victory. Given my teams' sports history (Mets and Rangers), even after dominating them in the regular season and being up 3-1 in the series, I was fully expecting them to find a way to blow it, but they didn't. Keep in mind this was right after the Mets collapsed 2 years in a row and I pretty much was at rock bottom as a sports fan. The Rangers then went on to lose to the Penguins after losing a couple tough games. For me though, beating the Devils made it tolerable.
2009 - We had no business being up 3-1 in this series, Lundqvist literally put the team on his back. It sucks because they had 3 chances to win, but given how bad the team was it really wasn't too terrible. The guy above me said it right - it was a quick and painless collapse that was fully expected, hurt in the moment, but no lingering pain.
2010 - no playoffs
2011 - This is between a bad loss and a tolerable loss. Caps were the better team and started up 2-0. Rangers win an emotional Game 3 and take a 3-0 lead in Game 4, only to blow it in the 3rd and essentially give up an own goal in OT, which effectively ended the series. Frustrating because the Caps were having all sorts of mental issues, and if we hold on to that Game 4, we probably win the series. Very frustrating.
2012 - I hate losing to the Devils, but we did make it all the way to the ECFs with a very young team. It was an entertaining season and we got revenge on the Caps, which was great. The Kings knocking off the Devils made the loss all the more tolerable. Looks like the Rangers will be a force in the next few years. Good loss.