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NHL series: Offensive failures leave a bitter taste in New York

NHL series: Offensive failures leave a bitter taste in New York

The elimination of the New York Rangers on Saturday night confirmed that for the 11th straight year, the NHL regular season champion team will not be crowned Stanley Cup Final champion.

The Rangers shined during the season averaging 3.39 goals per game, and were muzzled offensively by the Panthers. In six matches, New York managed to score more than two goals on only one occasion.

“It was difficult to score. We didn't create the good chances we hoped for. They didn't give a lot of chances. Ultimately, this was something we did consistently all year. Rangers coach Peter Laviolette commented in a short press conference after his team's elimination: “The games are decided.” With low results.

Offensively, the Rangers' numerical advantage struggles also contributed to the New Yorkers' exit. Laviolette felt that the system of play and the Panthers' aggressiveness without a man gave his guys a tough time.

Overall, the Rangers' success this season has opened the door to a lot of hope for the Rangers heading into their playoff run. Some young players like Alexis Lafrenière played a more important role in the team, along with several veteran players who made the team ready for a long playoff run.

“This year our players fought, stuck to the plan and we got this far. It's disappointing. When you start an adventure like this, you don't do it just to get some wins. We do it to go all the way. It's disappointing now compared to our intentions.” “All year, no one expected to find themselves on this side of the coin. We expected to win tonight’s game and return to MSG for the seventh game.”

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The core will remain the same next year, but management will have to make decisions on which pieces will become free agents. They will also have to find a solution to prevent goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin from once again finding himself left to his own devices, as was the case at several points in the series.

“There are a lot of players who have come in and helped. We have built a culture and camaraderie… It is sad to know that the year is over, but what we have built is strong.”