If the Rangers are to return to the Stanley Cup Final, head coach Alain Vigneault will have to work some more magic.
McDonagh appears to be a captain in waiting. He has become a more vocal leader with age and experience.
As is always the case at the end of the season, changes will be made before the team gets back together for training camp in about three months.
The best thing the Rangers have going for them in the future remains Henrik Lundqvist, but the next best thing may be Alain Vigneault.
The Rangers took their fans on an incredible ride that was equally unexpected and unforgettable. Now the page immediately turns to preparations for next season.
Henrik Lundqvist sat slumped in his locker, hands on his head, still wearing his pads and skates. It would be several minutes before he was composed enough to speak.
The Kings got all the bounces in the first three games. Or as Henrik Lundqvist calls it, “puck luck.” The Rangers had more than their share of it Wednesday.
This is just the beginning. Vigneault’s roster will continue to evolve into one that is geared toward executing his uptempo philosophies.
While the Kings are trying to close out the series, New York’s focus is strictly on moving past disappointment and getting back to LA for Game 5.
The coach had formed a few impressions after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, and they made him even more wary of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings have more brute strength, bite and snarl to their game than the Rangers. They’re loaded with scorers and possess an electric power play.
The Rangers know that many, if not most, in the hockey world aren’t giving them much of a chance to win the Cup. They have heard it before, and have just gone about their business.
Even though New York was the first to claim a spot in the finals, many have already written off the Blueshirts as severe underdogs against Los Angeles.
When the final buzzer sounded Thursday night, the Broadway Blueshirts were in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since captain Mark Messier was in charge.
The Rangers need to leave the odor — and the brutal hockey — in Montreal after completely falling flat at Bell Center in a 7-4 defeat Tuesday.