1. Stud Step Up
The last and most important piece for the Rangers to contend for the Stanley Cup in 2015-16 comes down to guys stepping up.
Let’s not get this twisted. We’re not simply talking about stepping up, we’re discussing stepping up to an elite level.
Who else on this Rangers team can you claim as as superstar other than Lundqvist?
When you look around the NHL right now, you see Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith in Chicago; Steven Stamkos and the entire Triplets line in Tampa; Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler in Anaheim.
The Rangers only have Hank.
Nash has simply not been a superstar. He’s been a great hockey player, but not a guy who’s lifted his game to an elite playoff level. Not many guys can do it.
New York has a plethora of candidates to be this guy. Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan are a few that come to mind. Even captain Ryan McDonagh hasn’t lifted his game to that studly-like level.
The Rangers, and Lundqvist, will need at least one guy to do this next spring.