One of the big storylines heading into the Stanley Cup final was whether or not Tampa Bay's Brayden Point would be ready to go for Game 1. He suffered a lower-body injury weeks ago in the first round and hasn't played since. There was some thought he might return against New York if the series went seven games. For now, it looks like he may be ready for Game 1 against Colorado:
It would certainly be a big boost to the Lightning and would help give them another edge in the matchup, considering Nazem Kadri may not return these playoffs. Good news for Tampa fans.
The New York Rangers lost in six games to Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final. All told, it was a pretty good season for the Blueshirts. Just anecdotally, it didn't seem many people had them as a top team before the season – I didn't think they were a top-10 roster – so to finish in the Final Four is a very impressive campaign. That they were up 2-0 in the ECF to only lose four straight games must be frustrating as all get out, but taking the long view, this was a big step in the right direction for a team that isn't that far removed from a rebuild.
Today, we'll go through the season some players had, the work the Rangers have to do this summer, and what they could look like for 2022-23. All of this will be in the prism of fantasy hockey, of course. Data from Natural Stat Trick and our Frozen Tools, unless otherwise indicated. Cap information from Cap Friendly.
The Kid Line
Perhaps the biggest development for the Rangers in the postseason was the emergence of the Kid Line. Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil, and Kaapo Kakko combined for just 71 points in 194 combined games (0.37 ppg) in the regular season, as the latter two fought injuries at times. They combined for 23 points in 59 games (0.39 ppg) in the playoffs, a small uptick during some very tough games. What's more is that per Moneypuck, that line led the Rangers in expected goals generated, and actual goals generated, at 5-on-5 throughout the postseason. In fact, they were the only Rangers line