The 2020-21 New York Rangers season has officially come to a close with 5-4 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Blueshirts end the season with a record of 27-23-6, and head into one of the most important offseasons in franchise history.
It is fitting in a sense that the final game of the season saw the kids get involved as much as they did offensively, as 2020-21 was the year of the kids.
K’Andre Miller got things started with his fifth goal of the season, and Justin Richards picked up his first career NHL assist and point in his NHL debut. Filip Chytil, an older kid, picked up the secondary assist.
There were contributions from the veterans too, as Mika Zibanejad tallied his 23rd goal of the season in the third period with Pavel Buchnevich (26) and Ryan Strome (34) each picking up assists.
Alexis Lafrenière would score just over two minutes after Zibanejad, and he picked up his 12th goal of the season with Anthony Bitetto (3) and Buchnevich (27) picking up assists on the tally.
Two minutes and 10 seconds after Lafrenière’s strike it was Vitali Kravtsov’s turn to score, and the Russian rookie picked up his second goal of the season with Strome (35) and Zac Jones (4) picking up points on the play.
Zibanejad was the last goal scorer of the season, and his 24th goal was assisted by non other than Pavel Buchnevich (28).
Although Keith Kinkaid had the start in goal, he did not get the victory. The veteran netminder left the game with an injury, and Igor Shesterkin played the remaining 11:10 stopping 7/9 to pick up a win.
With the season over, the team heads into offseason mode. Player exit interviews will be head with President and General Manager Chris Drury, and once the Stanley Cup is awarded it will be time for the Expansion Draft, Entry Draft, trades and free agency.
This season didn’t end the way the team or players wanted, but there’s a lot to like about the makeup of the team. Key pieces are certainly missing, but the team will have the resources and assets to address that in the offseason.
On behalf of the team at Blueshirt Banter, I’d like to thank everyone who followed along during the regular season. We will be shifting into offseason mode with report cards and other content in the coming weeks, and we greatly appreciate the support of the site, the writers, and Bantering the Blueshirts the podcast.