Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather met with the media following tonight's 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The defeat officially eliminated the team from post-season contention.
Q: Do you want to express how big of a disappointment this is?
Glen Sather: It is enormous disappointment for me. We got ahead one-to-nothing, Dunham was spectacular again but it was a typical New Jersey game. They get ahead of you and away they go. They are tough to go through the neutral zone on. We kept trying and trying. We had some guys playing hurt tonight. We competed hard but we can't make any excuses they beat us. They played a great game. They look like a team ready for the playoffs.
Q: Can you pinpoint what went wrong this year and what you need to do to improve upon this season?
Glen Sather: In particular we need to stay healthy. You look back at the year and look what happened to us, and the time they happened and things that happened. We had a lot of things that really dug us a hole. I think two years ago Petr Nedved went through the booing by the crowd and now Eric is into that. We've got to get these guys to feel comfortable when they play here. To play with some confidence like they can win in front of this crowd. That only comes from playing hard and applying yourself 100%. We went through a lot of tough injuries this year and it was a stretch when we lost our goaltender and trying to find another one and you know how tough they are to find! I was looking at Dunham's statistics. He's sixth in the league since he came here with us. He had a whale of a year after he got here but it took a while to get him into it. We lost key people all through the year and they were tough guys to replace. A lot of times you can't, but at the same time we didn't have the depth to be able to replace these guys. So, yeah, there are a lot of things we've got to do. There are always things we can do and we have to continue to keep working at it.
Q: What kind of changes can we expect for next year?
Glen Sather: Frankly, I'd just as soon have a little bit of time to think about what happened in the year. What we want to do and go through our meetings and planning process and then make the right decision at the right time. We still have a team that I would like to talk to tonight. They are probably feeling worse than I feel right now if that is possible. But I'd like to talk to the players and express my feelings to them and we've got to get on the plane to get to Montreal so I don't want to sit here and plan out next season in front of you. There's going to be lots of time for that - we'll do it at the proper time.
Q: With Brian Leetch's impending unrestricted free agency status this off-season, what are your thoughts?
Glen Sather: Brian has come back and played spectacular. If you think about the effect he has when he's not on the ice and the way he competes and plays, I'd say it's a priority.