Midseason Report: New York Rangers

As the NHL All Star game passed last weekend, I thought it’d be a good time to take a look at the season so far for the Rangers. As we reach the break the Rangers enter with a 29-22-3 record. Obviously we are quite a bit past what is actually the mid-point of the season, but there are still plenty of games left, 29 in fact. This year the Rangers have played some very good defense, along with some great goaltending, to rank 7th in goals against average. This is what has helped them stay in most games, while not having to rely on a huge offense surge every night. The Rangers are 18th in scoring average, which obviously puts them right near the average of the NHL.

The Rangers are one of the most balanced scoring teams in the NHL, as the Rangers have no one amongst the leagues scoring leaders, but have 11 different players with at least 19 points on the season. Many of these eleven are young guns, who look to be a future to build upon. With a mix of veteran leadership, the Rangers have managed to be a hard-working, come from behind team all season. Hovering near the sixth spot all season, the Rangers have bizarrely played better on the road, but still kept themselves in contention spotting only a .500 record at home.

The outlook the rest of the way is really up in the air. The Rangers still hold the seventh spot in the east, with a 4 point margin over the eight/ninth seed right now. If the Rangers can continue to win some games down the stretch, then I’d expect them to make the playoffs, but it won’t be easy. They have to start winning more at home, and beat the teams that they are competing with for a playoff spot. We all know that in the NHL, it can come down the last day, as last year the Rangers and Flyers played the last game of the season for a spot in the playoffs. If the Rangers had won, they would have been in, but the Flyers won and made the Stanley Cup Finals. Its going to be a long stretch but if the Rangers can continue to fight game in, game out like they have all year, then they can do it and return to the playoffs.

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