New York Rangers Playoff Preview
With the NHL playoffs set to begin today, let’s take a look at our New York Rangers Playoff Preview.
The New York Rangers have finished with 101 points and a record of 46-27-9. They have qualified for the playoffs, this being their sixth year straight.
The New York Rangers recorded a 3-2 season-finale victory over the Red Wings, who clinched a playoff berth for the 25th straight season.
Ryan McDonagh, captain and top defenseman for the Rangers, was injured and reports said he could be out about 4-6 weeks. Before his injury, he lead the team in the +/- category (26). Defensemen Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein followed behind, Girardi with 18 and Klein with 16.
Keith Yandle lead the teams assist leaders with 42 assists, while Dereck Stephan finished in the top three with 22 assists.
Derrick Brassard, center, lead the team in goals scored with 27 goals. He also ended the season with 31 assists, resulting in 58 points. Brassard is going to be a big part of the team’s offense in the playoffs and is a big part of our New York Rangers Playoff Preview.
Antti Raanta, goaltender, leads the team with a 2.24 ‘goals against average’ and has 11 wins, 1 shutout and a .919 save percentage this season.
Matts Zuccarello, right wing, lead the team in points with 61 points, scoring 26 goals and 35 assists.
Mats Zuccarello and Viktor Stalberg both suffered from lower-body injuries, and agreed to allow themselves to heal in their regular-season finale rather than push it. Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed the two “should be fine” to play by the upcoming first-round of the playoffs.
Henrik Lundqvist, goaltender, lead the team with 35 wins, 4 shutouts and a .920 save percentage, as well as a 2.48 ‘goals against average’. Lundqvist, perhaps the best goalie in the game, is said to have lost his mystique. The Rangers lost 3 games to the Pittsburgh Penguins back in March, scoring 12 goals.
The Rangers have earned a playoff spot, but definitely need improvement on both their poor penalty kill and puck possession.
They ranked 26th for penalty kill with 78.4%. It’s even been difficult for Lundqvist to steal a game if the PK’ers in front of him aren’t playing well.
As for puck possession, they’ve ranked 11th in the league in shots allowed (30.5 per game) and just 26th in shots for (28.5). They have to lean heavily on their elite goalie, but seem like they would face a losing battle in a series against a team that dominates possession.
The past two seasons, they’ve made it through one fewer round in the playoffs. The Eastern Conference has gotten better, but the Rangers have stayed very much the same. That’s definitely not a pattern for improvement. Neither was replacing St. Louis and Hagelin with Stalberg and Etem, which hasn’t offered them much of a step up.
Surely the Rangers have had their fair share of ups and downs this season, but they’ve had the third-best record in the Metropolitan and topped 100 points for the second year in a row, which they haven’t done since 1973.
They have a pretty good spread of talent, but the sight of the Rangers possibly facing Pittsburgh or Florida in the first round of the playoffs would be one not to miss.
(New York Rangers Playoff Preview)