New York Rangers

Decoding The New York Rangers

By Jason Cordner

Decoding The New York Rangers

For better or worse, the New York Rangers currently sit in the top wildcard slot in the Eastern Conference. They currently have 66 points through their first 52 games. While that total ranks 5th in the East, 3 of the four teams standing in their way are also in the stacked Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have a very tough remaining schedule that is very heavy on divisional matchups.

In their remaining 30 games, the Rangers will play Metropolitan Division teams 14 times. The Blueshirts play the Blue Jackets three times (including tonight), the Penguins twice (both in the last five games of the season), the Capitals three times, the Flyers once, the Devils twice, the Islanders twice and the Hurricanes once.

They play four of their last five games against divisional teams (two against Pittsburgh, one against Washington and one against Philadelphia). They have eight remaining matchups with the top three teams in the division. That is a very rough schedule, to say the least.

Decoding The New York Rangers

Not only will this influx of divisional games help the teams involved gain or lose traction on their rivals, but it will also help give them recent experience against a team come playoff time.

The Learning Curb is About To Get Real 

 The Rangers must use this upcoming stretch of games to end the season as a learning experience, too. Not only do they have to get the points, but they need to get the experience playing against the teams they will likely face in both the first and second round. This could be a blessing or a curse. Lets see how they handle it.
Trading Deadline Is Looming
As the Trade Deadline nears, let’s remember that the Rangers top target was Cam Atkinson until Eric Staal became available. New York abandoned their plan because Eric is related to Marc, but this tells me two things.

One, this further confirms to me that Jeff Gorton is terrific at identifying forward talent. Atkinson was not the star forward he is today, at the point the Rangers were interested, and he would have been a coup by the then-rookie GM.

Jeff Gorton is not flawless. Gorton took the “easy” way out by acquiring a player that only wanted to play for the Rangers, a flashy move, but one that received little backlash from the mainstream media because of the last name. Gorton is not flawless at forward, nor is he immune to silly moves for the sake of making moves.

This Trade Deadline will tell us plenty about Gorton. Does he understand where this team stands? Does he understand the defense is the problem? We will find out.


 New York Rangers


Ryan McDonagh Is The Rangers Number 1 Hit Man

Ryan McDonagh is the only legitimate top four defenseman on the roster. If you take him off the team, the entire defense would be made up of third pair defensemen.

Not only is McDonagh the most valuable player on the team, but considering where the team would be without him (just think about that defense….my goodness….) he is one of the most valuable players in the NHL.

Just look at it this way: where would the Rangers be without McDonagh? Not many players’ absences would tank their respective teams’ performances. McDonagh is one of those players.


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