With the season inching ever closer to the end, the playoffs are starting to become the focus. Right now, it is easy to see a few teams on the list of those able to partake, and the New York Rangers are firmly on the list. While the team is not perfect, they are gearing up for a run, and hopefully, they will make it further than they did last season.
The Rangers Are In
The Rangers need to send flowers and chocolate to the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens. Thanks to those teams winning their games on March 27, the Rangers clinched a spot in the postseason. Unless they fall apart in the season’s remaining games, the Rangers are playoff bound.
As it stands right now, looking at the standings, they will be facing the New Jersey Devils in the first round. With the win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 28, they will be tied for second place if the Rangers defeat the Devils tonight. The Rangers have a chance at securing home-ice advantage, but they must keep winning. The Devils would obviously need to keep losing.
All Four Lines Are Needed
Bringing Tyler Motte back into the fold and bringing in Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane was a step in the right direction. Although it has taken a few weeks, perhaps the lines have settled for Gerard Gallant. Maybe. Money puck at the moment does not give the Rangers a high chance of making it past the first round, but that is what they were saying last season as well. It will take all four lines to get to the conference final and even more to make it to the final.
All season the Rangers have been inconsistent. Something that appears to be a hallmark of the regular season. No one knew what to expect when they made the playoffs last season. Unfortunately, the players and fans were both on a ride that ended in the Eastern Conference Final.
Right now, the only thing that might be able to derail the Rangers would be an injury to any player. Ryan Lindgren is still battling to come back from an injury. He missed 11 games and then attempted to play again, only to reaggravate the upper body issue he has been having, apparently. The Rangers will need him and everyone else healthy for the playoffs.
History vs. the Devils
In the playoffs, the rangers have gone up against the Devils six times, winning four of those matches. Their playoff record against the Devils is 18-16. The most memorable was when they met in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. Those around at that time will remember Mark Messier’s guarantee for Game 6 and Stephane Matteau scoring in triple OT of Game 7 to get the Rangers to move on. Once there, they defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win the cup. There have been other memorable matchups between the two teams. However, 2023 looks like it will be something special as well. The Rangers have had an issue with the Devils this season. We will see how it goes tonight against the Devils.
New York needs to make a strong push with only a few more weeks to go and be on a hot streak going into the playoffs.
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