The New York Rangers are 33-15-9 on the season, and if the Stanley Cup Playoffs were to begin today, the Rangers would be 6th in the Eastern Conference. New York is a +1300 favorite to raise the Lord Stanley Cup at season’s end, and we examine the Rangers’ future team and individual player award odds.
New York Rangers Making Moves
New York General Manager Chris Drury has made splashy moves ahead of the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline–acquiring winger Vladimir Tarasenko from the St Louis Blues and forward Tyler Motte. Drury may not be done adding pieces, but this is what he has done thus far.
Tarasenko has a goal with a helper for a +/- 4 during his six games since joining the Rangers. The Russian native skates on the 2nd line alongside Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, and the trio also make up New York’s 2nd power-play unit.
Tarasenko tallied 34 goals with 48 assists in 75 games last season for the Blues, and he can offer more to New York than a +/- -18 he recorded this season with the Blues.
Tarasenko can and will shoot the puck from wherever he finds himself. Being on the same line with Rangers assist leader Panarin could be the difference between a mediocre offense and a great one that wins Stanley Cups.
Motte is returning to the Rangers after helping New York reach the Eastern Conference Final and had three goals and six helpers for a +/- 1 over 38 games for the Ottawa Senators. Motte excels on the penalty kill unit and is a hard grinding forward usually paired on the 3rd or 4th offensive lines.
New York Rangers Current Form
The Rangers hope to end a two-game losing skid when they travel to Detroit Thursday night for a matchup with the Red Wings. New York is 7-2-1 over their past 10 and 6th in the league in goal differential (+36).
Mika Zibanajid leads the team in scoring with 30 markers for a Rangers team ranked 11th in goals per game. Linemate Chris Kreider has 20 tallies, and Filip Chytil has 19 goals and is currently skating on the Rangers’ 3rd line for the league’s 11th-scoring offense.
New York is 3rd in the Metropolitan Division table, nine points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and four points away from the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers are 16-10-4 at Madison Square Garden with a solid 17-5-5 record away from Gotham City.
Last season the Rangers were 2nd in the NHL in goals allowed and have fallen to 7th, allowing 2.70 goals per game. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin is allowing .5 goals more per game than one season ago but is 9th in goals saved above expected.
New York is 21st in defensive goals expected, and the inconsistent blue-line play paired with some standard regression after a historic season is the culprit.
Can Igor Shesterkin Win the Vezina Trophy?
No, Shesterkin likely won’t win, and +1600 is too expensive to make this bet.
Shesterkin is one of the best and can get hot enough to win, but Boston Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark is dominating this season for a Bruins club, allowing the least amount of goals per game.
Can Adam Fox win the James Norris Award?
Yes, Fox could win the James Norris Award +425 at DraftKings for the “to the defense player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.
Fox is well behind favorite Erik Karlsson on the oddsmakers’ board, but there is plenty of time for Fox to catch Karlsson.
Fox will benefit from Tarasenko and the Rangers defenseman skating on the backend of the Panarin-Tarasenko-Trocheck line and key cog for the 11th-best power play unit. Fox offers a +/- 25, and Karlsson is +/- 1, and with nearly half a season remaining, Fox is going to catch him and win the James Norris Award at +425.
Can the New York Rangers Win the Metropolitan Division?
No, +1300 isn’t a reasonable price, and the Rangers likely won’t win the Metropolitan division.
The Rangers are nine points behind the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes and unless the ‘Canes AND the New Jersey Devils collapse, which isn’t likely, the Rangers won’t win.
The additions of Tarasenko and Motte were massive, but the New York penalty kill has been awful and the offense doesn’t seem to find the net enough to win enough to raise the Metro banner.
Can the New York Rangers Win the Eastern Conference Championship?
Yes, the New York Rangers can win the Eastern Conference Championship, and +700 at DraftKings is a reasonable price for this wager.
Shesterkin and the blue line are the keys to this bet, and when the Moscow native gets hot like he did last season can carry a club a long way. The Rangers’ offense hasn’t hit its full stride, and there are rumors Drury isn’t finished and still might attempt to obtain a big-time goal scorer like Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.
If New York can make more out of their power-play chances and get an elite scorer like Kane, they can win the Eastern Conference and compete in the Stanley Cup Finals.
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