The New York Rangers have made several upgrades to their defensive group. Could this be the season that propels their defense to the top of the Metro Division rankings? Blue Line Station examines the state of every Metro team’s defensive corps.
Long gone are the defensive anchors of the New York Rangers past. Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein have departed, one to play Tampa Bay, the other to retire (probably in Tampa Bay).
Now, the team has a new, shiny toy in Kevin Shattenkirk. Alongside the team captain, Ryan McDonagh, Shattenkirk figures to slot in as the Rangers’ top two defenders. After years of struggling to compete against the evolving NHL’s speed and skill, the Rangers are in position to contend immediately.
However, their path to the playoffs and Stanley Cup is no easier in a stacked Metropolitan Division. Elite defenseman such as Kris Letang, Zach Werenski, and Justin Faulk, to name a few, continue to occupy space on rival teams.
The Rangers hope that the changes they have made will be enough to keep them above the rest of that group.