NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today for the NY Rangers

One of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the NY Rangers would be one of the top teams in the NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NY Rangers are pacing the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division, with 94 points and they are still four ahead of the surging Carolina Hurricanes. Since they have been one of the NHL’s premier teams since the All-Star Break ended a month-and-a-half ago, there is a good chance the Rangers maintain their current momentum and end up with one of the two top seeds in the NHL playoff bracket. 

While nobody seems to want that second wild card spot in the East, with the Detroit Red Wings losing yet another winnable game, it’s a mystery as to who the projected top overall seed in the East, the Boston Bruins, will play. However, if the playoffs started today, Detroit would have won the sweepstakes. 

As for the Rangers, it’s more clear-cut, as they would play the Tampa Bay Lightning should this be the first day of the NHL playoffs. And right now, it would be one entertaining matchup to see between New York and Tampa, a pair of the East’s hottest teams. 

NHL Playoff Bracket currently has the NY Rangers facing the Lightning

For a while, the Lightning ruled the Eastern Conference, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups and they also won the Prince of Wales Trophy in 2020, 2021, and 2022, with two of those three seasons also recognized as Conference Championships. While the Lightning aren’t as strong this season, it would be wrong for the Rangers to underestimate them should they play Tampa in the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs next month.

They may be struggling to keep pucks out of the net, ranking 24th in goals against with 225. But they’re still a force offensively, with 235 goals scored, good for fifth in the league, with the always-productive Nikita Kucherov leading the way with 114 points and 40 goals. 

Overall, this would be a remarkable matchup for most of the NHL universe, even if the NY Rangers would more than have their work cut out for them. But, if they stay consistent throughout the last lap of 2023-24 and they roll into the playoffs with momentum, it will be tough for anyone to beat New York. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)