3 reasons why the NY Rangers are still the Eastern Conference’s hottest team as NHL playoff race intensifies

Despite last night’s loss, the NY Rangers still won a pair of games over the weekend, and they may be the East’s hottest team in the NHL playoff race.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The NY Rangers have just 13 games to go in the 2023-24 season, and they are sitting at a healthy 94 points but just two ahead of their biggest challenger in the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes. They ended last week with two straight wins over a pair of division rivals and outscoring them 12 to 6 in the process. 

Given their recent success since they returned from the All-Star break last month, plus the fact New York is currently tied for second in the East in points before tiebreakers, are they the hottest team in the conference despite last night’s loss? There are a plethora of reasons why the Rangers, and not the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, or the Hurricanes, could end up being the team to beat once the regular season ends next month. 

Rangers could be the hottest team in the NHL playoff race

Peaking at the right time means New York would head into the NHL playoffs with momentum following what will be a tough upcoming slate of games, and that could take them deeper into the postseason than they went last year when they were one-and-done against the New Jersey Devils. 

Since they resumed play on February 5th, the Rangers are tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference with 31 points and 14 wins. They are third in the East with a plus-23 goal differential, and they are third in goals for per game with 3.5. If the Rangers keep doing what they have been doing from now until mid-April, they could take the Presidents’ Trophy before looking to parlay it into their first Stanley Cup since 1994. 

So let’s dive deep into what has made the Rangers such a dominant team since the break, in more ways than just the numbers shared above. By the time you finish this article, one thing will be clear: You will know that your team is the most complete in the NHL.