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 Rangers have found ways to win games since the All-Star Break

Since the NHL returned from the All-Star Break on February 5th, nobody has been better than the Rangers, who pace the league with 31 points between then and March 18th. They are also second in the league in points per game with 1.63, behind only the Nashville Predators, who have 1.65. 

And these haven’t all been blowout wins by multiple goals, as the Rangers have won five of those 15 games by one. Seven of their wins have come against either teams currently slated in a playoff spot, or close to. Overall, their record against playoff contenders sits at 7-2-1, and they are 8-1-0 playing against teams they are supposed to beat. 

This shows us a few things: For one, New York doesn’t fall into those infamous ‘trap games,’ which can be prevalent during the waning weeks of the season. The Rangers are also consistent against teams they could end up playing in the postseason, and that could take them a long way.

The best teams in any sports league will find ways to win during the toughest stretch of the season, and with no easy games left - even against lottery teams - the Rangers have so far proven they can beat anyone. They just need to keep up their consistent ways through the rest of March, April, May, and a portion of June.