The Three Major Threats to the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Ambitions and Aspirations

Mar 23, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Reinhart (13) circles back after
Mar 23, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Reinhart (13) circles back after / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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We all know, we've all seen. The New York Rangers are going to the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs. We're set to see the Blueshirts take on the best the league offers as 16 teams fight for the most prestigious prize in hockey - the Stanley Cup. New York's illustrious history has seen them win Lord Stanley's mug on four occasions. As they look to try and capture the first one since 1994, there are very few teams that can rival the Blueshirts.

Amidst the ongoing debates in the hockey world about who can halt the Blueshirts, one thing is clear- this team is a force to be reckoned with. Let's not dwell on the recent defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as it's essential to avoid recency bias. The Rangers boast a roster with a strong balance, scoring depth, a solid blueline, and one of the NHL's finest netminders in Igor Shesterkin. This team is poised to be a formidable challenge for any opponent vying for the cup.

Let's apply the same criteria to other teams in the league. Who can match the Rangers in scoring depth, a solid defensive blueline, and goaltending that keeps them in the conversation? While some teams could be contenders, such as the Nashville Predators or the Tampa Bay Lightning, they must meet the mark. Whether it's due to injuries disrupting their projected depth or a general lack of depth, as in the case of Nashville, these teams are in a different league than the Rangers.

So, with a few teams already joining the Rangers as a mathematical playoff team, who stands between the Rangers and the cup? This conversation will continue until the playoffs are over, and either the Rangers are out or have a fifth banner to hang from the rafters of Madison Square Garden. It's not going anywhere, so why don't we dive into this conversation ourselves?