Rangers in Position to Mount Late-Season Push

Rangers in Position to Mount Late-Season Push
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The New York Rangers surpassed expectations last season, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals on the back of an otherworldly year by star goalie Igor Shesterkin, who ran away with the Vezina Trophy and garnered some Hart Trophy votes as well.

After their six-game series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning (who went to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final with the win), expectations for this current season skyrocketed as most New York sportsbooks had them around +2000 to win the Stanley Cup in the offseason.

The season started good but not great, as the Rangers have held on to a playoff spot for most of the season but have never threatened the Carolina Hurricanes for the Metropolitan Division lead.

Fortunately for Rangers fans, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have gone through slumps. That leaves the Rangers firmly in a divisional playoff spot and keeping them from needing to fight for a wild-card berth. In fact, a first-round matchup with the New Jersey Devils is more likely than not at this point as the two teams have separated themselves from the rest of the division.

New York betting apps still give New York a slight chance to win the division.

For example. DraftKings NY has the Rangers at +1200 to win the Metropolitan Division, behind massive favorite Carolina (-320) and New Jersey (+320). The Rangers are tied for eighth overall with Dallas to win the Stanley Cup, their best position on the odds board this season.

BetMGM NY gives the Rangers an even better chance at +1100 to win the division and +1400 to hoist the Cup.

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What’s Working for the Rangers

The recent trade for Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Rangers a boost with the books, especially after he scored in a big win in his debut, followed by a four-goal game for his longtime pal Artemi Panarin in their next game, a win over the Hurricanes.

Panarin’s friendship likely played a role in the Rangers’ acquisition of Tarasenko and the two clearly have enjoyed their time together so far on a line with star Mika Zibanejad.

Tarasenko allows the Rangers to spread their scoring throughout three strong lines and gives them two scary power play units.

After his generational season, Shesterkin has taken a tiny step backwards but is still one of the top goalies in the league. He sits fourth in wins despite his save percentage and goals against average dropping off a bit.

Shesterkin’s odds to repeat as the Vezina Trophy winner are long at +1200 at FanDuel NY, mostly due to the great season by Boston’s Linus Ullmark, the favorite at -170. Shesterkin is no doubt enjoying the extra goal support he is receiving this year.

Perhaps the most important Ranger has been defenseman Adam Fox. Fox has been in the Norris Trophy conversation all season long, currently trailing only Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks (-190) on the FanDuel odds board at +430.

Karlsson’s 100-point pace means Fox likely will have to settle for a nomination rather than a second outright Norris win, but his impact on the Rangers’ success has been very impressive.

Looking Ahead to Playoffs

The Rangers have vaulted themselves to the point where they are a team that will judge their season based on playoff success.

General Manager Chris Drury was extremely proactive in acquiring Tarasenko and bolstering the scoring depth, something that should fix last year’s main issue in the playoffs - scoring at even strength.

Currently on a five-game win streak that has included some very impressive victories, look for the Rangers to continue to climb the odds board and become one of the clear favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup come June.

EmpireStakes.com will be sure to follow the Rangers and all the state’s pro teams, as well as provide the best NY betting promos.



Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for EmpireStakes.com. A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports teams, with a focus on a league's favorite players and teams. In New York, that includes his specialty, the NHL, and the Rangers, Islanders and Sabres.

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