Rangers odds improving for Stanley Cup, Presidents’ Trophy

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With just four games remaining in the regular season, the New York Rangers are closing in on winning the Metropolitan Division and inching closer toward securing the fourth Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. New York’s odds are also becoming more favorable to win the Stanley Cup.

As things stand, the Rangers need a combination of four points to clinch the top seed in the Metropolitan Division. With a five-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, it looks like the Rangers will finish first. This sets them up to play either of the wild-card teams in the Eastern Conference.

Whether the Rangers play the first or second wild card will depend on if they can win the Eastern Conference and, with that, possibly the Presidents’ Trophy. According to moneypuck.com, the Rangers have an 88.5 percent chance to secure the No. 1 spot in the NHL. That being said, New York (110 points) is being trailed closely by the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars (107 points each) as the season winds down. Dallas has a 6.9 percent chance to win the Presidents’ Trophy and Boston is given only a 3.8 percent chance.

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NHL: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

One reason their odds of winning the Presidents’ Trophy are so high is the Rangers will wrap up the season with a favorable schedule. After defeating the Montreal Canadiens, who are out of playoff contention, they will move on to the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Islanders once again. These two division rivals are still fighting for playoff spots, but are not elite opponents. New York then wraps up the season against the Ottawa Senators, who’ve long been out of playoff contention.

Another intriguing percentage is the Rangers’ current chances of winning the Stanley Cup. Moneypuck currently gives New York a 14.2 percent chance at hoisting the Cup for the first time in 30 years, the highest percentage in the League. The next closest teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs (11.7 percent), Hurricanes (10.3 percent) and Vancouver Canucks (9.6 percent).

With only six losses dating back to January 27 (24-5-1), it is hard to imagine any team defeating the Rangers four times in a span of seven games. The Rangers keep rolling, having won eight of their past nine games.

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette has begun to rotate forwards and defensemen in and out of the lineup for the remaining games. This is a smart play from New York’s bench boss, as it gives all of the rostered players a chance to see some action before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. It also gives Laviolette a chance to rest some players. Jack Roslovic and Erik Gustafsson were scratched against the Canadiens on Sunday.

Projected to finish with 115 points, it would be the highest single-season point total in franchise history. The current best mark of 113 points (2014-15) is very much within reach. Should the Rangers win out the rest of the season, they will finish with 118 points. In the victory over Montreal, New York tied the franchise record for most wins in a single season (53).

For the Rangers, their focus is on one game at a time. Getting through the remainder of the regular season without injury is a top priority. If they happen to finish atop the League in the process, then that is an added bonus, according to Laviolette.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh

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