Rangers Crystal Ball: 5 Predictions for the 2019-2020 season
Every year no matter what your team did the season before there comes a feeling of excitement and renewed hope. All teams enter the NHL new year with dreams of winning the Stanley Cup, even if they know they’re long shots. While Forever Blueshirts wants that too, here are my top 5 predictions.
5. Panarin will lead the team in scoring
Last year, if Panarin had played a full 82 game schedule he would have hit the 90 point mark. Should he do that in his first season with the Rangers I foresee a 94 point campaign (32 Goals and 62 Assists). This will be largely due to a return in increased shots and maintaining around a 14% shooting percentage. The reason for the increase in shots is because of the PP. I also believe the Rangers will rely heavily on Panarin and he will set a career high for minutes played.
4. Henrik Lundqvist will return to form
The King will have a reduced workload and it will benefit him and the team greatly. He will get around 50 starts after struggling in the 2nd half of the last 2 seasons. Coach Quinn said last night that he spoke with Hank about it and he framed it as “I want you (Hank) to have a good season, not a good half”. I expect 25 wins and over a 910 sv% for Lundqvist.
3. Adam Fox will score 40 points as a rookie defenseman
I can’t begin to tell you just how impressed I am with Adam Fox. This is the boldest prediction I am going to make because right now, Fox is expected to get 3rd pair minutes and limited PP time. Still, I believe that Quinn will work Fox into the 2nd pair with Marc Staal and also PP time when/if DeAngelo struggles. Should he get more time. those points will come.
2. Kaapo Kakko will win the Calder Trophy
I’ve already said that Kakko should score 60 points in his first year in the NHL. Now, while I believe Jack Hughes can score more points I am not sure at his size he is built to last in his first NHL campaign. Also I feel that at some point Kakko will at least land on the 1st PP unit and maybe even the 1st line. Should this happen, Kakko may score 30 goals and 70 points as a rookie to beat out Jack Hughes.
1. The Rangers will make the playoffs
Yes ladies and gentlemen….the NY Rangers will capture one of the wild card spots and make the playoffs.
Last year the Rangers finished with 32 wins and 78 points. You can’t tell me that the additions of Panarin, Trouba, Fox, and Kakko is only worth a few more wins and a few more points. I expect the Rangers to get 40+ wins and around 96 points give or take a point or two.
The Blue Jackets got the last wild card last year with 98 points and after this past offseason, the Rangers have catapulted over them. I also expect the Islanders and Hurricanes to take a step backwards giving Quinn and his charges every possibility to make it in this season.