Rangers Recall: Focus is now on winning Metro Division

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers resiliency pushed them once again to victory at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on Tuesday night. In a wild final 20:36 of hockey, eight goals were scored by the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, with defenseman Adam Fox scoring 36 seconds into overtime for a 6-5 final.

By becoming the first team in the League to hit the 100-point mark, the Blueshirts are also the first to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While they are in great position to win the Presidents’ Trophy as the best team in the regular season, their sights are squarely set on winning the Metropolitan Division.

“With all the work we’ve put in this season,” center Mika Zibanejad told the NY Post. “We’re right there and we want to win the division.”

Related: Rangers living up to No Quit NY

Rangers Recall: Next Stop Metro Division

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What a run so far

Although the Rangers have held the top spot in the Metro for almost the entirety of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes simply won’t go away. They’ve won the division three straight seasons, and are just three points behind the Blueshirts, despite losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

New York holds a game in hand, and may have the easier schedule with only two games against teams that hold a playoff spot as of today (@ Colorado on Thursday and vs Philadelphia on April 11). Meanwhile, Carolina has three games remaining against playoff teams including the Boston Bruins (twice) and the red-hot Washington Capitals.

It’s really been an amazing year for the Rangers, who have made the playoffs three years in a row, as well as another 100+ point campaign. Currently, the team is on pace for a 113 point season, which would match the franchise best set by the 2014-15 squad. That was also the last time the Rangers won the division, eventually falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games of the Eastern Conference Final.

In the past 30 years, the Blueshirts have done very well in the playoffs after winning the division. New York lost to the New Jersey Devils in the conference final after a first-place division finish in 2011-12. However, the Rangers took it all (Division, Presidents’ Trophy, and Stanley Cup) in the 1993-94 season.

“This is what every team is fighting for,” Zibanejad added. “I would say we have bigger goals but if you want to lift the Stanley Cup, you’ve got to get into the playoffs first. It’s step one for us.”

Bread Rising

The Rangers history books finally have another member of the 100 points club.

Artemi Panarin recorded three assists against the Flyers, including a helper on Fox’s OT-winner. He now sits with 102 points (43 goals, 59 assists) in 72 games and is on pace for 116 points.

Congrats to the ‘Breadman’ for finally reaching the benchmark after recording 90+ points multiple times in his career. This has been a longtime coming for him and the franchise.

Jaromir Jagr2005-06123
Jean Ratelle1971-72109
Mark Messier1991-92107
Vic Hadfield1971-72106
Mike Rogers1981-82103
Artemi Panarin2023-24102
Brian Leetch1991-92102

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: