No. 6: New York Rangers, 12/1
Record: 22-14-5, 49 points
If this post was made in November, the Rangers would for sure be No. 1. But when the calendar turned to December, the stingy Rangers started letting up multiple goals per game, and finally looked human. In December, they let up 40 goals in 13 games, which caused Henrik Lundqvist‘s stats to go in the wrong direction. He currently has a .918 save percentage and is letting up 2.58 goals per game.
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Looking at the team stats for the Rags is deceiving because of the abysmal December they had that caused all their stats to turn bad real quick. Before December, the Rangers were 17-6-2 and leading the East. Since the 1st of December, they are 5-8-3 and hold the second spot in the Metropolitan Division behind the Capitals. With the Capitals running away with the division, they’ll have to fight it out with the Islanders, Penguins and Devils for the other two division spots.
While this is a long drought that the Rangers are going through, they still have the best goaltender on the face of the Earth and forwards that can score at will and in bunches. Four players have double-digit goals on the season, and they are strategically spread out across the first three lines. They also have one of the best defensemen in the game in Keith Yandle. So to say that this team has weapons in an understatement.
Once the Rangers get out of this drought and figure things out in their own zone, they will take the second spot in the division and give the Capitals a run for the their money. If those two meet in the postseason, watch out, because that would be a series for the ages. No matter how good the Capitals have been, it is hard to forget all the trouble that the Capitals have with the Rangers in the playoffs.
Next: No. 5: Montreal Canadiens