Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Taking Control

By Colin Likas
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (1R) celebrates scoring a goal with defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (1R) celebrates scoring a goal with defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: New York Rangers

Previous: 3rd

Season record: 14-5-1

This team can fill the net. And any team that has Henrik Lundqvist behind a potent scoring attack is one to be feared. The 29 points and plus-34 goal differential speak to that.

Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller aren’t necessarily what you’d call known commodities, but they both have a team-best 18 points. But it gets ridiculous after that. A whopping 12 guys already have 10 or more points — in addition to Hayes and Miller. There are some teams that hardly have four!

Can they sustain this? Maybe not. But Lundqvist is still among the world’s best when healthy. His .918/2.27 line actually isn’t that great for him, meaning this team can be even scarier.

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