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Rangers & Islanders – Are They This Year’s Favorites For The Stanley Cup?

The NHL all-star break is over meaning that teams across the National Hockey League are getting ready for their playoff push. In New York, the Rangers and Islanders are in similar but yet much different spots at this point in the season. Bet on the Rangers, Islanders, or any other NHL team using these new New York NHL promo codes. 

The Rangers are among the Eastern Conference’s best teams and are currently third in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division with 64 points only behind the Carolina Hurricanes (76 points) and New Jersey Devils (70 points). Led by stars Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin, the Rangers are a true contender for the Stanley Cup finals, holding the 10th best Stanley Cup odds at +2000. A small hit to their preseason odds of +1800. 

It’s safe to say that it has been a somewhat disappointing team for The Broadway Blueshirts. After collecting a 52-24-6 record for 110 points last season, the same level of success has simply evaded the Rangers in 2023. Part of it is luck, not much has actually changed for the Rangers. Their offense is about average across the league while being one of the best teams in the NHL defensively. This season, the offense remains rather league average and defensively, they’ve allowed the second fewest goals in the league with 133, 2.66 goals allowed per game. 

Notably, the Rangers have one of the harder schedules remaining across the league with 32 games remaining on their schedule this season. Unfortunately for them, surrounding them are mostly non playoff teams, the Montreal Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, and Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers because of this will need to ensure their playing their best hockey of the season the rest of the way while also hoping some luck breaks their way. 

With one of the league’s best defenses, the Rangers will need their efforts on the offensive side to tick up. Averaging 3.24 goals per game is solid but will not get it done down the stretch, especially if they hope to move up the Eastern Conference standings. 

While the Rangers chances of making the playoffs are quite high, the New York Islanders will need a significant push over the next few months to make the playoffs. Head coach Lane Labmert’s team this year is much like the Rangers in the fact that they’re built around a strong defense but the offense has been lackluster for the most part. This season, the Islanders have only allowed 145 goals, 10th best in the NHL but the offense has only mustered up 154, 21st in the NHL in that regard.

The Islanders recently added to their offensive firepower in trading for 27-year old center Bo Horvat. Horvat, was traded to the Islanders on January 30 for a conditional 2023 first round draft pick as well as forwards Anthony Beauvillier and Aatu Raty. Over his nine-year NHL career, Horvat has totaled 420 career points including 201 goals in 621 career games. His full season average over his career is nearly a 30-goal pace, averaging 28 goals and 29 assists for 58 points. 

If the Islanders want to continue to make a push, they’ll likely need to add at least one more piece to their firepower prior to the March 3 trade deadline. Like the Rangers, the Islanders don’t have the fortune of an easy schedule with the 10th hardest schedule the remainder of the year. That will include having to play much better on the road. So far this season, the Islanders have struggled away from UBS Arena with an 11-13-3 record while at UBS Arena they’re tough to beat at 16-9-2. If they fail to improve their fortunes on the road, the Islanders have little chance of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring. 

The beginning of the playoffs this year has yet to be set but the end of the regular season is set for Thursday, April 13 likely meaning the playoffs should begin the following week, possibly on April 17 or 18. Sixteen of the league’s teams will make the playoffs with eight teams from each conference, the top three teams from each division will make up the majority of the playoff picture with two wild card teams from each conference being added to the picture as well.  


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