NHL Power Rankings: Previewing the Flyers’ Metropolitan positon

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

New York Rangers

Head Coach- David Quinn (first season)

Key Returning Players- Marc Staal, Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Shattenkirk

2018 Outlook

Justin:  If you want to get a good look at a team that has fallen far from the top of the mountain, look no further than the New York Rangers. Once a perennial Stanley Cup contender, the team is a hollow version of its former self, having sold off most of its high-end talent in an attempt to begin a rebuild. No more Rick Nash, or Michael Grabner, or Ryan Mcdonough. No more Alain Vigneault behind the bench. This a completely different team that will rely on youth for next couple of seasons in an attempt to chart a new course for the franchise.

The Blueshirts still have a few good scorers in Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad, in addition to youngsters like Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes. A healthy season from Kevin Shattenkirk would go a long way, but he’s really the only talent the defense has. In goal, the ageless King Henrik is clinging on for dear life, but at 36,  his body doesn’t have much more to give.

Bottom Line: The Rangers will be breaking in a new coach who has no head coaching experience in the NHL, and they are in the midst of a full-on rebuild. Their goalie is still great, but his best years are clearly behind him. This team scored 2.78 goals per game last season which tied for 21st, and those totals most likely include contributions from talented players who have moved on. This team will struggle to score, putting more pressure on a weak defense and an aging goaltender coming off an injury-riddled season.

Prediction: Seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 78 pts

Anthony:  Who knows how many more games Henrik Lundqvist can save for the Rangers. For a team that is openly rebuilding, it doesn’t really matter unless Lundqvist decides to waive his no-movement clause so that they can trade him for more pieces in their rebuild.

Bottom line: The Rangers are attempting a rebuild that doesn’t require a full tank and they seem to be doing well so far, but they are still rebuilding.

Prediction: Seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 78 pts