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The New York Rangers clinch the President’s Trophy with 4-2 win in New Jersey

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Kevin Hayes and Cam Talbot celebrate after the Rangers win in New Jersey, clinching the President’s Trophy for the first time in 21 years. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Tonight’s win confirmed something that the Rangers and their fans have known for quite some time; the New York Rangers are the best team in the National Hockey League.

Despite playing last night, the Rangers (52-21-7) came out strong, outdueling the New Jersey Devils (32-35-13) early and holding onto their lead despite some late scares, securing their fifth straight win, first place in the Eastern Conference, and the President’s Trophy awarded to the team with the best record in the NHL.

The win was the Rangers’ 52nd of the season, tying the franchise record for most wins in a season, previously set in the 1993-94 season. With 111 points, the Rangers are just one point shy of the franchise record for points in a season, also set in the 1993-94 season. This is the first time the Rangers have won the President’s Trophy since, you guessed it, that magical 1993-94 season in which they won the Stanley Cup. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers aiming to clinch the President’s Trophy tonight in New Jersey

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers and the Devils will face off for the last time this season, with New York aiming to sweep the season series, as well as clinch the President’s trophy. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After an amazing comeback win last night, the Rangers (51-21-7) are back at it again tonight, heading to New Jersey to take on the Devils (32-34-13) for the fourth and final time this season, with New York looking to sweep the season series and extend their four game win streak.

A win tonight would give the Rangers 111 points, which would be good enough to clinch both the Eastern Conference title as well as the President’s trophy, a huge advantage for a team looking to make another long run in the playoffs. New York is one win shy of tying their franchise record in wins (53), and three points shy of tying their franchise record in points (112). Both of those record were set in the 1993-94 season, the year that the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.

This is the last game between these two cross-river rivals this season, with the Rangers winning the previous three by a 13-5 margin. They played as recently as Saturday, when the Rangers dominated play en route to a 6-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal, finishing with 35 saves. The Rangers got goals from Rick Nash, Keith Yandle, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, and two goals from Dominic Moore. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers comeback for OT win over Blue Jackets; Stepan with a three point night

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Derek Stepan celebrates after scoring one of his two goals in the in against the Blue Jackets, scoring the tying goal late in the third as well as the overtime winner. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In one of the most exciting games of the year, the Rangers (51-21-7) scored late in the third period before Derek Stepan scored the game winner in overtime to snap the Blue Jackets (39-35-5) nine game win streak, and extending their own win steak.

With the win, the Rangers secured their 51st win of the season, and their 109th point of the season. That puts them just one point shy of clinching the Eastern Conference title, and two points shy of the President’s Trophy, which would secure home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They also moved two points ahead of the idle Anaheim Ducks for sole possession of the first place spot in the NHL.

New York’s current total of 109 points is tied for the second highest in franchise history. One more win would tie the franchise record in wins, 52 set in the 1993-94 season, and three points would tie the franchise record in points of 112, also set in the 1993-94 season, the year that they want the cup. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers face tough Blue Jackets team at MSG; Brassard and Nash face former team

Bobby Bevilacqua

The Rangers and Blue Jackets will face off for the final time this season, with New York aiming for their third straight win against Columbus this season. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (50-21-7) will finish out their two game homestand, and start back-to-back games tonight when they take on the hottest team in the NHL, and winners of nine straight games in the Columbus Blue Jackets (39-35-4).

Although they have been long eliminated from playoff contention, the Blue Jackets carry their franchise record nine game win streak into Madison Square Garden tonight, including a franchise record eight game road win streak. There was a lot of hope heading into this season for Columbus, but a ridiculous amount of injuries derailed their hopes from the start.

Nonetheless, what matters is right now, and Columbus is currently the hottest team in the NHL. Read the rest of this entry

Alain Vigneault deserves to win the Coach of the Year award

Bobby Bevilacqua

Alain Vigneault has done a tremendous job as head coach of the Rangers this season, overcoming tons of obstacles to pilot the Rangers to a potential 50+ win season. Photo courtesy of John Minchillo/Canadian Press.

 

For most of the season, the Rangers have been overlooked as one of the elite teams in the NHL. Despite having one of the best records, including that impressive three month streak of success, they were overlooked, with teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Ducks, and even the Los Angeles Kings ranked amongst the strongest teams in the league.

With that in mind, Alain Vigneault has also been overlooked for the Jack Adams award, given to the best coach for that season. With everything that Vigneault has done for the Rangers, he deserves to take home the award come season’s end.

Vigneault’s biggest disadvantage is the fact that the Coach of the Year award generally goes to the team with the biggest turnaround. The Rangers came into the season expecting to return to the playoffs, and have a solid season. When you look at the current frontrunners, they are coaching teams like the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, and the Vancouver Canucks. Read the rest of this entry