Which New York Hockey Team Will Win the Stanley Cup?



Kevin Klein, No. 8 for the New York Rangers, defends against the Chicago Blackhawks’ Center Antoine Vernette earlier this season. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NUCCIO DINUZZO /CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIA TNS)


Following successful regular seasons, both the New York Islanders and New York Rangers have set their sights on the Stanley Cup. The Rangers looked to be the team to beat in playoffs following their Presidents’ Trophy win, which signifies the best win-loss record in the NHL. The Islanders are a formidable squad this postseason as well, as they finished third in the Metropolitan Division with 47 wins and 28 losses. New York is set to prominently represent the league in the NHL playoffs, but these clubs have many challenges to overcome on their march to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Rangers have been a dominant team over the course of the 2014-15 season, as evidenced by their excellent finish with over 50 wins. Impressively, the Rangers rank third in the NHL in both goals and goals against. Due to the squad’s prowess offensively and defensively, the Rangers finished the regular season with the best scoring differential in the NHL with a +60 rating. They have dealt with some nagging injuries, but they are relatively healthy and well equipped for a deep playoff run. At the time of writing, the Rangers hold a commanding 3-1 game lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, heading back home to Madison Square Garden (MSG).

The Islanders, on the other hand, are not as heavily favored as the squad from MSG. This New York team is much more offensively minded. While the Islanders rank fourth in the NHL in goals scored, they are also in the league’s cellar in goals allowed at 23. These statistics lead to their scoring differential being a comparatively modest +22. Like the Rangers, the Islanders are also dealing with a few injuries, but should be healthy enough to compete. At the time of writing, the Washington Capitals are pushing the Islanders to the limit in their first round matchup, with the series tied at three games apiece.

The Western Conference is wide-open in this year’s playoffs, and there is no clear pick, unlike the popular choice of the Rangers to win the East. The Anaheim Ducks are a powerful team, finishing first

in the Pacific Division and sweeping their first round opponent the Winnipeg Jets in four games. While not as statistically impressive as the Islanders or Rangers, the Ducks find ways to win. The other division winner in the West, the Central’s St. Louis Blues, were a pick by many to make a deep run this year, but they are currently fighting for their

playoff lives against the Minnesota Wild. The Blues rank in the top-five in the NHL offensively and defensively, but they are currently tied with their first round opponent.

While there are several teams capable of surging to the Stanley Cup Finals, the New York teams’ odds of winning several rounds are very good. The Rangers are a popular pick for the title game, and the Islanders also have the necessary components to survive tough series in the postseason. Yet, in the end, the Islanders might not have enough in the tank to defeat the league’s elite, while the Rangers have their eyes on raising another championship banner in the rafters of Madison Square Garden.