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2013-14 NHL Team Preview: N.Y. Rangers Predictions – Odds

Bet On NHL Hockey: Rangers

The New York Rangers like many teams this offseason went through a host of changes but for the Rangers, a change in philosophy on the ice was obviously needed. Often one of the bigger spenders in the NHL the Rangers have fallen short more often than not recently – former Coach John Tortarella took the fall – right or wrong.

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But what is the same in New York is the talent up and down the lineup. New York should realistically be better than they’ve been and new Coach Alain Vigneault will allow this talent to flourish in a more open, freewheeling style of hockey.

So where will the new focus take the Rangers this year? Let’s take a look.

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: 20/1
Odds to Win Eastern Conference: 10/1
Odds to Win Metropolitan Division: 6/1

At forward the Rangers have to get better performances from All-Stars Rick Nash and Brad Richards. Nash was underwhelming last year particularly in the playoffs and Richards fell so hard that he spent a few playoff games in the press box as a healthy scratch – unbelievable. That likely won’t happen this year under Vigneault – he will ride his stars and has a knack of letting them do their thing without impunity.

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Derek Stepan has a chance to take the next step into super-stardom this year – he could be on a line with Rick Nash on the top line this year. Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard Chris Kreider and perhaps the best of the up-and-comers Ryan Callahan make up an intriguing group of youngsters that could foolish under Vigneault as well. The Rangers may not be stacked with household names but this team is superb up front with young, fast and talented forwards. [ad-4437448]

Defensively the Rangers should be just fine as well. The top four include Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto – names that may not be all that recognizable but are as solid a group as there is in the East right now. Alain Vigneault’s trick is to get his D to jump up into the rush a little more often – something that he had a tremendous amount of success doing in Vancouver.

If the defense sputters there is always Henrik Lundqvist, a five-time Vezina Trophy finalist and one-time winner. He went 24-16-3 with a 2.05 goals against average and .926 save percentage in 2013. He was excellent in the postseason as well, sporting a 2.14 GAA and .934 save percentage as the Rangers went 5-7 over their 12 playoff games.

Betting Prediction: The New York Rangers have Studs in the net, on defense and on offense – the problem is that they have had a hard time putting it all together at the right time. Alain Vigneault should help although it may take some time for the team to adjust to his style.

New York is a nice team but they are going to have to get by a surely-improved Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals and the always tremendous Pittsburgh Penguins in their own division and they will have to hope to get past the Bruins to reach their goal – the Stanley Cup Final.

I don’t see it happening this year – the East is too tough and there are too many uber-motivated teams that the Rangers will have to get by.

I see the Rangers finishing second in the Metropolitan and bowing out in the second round of the playoffs this year.

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.