New York Rangers
- 1st in Metropolitan Division, 113 points
- Presidents’ Trophy (First since 1994)
- Lost in Game 7 to Lightning in ECF
- Washington Capitals*
- New York Rangers*
- Columbus Blue Jackets*
- New York Islanders*
- Pittsburgh Penguins*
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Carolina Hurricanes
- New Jersey Devils
The Washington Capitals are the team I’m most frightened of. They employ a terrific coach in Barry Trotz, a deathly physical squad, and just enough playoff experience to now take it over the top.
Not to mention the addition of Justin Williams in the playoffs will be gigantic.
The Rangers will finish somewhere as the overall No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the East. However, due to the playoff setup, they’ll take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the postseason and go from there.
The Metropolitan Division will boast five teams in the East Playoffs, while the Atlantic only three. One of the Wild Card teams (New York Islanders or Pittsburgh Penguins) will be forced to play in the other bracket.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Divisional Semi-Final: New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
- Rangers will take this one in six games. It’ll be a hard-fought, knockdown, drag-out series against an up-and-coming Blue Jackets squad who disappointed a season ago.
Division Final: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals
- Yet again, the two teams will meet in the second round of the playoffs, but for all intents and purposes, this season will see this specific series as the Eastern Conference Final. The Rangers, with the upped nastiness of Rick Nash, Zuccarello doing his annoying thing, Jarrett Stoll’s experience, and Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller blossoming before our eyes will shock Alex Ovechkin and the Caps in Game 7 in the Verizon Center.
Eastern Conference Finals: New York Rangers @ Montreal Canadiens
- It’ll be deja vu all over again, but this time Carey Price will be around for the Montreal Canadiens. New York smokes them in five.
2016 Stanley Cup Final: New York Rangers @ Anaheim Ducks
- At this stage in his career, Henrik Lundqvist has only a few shots left. He’ll get it done in six games against a lower-tiered goaltender. Carl Hagelin will haunt us as a pain in the ass (just like Ryan Callahan and company did last year), but the Rangers will stay healthy and thank their front office for the increased size in the postseason. Instead of going into the tournament as the top dogs, they’ll get in as a good squad who’ll burst at the right time. The 2015-16 New York Rangers will be Stanley Cup Champions.