Looking Back at the Pre-Season Predictions for the New York Rangers

New York Rangers

This was supposed to be the week that the New York Rangers played their final set of regular-season games for the 2019-2020 season, with the hope of many that it would be a springboard to the playoffs. But of course, we all know that the NHL as are most sports around the world are in a holding pattern. So with the normal regular season all but done, let’s take a look back to see what some experts predicted what the season would look like for the Rangers.

Some Experts had the New York Rangers doing well

A bit understandable, even as most realized that the Rangers were in a rebuilding mode. In the Sporting News, very few experts had the Rangers making the playoffs. One pundit who did was Jackie Speigel of the sportingnews.ca, who predicted the Blueshirts would capture the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. She even selected Kaapo Kakko as the winner for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league’s top rookie. Many might remember Jackie for her wonderful work at SNY, so it could be a bit of regional bias but at least the Rangers were knocking at the door when the season shut down. Jace Mallory took it a step further and predicted that the Rangers would secure the third spot in the Metropolitan Division.  Brooklyn native Sammi Silber of NBC Sports even had the Blueshirts winning the Metro. Dave McCarthy of NHL.com and SiriusXM-NHL picked the Rangers second in the Metro.  Overall, less than half of the experts polled had the Rangers making the playoffs.

In looking at some articles that had more in-depth features, Adam Gretz stated in his article for NBCsports.com that: “They should be significantly better. How could they not be after adding Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox, and two potential rookie of the year contenders at forward in Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov? That is a ton of talent to enter the organization in one summer and it should be enough to have the team at least in contention for a playoff spot.”

The SI.com staff predicted that the Rangers would finish seventh in the Metropolitan Division and wrote that “It’s easy to imagine the Rangers playing above their station, and it’s also easy to see them hit growing pains.”

They also wrote that “Each season always brings its own surprises”. I don’t think they had our current predicament in mind when they wrote that!