NHL Power Rankings: Rangers make Presidents’ Trophy push as regular season nears conclusion

Written by on April 11, 2024

NHL Power Rankings: Rangers make Presidents' Trophy push as regular season nears conclusion

The Rangers have won eight of their last 10 games as the postseason draws closer

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Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

There’s a little over a week remaining in the 2023-24 regular season, and the New York Rangers are playing their best hockey of the season.

The Rangers have been victorious in eight of their last 10 games, including a three-game winning streak prior to Tuesday’s loss at the hands of the New York Islanders. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin has struggled during stretches of the 2023-24 season, but he has recorded a 2.60 goals-against-average over his last five games. In addition, star winger Artemi Panarin continues to have a career season to the tune of 116 points (46 goals, 70 assists) and is currently on a 10-game point streak

New York is battling it out with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins for the Presidents’ Trophy to see which team earns the most points across the league. The Rangers currently lead the Metropolitan Division by five points over the Carolina Hurricanes, while holding a narrow one-point advantage over the Stars for the most points in the NHL.

With the Rangers playing exceptional hockey of late, here are the updated NHL Power Rankings.

Biggest Movers

5 Penguins

4 Golden Knights

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1

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Rangers

The Rangers are making a push for the Presidents’ Trophy as the regular season winds down. They’ve won eight of their last 10 games and look to be one of the top teams that will come out of the East. 1 53-22-4
2

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Stars

Much like the Rangers, the Stars have been on fire over the past few weeks. Second-year center Wyatt Johnston has scored a goal in four of his last five games and has produced a 30-goal campaign in 2023-24. 1 50-20-9
3

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Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are really nipping at the Rangers’ heels late in the regular season. With Jake Guentzel in the fold, Carolina looks like it’s going to be a tough out when the postseason rolls around later this month. 1 50-22-7
4

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Bruins

The Bruins are getting hot at the right time with four consecutive wins, including a massive overtime victory against the Panthers over the weekend. David Pastrnak continues to thrive with five points in his last four games. 1 46-18-15
5

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Avalanche

All of a sudden, the Avalanche are really struggling late in the season. Colorado has lost five of its last eight games and needs to get Mikko Rantanen back in the lineup as soon as possible. 2 49-24-6
6

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Canucks

The Canucks haven’t won back-to-back games since mid-March, but they have still managed to rack up a good amount of victories lately. Vancouver got a huge win against Vegas earlier in the week while Quinn Hughes continued to dominate on the offensive end of the ice. 2 48-22-8
7

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Oilers

Connor McDavid is dealing with a minor injury as the regular season comes down the home stretch. If it proves to be anything serious, it’s likely the Oilers err on the side of caution since they’re currently the No. 2 seed in the Pacific Division. 2 47-24-5
8

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Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have clinched a playoff spot but could move up from the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers’ struggles have opened the door for the Maple Leafs, who are paced by Auston Matthews and his 66 goals this season. 2 46-23-9
9

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Panthers

The Panthers have dropped nine of their last 13 contests and are in an absolute nosedive as the playoffs approach. The only constant has been Sam Reinhart continuing to put the puck in the net in his contract year. 3 49-24-6
10

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Jets

The Jets are right behind the Avalanche for the No. 2 spot in the Central Division standings. Defenseman Josh Morrissey has been dominant on both ends of the ice with a goal and five assists over his last five games. 1 48-24-6
11

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Golden Knights

After being on fire, the Golden Knights have lost back-to-back games. Deadline acquisition Tomas Hertl earned an assist in his Vegas debut, and he should be a huge asset when the postseason rolls around. 4 42-27-8
12

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Predators

The Predators were among the league’s hottest teams but have since lost five of their last seven games. It’s not a guarantee Nashville hangs onto the top Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with the Golden Knights and Kings also battling it out for playoff spots late in the regular season. 45-29-5
13

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Lightning

The Lightning are likely set in stone as the top Wild Card team in the East. This is a group most teams probably don’t want to face based on their previous postseason experience. 44-27-7
14

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Kings

The Kings and Golden Knights are duking it out to see who gets the No. 3 spot in the Pacific Division standings and the final spot in the Wild Card race. Los Angeles was in a quite of a landslide, but bounced back with three consecutive victories as of late. 41-26-11
15

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Islanders

The Islanders have come out of nowhere to grab the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division standings entering Wednesday. Bo Horvat has scored in four of his last five games to pace the team. 4 36-27-15
16

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Blues

The Blues are five points outside of the final playoff spot in the West and likely will fall short. Star forward Robert Thomas has had a sensational season with a career-high 81 points. 41-32-5
17

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Capitals

The Capitals picked the worst time of the season to struggle as they lost six consecutive games before defeating the Red Wings on Tuesday. Even still, Washington is currently in the No. 2 Wild Card spot in the East. 2 37-30-11
18

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Red Wings

Like many other teams fighting for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, the Red Wings just need to keep winning over the final week of the regular season. Having Dylan Larkin in the fold down the stretch certainly has helped matters. 38-32-8
19

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Penguins

Despite selling Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline, the Penguins are somehow still in the thick of the playoff race. They’ve won four of their last five games, and Sidney Crosby is having an incredible season at 36 years old. 5 36-30-12
20

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Wild

The Wild are likely going to fall short of a playoff bid this season. Still, the performance of rookie defenseman Brock Faber was nothing short of impressive and the future is certainly bright for this organization. 3 37-32-9
21

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Flyers

The Flyers are just running out of gas. It was a great story that Philadelphia was in the thick of the playoff race down the stretch, but dropping eight consecutive games is the straw that broke the camel’s back. 1 36-32-11
22

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Sabres

While it’s not impossible, the Sabres would have to leapfrog a bunch of teams to make the playoffs. Tage Thompson may not even hit the 60-point mark after a 94-point campaign a season ago. 37-37-5
23

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Devils

The Devils put up a valiant fight to remain in the playoff race even after shipping Tyler Toffoli out of town. However, Jack Hughes has been ruled out for the last few games of the regular season, so their campaign is basically in the books. 2 37-37-5
24

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Kraken

The Kraken were believed to be a force in the West after a successful 2022-23 season, but it hasn’t exactly turned out that way. At least former first-round pick Shane Wright is getting considerable playing time down the stretch. 2 33-31-13
25

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Senators

The Senators are oozing with potential, but at this point, that potential has to lead to a playoff appearance. Goaltending is really something the franchise needs to address in the immediate future. 34-40-4
26

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Flames

The sun set on the Flames’ season a long time ago. One of the bright spots has been the performance of Yegor Sharangovich, who has tallied a 30-goal season after being acquired from the Devils in the Tyler Toffoli trade. 3 35-37-5
27

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Coyotes

The Coyotes are attempting to finish the season strong, and they certainly have been doing so from an offensive standpoint. Arizona is averaging 5.2 goals over its last five games, and Clayton Keller has achieved his second consecutive 30-goal campaign. 1 33-40-5
28

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Canadiens

Not that the playoffs were within earshot, but the Canadiens aren’t exactly finishing the regular season on the best note. One of the few positives is the dynamic duo of Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki have combined for nearly 60 goals, and they give Montreal some key building blocks. 1 30-36-12
29

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Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets have actually been playing better hockey of late. Still, this is a team that averages just 2.84 goals, and Johnny Gaudreau is barely going to reach 60 points on the year. 26-41-12
30

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Blackhawks

Connor Bedard is on the cusp of a 60-point season, which is pretty impressive considering the Blackhawks have struggled in a big way all season. There’s no question that Bedard will win the Calder Trophy this year even after missing a significant chunk of time due to injury. 23-49-5
31

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Ducks

It’s all about the future when it comes to the Ducks, but this is a team that struggles to put wins together. Anaheim looks to be headed for another top-five pick in this year’s draft. 26-48-5
32

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Sharks

The Sharks did record a win over the weekend, but they still have lost 12 of their last 14 games. It’s clear San Jose is the worst team around the NHL. It’s safe to say the Sharks should have the best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. 18-51-9

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The post NHL Power Rankings: Rangers make Presidents’ Trophy push as regular season nears conclusion first appeared on CBS Sports.


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