As the NHL prepares to restart the 2020 season, fans have reassessed where they think their favorite team stands.
In the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, NHL fans were asked if they believe their favorite team is a serious championship contender. Or, if their team is no longer playing, who that fanbase will turn to now.
With the 11th best record in the Eastern Conference, Rangers fans aren’t overly confident in the team. Just over a third of fans believe the Rangers have a serious shot at the Stanley Cup.
The Rangers return to action Saturday for their qualifying round series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
There isn’t much of a silver lining for fans if things go wrong. According to the survey, only 23% of fans would want their team to tank for an opportunity to draft Alexis Lafrenière.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.
Given the Rangers’ well-documented weakness on the blue line and lack of offensive depth — especially down the middle — it comes as no surprise that the Garden Faithful are reluctant to label this group a true contender. But the Rangers do have a few things going for them.
The Rangers are healthy (with the exception of Micheal Haley), they have great goaltending, they have a Hart Trophy-worthy superstar, and they are just as rusty as every other team in one of the two bubbles. If they manage to get rolling and play like they were playing just before the regular season came to an abrupt end, anything can happen.
Really, “anything can happen” should be the headline for the entire 2020 Playoffs. This thing could get cancelled if there’s an outbreak and any of the teams who are currently in the playoffs, including the Rangers, could win it all. But that doesn’t mean it’s likely. A lot of things will have to go the Rangers’ way for them to move past the first two rounds, let alone reach the Final. But, hey, anything can happen.
It’s not the Playoff Hockey that we all know and love, but hockey is back and these are indeed the playoffs.