New York Rangers 2022 Playoffs Line Projections

For the first time since 2017, the New York Rangers are back in the playoffs. That sentence is one many Rangers fans have been waiting to hear. Many different faces have come through the franchise, there has been the departure of a franchise legend, coaches, GMs, presidents, the birth of superstars, and much more has happened since the last time a New York Rangers team was in the playoffs.

For some perspective, the last time the Rangers were in the playoffs, Pavel Buchnevich was a rookie. Ryan McDonagh was the captain of the Rangers. J.T. Miller was still a relatively unknown name in the NHL. Artemi Panarin was still on the Blackhawks. Henrik Lundqvist won 30 games and was one season removed from finishing top 5 in Vezina voting. Auston Matthews was still a rookie. These are just a few things to put into perspective how long fans have waited for a playoff berth.

This is going to be huge for the Rangers as a whole new generation of fans will be at the playoffs. Coming into the playoffs with tons of new faces, lots of players looking to prove themselves, and a lot of players trying to make a name, this Cup-contending team will look to make a deep push in the 2022 NHL Playoffs.

Potential Forward Lines

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadFrank Vatrano

Artemi PanarinRyan StromeAndrew Copp

Alexis LafreniereFilip ChytilKaapo Kakko

Tyler MotteBarclay GoodrowRyan Reaves/Dryden Hunt

Healthy Scratches: Julien Gauthier, Kevin Rooney, Greg McKegg, Jonny Brodzinski.

These lines offer the Rangers a lot of versatility, responsible play offensively and defensively, and a balanced lineup. Lines one and two offer pretty equal offensive production, but both can compete with any team’s top lines. These two top lines have all the speed, scoring, defense, and physicality one can ask for.

Line three is a young, inexperienced line that may not see a lot of time at 5v5 but not because they are bad, but more so the inexperience. The third line will be used more on special teams broken up from this line. However, their young age does not make fans expect much from them.

This fourth line is one that you may only expect Goodrow to be good on. Motte may offer some use but Reaves and Hunt will see a lot of time on the bench. You can also expect to see Goodrow moved up to that third line (or even second line) and Copp moved to the third if players don’t play well.

Potential Defense Lines

Ryan LindgrenAdam Fox

K’Andre MillerJacob Trouba

Justin BraunBraden Schneider

Healthy Scratches: Patrik Nemeth, Zachary Jones, Nils Lundkvist.

These lines do not need much explaining. You look at these lines and see that they have been the same for the regular season besides the Braun addition. The first pairing is a top pairing in the league with two elite defenders and a generational one in Fox.

The second pairing is one that is not as reliable as the first pairing but do not be fooled because these guys can go toe-to-toe with any other players in this league.

This third pairing probably won’t see much time. Schneider will get limited 5v5 and no PP or PK time while Braun will see quite a bit of time on the PK.

Special Teams

PP1

Vatrano-Zibanejad-Kreider

           Panarin-Fox

PP2

Copp-Strome-Lafrinere

       Trouba-Kakko

PK1

Kreider-Zibanejad

Lindgren-Fox

PK2

Goodrow-Copp

Miller-Braun

Rangers fans should look at this and be thrilled. These lines are elite; you have stacked power-play units, elite penalty killers, and many players on the bench who could fill injury needs. They have elite penalty killing with a lot of short-handed goals. They have a lot of offense with a great power-play unit–a power-play unit that is one of the best in the league. To top it all off, they have one of the most competent coaching staffs that will make great on-the-fly adjustments.

Conclusion

To say fans are excited in this home stretch of the season is an understatement. With all the talent they have, they will be looking to not only upset teams but make a serious push for the Stanley Cup Finals. One thing fans will all need to pray for though is health. This team needs to stay healthy and keep composure as they look to win the Stanley Cup this year.

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