NY Rangers Clinch Presidents’ Trophy, Await Playoffs at MSG

The New York Rangers have won the President’s Trophy by setting a franchise record with 114 points and 55 wins. This achievement brings them to the forefront of NHL as we await the playoffs. 

Clinching the league’s best on Monday, the Rangers secured home ice throughout the playoffs after a season full of consistent playmaking and comeback victories. With the playoffs on the horizon, the anticipation builds around who the first-round opponent will be. We still have to watch the dust settle in the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. 

Historic Points and Wins

The New York Rangers not only clinched the President’s Trophy, but also set a new franchise record with an impressive 114 points during the regular season. They surpassed their previous record of 113 points set in the 2014-15 season, which was also the last time they won the Presidents’ Trophy. Additionally, their 55 wins this season not only led the league but also established a new team record.

Goal Differential and Comebacks

Dominating on both ends of the ice, the Rangers led the league with a +53 goal differential, highlighted by their amazing power play and penatly killing. In the games they did not dominate their opponets, they can brag about their 28 come-from-behind victories. This was the highest in the NHL, showcasing the “No Quit in NY” attitude. A tremendous quality to have come playoff time. 

Individual and Coaching Milestones

Artemi Panarin emerged as the team MVP, setting his new career highs of 49 goals and 120 points this season. His resurgence has been nothing short of spectacular. Following a lackluster playoff run in 2023, Panarin’s redemption arc in the 2023-2024 season has been the talk of Rangertown. Panarin’s goals and points are the second-highest single-season scorer for the franchise, trailing only the legendary Jaromir Jagr. 

On the coaching front, Peter Laviolette etched his name among the elite, joining a list of 10 head coaches who have won the Presidents’ Trophy multiple times. This combination of individual brilliance and astute coaching propelled the Rangers to their monumental success this season. The Rangers’ players have embraced Laviolette’s energetic and enthusiastic coaching style, which has been instrumental in building a formidable and closely-knit team. His innovative team-building activities off the ice have contributed significantly to the team’s chemistry and unity, essential ingredients for their outstanding success. Laviolette has already left his mark with the Rangers in just his first season. 

Impact Players

Artemi Panarin: The Team MVP

Let me talk about him some more because he was that good. Artemi Panarin’s outstanding performance this season placed him as the face of the Rangers’ success. Whoever told him to shoot more after last years playoffs deserves a handshake; Panarin has made himself a strong contender for the Hart Trophy. As the Rangers look forward to the playoffs with home-ice advantage, Panarin’s impact is indisputable. They will need his exceptional playmaking, coupled with his willingness to score to be a real threat for the Cup.

Stellar Goalkeeping by Igor Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin’s role as goaltender was nothing short of spectacular, anchoring the Rangers’  with a 36-17-2 record. His impressive stats include a 2.58 goals against average (GAA) and a .913 save percentage (SV%). Shesterkin’s regular season finale included 26 saves in his fourth shutout of the season. With how tight the standings are, and how tightly skilled the entire conference is, Igor will have to be the catalyst to get the Rangers to the promise land. 

Contributions Across the Board

The 2024 season saw veterans excel and other players making remarkable strides. Highlighting Alexis Lafrenière, Chris Kreider, Adam Fox, Mika Zibanejad, and Vincent Trocheck. This was their best season as the core. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider did their thing. Zibanejad with another 70+ point season while Kreider provided 39 goals and 36 assists. Kreider’s continued to be a beast on the power play. Most notably, he surpassed Rod Gilbert for the second-most power play goals in franchise history. 

Lafrenière, the young winger, showed he is a force, notching 28 goals with a career-high 57 points. His growth in the Rangers’ top-six is what Ranger fans have expected since he was drafted.

Adam Fox, our beloved fellow New Yorker, won himself this years Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award.  He accumulated a career-high 17 goals and 56 assists. There is no dominant power play in New York without Adam Fox. 

Vincent Trocheck’s relentless effort and leadership earned him the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, while earning his second NHL All-Star appearance. Trocheck has been invaluable by bringing toughness, key face-off wins and leading the most effective line they have in a five-on-five. Together, these players’ achievements and memorable plays have not only led to personal accolades but have also woven into the fabric of the Rangers’ collective success. The team had six players with 15-plus goals and a remarkable 52.3 faceoff percentage, the highest since 2007-2008. 

Comparison with Past Records

The New York Rangers’ recent clinching of the Presidents’ Trophy is not just a seasonal highlight but a significant historical event. This marks their fourth win since the trophy’s inception in 1985-86. That places them alongside the Detroit Red Wings (6) and Boston Bruins (4) as the elite franchises winning the trophy four or more times. Their previous triumphs in the 1991-92, 1993-94, and 2014-15 seasons set a precedent that this year’s team aimed to match and exceed. They did that, but we all know it don’t mean no thing, without no ring.

This is what makes the NHL playoffs so unpredictable. None one of the last eleven Presidents’ Trophy won the cup. The last one to make it to even the Conference Finals was the aforementioned 2014-15 Rangers. 

The Rangers are set to face the second Wild Card team in the Eastern Conference during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Potential opponents include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, or Philadelphia Flyers.

The playoff landscape in the Eastern Conference is shaping up to be historically competitive. The Boston Bruins face the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Carolina Hurricanes are up against the New York Islanders. Each of these matchups carries its own set of challenges and narratives, potentially impacting the Rangers’ path to the Stanley Cup.

As the Rangers set their sights on the Stanley Cup, the challenge ahead is to translate what they’ve done into hardware. With a good close out to a historic season, they are poised to compete at the highest level. 


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