As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has caused the NHL to start its planned Christmas break, one of the more surprising performances of the 2021-22 season is by the New York Rangers.
Picked by many pundits to be outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race at the start of the season, the Rangers exceeded expectations. This is the case thanks mainly to the play of forward Artemi Panarin, the reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox on defense, and stellar goaltending from Igor Shesterkin.
The Rangers are currently just one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals with 42 pointsin the stacked Metropolitan Division. This puts them in the top five in both the Eastern Conference and the entire league.
Due to this early-season start, the odds for the Rangers to win their division have gone up, thanks also to the surprisingly slow start from their rival New York Islanders. Caesars has the Blueshirts at +400, while DraftKings has them at +450, and FanDuel has them at +500.
This is a good value as the two teams in from of them in the Metro, the Canes and the Caps, have odds ranging between +150 and +160 for Carolina, and +220 for Washington.
New York Rangers Odds At NJ Sportsbooks
All three teams have a lot of young talent, especially up front, which will mean that it will most likely come down to goaltending. This gives Carolina the edge with Frederik Anderson having more experience than both Ilya Samsonovof the Capitals and Shesterkin of the Rangers.
When it comes to winning the Stanley Cup, the Rangers are still in the middle of the pack when looking at the odds. Caesars is giving them +2200, while FanDuel has them at +2400, and DraftKings has the odds of the Rangers hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup at +2500.
These odds say that while the Rangers may have gotten off to a hot start, they are still not entirely up to the level of favorites like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Despite the not-great odds for the Rangers when it comes to winning the cup, some exciting player and team futures are being laid out that bettors should check out.
FanDuel currently has the Rangers’ Panarin listed at +3100 to win the Hart Trophy, which is the NHL’s MVP. He’s in fifth behind Connor McDavid (+135) and Leon Draisaitl (+450) of the Edmonton Oilers, Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals (+650), and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews (+1500). Caesars is giving Panarin better odds to win the Hart at +2000.
Additional Rangers Player Props
Over on DraftKings, Adam Fox, the defending Norris Trophy winner for the NHL’s best defensemen, and Cale Makarof the Avalanche, are both +425 as the two current favorites to win the Norris.
Despite having missed the past two weeks due to a lower-body injury, the Rangers and many of the oddsmakers and pundits feel that they found their replacement for Henrik Lundqvist with Shesterkin. The Russian goalie has a 13-3-2 record, with a 2.07 GAA, and a .937 save percentage, tied for best in the league with Toronto’s Jack Campbell.
Caesars is currently giving Shesterkin the second-best odds (+700) to win the Vezina Trophy for the NHL’s best goalie. Only Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy has better odds at +550. Over on FanDuel, Shesterkin has currently the fourth-best odds at +800, behind only Vasilevskiy (+550), Campbell (+650), and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets at +750.
(AP Photo/John Munson)