In their 90th NHL season, the New York Rangers are hoping to build off earlier successes and head back to the playoffs in their quest for a fifth Stanley Cup. The Rangers date back to the 1926-27 season. The following season, they won the first Stanley Cup awarded to an American NHL franchise.
While the team – one of the NHL’s Original Six – has reached the Stanley Cup Finals 11 times and brought home the trophy four times, the Rangers have had plenty of playoff appearances over the last nine decades. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best years in team history.
Top of the Crop
This chart shows us how the Rangers’ seasons have lined up over the years. The seasons with a bunch of losses are clustered in the top left, while the better seasons (winning-wise) hang out near the bottom right. In fact, their best season happened just a couple of years ago. The 2014-15 New York Rangers ended with a franchise-best of 53-22-7 but exited the playoffs after losing the NHL conference finals.
The 1993-94 season was their second best winning season when they won 52 games and lost 24. That year’s playoffs turned out great for them as well, as they won the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since they won a trio between 1928 and 1940.
Another two spectacular seasons took place in the ’70s. The 1970-71 season saw the team attain a record of 49-18, where they lost in the NHL semifinals that year. The following season, however, they went 48-17 and got back to the Stanley Cup Final, losing 4-2 to the Boston Bruins.
At Season’s End
Out of all their seasons, the “Broadway Blueshirts” failed to make the playoffs 31 times. However, that leaves plenty to talk about regarding their postseason play. They’ve exited out of the playoffs after losing the NHL semifinals 16 times. They’ve bowed out seven times after the quarterfinals, and lost the Stanley Cup Final the same number of times.
They’ve lost the conference semifinals and division semifinals five times each, and have lost the conference finals and division finals four times each in their long history. They failed to advance past the conference quarterfinals three times and were bounced after the first round only once – last season.
When a team is a regular contender, that doesn’t always mean they go all the way and bring the Stanley Cup home. For the Rangers, though, they’ve done it four times, and have advanced to the finals a grand total of 11 times – most recently in the 2013-14 season.
The Top Rangers Coaches
Hall-of-Famer Lester Patrick was a very successful first coach of the New York Rangers. Patrick had a points percentage of 81. As their coach during the team’s first 13 seasons, he led them to two of their four Stanley Cups wins.
Next on the list is Emile Francis. He coached the Rangers from the mid-1960s through 1975 and had a points percentage of 60. He led the team to the finals in 1972 but didn’t secure the series for a win that year.
Frank Boucher, also in the Hall of Fame, coached the team to their third Stanley Cup Finals win. Boucher hailed from Canada. His points percentage during his time with the Rangers was 46. He was also on the team as a player when they won their first two Stanley Cups.
The Rangers got off to a bang out of the gate, as they won their first Stanley Cup Final at the close of their second season. They remained in contention for decades (with a few dry spells in between), and most recently went to the Stanley Cup Final just a few years ago. They’ve been under the tutelage of legendary Hall-of-Fame coaches and hope to get back to the postseason yet again as this season winds to a close.
No matter if you’ve been a Rangers fan for decades or you’re a newer fan who’s excited about their recent success, be sure to check out the wide array of Rangers gear at Fanatics.com. You won’t be disappointed.