Despite the fact that the NHL has a system where the majority of its teams make the playoffs each year, the reality is that there is no more grueling process in all of sports than the march to the NHL championship. Winning a Stanley Cup is the sports equivalent of winning a war, one where the enemy typically changes and improves every two weeks or so, regardless of how handily you may have defeated your previous opponent.
Projecting that a team will win a Stanley Cup, even a perennial powerhouse, is therefore not a straightforward proposition. There are so many obstacles and unforeseen potentialities, so many variables to consider, and, consequently, many observers ultimately rely less on the X's and O's of analysis and lean towards the intangibles, those difficult to define elements that come together to produce a champion.
For a team to be in consideration as a contender, however, certain variables must be present. While there is no universal formula for NHL success, an organization that possesses team speed, lock-down capable team defense, stellar goaltending and above-average special team play will typically produce good results come playoff time. Those are the four pillars of any successful modern-day NHL team, and so a team that does not possess those qualities will more than likely not succeed over time.
The New York Rangers organization, as long-time Rangers' fans would more than likely attest, does not have a consistent history of "fielding" teams with such qualities. There have been stretches, of course, where Ranger teams have had all of these qualities (the early to mid-1990's come to mind), and there have been times when individual Rangers' teams have had a majority of these qualities. Again, as an organization the Rangers have not typically achieved sustained periods where the team has the makeup to consistently compete for the championship.
It would appear that now, however, the Rangers are very well positioned to not just simply compete consistently but to actually win it all in the not too distant future. They possess organizationally each component of the so-called four pillars outlined above, plus another two elements we'll address in our break down. Together, that makes for six reasons why the New York Rangers will win the Stanley Cup within the next three years.