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The Rangers can make the playoffs being the fourth best team in the Atlantic. This is how strong this division is.
The New York Rangers face plenty of questions. There have been plenty of occasions where the Rangers have gone after the biggest fish in the market during the offseason, and he has been nothing but a bust. Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure are a couple of names that come into mind that fit the mold.
Will Brad Richards be a bust, too? We'll see. He may have been the biggest fish on the market, but this year's free agent market was one of the weakest in years. The signs on the wall just point for Richards being a bust.
Ultimately, he will be the difference maker for the Rangers. If he steps up, the Rangers can make it in to the playoffs. If he doesn't, they'll be on the outside looking in.
The Rangers are nothing but a borderline playoff team. Their defense is young and inexperienced and is nowhere near as good as the Devils, Flyers or Penguins defense.
They do have Henrik Lundqvist, who will be one of the best goaltenders in the league again. But if the Rangers were such a guarantee to make the playoffs because of him, why have they not finished higher than third in the Atlantic since 1995-96?
Lundqvist can't be the only guy. Richards needs to live up to his hype. Even then, the defense is a patchwork and can be detrimental to the Rangers chances.