7-Eleven That's Hockey Online: July 13th
The New York Rangers made it clear Monday that their goals from the NHL's Return to Play go well beyond the play-in round, when they will take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a best-of-five series.
“Win the whole thing,” Mika Zibanejad said, per the New York Post after Monday's opening practice of Phase 3. “We’re not here just to participate and just be another team. We want to win.
“Obviously we’ll take it game by game and series by series, but we’re here to win. We have a great opportunity like this, it’s a very, very different situation than a regular playoffs, but we’re here to win and we’re going to do everything in our power to do so.”
The Rangers sat 11th in the Eastern Conference based off points percentage when play was halted in March and will be matched up against the sixth-seeded Hurricanes when games resume in August. Carolina had a .596 points percentage during the season compared to New York's .564 mark, but the Rangers won all four of the matchups between the two teams.
Rangers head coach David Quinn echoed Zibanejad's sentiment on Monday, making it clear he would not be using the hiatus as an excuse.
“This isn’t training camp,” Quinn said. “We are picking up where we left off, and I want that to be crystal clear to everybody here. This is not training camp.
“We’re trying to win a Stanley Cup.”
If the Rangers can defeat the Hurricanes, the team will advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.