Ryan Reaves has no doubt that the New York Rangers are worthy of their place among the NHL's elite teams.
The Rangers moved to 26-10-4 for the season with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
They top the Metropolitan Division and sit third in the overall Eastern Conference standings on 56 points, behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
Reaves, who turned 35 on Thursday, scored the first two goals of his Rangers career in the win over Toronto, doubling his tally from last season with the Vegas Golden Knights.
When asked if Rangers had to now be considered as one of the best teams in the NHL, Reaves told reporters: "I think we know it. I think maybe some of the league doesn't believe it, but let them keep [not] believing it.
"We're gonna keep doing our thing and, I mean, the standings don't lie."
The Rangers have not won a division title since 2014-15, while their last Conference Championship came a year before that. The most recent of their four Stanley Cup triumphs, meanwhile, was achieved in the 1993-94 season.
Next up for the Rangers is a huge, top-of-the-standings contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, who sit just behind New York in the Metropolitan Division.
"It shows that we can hang with the big boys, that we are one of the big boys," a bullish Reaves continued.
"We've got to keep beating the playoff teams. That's something we've talked about, but I think we're proving to the league that we're a contender."