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How Rangers Position Compares to Other East Playoff Competitors

When the New York Rangers lost their third straight at home earlier this week not only had they lost a chance at points once again, but they had lost all control over their playoff destiny. With their wins against Ottawa and Philadelphia the past few days the team has taken destiny back in its own hands to a large extent. In these final fourteen games the only team currently outside the playoffs that can beat out the Rangers if they take care of their own business is the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes currently sit three points behind New York with two games in hand. Here is a breakdown of the schedules of the top five contenders for the last two spots in the East.

 

Current Points

Games Remaining

Vs. Current Playoff Teams

Home/Road

New York

74

14

7

7/7

Buffalo

72

17

7

9/8

Carolina

71

16

9

10/6

Toronto

67

16

9

7/9

New Jersey

64

17

9

9/8

New York obviously has the fewest amount of games of any these teams remaining, but then again they have the most points and points in the bank are always better than just having extra games.  On paper Buffalo appears to have the easiest schedule playing only seven opponents currently in the playoffs and the most games. Toronto appears to have the toughest road with points to make up, a tough schedule and few home games. As I said though, these last fourteen games are not about any other team, they are about the Rangers handling their own business. If New York plays with the same mindset they have in these last two they will do that despite a pretty tough schedule.

The Rangers schedule feature seven games against playoff teams with San Jose, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Boston twice, Buffalo and rematch with Flyers. Beyond those games they play the red-hot Devils, two games against the improving Islanders and their next bout comes against a very good Anaheim team who is their own playoff battle. There really are only three games the team should lock in and likely count if they show up that night: Ottawa, Florida and Atlanta, then again the Rangers have shown there is no such thing as a lock of a win. If the team handles their business in those three, they likely have to find five more wins in those other 11 games to get to 90 points.  The task is no slam dunk and the playoffs are not guaranteed, but with the huge confidence boost of not only beating the Flyers, but the way they did, destiny is back under their control.

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