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Packed road slate shouldn’t be cause for concern

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Before the season we projected that it would take 53 points to make the playoffs in the shortened 48-game season.  The Rangers are still on track to net exactly 53 points, but in looking ahead at the Rangers’ schedule, things become a little dicey.

New York has already played 15 of its 24 home games, meaning the Rangers will play just 9 of their remaining 23 games in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden.  The Blueshirts have a 9-5-1 mark at home this year, but fell to just 4-5-1 on the road with last night’s loss in Buffalo.  

Granted, that’s a tiny sample size, but if the Blueshirts continue their current pace of earning .9 points per game on the road, they’ll pick up just 12 more road points this year.  Add that to New York’s current point total and you get 40, which would mean New York would need to pick up 13 of 18 points at home to attain our magic number.

Obviously, those numbers are completely meaningless and can be skewed dramatically with each game played, but there’s no doubt that the Rangers must begin to play better away from home.

If the results from recent years are reassuring, then there’s no cause for concern.  The Rangers have played very well away from home; in fact they’d actually been consistently better away from MSG until last season’s 109-point breakout:

2011-2012

Home: 27-12-2

Road: 24-12-5

2010-2011

Home: 20-17-4

Road: 24-16-1

2009-2010

Home: 18-17-6

Road: 20-16-5

It shouldn’t be particularly difficult for the Rangers to make the postseason given their current positioning in the standings and the talent they possess, but this is also a team that is expected to do more than just squeak into the playoffs.  We all know about the remarkable effort John Tortorella has been able to coax out of his team during his tenure as head coach, so the packed road slate shouldn’t be alarming.  As long as the Rangers stick to playing a simple, tough, hardworking game, they’ll be fine.

6 Responses to “Packed road slate shouldn’t be cause for concern”

  1. Dave says:

    I’m not all that concerned about them making the playoffs. They are going to start putting distance between them and the teams behind them.

    At the rate they are going, they should get used to playing more games on the road though, as it looks like they will need a miracle to get home ice advantage.

  2. george says:

    Thursdays game againts the Jets will be HUGE!!

  3. rickyrants13 says:

    Well its safe to say that being on the road had nothing to do with the loss. Other then the hometeam getting the hometown handjob from the reffs.

    We just stunk last night Not one player played the way they are able to play. And NO ONE played above that.

  4. paulronty says:

    This team is showing deficiencies that are concerning & the playoffs are not a lock. There is no offence on the bottom six & bringing in Zuck & Kreider would help. This team is afraid to take chances offebsively because they’ll sit if they screw up. I remember Mess saying that sometimes you have to make that high risk-high reward play to be successful and sometimes it will backfire.

  5. rickyrants13 says:

    When you have a goalie that you call the KING you should be able to take chances.

    • The Suit says:

      The Rangers do take chances. It’s a big part of their system. That’s why you’ll often see d-men joining the rush or pinching down low. The whole foundation of Torts system is to creat chances below the dots.