Rangers control their own destiny in final 14 games

March 31, 2013, by
Just win please.

Just win please.

The Rangers lost to Montreal last night, which wasn’t all that unexpected considering past success there. With the loss, the Rangers sit in 8th place in the East with a 16-15-3 record. They are tied with the Islanders in points, but hold the tiebreaker at the moment. In essence, with the Islanders the only team tied in points, the Rangers control their own destiny. They have 14 games in 27 days to decide a season.

Their first seven games in April will be against teams in the playoff race (Winnipeg, Pittsburgh twice, Carolina, Toronto twice, Islanders). They then get three games against non-playoff teams (Philly, Florida, Buffalo), before the Devils come to town. That Devils game makes a stretch of three games of four against playoff teams (Devils twice, Carolina, Florida). Summarizing, the Rangers have 14 games left in the season, 10 of which will be against teams in the playoff race. If there was any time to get their act together, now is the time.

At the beginning of the season, we predicted that it would take about 53 points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have 28 points on the table, and if our predictions hold true, they will need 18 of those 28 points. In straight wins-losses, that’s a 9-5 record, which is very doable. That said, the Rangers need to play better and more consistent hockey for 9-5 to be doable.

In between, there is the trade deadline. The organization will look to add some much-needed depth and toughness, but it isn’t a guarantee that the prices will be right for the Rangers to bite. Remember, they won’t make a deal just to make a deal. They will make the right deal, one that helps the team this year and next. Assuming a good deal can come along, the Rangers will hopefully address their needs.

There are only so many times we can argue about why they are in this position. In the end, they are in this position, and that’s that. They hold the 8th spot, and as long as they win, they will make the playoffs. I’ve stood by my belief that they will make the playoffs, and that has not changed. If it’s a date with the Penguins in the first round, so be it.


  1. Chuck A says:

    Boys, channel your inner King

  2. paulronty says:

    Glad you are an optimist because there has been nothing that has happened so far that makes me believe the playoffs will be made. Torts has not been able to motivate this team at all, and frankly there is something seriously wrong here. I am a Torts fan but frankly he has made a lot of mistakes himself this season because he is being too rigid about his “system.” When things don,t work you have to change the system to make it work..

    • Dave says:

      We are the optimistic blog, even if it does piss a lot of people off.

      But, if the season ended today, they’d be in the playoffs.

  3. Walt says:

    Last night should have been a wake up call. The next seven games will dictate what we have, or have not accomplished. Win at least five of them, then we have a shot. Lose three of them, then I believe it’s history!

  4. BobM says:

    Why did the system work last year and not this year? Even Halpern looked better on the Canadiens then he did on the Rangers last night. There is a major attitude problem on this team. Don’t know what it is, but it is quite obvious.

    Perhaps all of the egos are getting in the way. You have three alleged Superstars, and I only see Nash emerging from that pack.

    When you are uptight, you lack confidence. This team is totally uptight and out of sight.

    Their play in the first few minutes of the past bunch of games show that they just do not care.


    • Dave says:

      That is the million dollar question.

      But, this team will not be successful if Gaborik and Richards continue to play like third liners. If those two are producing, we aren’t having discussions like these.

      • Ren says:

        This is the main problem in my eyes. Last night was the first time I saw Gaborik actaully skating all season. Richards has not been good.

        I guess the management felt that their young players and prospects would continue the performance of last years so they let go of some depth but it hasn’t paid off.

        I love Krieder and Miller, they are skating better, and getting some looks. However at the end of the day they have to go in the net. You guys don’t do “chance breakdown” . Couple that with the fact there was a lot pressure and expectations put on this team because of last year.

        • justplainbob says:

          About three weeks ago, i heard micheletti explain what a practice is like- we practice defense, and let the offense sort itself out. believe me, it shows. not one member of this team can complete a tape to tape pass, or stand in front of the net consistently to pot a rebound. we drop pass the puck away constantly, swear by the wrap-around and more often than not shoot from bad angles just to pad sog stats. what a joke

  5. Bloomer says:

    Torts is stifling the superstars offence because they have to back-check? That ridiculous. The Rangers have a chance to win almost every night because of the fact they keep their goals against down. The problem is they can’t put the puck in the net. They need to change it up make a few trades. As for Avery, you had every opportunity to have a long career in the NHL. You landed in New York because no other organization in the league wanted you because of your big mouth. You and you alone are the reason why you are no longer playing hockey, grow the hell up you loser.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      This isn’t about goals,it’s about not being ready to play when the puck drops and getting our asses kicked,repeatedly before i can take a sip of my beer.

  6. TxRanger says:

    First off, Happy Easter.

    I look at our upcoming schedule, and I am concerned. Honestly, I think we can beat the Islanders in an all out battle of a game, then steal one from Carolina, beat Philly no problem, and maybe beat Florida once. That’s only four wins. I hope this isn’t what happens, but it seems most likely in my opinion. There’s a chance we can get those 18 points, but has there been any time this season where we’ve pulled 18 of 28?

    Sorry to come here so drearily. I like what Torts said, about how they’re still in the playoffs. Maybe we can rally like Philly did a few years ago, but I really don’t see this group of guys coming together like that. Any interview I see with Gabby, he just looks so over it, and Richards only talks about how we’re blowing it.

    But, at the end of the day, let’s go Rangers!!!

    • Joe says:

      yea just read an article on that the Rangers gave Gordie Howe “Mr. Hockey” a tryout at 15 years old? they passed…..some things never change, despite change.

  7. Tim B says:

    Id prefer Mikko Koivu over Richards as Koivu is producing and has chemistry with Gaborik. But that would never happen as Richards and Koivu both have NMC and both contracts are very long. Also Boyle is overpaid. I hate overpaid players. In my opinion, Boyle is replaceable. Maybe Newbury can start earning penalty killing time. Powe can than be inserted in the lineup on the 4th line. Pyatt can be moved up to the third line. They need a younger Richards for the long term. If he isnt producing right now than what will it look like in 5-7 years? On 4th line getting paid $6.66 million? They need to trade him. I dont care if they ned to give up a draft pick and or Wilson, Bourque, Yogan for a Duchene type player. Producing, young, consistent and someone you can count on.

  8. Ray says:

    Not particularly relevant but i hate counting points. The Rangers are behind Carolina, not ahead of them. The Islanders are tenth. Of course, everyone except Florida still controls their own destiny.

    • TxRanger says:

      carolina has 34 points, we have 35. they are in tenth, isles are in ninth

      • Ray says:

        The point is that Carolina is averaging 1.03 points per game. They have an extra game to play – so they have 35.03 points, which is better than 35.
        I realize that everyone engages in this bit of absurdity, but the notion that the Islanders extra point is better than the Hurricanes two games in hand is absurd.

  9. Mikeyyy says:

    One more clunker like that in a row.

    Then what?

  10. Eric says:


    I appreciate the optimism on the blog and I enjoy reading the blog. There have been games where I thought the Rangers have righted the ship but they have not. I am super disappointed with this season.

    Last year was amazing season but we all felt we needed goal scoring and we all wanted Nash. We all the thought deal for Dubi, Arty, Erixon and a 1st rounder was a great deal for Nash. The Rangers also lose Purst to free agency and we where not going to pay him 2.1 million a year. It turns out these three guys we key to Torts system and are missed a lot more then we all thought. I will take Nash any day. He will be amazing for the rest of his contract.

    I think our key players where not ready to play. Richards has been a shell of himself. Gabby is coming off major shoulder surgery and it doesn’t help he is not the type of player Torts loves. Hank has been solid but he has not been the elite goalie he was last year. So players have to take a lot of blame.

    I think we are all giving Torts too much of free pass on this season. I get Torts agressive defense of system, that is suppose turn into offense and frustrate your oppent into mistakes that result in goals. The problem is this team cannot be successful in this system. Torts should have realized this team doesn’t fit his style of play and changed there style of play. I think torts will get through the season but if we miss the playoffs should be fired. I think the team is over his in your face style. Things are a lot easier to deal with when you are winning and we are not winning.

    I really commend Slats and Gordie Clark on the team they have built. We have solid prospects and what we thought was Stanley Cup contender. Do I blame Slats for the Nash deal, not at all. Do I blame Slats for Purst leaving, no. If torts is the coach they need to find the bottom six players that will thrive in Torts system. Slats and the mangement have a lot of work this off season to get this team right.

    I love the Rangers and furstrated beyond belief with this team. To be where they are, after being picked by most to win the cup is a joke. This season is a huge disappointment evenif we make the playoffs and lose in round 1. This season is awaste. This team doesn’t compare to the LA kings team that won the cup ladt year. I think there is small chance Torts is fired. So it all falls Slat to get the right players to fit torts system. I am hoping I am wrong but 32 games played tell a story of not a really good hockey team.

    • Sally says:

      I agree with most of what you said. I just wanted to add that maybe Torts didn’t change his system because of not having a training camp. Maybe he thought Nash and Gaborik would score tons of goals and everything would be fine because that is what we all thought.

    • Rob says:

      Well said Eric. Also, with all of that said, anything can still happen this season. Parity in hockey can not be more understated. In today’s hockey there’s a very , very fine line in winning or loosing. I’m just as frustrated with this team as everybody else, but this is today’s hockey. Super tight games, and if a bounce goes your way, you win. Did anyone watched last night’s game shift by shift like I did, and can tell me with a straight face that Montreal outplayed us? I think we took it to em. We just couldn’t and we cant finish! Look at the Kings last season in how they were initially picked to be top 3 in the west, and they squeak in the playoffs with a crap PP, and look at what happened. Keep the faith boys and girls, we just gotta get in.

    • orangemike says:

      Finally a reasonable, well-thought out post on one of these boards. Last year all the geniuses here and elsewhere wanted to have everyone on this team shot, sent to the gulag, whatever, because the team was tired and worn out. “We” (I love that, BTW, like you clods are in the locker room) need to get rid of Dubi, Prust, etc. and get a scorer. The coach should be executed, he’s an idiot. “We” need Chris Kreider for the playoffs.

      Well, here we are 12 months later. Now all the rocket scientists sitting with their keyboard in their parents’ basement want to trade everybody

      • Rob says:

        Yes “We”….It’s the one constant in sports. Coaches, players, and management come and go, hell even uniforms can change but fans STAY and PAY! So ye, “WE” LOL. Btw, I loved the makeup of this team last year, and felt they (WE) actually were tired in the playoffs. But was I calling for a trade? Anyone wanna buy my Dubinsky jersey?

  11. jb says:

    Crazy thought: Zucc fight tomorrow – awakens the slumbering Rangers in 3-1 win.

  12. Mikeyyy says:

    Really the team often will take on the personality of its coach.

    Words of wisdom from a great man.

  13. Lou says:

    I am sick of this “Torts didnt get a chance to insert his style at traning camp” excuse. Bottom line, every team missed training camp, not just the Rangers (look up the Senators and what a coach that players will die for can do). Are we to assume that Tort’s system is that much more complicated than the rest of league and the lack of training camp hurt us more? Dont think so!

    Fact is the players are simply not playing — not playing for him, not playing for themselves, and certainly not playing for us.

    Richards is a total joke; reminds me of Theo Flurey (maybe he’s on acid too). Gabby has at least tried at times, but between his streakyness and Torts on his case, he’s done though. Boyle is a cancer – a guy who can hit but doesnt….can lift the team but wont….can play but didnt upgrade his game in the off season. Why do we like underdogs? the Wes Welkers, the Martin St Louis? Because they make more of themselves than their god-given talents….Boyle on the other hand is completely the opposite. A guy who can skate, hit and strike fear in the opposition, yet looks the other way when the team captain Cally gets pummeled on a play in Montreal. What a shit of a human being!

    That is what is wrong with the Rangers this year!
    We go from first in the league in fighting to last. From a tough team to play against to less than soft competition. From an in your face approach to an I dont care approach.

    And, a coach that doesnt see it, doesnt get it and doesnt connect.

    I mean really, you play Nash on the penalty killing for what purpose? How many short-handers do we have this year? And conversely, we have been scored on with a man down in each of the last seven games. I mean really, you dont score on a power play but expect to score down a man?

    Put players in positions to succeed – penalty killing is for Cally, Powe, Boyle, Step, and even Newberry….not Nash.

    A look at Halpern in the Canadien’s uniform playing well should be the only proof we need that Torts has lost it!

    It hurts to say — but we are doomed this year 🙁

  14. Rob says:

    That play on Cally drove me nuts too, especially when the stiff was standing right next to him, saw his captain get thrown down and he did NOTHING! Cant stand Boyle.