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Playoffs in sight

Photo: Brad Penner, USA Today

Photo: Brad Penner, USA Today

I have a feeling that the title of this post is going to draw a lot of ire across Rangerland. After all, I’m clearly jinxing them, and now the team is going to lose all ten remaining games and miss out. But let’s just get this out of the way: This team is headed to the playoffs barring an epic collapse. SportsClubStats has them at 94.4% for making the playoffs, so at this point they are just jockeying for position.

Why is that percentage so high? For starters, New York has a three point lead on the Washington Capitals with ten games remaining. Certainly not a lock, but the Rangers the tiebreaker (ROW) on the Caps, so they would need to gain four more points than our Blueshirts in the next ten games to take over the three seed. Possible, but not probable. Columbus, who has a game in hand on the Rangers/Caps, are four points out. The Rangers have the tiebreaker on them as well.

But of course, it is possible the Rangers lose a lot of games and miss the playoffs. Using SportsClubStats as the barometer here, the Rangers would need to go 3-6-1 to have less than a 50% chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Again, very possible, especially when you consider the inconsistent nature of the club over the past year. That’s where the cupcake schedule comes in.

The Rangers have exactly three games remaining against playoff teams (Philly, Colorado, Montreal), and one against a team (Phoenix) still in the hunt. The other six games: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Carolina, Buffalo. Even a .500 record gets them to the 92 point pace that pretty much solidifies a playoff spot.

It’s been an interesting year for the Rangers. They seem to have long win streaks followed by long I-forgot-how-to-play-hockey streaks. Despite the roller coaster ride of a season, this team is where they should be: In a great spot heading into the home stretch. A clinch is in sight, and then the real fun will begin.

14 Responses to “Playoffs in sight”

  1. mbn says:

    I do not believe a .500 record gets them in. I think 93 or 94 points is the cut-off line.

    Even so, they should easily handle this, and hopefully do it with a few games remaining to get Hank some time off.

    Unless they forget how to score…………

  2. Chris F says:

    In my opinion, we want to avoid the 1st round matchups with either Pittsburgh or Boston that would come from slipping to a wild-card spot. Now, I acknowledge the argument that going up against either of them in the 1st round and losing is better than losing to them in the conference finals and having that 2015 pick become a 1st rounder.

    However, I’d feel better about our chances against them in the conference finals than the 1st rounds I still think the Rangers need some time to really round out their playoff game.

    With that said, divisional 2 or 3 placement is ideal which could win the Rangers a 1st round date with either Philly, Columbus, or Washington.

    I’d hate for Washington to make it u to the 2/3 tier and play us again for the 5th time in 6 years. I’d be happy with either a Philly or Columbus matchup.

    Both would be emotional and physical series. I’m really diffing the emerging rivalry with Columbus.

    What are everyone’s predictions and / or preferences for the Rangers first round?

    • Dave says:

      Since 2 plays 3 in the Metro, it’s all but guaranteed that the Rangers face the Flyers.

      • Chris F says:

        Not necessarily, Dave. A surge by Washington or Columbus could propel them into a divisional spot, if Philadelphia implodes, which is quite realistic with Mason in net.

        Flyers are overachieving at the moment.

        • Becky says:

          Have you been watching Columbus? They’re also overachieving and not streaking at all. I’m not concerned

          • Chris F says:

            I’m not concerned, either. I was merely commenting that either a Philly or Columbus matchup would be fun. Columbus is emerging as a rival, and the games would have a lot of excitement, in my opinion. It’s not a fear of facing either Philly or Columbus, it’s actually a hope to face one of them.

            Dave suggested that Philly/NYR was a lock. I’m merely pointing out that Philly is overachieving so Columbus could surge and dislodge them. I never said Columbus was streaking.

  3. JoeS. says:

    I don’t care who the Rangers play. Despite the inconsistency, I believe this is a good/great team and will be able to compete with any other team in the playoffs!

  4. Becky says:

    JINXXXXXXX

    Kidding. If we can’t beat Ottawa we really don’t deserve to be in there. Nice post

  5. Bort says:

    I completely agree.
    A lot of our inconsistent playing earlier came from that brief fall from grace of Lundqvist’s. Hopefully all the record breaking and positivity, along with a relatively easy schedule, keeps him going strong for another 30 games or so.

    I think once MSL starts to really click and starts scoring his own goals, this team has the potential to surprise a lot of our competition.

  6. RangersFan4Life says:

    I read your article and I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I mean I like the positive attitude and everything, but there are still 10 games left. IMO it doesn’t matter what record your opponent has, they can beat you on any night. I think at this point I can’t count statistics as a measuring stick for games that haven’t been played yet.

  7. SalMerc says:

    Looks to me like Philly is the most likely. I can only hope they cool off. We cannot let them intimidate us. I also can’t understand why Simmons seems to always score big goals against us. He isn’t a surprise anymore.

  8. mikeyyy says:

    Going deep in the playoffs has historically been linked to a great end of season run.

    these 10 games will make or break the year