State of the Rangers

On the Ranger and their playoff chances

A topic that keeps getting brought up is the Rangers and their playoff chances. Currently playing a little bit better than expected, the Rangers sit 7th in the Division with 50 points (23-21-4). They also sit 7th in the Wild Card hunt, in which the top two teams make the playoffs, regardless of division. The Rangers have played much better of late, which is where the playoff chatter stems from. But how realistic are their playoff chances?

Last year, the second wild card team (Columbus) had 98 points. The third place wild card team (Montreal) had 96 points and missed the playoffs. Based on current trends, where Carolina has 61 points and is fighting for their playoff lives in the second wild card spot, it looks like 98 points is that barometer again this year.

The Rangers have played 48 games, so they have 34 games remaining to get to that 98 point floor, so they need 48 points in those 34 games. That’s 1.4 points per game to get there, so the Rangers need to win at least 20 games in their final 34, and then their losses need to be of the OT variety. A 20-6-8 gets them to that 98 point threshold. A daunting task. But that doesn’t even include the five teams they need to leapfrog to get there: Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Philly, and Carolina, as currently situated. I’ll include Columbus here because they are only a point ahead of Carolina.

It’s not only about the Rangers getting points, it’s about beating the right teams on their climb. The Rangers have six games against those six teams in February (four before the deadline), just three in March, and only one in April. That’s ten total four-point swing games against teams ahead of them in the standings.

February will be the biggest teller in the Blueshirts and their very slim playoff hopes. In addition to the six games against teams ahead of them, they have 13 total games before the deadline, of which they will need to collect at least 20 of a possible 26 points to even have a realistic chance. They also likely need to sweep those four games against wild card teams ahead of them. Again, a daunting task.

Realistically speaking the Rangers have a very small chance of making the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean the season would be a failure. They finished with 78 points last year and jettisoned two of their best players at the deadline. They are on pace to finish with more points with an arguably less skilled roster. This season, even with missed playoffs, should be viewed as a big step forward.

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  • I just think they have too many teams to climb over to make a serious playoff push. I just hope that GM Gorton isn’t fooled at the deadline into thinking the Rangers have a realistic shot. The NHL’s ridiculous point system has slowed many teams development in years past. I assume Gorton won’t be fooled but I’ve been wrong before.

  • I just think they have too many teams to climb over to make a serious playoff push. I just hope that GM Gorton isn’t fooled at the deadline into thinking the Rangers have a realistic shot. The NHL’s ridiculous point system has slowed many teams development in years past. I assume Gorton won’t be fooled but I’ve been wrong before.

  • The losses to Columbus and the Islanders right before the All-Star break pretty much sealed their fate. 25-19-4 would have been a hell of a lot better than 23-21-4 — not to mention it would have knocked Columbus back by 2 points. Plus I disagree that they are less skilled, Hayes plus Zucc aren’t better to have than Panarin …. plus it has allowed Strome to move up and produce. Defensively the addition of Trouba and Fox plus the maturation of ADA has made them better. I would be happy with 85+ points, the point of this season is to watch Chytil mature and the RD to be solidified.

    • “Plus I disagree that they are less skilled.”

      Yeah, I usually agree with David, but not this time. IMO, talent wise, this is a playoff team. But as we all know, talent isn’t everything, it’s just the start.

      Anyone telling me that that CBJs are a more talented team than the Rangers would be 100% wrong. But yet, they are ahead of the Rangers in the standings. Hmmm, I wonder why that is…

  • Overall, I have been very happy with the team’s performance thus far this season. I never figured them on making the playoffs this season, so I don’t find their current chances of doing so to be disappointing. If they happen to go on a tear and make it, it will be quite an amazing feat. There are a lot of things to like about this team and its future is bright.

  • Whether they make the playoffs, or not, they have to keep playing as if they have a shot. I would really be disappointed if they just start going through the motions.

  • “But that doesn’t even include the five teams they need to leapfrog to get there: ”

    This is silly. You decide that 98 will be good enough and be done with it. Obviously it might take more or less, but when you pick a number ,you stop worrying about individual teams.

    Now the arithmetic is simple. 82 points is sort of breaking even. 98 is +16. They have a full season to get 16 wins above .599. In 48 games, they are +2. They just need 14 more. percentagewise they have to play as well as Washington, Boston, St. Louis so far this year and better than anyone else has played. Not going to happen.

  • Let’s start with a given that the cards fall where the Rangers need them to fall and they get that last wildcard.

    Anyone believe the Rangers pull a round out of their collective blue butt? Anything can happen, we saw it just last year. I just don’t think Rangers Management should make their sign vs sell decisions based on that slim chance.

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