The 2021 NHL season is at its halfway point, and the Rangers are sitting in 6th in the East with 28 points. At the start of the season, the playoffs were certainly a possibility, but many things had to go right for that to happen. So far, only one or two of those things have gone right. The playoffs aren’t out of the question, but they are slipping away quickly. There aren’t many games left to make up ground, so what do the NY Rangers need to do to make the 2021 playoffs?
As of the writing of this post, the Rangers are eight points behind the Bruins for 4th in the division. The Flyers are between them with 33 points in 5th place. This year the playoffs are different, and the top four teams will make the playoffs. There are no wild cards. So the Rangers will need to pass both teams to do so.
The Bruins are on a 72 point pace through 56 games. Using that pace, the Rangers will need to finish with 73 points. This means the Rangers need 45 points in their remaining 28 games this season. This is an extremely tall order at 1.6 points per game. Even an average of three points every two games doesn’t get them there. The Rangers need to go on a long win streak.
Without factoring in the loser point, even a 20-8 record doesn’t get the job done. They’d need to go 21-7, which gets them to 72 points. Is this doable? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not. But crazier things have happened, and they could happen with a healthy Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin.
Of their 28 remaining games, nine of them are against Buffalo and the Devils. It goes without saying that the Rangers need to win all nine of those games. That leave 19 games against teams ahead of them.
- Six games against Washington
- Four games against the Flyers
- Two games against the Penguins
- Five games against the Isles
- Two games against the Bruins to close out the season
Going 12-7 against those teams might guarantee them a spot, with 11-8 leaving them under the 72 point threshold. The big games are those two against Boston to close out the season, as they are four-point games and it’s assumed the Rangers will need to win both.
It we assume the Rangers do win both against Boston, then it’s a 10-7 record against the Caps, Flyers, Penguins, and Isles. All this to get to the 72 points that *might* get them into the playoffs. This is a lot for a team that has been wildly inconsistent all year.
The Rangers control their own destiny at the moment, but they need a lot of things to go right for them. Six points a night from Mika Zibanejad is certainly a start. For now, the NY Rangers have an outside shot at making the 2021 playoffs. For now.