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The Rangers need to sweep this four game set with the Devils

Tonight the Rangers begin their first of four games against the Devils. Rivalry week has taken on a new meeting, as COVID has forced this unusual quirk in the schedule. The good news for the Rangers is that the Devils are pretty bad and just traded two of their top forwards. The bad news is that for the Rangers to remain relevant in the playoff race, they need to sweep all four games against the Devils. It doesn’t matter how, but they need eight points.

The Rangers are currently four points back of Boston in the standings, but Boston has two games in hand. Current point projections have the Bruins finishing at 68 points.

As it stands today, the Rangers project to finish eight points out of a playoff spot. While these are just projections, the Rangers can do a lot to help their own cause. Specifically, winning enough games to get to 69 points would help them control their own destiny.

They need a lot of wins in a row

At 44 points currently, the Rangers need 25 points over their final 15 games to get to 69 points. Going 12-3 gets them 24 points, which is a tie with Boston in pace. That can be good enough, as the Rangers have a two game set with the Bruins to close out the season. Getting within three points difference by those two games is the real goal.

Doing the math, the Rangers would need to get to 65 points (+21 points) over the next 13 games. A record of 10-2-1 gets them there. Anything more is gravy. If the Rangers manage that, and assuming Boston doesn’t go on a run, then it will come down to those last two games of the season.

To go 10-2-1, a team needs to get on a run. With four games against the lowly Devils, it’s the prime opportunity to go on that run. The Rangers have six easily winnable games (these four, plus two against Buffalo) in that span. If they win all six, then it’s going 4-2-1 in seven games:

  • Three vs NYI
  • Two vs WSH
  • Two vs PHI

With Philly struggling, that’s very doable.

The Rangers do in fact control a portion of their destiny this season, but it begins and ends with eight points and a sweep against the Devils. Even seven leaves them with very little wiggle room. Anything less makes it a tall order. We can certainly explain away certain scenarios, but the Rangers control it themselves right now. Get eight points and control your destiny. Otherwise you leave things to chance.

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  • I would not call it controlling your own destiny if you count on Boston going 9-6-2 with six against Buffalo and two against the Devils.

    • Actually I don’t agree with my original sentiment, posted in haste. The Rangers trail Boston by 6 points. if they sweep the two game set with no loser points, that narrows the gap to 2. A two point advantage in over 10 games is not insurmountable. yes, Boston has a weaker schedule and they have added Taylor Hall – but they have also been shaky of late and the Rangers are on the upswing.

      9-6-2 seems easy for Boston, but with 0-2-0 against the Rangers, that is just 6-1-1 against the patsies and 3-3-1 against teams better them.

      • You were right the first time, “controlling your own destiny” means requiring ZERO help … but Boston has to lose a number of games, aside from the 2 against us, so technically we don’t control anything if Boston wins their other 15 games. In that event they make the playoffs with 78 points to our 74 points.

        They’re 4 points up on us right now with 2 games in hand. We can erase the 4 points by beating them twice, but we can’t erase the 2 games in hand.

        • I refuse to accept that the lead is four points. I always compute wins minus
          regulation losses. The team that finishes the season ahead in this stat wins. Currently Boston is +9 and the Rangers are +3, a six point gap. Unlike the traditional idiotic way of computing standings, it gives relatively small award for games played. [Even this slightly understates the Boston lead as their position has increased an average of .23 per game and so perhaps should be viewed as six and a half points ahead.]

          Obviously the Rangers don’t control their own destiny literally. However, Boston ending up at 68 is actually fairly reasonable if the Rangers beat them cleanly twice. The Rangers can make the playoffs with a very strong finish without requiring a Boston collapse.

          • Not a collapse, that’s true … but at least mediocrity, while we have to achieve plain goodness in our final 15, including 2 wins over Boston.

  • In this league, it is hard to sweep a home and home. Sweeping 4 will be nearly impossible. They have to keep getting points and hope to get some help.

  • Rangers don’t control anything other than how many games they can win in the last 15. I would suggest that any NHL team would have a hard time winning 4 straight games against the same opponent — whether it’s the “lowly” Devils, Red Wings. Sens or Sabres.

    I’m OK with 6, but 7 makes me feel better … 8 and I would be very happy. I still think the Bruins are more vulnerable than some people think, but they have the edge on experience and that counts for something. Despite our veteran leadership group, we are babies — first and foremost I just want to see our babies play well down the stretch. A few more repeat performances from the kids that we saw the other night against the Isssss-landers.

  • They need to be closer than 3 points by time the Boston series rolls around. The Bruins will still have 2 more games after that.

    Bottom line, it’s not happening. Play the kids.

  • I’m taking the money line in all four games. LGR! Three of the four will be Ranger blowouts. The “kids” pad their stats.

  • Keep in mind both Bostons goalies are out right now, they slip up 1 or 2 games due to goalie gaffs and theres a shot. Also Washington swept the whole season vs the devils so 4 games is very doable. Need to ride a hot igor and top line.

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