If the Rangers want to catch the Islanders, they must sweep this series

After three wins in a row, including a pair against Buffalo, the playoffs were back on the menu for the Rangers. It’s still unlikely, but the Rangers can still technically catch the Islanders in the standings. The Islanders are five points ahead and have one game in hand. However they do face the Rangers twice in the next three days. For the Rangers to have any hopes of catching the Islanders, they need to sweep this series.

There is no other realistic scenario in which the Rangers can catch the Islanders. And even with a sweep, it’s still unlikely. The Islanders have Buffalo twice then the Devils twice after their set with the Rangers. Even if the Rangers sweep the Isles, their game in hand is against those two teams. Do you see the Islanders losing both to the Rangers, and then losing at least one more in that four game set? I don’t. All we can do is hope.

Hope. It is theĀ quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

In addition to the Rangers sweeping the Isles, and the Isles dropping at least one in their four games after, the Rangers need to surprise a few people in their remaining games. They close out the season with sets against Washington and Boston. A 2-2 split won’t cut it here. They need to take two against at least one of them.

Playing this out, if the Rangers get four wins in their last six, they finish with 66 points. That won’t cut it. Even if two of the wins are against the Isles. Five wins gets them to 68 points, and that might do it. But again, they need to sweep the Islanders. There are very few scenarios where the Rangers catch the Islanders without a sweep. This is a true must win game for the Rangers.

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  • Never sell teams with nothing to lose short, they can easily bite you in the “back”.

    5-1 minimum the rest of the way, Islanders need to go 2-4-1 … the brain says no but the heart is always a bit more optimistic.

  • Their recent play has “earned” this meaningful game late in the season. My opinion…that’s what the year was about, playoffs or not. Get some meaningful games and a) give them the experience and b) see how they do. This game is precious, win or lose. The Isles are a perfect test, well coached, playoff tested, tough to play against. We haven’t done so well against that lately. And if we win this one, we got another, even better.

  • When they lost last week, most put a fork in them. But he we are with a possibility to put a lot of pressure on the teams ahead if us. The Isles have not been playing great, and IF the Rangers do happen to beat them twice, there will be a ton of pressure on them to not blow it.

    Long-shot? Yea, maybe even not possible. But it’s great to have these type of games with less than 10 left to play. The kids are learning a lot from this experience.

    • Ironically the last time they played the Islanders when it counted, the two best lines were the 3rd and the 4th (the ones with the most kids). They produced the lone goal and weren’t on the ice for any goals against.

  • It is like we always get stuck in this in between phases as a franchise.

    Are we rebuilding? Or are we playoff contenders? Do we need centers or do we need more defenders come draft time? Should we trade away our vets for more depth? Or pay them ridiculous money for long term.

    The questions coming into the season were:
    1. Did we have a #1 goalie and a really good back up in Georgiev?
    2. How was the defense as a whole going to do?
    3. Would the kids at wing and center improve and how much?
    4. Just how good would Laffy be?

    How is playing Mika and Panarin 20 minutes tonight or more, going to answer any of this at this point? 5.9 % to make the playoffs is great. I get it, people like to believe. But I am sure the front office and quinn have already made up their minds about PDG, Goat, and everyone else who has gotten a shot up here so far. So lets see Barron tonight. Lets see how physical he can be. It is like playing Bitetto that game against the islanders last week. Just why would you do that? It makes no sense. You know what you have in Bitetto and if you didn’t then you suck as a GM and a Coach.

    And whether that falls squarely on Quinn or Gorton remains to be seen. But I am pretty sure if Gorton wanted a particular player in… he has the final say. And Quinn couldn’t argue with him. Right? I am sure he could but that would probably lead directly to his termination. So for all you Quinn haters I would say that if he is still here next season then all of this falls on Gorton. (Personally I hate Gorton)

    We have answered all of those questions that we had coming into the season at this point. And now the rest is left up to what Gorton does this offseason. And while as a impatient fan, I want us to make the playoffs and go on a fairy tale run, but realistic me knows we are a long way from beating the Crosby’s of this league. And therefore should focus on our roster and not on making the playoffs. And while it sucks to lose. It is a vital step in being a contender for years to come.

    How much better would you feel if Kappo and Kravs and Laffy and Fox and Lindgren were the sole reason we made the playoffs now? Vs. How would you feel that Quinn gets us into the playoffs but only because he played Panarin and Mika virtually the whole game and the kids never saw a shift?

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