After the home stand from hell, the Rangers are quite unbelievably one game over .500 and -8 points on the 6 points in 5 games playoff clinching paradigm. For all the gloom, doom and bellyaching I’ve heard from coming from some quarters, that’s really not to shabby.
As of this posting, the Rangers, with 42 points, are two back in the Eastern Conference Wild Card Race right behind Toronto with 47 points and Detroit with 46 points. The Devils are tied with the Rangers in points (42) but Rangers have 3 more regulation wins.
Coming in closely from behind respectively are Ottawa 41 , Carolina 39, Columbus 38. Florida 36, Islanders 33 and Buffalo 26 are bringing up the rear.
The Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist MUST be better in the second half of the season. Five hundred hockey ain’t gonna get it done. What with this being an Olympic year, it’s not going to be easy to pick up the points the Rangers squandered in December.
While Henrik hasn’t been overworked so far this season, the Rangers may find themselves up against the wall because Lundqvist will be “the” starter for Team Sweden. Remember what happened in 2006? I’m praying for Sweden’s early elimination (not likely).
If Cam Talbot can’t get it done and help Henke, Lundqvist will bear the load down the stretch. Since Lundqvist has been less than stellar, in truth mediocre so far this season, the Rangers must be better defenseivly and they MUST score more goals.
Compound Lundqvist playing for Sweden with Callahan, Stepan and McDonagh being chosen for Team USA and the Rangers need to pick up all the points they can before the Olympic break. How does the selection committee pick Callahan and Stepan over a Bobby Ryan or Kyle Okposo?
Fortunately, the Rangers do not have as a demanding a schedule (travel wise and rest wise) down the stretch as they did at the beginning of the season.
If you want an accurate picture of the Rangers chances in the last 41 games, of how the rest of the season should play out, visit the HockeyRodent’s RealSchedules and RealStandings.
Rodent doesn’t show the Rangers making the playoffs. Let’s hope the Tree Rat is wrong. Rodent’s projections are scientific and weighted and there’s pretty colors on his graphs, too.
Happy New Year
Let’s Go Rangers!