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Tonights Rangers post game wrap is brought to you by…

Tired of Mismanagement, Bad Contracts, being mired in Mediocrity and a lack of results? Come down to Madison Square Garden before the Rangers– Sabres game, join the rally, and let Mr. Jim Dolan know that you want Glen Sather FIRED immediately!!!!!!

Date: Sunday, March 7, 2010
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: The Steps Outside Madison Square Garden
Street: 1 Penn Plaza
City/Town: New York, NY

After hearing the post game comments given by coach Tortorella, and alternate captain Ryan Callahan, you would think that this 5-1 drubbing the Rangers took today was a hotly contested affair where just a bounce or 2 was the difference in the game. You would think so, but you would be wrong. This was not one of those games, this was nothing short of a complete no-show for the Rangers for about 75% of this game. It wasn’t that they played badly. They just didn’t show up, they didn’t give a flying frak whether or not they won this game. When they finally decided to show some heart, they did so when it was far too little, and far too late. They squeezed their sticks like a team that just knows they can’t score goals, and their goalie was absolutely putrid between the pipes. This is a team that isn’t slumping, this is a team that is freefalling with no end in sight. A 2 game winning streak won’t fix things, the Rangers need to go on a huge run soon, or this season is toast. As it stands right now the Rangers are slated to finish at roughly 83 or 84 points. With that kind of a finish, the Rangers will probably have a top 10 draft pick, possibly in the 5-10 range. The Rangers are standing on a precipice right now. I know that seems kind of extreme considering they are 1 point from being in 6th place, but it’s not really the case. Here’s the problem… The Rangers schedule is pretty damn hard from here on out.

The Rangers have 28 games remaining.
They play 2 games against the “bottom feeders” with 2 against Toronto.
They play teams that are expected to finish with 100 points or higher (Washington, NJ, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, SJ, Chicago, Colorado, Vancouver, Phoenix) 11 times.
The remaining 15 games are:
Los Angeles, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Montreal, St. Louis, Boston, Islanders, and Florida.

So, here is the math portion of this evening. What I want to do is take the Rangers current record against the remaining teams, and use that to project how many points we should have when finishing the season. For teams where we have no track record, I will assume 1 point won simply because that is what kind of a team we are as it stands now, 1 point per game. Here is the table:

VS Team Times Already Played Points Won Games Remaining VS Team Estimated Points Won
Phoenix 1 2 1 2
Colorado 0 0 1 1
Los Angeles 1 2 1 2
Washington 2 2 2 2
New Jersey 3 3 3 3
Nashville 0 0 1 1
Pittsburgh 4 0 2 0
Tampa Bay 2 2 2 2
Ottawa 3 4 1 1
Buffalo 2 2 2 2
Atlanta 3 2 1 1
Philadelphia 3 2 3 2
Montreal 3 3 1 1
St. Louis 1 0 1 0
Boston 3 6 1 2
NY Islanders 4 3 2 1
Toronto 2 4 2 4
Florida 3 4 1 1
Total 40 41 28 28

So what does my math tell me? My math tells me that based on our schedule difficulty our team will more than likely finish in the bottom 4 in the East. Meaning instead of making the playoffs, this team will likely finish with the 6th overall pick in the NHL draft, and probably within a point or 2 of actually have a chance at the #1 overall pick (thanks to the lottery). That is both horrifying, and slightly exciting. Why? Because of the Rangers go on full blown rebuild mode, they could beat the odds, and likely finish with a top 5 pick AND gather some assets, whereas if they instead try to “go for it” they may finish with a top 5 pick, and no assets, maybe not even said pick.

The next 5-10 games will be huge for this team. If they can win say 16 out of the next 20 points, then they are right back into it, and all this math was a waste of time, however if they don’t go beyond the point per game pace they are at now, this team will more than likely be at a crossroads. To rebuild, or to go for it.

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