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So, the Rangers won a pretty huge game today if they wanted to stay mathematically in the race. And while I was very pessimistic before (and remain quite pessimistic still) the Rangers are still, mathematically, in the race.

The Rangers have likely set their sights on Philadelphia, who are playing with a 3rd string goalie, and without their superstar forward in Carter. The reason you have to set your sights there is quite simple, if the Rangers can get within 3 points of the Flyers with 2 games remaining, they can control their own destiny with 2 games against the Flyers. As we stand today the Rangers are 5 points behind the Flyers, so they would still need to gain at least 2 points to have that chance. So let’s take a look at the 2 teams remaining schedules.

For the Flyers:
@Pittburgh
VS New Jersey
@ New York Islanders
VS Montreal
VS Detroit
@ Toronto
@ New York Rangers
VS New York Rangers

The cumulative winning percentage of their opponents if .5407, their own winning percentage is .5405. Meaning they are pretty much facing teams that are their equals.

For the Rangers the schedule is as follows:
@ Toronto
@ Islanders
@ Tampa Bay
@ Florida
@ Buffalo
VS Toronto
VS Philly
@ Philly

The cumulative winning percentage here is .5085. The Rangers winning percentage is .5067. Comparing the 2, you would have to say the Rangers probably have the harder schedule of the 2, still though, it’s within a margin of error that you would have to call the schedules a push. So what is the key here? Health. If the Rangers can get Cally back without him missing more than a game, they have a shot. Not a good shot, but a shot. If the Flyers go .500 the rest of the way, the Rangers will need to go 7-1-1 to catch them. That is a daunting task. This stretch run may have some important games yet, but I am not getting my hopes up just yet.


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