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03-11-2013, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Now that we're actually at the half way point, I'll give my thoughts:
Considering the shortened season, lack of training camp, the perennial slow start, that we lost some big heart and soul guys (not saying the Nash trade was a bad move, it just clearly impacted chemistry early on), and that we had 6-7 new roster players - depending upon who plays each night - learning a new system, I think the Rangers are in a pretty good place and am optimistic for the rest of the season.
Despite a lot of injuries and inconsistent play from pretty important pieces, we're in a good spot. Once this team gets everyone healthy and if everyone ever gets clicking at the same time, I'm pretty confident that they can beat any team in the league in a 7 game series. Even without those things happening thus far, we are positioned to jump over a few teams for 5th place over the next week if the Rangers we've been seeing lately continue to show up to play.
As much as I hate to say it, I don't see Montreal (or Boston) cooling off anytime soon; so I don't see us breaking into 4th place. I would expect to be a 5th place playoff team unless we are able to overcome Pittsburgh in our division. And even though they have 2 games in hand on us, the only way I see that happening is if we are able to actually win 2 of the 3 remaining games we have against them. If not, absent Pittsburgh seriously faltering or the Rangers turning it up to 11, there just aren't enough games left in the season to make up the difference. The next five games, and the home and home with Pittsburgh (followed by a Carolina game) in early April will determine whether this team is a 5th/6th seed or a top 3 seed.
The one thing that just absolutely kills me is looking back at the last 24 games and considering how many more points we should have right now. Ignoring the first 4 games - because apparently this team just can't start a season off on the right foot; we should have 7 more points right now (which would have put us 1 pt behind Pitt with 2 games in hand):
- The week from hell where we blow big leads on both Boston and NYI. No excuse for the lazy play we showed in these games after going up big. I called it when we did it two games in a row -- even though we eeked out one point in each of those games, in a shortened season losing the extra pt to NYI and giving BOS an undeserved point could come back to bite us in the ass: +1 pts.
- I know that this team just forgets how to play against Montreal, but how they played during those two games was just pathetic and even despite the poor play the games were largely still within reach and we should have been able to pull out at least one of those games: +2 pts.
- Winnipeg loss was uninspired pretty much all around. ****ing fail. +2 pts.
- Ottawa has been playing well and hard - I'll give them credit, but with their injuries there is no reason we should have lost that game on Friday. Just a painful game to watch. +2 pts.
Even if you just assume we win one of the MTL, WPG, OTT games and don't monumentally choke in the BOS/NYI games, that still would have put us in a drastically different position. On the one hand, tough pill to swallow. On the other, I think that with what the team has dealt with, it bodes well for the second half.
Last edited by Richter Scale: 03-11-2013 at
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