Well, the Rangers are in 8th, 1pt out of 7th, and 3 out of sixth. The rest of the season doesn't look all that bad, but the majority of them are must wins:
Philly (Although dangerous) twice
Iles (Without DP?) twice
Leafs (minus Kaberle?) once
Now, if you look at the other teams around us, i.e. the Iles, they have some SERIOUS games ahead of them, like:
MONTREAL: (Not too bad)
Boston three times
TAMPA (looking for 6th!)
Now, just looking at the stats of all the teams, I like what we have ahead of us. I think if we could hit a hot streak, with the certain teams losing certain games, 6th place really isn't far out of our reach. We match or have games at hand on all the teams I mentioned, minus the Iles. What do you guys think? 6th plausible? or do you think we are barely going to get 8th?
We need to go 6-4 over the final 10 games to get in. The Pitt game on Monday is really big. A win and 5-4 is all that's needed for the remaining 9. Quite doable. A loss and they need to go 6-3 down the stretch, which is still possible, but much more difficult.
It's tough to look at the schedule and say this game is a gimme, or that one's a loss. Every game is tough, and you need to bring your A game every night.
For me, analyzing the schedules like this is too difficult. The teams are so close together and the games are so hotly contested that you can't even predict with much certainty who is going to win night in and night out.
The one thing that gives me a lot of confidence in the Rangers' ability to clinch one of the last playoff spots is the fact that Lundqvist has been superb. Goaltender is the most important position, and when you compare Lundqvist's play to what some of these other teams are getting, you have to feel confident. Granted, some of these teams have been forced to play their backups. I'd just still prefer Lundqvist over Huet, Holmqvist/Denis, Raycroft, etc.