The Rangers come off the All-Star Break with a 25-20-5 record [55 pts] in a tightly-contested Metropolitan Division. They play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at The Garden, in the first of the final 32 games of the season, as they scramble to make the playoffs or sell off the parts and build for the future.
Here’s how they’ve looked after 50 games in the past five seasons:
2013-14 26-21-3, finished 45-31-6 [went 19-10-3 in the final 32]
2014-15 30-16-4, finished 53-22-7 [went 23-6-3 down the stretch]
2015-16 27-18-5, finished 46-27-9 [went 19-9-4 in the final 32]
2016-17 31-18-1, finished 48-28-9 [went 17-10-5 down the stretch]
2017-18 25-20-5, finished ???
I think we’d all be thrilled if they got 40+ points in the final 32 games, as they’ve done in 3 of the past 4 seasons, but with Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk out indefinitely, and a number of the players under-performing, and a patchwork 3rd and 4th lines, is it even possible? And would it be enough to make the playoffs?
The sprint to the finish – and the Trade Deadline – begins tonight.