Blog Archives

It’s better to face the Capitals in the playoffs sooner rather than later

Bobby Bevilacqua

Stepan game 7 ot winner

Photo courtesy of Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

Outside of the Washington Capitals in first place, the Metropolitan Division is up for grabs, and the seeding of the team can still fluctuate and change. A few games ago, it looked like the Rangers would have the second seed locked up. But after two straight losses and late surges from the Penguins and Islanders, that’s not a guarantee anymore.

As it stands, the Rangers have about a 40% chance of finishing second in the division, a 39% chance of finishing third, and a 21% chance of getting the first Wild Card spot. So out of all three of those possibilities, which would be the most advantageous for the Rangers? What would give them the best chance of making another run in the playoffs?

Right off the bat, we can cross off the third place finish in the division. If you’re going to stay in the Metro for the first two rounds of the playoffs, you would like home ice for at least one of those rounds. So a third place finish wouldn’t be preferable. Read the rest of this entry

Enough with the optimism, the Rangers are not well prepared for the playoffs

Bobby Bevilacqua

Henrik Lundqvist save great pic 2-23

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

For the most part, I may be one of the most optimistic Ranger fans out there. But this season has tested my patience, and yesterday’s pathetic performance against the San Jose Sharks was the tipping point.

The Rangers gave up 52 shots against the Sharks, with 47 of them coming at Henrik Lundqvist in 49 minutes. They had almost no extended periods of pressure or possession. They had half of the amount of shots on goal that the Sharks had, and the team finished as a -21 in Corsi For.

After this game, the Rangers are now 3-5-1 in their last nine games, and their last 10 games won’t be a walk in the park. They still have to take on the Penguins, the Islanders, the Bruins, the Panthers and the Lightning. At the rate they’re playing now, there’s a chance that Pittsburgh and the Islanders, both of which have at least one game in hand, could surpass the Rangers and put them in a wild card spot. Read the rest of this entry

NHL Division Preview: The Metropolitan

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Capitals Game 5 faceoff 5-8

The Rangers and the Capitals will be two of the Metropolitan’s best teams this season. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The upcoming NHL season is less than two weeks away, and the excitement is palpable. The rosters are almost finalized, preseason is almost over, and the grind for a Stanley Cup Championship is about to begin.

This is the first post in a series of four where I will preview each division in the NHL, make my predictions, and choose who I think will be in the playoffs. There will be an article for each division in the league.

The Metropolitan Division is shaping up to be the best in the entire league. Many of the teams have either maintained their strong roster or drastically improved, meaning that this division is very likely to send five teams to the playoffs.

The Rangers were the champions of the Metropolitan last season, in the regular season and after the first two rounds, and they’ll look to defend their divisional prowess against some surging teams such as the Penguins, the Capitals, and the Islanders. Read the rest of this entry

What Metropolitan teams will challenge the Rangers in 2015-16

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers hi five line 5-26

The Rangers look to be a top team in the East yet again, but which teams will rival them in their own division? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Since the 2011-12 season, in which the Rangers finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the New York Rangers have been arguably the best, and most consistent team in the Metropolitan Division, if not the entire conference.

That trend continued this year, with the team making it all the way to the Conference Finals yet again, falling in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just missing out on a second straight Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

Alain Vigneault and his squad appear to be in good shape again for another run at a Stanley Cup Championship, keeping the majority of their core intact, and bringing in some nice pieces through trades and free agency. Some work remains to be done, like re-signing Derek Stepan, but for most part, this team is in good shape.

But the Metropolitan Division is getting better and better with each passing year. No longer is it dominated by two teams, which has really been the Penguins and Rangers for a few years. There are other teams in the division that have been getting better and better. Read the rest of this entry