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

Raanta makes 32 saves as Rangers take down the Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrate a goal 3-4

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a tough loss in Pittsburgh, the Rangers (38-21-6) bounced back with a huge win over the league-leading Washington Capitals (47-13-4) on the road, thanks to a goal from Derek Stepan and 32 saves from Antti Raanta.

Before the game, it looked like the odds were stacked against the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist was injured, Marc Staal was coming back from the flu, there were a few other minor injuries, and they were playing the Caps. Not a recipe for success, but they found a way to win.

The Rangers bounced back from a loss again, and they haven’t lost back-to-back games since December 20th. Also, the Rangers didn’t allow Alex Ovechkin to score a goal, snapping a nine game goal streak against the Rangers Read the rest of this entry

Raanta in net for the injured Lundqvist as Rangers battle the Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs capitals 1=9

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After losing focus and falling to the Penguins last night, the Rangers (37-21-6) are back on the road to close out their brief road trip against the league-leading Washington Capitals (47-12-4), a team that’s winning at a historic pace.

The Capitals 47 wins have already passed last year’s total with 19 games left on the schedule. Their 47 wins through 63 games are the most for any team in NHL history, and their 98 points through that same span is the most since the Detroit Red Wings in the 1995-96 season, and they have an 18 point lead over the New York Rangers. Needless to say, the Rangers will have their work cut out for them.

Last night, the Rangers had a mental lapse for 1:39, allowing three goals and ultimately losing the game because of that. Against Washington, they’ll need a complete 60 minute effort because the Caps are built to win from the net out. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers lose special teams battle to the Capitals; Kreider scores twice

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs capitals 1-17

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss.

Sound familiar? That’s been the Rangers (24-16-5) life lately as they fail to win consecutive games, something they have failed to do for two months now. The Capitals (34-8-3) picked up two points, giving them 71 on the year and a massive lead in the Metropolitan Division.

Antti Raanta made his first start in exactly a month, and he played well early on. But with the numerous power play chances for the Capitals and some turnovers and bad coverage, things fell apart. Raanta still has not since November 19th. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers look for revenge against the Capitals; Raanta gets the start

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs capitals 1=9

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Setup:

The Rangers (24-15-5) picked up a crucial two points in a divisional battle against the Flyers, securing just their second win in their last 11 road games (2-7-2), and drawing equal with the Islanders in the standings. Now they face another tough test against a divisional foe that sits 16 points ahead of them in the Metropolitan. The Washington Capitals (33-8-3) are having an incredible season, and they’re easily the most dangerous team in the NHL.

The Capitals are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on the road, and now they head back to the Verizon Center, where they play six of their next seven games. Washington is 17-3-1 on home ice this season, and despite the loss to the Sabres, they’re still 14-2-1 in their last 17 games. Read the rest of this entry