NHL Round Robin Preview: Rangers versus the Atlantic
Can the Rangers win at least 3 games against the other 5 teams in the Atlantic in a round robin play-in tournament? This is the big question if the NHL does return with 24 teams in at least 2 hub cities based off Gary Bettman’s latest comments. In order to help answer that question, let’s take a look back at how the Rangers did against these 5 other teams.
How did the Rangers end up in the Atlantic?
Obviously when hockey comes back, the plan is to bring teams to two or four hub cities. Based on the standings and needing to even out the divisions the Rangers would fall in the Atlantic. The Rangers would be the lowest seed of the 12 Eastern Conference teams and having 6 already in the Metro, it would move them into the Atlantic where the top seeded Bruins sit.
METROPOLITAN: Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Islanders, Columbus
ATLANTIC: Boston, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Florida, Montreal, Rangers (added as lowest seed from Metropolitan — Bruins are top-ranked in East, and should have that reward in their hub)
CENTRAL: St. Louis, Colorado, Dallas, Winnipeg, Nashville, Chicago (Blackhawks stay in Central because Blues are top-ranked in West)
PACIFIC: Vegas, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Arizona, Minnesota
How the Rangers Did Against the Atlantic Foes
- Montreal (3GP, 2W-1L, 12 GF 9 GA)
- Florida (2GP, 0W-1L-1OL, 8 GF 10 GA)
- Toronto (3GP, 2W-1L, 13 GF 13 GA)
- Tampa (2GP, 1W-1L, 7 GF 10 GA)
- Boston (3GP, 0W-2L-1OL, 7 GF 13 GA)
While the Rangers were 10-9-2 against all teams in the division thanks to going 3-0 against Detroit, their record is abysmal against these 5 teams. In 13 games against these potential round robin opponents they are 5-6-2 with a whopping 55 goals against and only 47 goals for.
The Good News?
David Quinn likes to point to that November 23rd come from behind win in Montreal as a turning point in the Rangers season. Since that time the Blueshirts went 4-3-1 against Montreal, Toronto, and Boston. On another note, the games against Florida both took place before Montreal while the team was very inconsistent. Lastly, the Rangers were blown out 9-3 in Tampa during the same time.
Of course, all teams will be coming in healthy, but the Rangers are a different team with Chris Kreider in the lineup. He has now fully recovered from a broken foot and will be a big factor in a playoff run for the Blueshirts. However, the big unknown for all these teams except Toronto is Igor Shesterkin who beat them 5-3 with 27 saves on February 5th at the Garden.
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