Rangers romp Bruins begins to clarify playoff outlook and 1st round opponent
The Rangers dominated the Bruins last night and appeared to be clicking on all cylinders in the process. A 5-2 final score that saw a PP humming, elite goaltending and some incredible passing and sniping.
More importantly according to Sports Club Stats, the Rangers odds of making the postseason have increased to 99.9%. With 8 games remaining, I project the Rangers to finish with 102 points. Their schedule includes three games on the road against non playoff clubs in Montreal, Carolina and Columbus. At home, where the Rangers have been excellent their schedule sees Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tampa, NY Islanders and Detroit. Going 5-3 the rest of the way seems very plausible.
But who will their 1st round opponent be?
According to SCS, the Rangers and Penguins appear set for another rematch.
If the Rangers only pick up 6 more points in their final 8 games, the odds of playing the New York Islanders and/or Florida Panthers increase. However, the schedule clearly shows that projecting only 3 more wins with the Rangers schedule (including 5 at home and 4 against non playoff teams) is too low.
Pittsburgh on the other hand is red-hot having won 6 in row and are 16-7-1 since the start of February. On the flip side, the Rangers have handled the Penguins in the post season two years in a row. 1st in the magical Cup Final run in 2014 where they stormed back from a 3-1 series deficit to take it in 7 and last year an easy 5 game series win.
There’s still plenty of hockey to be played, but as the Rangers head into Montreal this Saturday the picture is certainly taking shape.