Why The Rangers Should Not and Will Not Make the Playoffs
The Rangers need to hit the breaks on this current hot streak. It’s been over a week since the Rangers sold off Nash, Grabner, Mac and Miller but it feels a little bit longer than that, don’t you think? Since the deadline the Rangers are 3-1-0 and there’s so many reasons to be worried about that. Some people even started to think they have a realistic shot at the playoffs and that thought process needs to stop.
Forget about getting a good lottery pick, if the Rangers SOMEHOW make the playoffs (only 5 points out of a playoff spot currently) they have to settle for a pick below 15th overall along with their other two picks they obtained from Boston and Tampa in their respective deals. The Rangers haven’t had a pick over 15th (or even in the first round) in years because of trades and making the playoffs consistently.
As some of my fellow writers have pointed out time and time again, the Rangers are missing another superstar in their lineup not named Henrik Lundqvist. Their past draft picks have panned out to be better than average players but they still lack that All-Star performer that can score at will and play up and down the ice.
This year can change that if they get a pick in the single digits. Last week the Rangers were in a spot to have a one-third chance at the 8th overall pick. Looking at the chart below the Rangers have dropped two spots in the lottery and the Blackhawks have taken that position. I knew that Rangers claiming the 1st overall pick was extremely slim even before they started winning but higher picks mean better talent and since this draft is oozing with such talent, getting the best of this deep draft would go a long way.
AV Might Stick Around
Though most of the fan credit of the recent Rangers success goes to newly acquired talents such as Ryan Spooner and Vlad Namestikov, the actual credit that is being given by the Rangers is towards the coaching staff. Being able to rework a lineup with new players is difficult, especially if they haven’t been in the system before. AV has made a depleted and morale-stricken lineup into winners. But this shouldn’t be a call to celebration, but to potential panic. No matter the outcome of where the Rangers end up in the standings, the plan going into next season is a rebuild. With new young faces joining the team there should be a drop in free agent singing of veterans.
We all know AV isn’t the best with young talent, we’ve seen this with Vancouver and we’ve seen it already with the Rangers i.e. Hayes, Miller, Vesey and Skjei. If they keep winning a this rate and make the playoffs with a patch job of a team, Gorton may rethink AV staying on to sheppard this new young lineup and I know none of us want that.
Yes, since the deadline the Rangers are 3-1-0, but is this a good sample size to get behind a potential playoff push? Definitely not. Let’s look at those opponents. Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. All three teams are currently out of the playoffs, two of which have significantly worse records than the Rangers do. “But Calgary is right on the doorstep of the playoffs, aren’t they a good team?” Well without Mike Smith’s stellar play this year, no they’re not.
So that’s three subpar teams the Rangers beat. Fantastic guys. Now here comes the real challenges this week with games against Winnipeg, Tampa Bay and Florida. The Rangers have already fallen to the Jets 3-0. If the Rangers some how do squeak out two out of three more wins than maybe they’re a legitimate threat but let’s be honest, they’re going to get decimated and the tank can begin again.