STAMFORD CT – I’m really having a tough time watching baseball these days. You might think it has something to do with the Yankees’ team batting average of .210. And you’d be right. But man, I’d rather watch the Red Wings play the Blue Jackets instead of watching three guys strike out in the 10th with a free base runner standing on second. Screw it, let’s talk some NY Rangers again.
Last week I thought the Blueshirts had an outside chance of catching the Bruins. Well, that bear has already sh!t in the woods. The Rangers did their part, crushing the Devils in four games and picking up the needed eight points. But they gained no ground, as the Bruins have won four straight as well. The Rangers 52 points would put them in playoff position in every other division. But in this one, they’re still four points behind the Bruins, who still have two games in hand.
The Bruins traded for Taylor Hall, who would’ve accepted a trade to the Red Deer Rebels to get out of Buffalo. The team appears rejuvenated. They have two games in hand and a schedule packed with games against the Devils and Sabres. The Rangers have almost no chance of catching them.
Next are the Penguins with 59 points. But 7 of their last 11 games are against the bottom dwelling Sabres, Devils, and Flyers. A 2-5 record against the Penguins sunk this ship for the Rangers and they do not play each other again.
What about the Islanders? It seems pretty far fetched, with the Rangers still a whopping eight points behind the Islanders with only 11 games to play. But the Rangers and Islanders still meet three more times, including tonight. The teams then meet again in the last game in April and again on May 1st. In between the Islanders play the mighty Capitals three times and the Rangers have four games against the Flyers and Sabres.
It’s a mighty tall order, but if the Rangers can find a way to win all three of the head-to-head match-ups and beat up on the Flyers and Sabres, and if the Isles stumble against the Caps. things could tighten quickly.
That’s a lot of “ifs” and they have to make it happen in the next seven games because the Rangers finish with two each against the Bruins and Capitals, and the Islanders finish with two each against the Sabres and Devils. The Isles then finish with a make up against the Bruins, in a game that likely won’t mean much for Boston.
It’s long shot but it’s the only shot.
If the Rangers come close but don’t pull it off, they’ll have one man to blame. That’s right, Vlad Putin.
Star winger Artemi Panarin missed nine games to deal with some trumped up charges made by an ex-coach, Putin sycophant to get back at him for his criticism of Putin. The Rangers went 4-5 in those games. F@ckin’ Putin!
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward and his tribute to Kirk Cousins. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.