Although they’re still on the outside looking in, things are looking good for the Rangers right now.
To go along with their recent strong play—although it has been mostly against weaker teams—the teams around them seem to be struggling. The Rangers have five games left this season and they still need to win. There will be no backing in to the playoffs this time around, and they’ve got two games against teams behind them in the standings as well as two against the struggling Flyers.
Here are the Eastern Conference standings:
6. Montreal—84 points—38 wins (four games remaining)
7. Boston—82 points—35 wins (five games remaining)
8. Philadelphia—82 points—38 wins (five games remaining)
9. Rangers—80 points—35 wins (five games remaining)
10. Atlanta—80 points—34 wins (four games remaining)
11. Carolina—76 points—33 wins (four games remaining)
With a game in hand on the Canadiens and Flyers, the Rangers control their own destiny. If they win they can make the playoffs. Catching the Canadiens might be tough and with the same amount of games left to play as the Bruins it’ll be hard to catch them too.
The Flyers are the team to keep their eye on. With just four games left and two against the Rangers they can finish the season with a maximum of 90 points. If they do that it doesn’t necessarily knock the Rangers out, as they can finish the season with 90 points too. This is likely going to come down to the final two games of the season.