New York Rangers: Numbers at the halfway mark

The New York Rangers saluting the crowd at Madison Square Garden (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers saluting the crowd at Madison Square Garden (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

The season is half over and the New York Rangers are clinging to a playoff spot in the toughest division in the NHL.  Where they will end up is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain.  At most, five Metropolitan Division teams could make the playoffs and there are six teams playing well enough to contend.  That means one worthy team won’t make the postseason and if the Atlantic Division tightens up, two Met Division squads won’t make it.   At the halfway mark, let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

51 points

The Rangers are 22-15-7, good for 51 points and fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and the first wild card spot. If the season ended today, that would mean a date with the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs.

The playoff picture is a lot different than last season.  After 41 games last season, the Rangers had 56 points with a 26-11-4 record and were tied for first place with the Hurricanes.   While only three points separated the top four Met Division teams,  there was little doubt that they would make the playoffs with a 16-point gap between the fourth and fifth-place teams in the Division.

This season, there is a five-point gap between the Rangers in fourth place and the Islanders and Penguins who are tied for fifth.  It looks to be a wild final 41 games.

As for the 51 points, it’s not too shabby.   With 51 points they would be in third place in the Atlantic Division, Central, and Pacific Divisions.  Their .622 points percentage would be good for second place in the Pacific Division, third place in the Central, and fourth place in the Atlantic.

Road vs. home

The Rangers are road warriors with 13 wins and a 13-5-3 (29 points) record.  Only Vegas (15) and New Jersey (14) have more road wins.  Last season their road record was 25-14-2 (52 points) and they are on a pace to exceed that record.  Not only that, if they lose only 10 road games this season, that would an achievement that no Rangers team has reached since the season went to 82 games.

Conversely, that also means that the team has a mediocre home record of 9-7-4.  They are not the only team in the NHL having issues winning at home, but it’s the worst home record of any East Division playoff contender.

Last season the Rangers won 27 home games, the third most in franchise history.  They are on pace to win only 18 games at home, a number they last hit in 2018-19 in the throes of the rebuild.

It should be good news that the Rangers have 21 home games remaining versus 20 road games, but only if they can start winning at home consistently.

Divisional domination

Last season, the Rangers had an unbelievable 19-4-1 record against teams from the Atlantic Division, taking 39 of a possible 48 points (81%).   They are not quite as good this season but are still dominating the Atlantic with a 6-1-3 record for a possible 15 of 20 points (75%).  It’s worth noting that they have yet to play a resurgent Buffalo team and have met Toronto and Boston only once.

They have not fared as well against the Metropolitan Division with a 5-6-1 record for 11 of 24 possible points (46%).   That’s not as good as last season’s 16-9-1 record for 33 of 52 points (63%).

With 14 games still remaining against Metropolitan Division rivals, that record has to get better.

The Rangers have done well against the Central Division 7-3-1 (15 of 22 points) and are over.500 versus the Pacific with a 4-2-2 record (10 of 16 points).   They have only 13 games remaining against teams from the Western Conference and it’s going to be a tougher schedule since they’ve finished their season series against bottom dwellers Anaheim, San Jose, Chicago, and Arizona.

24 of the Ranger last 41 games (59%) are against teams currently in a playoff position.  It will give the team a chance to solidify their playoff team status, but they will have to beat some good teams to do it.