Sunday, January 27, 2008

Deja Blue

John Dellapina of the Daily News reports that the Rangers are in the very same position they found themselves in last year, maybe even better...

"...The Rangers were 25-22-4 last season. They're 24-21-6 now. Both add up to 54 points.

They were in third place in the Atlantic Division then, are in fifth place now. But in the far more important Eastern Conference standings, their tied-for-eighth standing now is an improvement over their 10th-place slot then.

The Rangers are closer to both the current division (Philadelphia at 59 points) and conference (Ottawa at 66) leaders than they were to the 2006-07 Atlantic (Devils at 66) and East (Buffalo 72) pace-setters.

And Rangers coach Tom Renney's assertion that the conference is 'more bunched up this season, which certainly makes it exciting,' is perception not grounded in reality. Last season, the 14th-place team in the Eastern Conference had 48 points, just like now... also took some pretty impressive stretch runs by several other teams to make it so hard for the Rangers to make the playoffs. And they had to make their run largely without a key player - Brendan Shanahan was lost for 15 games and diminished for the rest in a horrifying collision Feb. 17."

However, Dellapina did add one small difference...

"...Of course, it took one of the most effective trades in Rangers history - the Feb. 5 acquisition of Sean Avery - to get the 2006-07 team home. And it is unreasonable to believe Glen Sather can pull off another such catalyzer."

...after reading all of these similarities, I suddenly don't feel this season is such a disaster anymore and that we actually have a chance of making the playoffs. Thanks John.

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