These Rangers are making a lot of noise recently. They still currently sit on the outside looking in on the playoffs, but they are playing some great hockey. A few months ago, this team seemed like they had no shot at the playoffs. Now they are knocking on the back door of Boston for the final spot. The Rangers currently sit with 41 points in the standings after tonight’s game. Boston has 46 points after their win in Philadelphia tonight. A huge reason for the Rangers has been the play of Artemi Panarin.
We all knew the Rangers hit a home run when they landed Artemi Panarin two summers ago in free agency. He has been everything as advertised for the Rangers and more. Without him, the team looked lost. Panarin missed some time this season to deal with a dilemma in Russia against him. Ever since he came back, the Rangers have been a completely different team. It has been for the better of the team. In tonight’s game, Panarin picked up another four points to lead his team to an 8-4 spanking of the Penguins.
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 7, 2021
Can the Rangers Make the Playoffs?
This Rangers team has a huge chance to make the playoffs. The two teams in their way are the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. Can they make the push to leapfrog both teams into the playoffs? It is possible, but they need some help from some other teams. The Bruins currently are five points ahead of the Rangers and have two games in hand. The Rangers are hoping the Bruins lose their next two games to make it easier. Those games are against Washington and Philadelphia.
In terms of guiding their own path, Panarin and the Rangers play Boston for their last two games of the season in May. If they want a chance, they need to win as many games as possible and hope Boston and Philadelphia come up short in a few.
Pittsburgh Needs Malkin Back
These Penguins are not the same Penguins from March. They had the best record in the league during March. This all happened even without their number two center in Evgeni Malkin. In April, it has not been smooth sailing for the Penguins. They gave up seven goals to Boston last Saturday and now eight goals to the Rangers tonight. This team needs Malkin back to get this team in check. His veteran leadership and presence will get this team fired up. His big frame will also help against players like Panarin from having four-point nights every game against you.
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