Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pursuit For Playoffs

What's Playing: Push It - Salt N Pepa

Sorry I have been away for so long friends, buddies, and fans!! You know I had to come back before the playoffs  :)

Life in NYC has been interesting...I finally got a job, so I guess that's cool but I'm still trying to get used to setting an alarm for 6:30 every morning and I'm afraid I will just never be accustomed to the AM....seriously why can't I find something suited for nocturnal people besides being a doorman or security guard.

But back to the more pressing matter, the future of our 2 New York teams in the hunt for playoff birth. We can start with the more "entertaining" team, the ol' reliable Knickerbockers. I dont know what actually has happened, but I guess Phil Jackson becoming a member of this organization really lit a fire under the teams ass.

After having a horrible month in February, in which the Knicks only recorded 2 wins, New York had a strong showing in March, registering a mere 5 losses. The Knicks' momentum stayed with them into the month of April as they registered a nice win of 30+ points over the 5th place Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks are currently one spot shy of being in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but the playoffs are still possible. With 4 games left in the season, the Knicks find themselves splitting 3 games at home and 3 on the road. Their away games include a tough match ups against Toronto and Brooklyn. The Knicks will play the Raptors and Bulls for their final home games of the season.

However, after a crushing loss to the Wizards @ The Garden, and JR Smith's shooting expo that couldn't lift the struggling Knicks past the Heat, it seems like the playoff dreams are slipping away as Atlanta continues to strengthen their hold on the last playoff spot.


On the other hand, The New York Rangers are close to securing yet another spot in the playoffs. Currently, the Rangers sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, but with only 7 points between the Rangers and the teams not even in the playoffs currently, the final spots are still up for grabs. I feel pretty confident in the Rangers at least making the playoffs, but how they perform once the playoffs start has always been the 'Gers true problem.

The constant cloud hanging over the Rangers has always been there lack of consistent offensive firepower. Over the past couple of years, the organization has tried to alleviate this problem by buying some players past their prime, the most recent and obvious being Martin St. Louis (MSL). MSL is a great player, don't get me wrong, but I do not see the point in not only signing somebody who is 38, but giving a competitive team to the Rangers our captain in exchange. Now Ryan Callahan was not an offensive powerhouse by any means, but the hustle he brought to the team and every game was what every team strives to get out of their captain.

Also, if you look at the two side-by-side you can see the Tampa Bay Lightning EASILY got the better deal. MSL finally scored his first goal for the Rangers after 17 games and he has added 3 assists to that as well, bringing his total points for the Rangers to a measly 4. In the same time, and in only 16 games, Ryan Callahan has scored 6 goals for the Lightning, as well as tallying 5 assists, bringing his point total to 11 for his new team.

The Rangers would be entering the playoffs without a captain and without  a strong forward that acts as cohesion for the rest of the team. It will be interesting to see how the new looking Rangers deal with this come playoff time, in fact if the playoffs were to start today the Rangers would be playing the Lightning in the 1st round-- and the MSL / Captain Cally trade would truly play out in a hard fought series.

Only time will tell though, and for now its hoping that both New York teams make it to the post-season, however I feel hopeful and hopeless when it comes to my Rangers and Knicks.

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