Thursday, November 11, 2010

Guest Blog: Rangers’ Playoff Odds

There are enough team-specific puff pieces out there to cushion the fall of even the most devastating check. There are also enough wholly biased apologists out there talking in circles so loudly that they may reverse the Earth’s rotation.

Don’t worry; this isn’t that. In this article, we’ll breathe a sigh of realism into the fanatical world of hockey. Instead of looking at the game through a fan’s angle, we’ll approach a team and its respective chances to get to the Stanley Cup Playoffs through pure logic and reason.

The team: The New York Rangers

Currently in the NHL, we’re looking at an average of 15 out of 82 games played. Needless to say, the season is just getting underway. Even if odds could be very practical at this juncture, taking them and placing a bet would not be. It would be more akin to playing online slots games – spinning the reels and hoping to hit with blind luck.

However, the process of deduction is still a very useful tool. And seeing the New York Rangers are currently sitting at .500 in a tough division, with Philadelphia on top, bodes well for the team’s overall chances at entering the playoffs.

To straight make it, the Rangers are looking fairly solid at around 44%. Not that high considering, but still fair. This is because, of course, the Pittsburgh Penguins trail close behind in the Atlantic, and other teams in the East, like Boston, Tampa Bay and Carolina, are expected to make late runs.

Throughout all the approved USA online casinos and sports books out there, the consensus seems to be that the Rangers are a decent team with an outside chance of playing the proverbial playoff spoiler and getting into the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Rangers are 30:1 to make the Finals. A team like the Washington Capitals, however, with the best odds in the league, sits comfortably—through a gambler’s perspective—at 5:1.

With players like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Sean Avery and Artem Anisimov showing up in a big way this early, the Rangers’ odds may very well improve on a game-by-game basis.

This isn’t online blackjack games we’re speaking about, however. There’s nothing set in stone. The odds-making world still doesn’t have a lot of confidence in this New York squad.

By contrast, the current leaders of the Atlantic, the Philadelphia Flyers, are at a solid 12:1 to make it to the Finals, and the Penguins, the division’s projected winners, are still at 7:1. So, you get a feel of the standoffish nature at this juncture.

All that aside, the Rangers are still looking good to make the playoffs this year. We’ll give them a solid 3:1 due to the inspired play they’ve shown, even when outmatched.

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