October in New England has been a rather depressing experience in recent years, but 2013's playoff push where the Revolution went 3-0-1 and surged into a third place finish in the Eastern Conference.
But now, the Revs are in a different sort of push. They aren't trying to fight their way into a playoff spot, but attempting to secure one and also perhaps trying to win the East. With four games to go the New England Revolution were tied for second place on 45 points with Sporting Kansas City, 6 points behind Eastern leaders D.C. United on 51 points. Since the Revs had more wins than SKC, they held the tiebreaker and after DC and SKC drew yesterday, the Revolution have a chance to separate themselves from SKC in the standings and close the gap on DC.
That DC-SKC draw was probably the best result for the Revs even if an SKC win could've given the Revs a chance to close the gap on first place. I'd rather gain separation from the group near the red line battling for that wild card game between fourth and fifth place.
Chicago and Philadelphia also drew on Thursday night, probably the Fire's chances at a playoff spot as they're in ninth place on 32 points, nine back of the fifth place New York Red Bulls. Philadelphia is in 7th place with 39 points, but has played one more game than New York and two more than sixth place Toronto FC. The Houston Dynamo square off against the Red Bulls later tonight (6PM on NBCSN) in the only other Eastern Conference game of significance for the weekend and the Revs would probably prefer fewer points for New York. Just in case.
But where does that leave New England and Columbus? A win would put the Revs squarely into second place, and hot on the heels of DC for first. A favorable schedule for DC who ends with Houston, Chicago and Montreal would make it unlikely for the Revs to make up the remaining four points, but not impossible. Columbus is sitting on 43 points in fourth place, two points behind the Revs and three points ahead of Toronto who has a game in hand.
It's a classic six pointer and the Revs really want to avoid falling back into the mess that is the thin red line, with four teams battling for the final two spots. With SKC struggling they've also fallen back into that group as well despite being in third, and a Crew sweep of the Revs would all but assure DC of winning the East and probably shore up the Crew's chances of making the playoffs with three games to go. No matter what, it's going to be a sprint to the finish for just about everything in the East and odds are nothing will be settled until the final game.
Finally, I posed this question on Twitter a few weeks ago mostly out of curiosity. I've heard references of the years about the Revs and Crew's sponsorships with shaving companies: the Revs with Gillette Stadium and the Crew with jersey sponsor Barbasol.
So I think we need an official name for this derby, The Shaving Derby, The Barber's Derby, Loser Gets Their Locker Room Covered in Shaving Cream Match. Whatever it is, leave your thoughts on the Revs-Crew derby name and how many points you think the Revs should take from their four games in October in the comments below.