Florida, Washington, or Buffalo

April 5, 2012, by

With two games left in the regular season, the Rangers only have two unknowns. The first is the President’s Trophy, and the second is their first round opponent. Florida, Washington, and Buffalo are in a dogfight for the last two spots in the Eastern Conference. One of Florida or Washington will win the Southeast and lay claim to the third seed. The other will be fighting with Buffalo for that last spot.

Smart logic puts Florida in as the third seed and Southeast Division champions. They need one point in their next two games –Washington to not get a point in their final two games– to clinch the division. Despite their goal differential (-25), Bettman point bonuses (18) or their low number of regulation/OT wins (31), the Panthers will return to the playoffs as Southeast Division champs.

As for Washington and Buffalo, well they are both tied with 88 points with two games left to play. Washington has the lock on ROW wins, so Buffalo needs to finish ahead of the Caps in points in order to make the playoffs. Both teams are facing two playoff teams in their final two games, so it’s could come down to the last game of the year.

Washington has the clear advantage here, their magic number is at four. A loss hurts Buffalo much more than it hurts the Caps, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. In all likelihood, the Rangers will get the Caps or the Sabres. Both are capable of beating the Rangers in a seven game series. The Caps have done it routinely over the past few seasons, and any team with Ryan Miller in net is a dangerous team. It’s going to be a tough draw in the first round.


  1. Justin says:

    Since drawing Florida is likely a pipe dream, give me Washington. I want no part of Miller in a 7 game series and I’d love to dish some payback to the Caps after the last couple playoffs…

  2. Walt says:

    Your reward for finishing first is playing Buffalo, with Ryan in net, such a DEAL!!!!!

    Given a choice, give me Florida, then Washington, but in any case this is the path to the cup. Should Florida win , the biggest winner will be the Devils. Anything can happen in any series, so Hank has to get, and stay HOT, in order for us to go anywhere.

  3. Mike B says:

    I don’t think any of the three are a perfect matchup but I’m not scared of any of them either. The key to the Rangers success is playing their game, if they do that, as shown by their numbers, they’re the best team in the league. So give me any of them and let’s get this thing started. If it’s Buffalo, stick Brian Boyle in Miller’s mug and make it so he can’t see anything, if it’s Washington, put McDonagh in Ovie’s kitchen and make somebody else beat you and if it’s Florida…wait, what do you need to stop on Florida again, oh yeah, stay away from overtime because they’ve been there like 55 times this year and you’ll be fine:)

  4. The Suit says:

    I want Washington. I want revenge for the last two series. I want revenge on the same refs. I want revenge on the same Caps fans who called Girardi and Staal names, and were subsequently squirted with water by Torts. And I want to beat them in their own building. Get some…

    • Walt says:


      Are you sure your not Italian, it sounds like a vendetta to me!!

      By the way, for anyone who may want to take offense, I’m Italian……..

  5. VinceR says:

    I agree with Suit. The revenge factor added to the fact I’d rather face them than Buffalo. I just think we match up better in a best-of-7 vs. the caps. Plus I love a disappointed looking Ovechkin.

  6. rob sahm says:

    well anybody is better then the pens i dont think the rangers can beat the pens in a 7 game series we dont match up with them and mark andre always plays good against the king. its a scary matchup hope the flyers knock them out