The Rangers fan guide to the 2018 playoffs

April 10, 2018, by

For the first time in eight years, the Rangers are not going to be in the playoffs. It’s just the second time in the Henrik Lundqvist era. It’s unfamiliar territory for us. But have no fear. We are here to help you through these troubling times. Here is a guide to get you through these 2018 playoffs – specifically who to root for, in reverse order.

16. New Jersey Devils

Let’s be real, if you’re rooting for the Devils in any capacity, then you’ve lost your way. The Rangers also hold their second round pick, so losing quickly helps the Rangers as well. Rooting for the Devils is like hitting yourself in the face. Repeatedly. With a brick.

15. Philadelphia Flyers

The only reason why they aren’t #16 is because the Rangers have that draft pick. Otherwise, let’s be real, no one likes Philly. Rooting for Philly is like eating moldy dirt.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins

There are two reasons why rooting for the Penguins is acceptable. The first is that they have the Flyers in the first round. The second is they have Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard on their team. Rooting for Pittsburgh is like kissing someone with braces and getting stuck.

13. LA Kings

I’m still bitter. So are you. Rooting for them is like shooting yourself in the foot.

12. Vegas Golden Knights

Sure, they are a great story and all. But can you really deal with that Twitter account if they do well? It’s already unbearable. Rooting for Vegas is like spending all day on Twitter reading nothing but Steve Simmons.

11. San Jose Sharks

Yes, this is again a tie-in to 2014. If San Jose did their job and didn’t blow a 3-0 lead, the Kings are done in the first round. Damn chokers. Plus I’ll save you the pain of rooting for them, just for them to choke AGAIN. Rooting for San Jose is like taking the cinnamon challenge.

10. Washington Capitals

They are fun to watch, and I’m getting to a point where I kind of want to see Alex Ovechkin win a Cup. But other than that, I got nothing. Rooting for Washington is like trying to drink a gallon of milk in one sitting.

9. Boston Bruins

I’d like to see Rick Nash get a Cup. That’s about the only reason why I’d like to see the Bruins win. Bonus points that the Rangers have their first and third rounders this year. The sooner they lose, the better. Also think of how upset Bruins fans will get. Rooting for Boston means you like rats.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets

No longer are they Rangers West. I still have a soft spot for John Tortorella, and it would be nice to see Brandon Dubinsky lift a Cup. Plus think of the Brooksie articles that would come. Rooting for Columbus is like praying for a Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch reunion tour.

7. Colorado Avalanche

They traded Matt Duchene and got better. I have no emotional ties to them, and there is no real reason to root for them. Picking them is being Switzerland in all this. Rooting for Colorado is like picking Oklahoma as a vacation destination.

6. Anaheim Ducks

I wouldn’t necessarily root against the Ducks, but they aren’t a team I would root for either. Like Colorado, they are a neutral team, but slightly more attractive. They are more Sweden than Switzerland. More Utah than Oklahoma. Rooting for Anaheim means you enjoy reading War and Peace

5. Toronto Maple Leafs

There are many good reasons to root for the Leafs. The fan base is a bit irritating, but they’ve dealt with so much crap for a while. The team is fun to watch and pretty good. The only problem is they will likely be good for some time. Do we really want to start rooting for a team that might turn into a perennial Cup contender? Rooting for Toronto is like hoping the Pats to win the Super Bowl in 2001. Yea, that one bit us hard.

4. Minnesota Wild

I don’t know why, but I like this team. They are solid up and down and fun to watch. Plus it would be the first time a live walrus wins a Cup. Rooting for the Wild is a win for PETA.

3. Winnipeg Jets

This is a team I really like. Winnipeg fans have been through a lot, and this team is very well constructed. There are no bad guys on the team, just a deep and skilled lineup. The only reason why they aren’t higher is because they face the Predators in the second round. Boy this playoff format stinks. Rooting for Winnipeg gives you good juju, but nothing else.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

Ryan McDonagh. Dan Girardi. JT Miller. Ryan Callahan. Anton Stralman. This year’s first rounder, and if they win the Cup (this year or next), next year’s first rounder as well. I would love to see these guys win the Cup. I am actively rooting for them to come out of the East. Rooting for Tampa is picking a team with your heart and your brain.

1. Nashville Predators

Good lord I love this team. PK Subban is just a gem to watch. Nashville is a great hockey town too. Could you imagine how exciting a Cup Final between Nashville and Tampa would be? The best part – they are the two most exciting teams and neither plays in a big market. Picking Nashville as your team means you enjoy giving Gary Bettman the finger whenever possible.


"The Rangers fan guide to the 2018 playoffs", 4 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.
Categories : Around the League


  1. Dwbgamer says:

    Lol! That was great. “Eating moldy dirt”! I hope you don’t mind if I use that one.

  2. Andy says:

    I was in music city this weekend and they are pumped up to win the cup. And I hope they do. Go Nashville. In fairness to The Kings, I was at game 5 in LA when we lost and they fans were actually a class act. Everyone was nice and conciliatory..for what that’s worth…regarding Tampa, we are actually better off for them to go out in the first round this year and then winning next year for the conditional pick. It will be interesting to see what The Jets can do in the play offs.

    Quote of the day…
    “Rooting for the Devils is like hitting yourself in the face. Repeatedly. With a brick.”

    thanks for that

    • Mintgecko says:

      Winnipeg will get run through by the Kings or Ducks. I could see Minny as a threat down the middle against them in the 1st. The playing style from them will make for a entertaining run though. Their the type of team who would come out to say that they want to play smash mouth hockey and plan to get payback if need be, Paul Maurice is a SOB.

    • Monty says:

      Just out of the interest in logic ;): I think we would be much better off with them winning Stanley cup this year and being dead last next year! One can only dream 🙂

    • mikeyj says:

      actually it’s better that Tampa wins the cup this year,and misses the playoffs next year and we get another their 1st rounder….it’s better,but it probably won’t happen

  3. Walt says:

    Tampa is my choice, only due to the draft pick going from the second, to the first round. If this were not the case, Nashville would be my sentimental pick, even though you can keep that hot dog PK Subban. There isn’t enough mustard in the world to cover the guy!!!!!!!

    • upstateranger says:

      but he’s fun to watch & he does a lot of good things for the community. ala monteal & nashville.

    • Peter says:

      Besides, all the mustard in the world was used up in an attempt to cover Reginald Martinez Jackson anyway. The world’s biggest hot dog with a bat as big to match!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Subban is good for hockey and the NHL. More like him please. I root for good players discarded by that joke of a franchise Montreal due to not fitting in with their stuffy culture.

  4. MBN says:


    Love it!!! Well done.

    Like Walt stated above, Tampa is my choice, and only because of the draft pick. Let’s get it out of the way this year, so we can plan accordingly for the future, knowing we have at least 2 firsts next year.

  5. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Love the hatred levels for NJ, Philly, and Pittsburgh. That’s the way it oughta be for any Ranger fan. I hate nearly every Eastern team, and even though it’d help the Rangers I don’t want Tampa to win. I despise their coach, and I’m not a fan of the team at all. Would love to see a playoff meltdown from them almost as badly as I’d like to see Crosby & Malkin shamed and defeated.

    Nashville is the easy pick; for some reason I think Toronto & Winnipeg are gonna go deep in the playoffs this year. Winnipeg is my upset special for the western conference, I love their depth/size and diversified offensive attack.

    • upstateranger says:

      if boston stays healthy, watch out !!!

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        They’re scary for sure, but man, they blew it by not winning that last game of the season and having to play Toronto in the first round. That is a true toss up.

        Toronto–>TB–>Metro team is a tough road to the Final.

        Living in Boston now only makes me root harder against them anyway (transplanted NYer, can’t really see eye to eye with Boston fans).

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Much respect to you as a Ranger fan up there, Boston’s fans are insufferable. And you’re right, Toronto/TB is a brutal draw to go through.

  6. Mintgecko says:

    Ahh finally another Pitts vs Philly series to enjoy. I remember when it felt like the whole hockey world was preparing for a prequel from 2012 series in 2014. Philly is the team who will beat Colombus or Washington if they get through the Penguins so I say watch out. They have the goalie who can get hot and no that doesn’t include Elliot. I think they have the role player’s who can shine and win them a game or two.

    Boston is my team to make it through to the Eastern conference against anybody. That’s because Bergeron, Krecji and Marchand. Dang I wish Kreider played like Marchand in the playoffs but that story is for another time. That guy looks like he wants to be a winner and score goals.

    Kings will run through everyone in the West. Quick, Kopitar and Carter are all too lethal.

  7. amy says:

    this playoff season could be good despite the blueshirts not being there pitts-philly is world war 3 waiting to happen the Pens have a proven playoff performer in Brass it seems the bigger the game the bigger he is then tampa has the former rangers ryan mac cally dan and j.t i see them going a long way boston has rick and nick this will be good

  8. amy says:

    this will be good first on the pens you have Carl and brass then on Tampa you have Ryan Mac and Dan and J.T and Cally then on Boston you have Rick and Nick and then on Vegas you have Oscar Lindberg have fun

  9. tanto says:

    Since this is a deep draft I’m rooting for the Devils, Bruins and the TB to lose fast … TB can win it next year to ensure we get another 1st rounder, but for now to hell with TB, the Little Bears and Satan.

    Go Nashville. If they win I won’t be jealous at all … plus it’s a minor slap in the face to Montreal and that never hurts.

    • sherrane says:

      Tampa won their Division and had the second best record, which means their pick will not be any lower than #26. (#31 Cup winner, #30 Cup loser, #28 and #29 Conference Finals loser, #27, #26, #25, #24 for any division winner that does not get into the Conference finals.) They’ll pick #27 if they don’t make the Eastern Conference Finals while Nashville makes the Western Conference Finals. I’m rooting for Tampa to win the Cup this year to elevate next year’s pick to a 1st rounder since their 1st round pick is #26 — #31 anyway.

      • tanto says:

        TB can beat the Devils and then lose … best they win the Cup next year, we want the best draft pick possible in this year’s draft whether we’re drafting for ourselves or packaging picks in a trade.

        • sherrane says:

          I think you either have a logic error in your reasoning or one of us (it could be me) doesn’t understand the draft ordering scheme. Let’s say the perfect scenario happens and all 1st and 2nd seed teams lose in the opening round and all 3rd seeds advance to the Conference Finals. In order of Dave’s stated preferences, the draft order is:

          #31 Minnesota
          #30 Toronto
          #29 San Jose
          #28 Philadelphia
          #27 Nashville
          #26 Tampa
          #25 Las Vegas
          #24 Washington
          #23 Winnipeg
          #22 Boston

          The best the Rangers can do is to get the #22 and #26 picks in addition to their own. Since the NHL went to 2 Conferences with 2 Divisions, only 3 of the 16 Division winners advanced to the final, or about 1 per season. This means that Tampa’s pick will be #26 or later and Boston’s pick will be around #24 as long as they don’t advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

          Seven of the 16 second place finishers advanced to the Conference Finals, or about two per season. That means two of Boston, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, and Anaheim will advance. While only one #4 seed (Nashville last season) advanced. That means I’ll run the best scenario for the Rangers with 1 #1, 2 #2 and 1 #3 seeds advancing to the CF.

          #1 Seed: Vegas
          #2 Seeds: Pittsburgh, Winnipeg
          #3 Seed: Toronto.

          Draft order is:
          #27: Nashville
          #26: Tampa
          #25: Washington
          #24: Boston

          Let’s replace Vegas with Nashville and Winnipeg with Anaheim

          #27: Tampa
          #26: Vegas
          #25: Washington
          #24: Winnipeg
          #23: Boston.

          We get #23 and #27 instead of #24 and #26, which is a wash. I mentioned on this board in March that I thought the Rangers will need to package all three #1’s to trade into the top 5 if they don’t win something in the Lottery and I still do. Given that, it is better for Tampa to win the Cup THIS year because the difference between #26/27 and #31 isn’t a significant one. On the other hand, with the exception of last season’s Pittsburgh, most teams have somewhat disappointing seasons after winning the Cup.

          * This year Pittsburgh has the #10 record and will pick in the low 20’s unless they make the ECF.
          * Chicago had the #22 pick in 2016.
          * Los Angeles had the #13 pick in 2015.
          * Chicago earned the #27 in 2014 because they made the WCF and would have had the #20 pick if they didn’t.
          * Los Angeles earned the #27 pick because they made the WCF and would have had the #21 pick if they didn’t.

          If Tampa wins the Cup this season, it isn’t unrealistic to believe the Rangers will get about the #20 pick from Tampa next season. That pick would be better than the Rangers can do with either Boston’s or Tampa’s pick this year.

          • tanto says:

            You’re over complicating a simple thought — getting the best picks possible this year when we have 3 of them in what is a VERY very deep draft class. It’s simple, Boston and TB must lose early, the earlier both lose the better our 1st round picks.

            PS: The difference between picking 26th or 31st is no small difference.

            • sherrane says:

              No, I am not over-complicating things.

              Losing in the first round is irrelevant. Last year Minnesota finished in 2nd place and St. Louis finished in 3rd. St. Louis defeated Minnesota in the first round. Minnesota picked #23 and St. Louis picked #20.

              Tampa will pick 26th or later. Boston will pick about 24th.

  10. Peter says:

    Wow, it is hard to decide who to root for when the Rangers are not playing.

    In Tampa, we have many Rangers playing, with a few in Boston too. For selfish and nostalgic reasons, Tampa winning the cup and the Rangers earning a first round pick, and Dan Girardi hoisting the cup are excellent reasons to root for them.

    Winnipeg and Toronto both generate some feelings for them in me because they are talented and young, and are just plain fun to watch.

    Columbus, with Dubi and Torts, what the heck, wouldn’t it be awesome to see the crazy old buzzard Torts snarling at the press in a post Stanley Cup winning news conference?

    In any event, we will be treated to some fine hockey even though our favorite team will be playing golf.

  11. Stevem says:

    I love Nashville too, also rooting for TB to come out of the East.. screw Jersey, but I am rooting for Boyler to play well

  12. Egelstein says:

    Go Ducks (my second team as a byproduct of living in LA for 12 years and disliking the Kings’ plastic fan base long before the Cup incident, plus my dad used to know Guy Hebert’s aunt – super random, I know, but I thought it was cool as a kid, plus I am in the Ducks movies generation), and Go Rangers South (obviously). While I enjoy watching the Preds and hope they do it if not the Ducks, still gotta push for the Ducks until they are out.

  13. Leatherneck says:

    I would rather have Tampa win it next year…better draft this year….both Boston and Tampa first round exits would be ideal

    • sherrane says:

      First or second round exits are irrelevant and the draft order will be based on regular season standings. Tampa won their Division, so they are picking no worse than #26 if they and Nashville fail to advance to the conference finals. #27 if Tampa falls and Nashville gets to the WCF. Boston, having the 4th best record, will not drop below #22 and will likely pick around #24 as long as they do not advance to the ECF.

      • Leatherneck says:

        I believe you are incorrect

        • sherrane says:

          Last year Chicago won their division and lost in the opening round of the playoffs. They had the #26 pick.

          Last year Minnesota finished in second with 106 points. Pittsburgh and Columbus were the only non-Division winners to finish with higher point totals. Minnesota lost in the first round to St. Louis and had the #23 pick. St. Louis had the #20 pick.

          Tampa’s pick is no better than #26 and Boston’s is likely going to be the #24 pick. Losing in the first or second round does not effect draft position. Only advancing to the Conference Finals or Cup round will change the draft position.

  14. Pas44 says:


    Loved this write up!

  15. avsucks says:

    there is not a team for me to root for, But a few to root against. i hope that crybaby crosby and the pens go in the first round.

  16. Eugene says:

    1. Jets are not that deep as it seems to be
    2. Deepest teams are Nashville, Tampa and Pens
    3. I have such a feeling we will have repeat Pens – Nashvile

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      1. Disagree

      Scheifle is the best center in the league no one talks about. Wheeler is the best winger in the league no one talks about.

      Laine, Ehlers, Connor all would be tops on our team as far as elite youth.

      Stasny was an extremely solid deadline acquisition for a playoff run.

      I think perhaps you’re slightly low on W’peg.

      • Peter says:

        I have to agree Hatrick, the Jets are liable to make a heck of a lot of noise in the playoffs.

  17. Dan says:

    I keep forgetting, can someone just clarify…

    1. We DEFINITELY own Tampa’s 2018 first round pick.

    2. And if Tampa wins this year (or next year), we get their 2019 first round pick. If Tampa loses this year (or next year), we get their 2019 second round pick.

  18. joen7 says:

    Who gives a crap! Only thing to root for is improved draft picks. Boston and NJ get out in round 1, Tampa either win the cup or get out early.

  19. Richter1994 says:

    Preds/TB Cup Finals.

    But watch for Jets and Bees.

  20. Ben says:

    My favorite is the rematch of the pens and the caps. I hate the pens as much as us all, but somehow watching Ovi fail in the same place over and over is satisfying. Especially when the pens lose to tampa in round three.