Yesterday afternoon, during NBC’s Game of the Week, the Flyers held off a very hot Detroit team to win the game 4-3 on Easter Sunday. That leaves the Flyers two points up on the Rangers with three games to play. The Rangers, of course, have a game in hand with the Flyers, but trail the first tiebreaker (wins). To secure themselves a playoff spot, the Rangers will need to finish ahead of the Flyers in points. So despite the showdown for the last two games of the season, the Rangers will need to take care of business in their other two games first.
Our beloved Blueshirts have two games left before the epic home-and-home series against Philly to end the season, and they are @Buf and vs. Tor tomorrow and Wednesday. Philly plays @Tor on Tuesday, then the home-and-home versus the Rangers. The season most likely will come down to those two games, but the Rangers will need two points in these upcoming games before they can even begin to focus on the Flyers. Should the Flyers win Tuesday, and the Rangers lose both games tomorrow and Wednesday, then the Rangers will be unable to catch the Flyers in the standings. Depending on how Boston fairs in their remaining four games (@Wash, vs. Buf, vs. Car, @Wash), the Rangers could be eliminated from playoff contention before the home-and-home with the Flyers even begins.
To make those games against Philly at the end of the season count, the Rangers will need to come away with points against Buffalo and Toronto. Buffalo is contending for a #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Toronto has been playing better hockey of late. The Rangers are currently in danger of looking ahead of these two foes, instead of focusing at the task at hand: earning as many points as possible. These two games against the Sabres and Leafs are critical, as they set up the importance of the home-and-home against the Flyers. The Rangers can’t afford to get caught looking ahead, or they won’t survive these games.