Open Thread

Rangers pick up two big points, possible playoff scenarios

Scott Levy/Getty Images
Scott Levy/Getty Images

Sorry again about no goal breakdown, but the Rangers picked up two big points against the Devils today, winning by a score of 4-0.  Hank bagged his second shutout of the season and Rick Nash enjoyed a dominating performance with two goals.  There were contributions from all over the ice, including two point performances from Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and Derek Stepan.  The win gives the Blueshirts 56 points, 22 regulation wins and a temporary hold on the 6th seed in the East.  I thought I’d use this post as an open thread for everyone to talk about the game, plus lay out the possible playoff matchup scenarios the Rangers could find themselves in.

6th Seed:  Since the Islanders are already done, it comes down to the Ottawa Senators to change the seeding.  The Sens have two remaining games and 54 points.  For the Rangers to stay in 6th place, the Sens would need to lose at least one game in regulation or lose both in OT/shootout.  In that case, The Sens would either finish with less or the same amount of points as the Rangers, and the Rangers would hold the tiebreaker on regulation victories.

7th Seed:  If the Senators are successful in securing 3 or more points in their remaining two games, the Rangers will be bumped to 7th place.  Stating the obvious, but any type of win combined with an OT/shootout loss would allow Ottawa to jump the Rangers.

8th Seed:  With the win this afternoon, the Rangers avoid the Penguins, as the Islanders will finish behind them.  It’s either 6th or 7th at this point, which still leaves three  possible opponents; Washington, Boston or Montreal.

Over the past day or so since I wrote the post assessing the possible opponents, I think I have changed my vote.  I think I would have rather have played the Penguins.  Think about it, if the Rangers get a tough draw in Boston or Washington, and the Pens wreck either the Islanders or Ottawa, all of a sudden a fatigued Ranger team gets stuck with a rested Pens club getting Crosby back to full strength.  If your most likely going to have to play them anyway, might as well play them with significant players not 100% back from injury, who might still be timid or a little out of shape.  Better than a full strength Penguins team later on.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss this afternoon’s game, potential playoff match ups, lines, or any other topic that strikes you.  Enjoy it Ranger fans, this is when the fun starts.

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  • Was hoping to strain your thesis by posting a positive Isles’ Win-Loss vs Pittsburgh this season. Alas, they’re 1-4. Summon your inner Trottier, fellas!

  • Justin, I totally agree — if we’re going to have to play Pittsburgh, I’d rather play them first. Still, the Rangers have been playing much better of late, and I feel that this team can go deep into the playoffs if they play well. Here’s to the second season.

  • So it looks like Caps…would really be nice to have Staal back for Ovie, but I’m not going to hold my breath. We’ll take them down anyway.

    • Bring on the Caps boys and girls! Have to say, regardless of how well Ovenchicken has been playing as of late, I’m happy we play them opposed to Pitt or Boston.

  • I disagree. You don’t want to play the best team, no matter if you think they’re vulnerable. Survive and advance, you want to play the team you have the best chance of beating in the first round. I don’t believe that is the Penguins. Win a round and gain momentum. You hope for Pitt to get knocked off by another team, but if not you take your chances.

  • I’m ready. More importantly, the Boys seem ready. We were banging last night. What’s up with Clowe? Newbury looked like he’d like to stick around, didn’t he? Zucc stick to first line? Isn’t Doc fun to listen to? I think we skate right past the Caps.

    • Love the enthusiasm, Kenny. I hate to be that guy, but there are few things in this world I hate more than the fact that Doc Emerick is allowed to call hockey games.

  • What an end to the season.

    Also fun fact, Gaborik in his last 7 games: 2 assists, ZERO goals.

    Dubinsky 2 goals in 28 games this year

    Guess sather knows something we dont because brassard and moore are going to be rangers for a long time.

    I really hope staal can make it back. If he does with how henrik is playing everyone better be on notice

    • Staal is needed as much as the Rangers contracting the flu. The Rangers D has been fine since his horrible injury. To allow him to play now when he might be puck shy and out of shape would be a big mistake. Look at their record since his injury and please explain to me what he is needed? Tired of hearing how he is missed with NO SUPPORT to back it up. With the salary cap going down next season it is time to part ways with him and get something that this team needs…a finisher on offense. And if he would be brought back…who sits?? A short series is not the time to take a chance with him.

  • Don’t be so sure about Boston in second place. If they lose tonight they drop down to 4th and les Canadiens go to second. I think the blueshirts can handle Ovechkin and the Caps. Rangers in 6.

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