Musings

Thoughts on the 24 team playoff and the voting process

Looks like a 24 team playoff is here...eventually

This weekend, the NHL and the NHLPA agreed on the end result if/when the NHL can return to play. That will be a 24 team playoff comprised of the top-12 teams in each conference, which means the Rangers will be in as the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. That bodes well for the Rangers. Especially if this bracket holds true (meaning Washington remains the #3 seed).

As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. First things first, was there ever a more anti-climactic vote than the one that was announced this weekend? The NHL Board of Governors agreed on the playoffs, and the NHLPA Executive Board “agreed to more negotiations,” meaning they agreed to the basis of the playoffs but that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, this is a big hurdle to clear, but it’s maybe 20-30% of all the decisions needed before the league can return to play. And some of those decisions are made by state and federal governments, not the league and the players.

2. Two teams from the NHLPA voted no: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Alex Killorn addressed the Lightning’s concerns, stating the bye week leaves some of the top teams lesser prepared and that some teams that would have missed the playoffs are now making the playoffs. He also cited a best-of-five means some of those teams could make runs when they shouldn’t have in the first place. The Lightning, of course, have first hand knowledge of what it can be like to run into a team with all the momentum on their side.

3. Nothing has been stated by the Carolina Hurricanes, who would get the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs this year. Ranger fans have joked that the Hurricanes don’t want to face the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, who has owned the Canes for much of his career, including utter dominance the last three seasons. But it’s not even clear if Lundqvist will start. I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

4. While teams should be wary of the Rangers, and we will get to that, teams should also be laughed at for some of these fears. After all, weren’t there reports that much of the league didn’t want to have this playoff because they didn’t want to face Carey Price in a short series? The same Carey Price who has a .909 SV% this season and outside of four elite (and boy were those elite) seasons, is a middle of the road goalie?

5. As for the playoffs, the Rangers are a team that can be a matchup nightmare. They have three goalies that can steal a series if they get hot, and can steal multiple rounds if that hot streak extends a month. They have a legitimate superstar in Artemi Panarin, who is one piece of one of the best offenses in the league and a true-top six. They have puck moving defensemen who can transition to offense with the best in the league. They were also trending up in every major defensive stat since January, which culminated in that incredible February that put them in the playoff hunt. They are also fully healthy. The Rangers are flawed, especially on the left side of the defense and the bottom-six, but the top-end skill is some of the best.

6. The matchups are great for the Rangers. Carolina is a solid team, but the Rangers always play them well. Washington (if they stay the #3 seed) is deeply flawed and their goaltending leaves a lot to be desired. The bad matchups for the Rangers –from teams they’d actually play in the second round– are the Flyers and Bruins. If the seeding holds, and that’s a big IF, then the Rangers could turn heads.

7. As for who starts in goal – well we need to extend this content out a bit, don’t we?

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  • I saw a model that had the Rangers playing the Leafs in the 1st round. Either way, I think the Rangers are good enough to steal a series or maybe even 2 but once teams get back into a groove after playing a series or 2, the Rangers aforementioned flaws were just as deep as their strengths.
    No one, myself included, sees the Rangers making a cup appearance this season.
    I just hope when/if play resumes, the Rangers we see don’t look like October again. They had cooled off a bit before play stopped but overall the NYR were one of the hottest teams in the league. What are we gonna get after a 2 month long hiatus.

    • Hockey Post, If Shesterkin plays, it’s all over for the 23 other teams. This guy is the real deal. He can steal a game and he can steal a series. If he is hot, the New York Rangers have a great chance. They will WIN THE STANLEY CUP IN 2020!!!!

      Congratulations ladies and gentlemen

  • I’m more concerned about the draft order and how this 24 team playoff system affects it. Does the loser of a play-in round end up in the lottery? etc.

    Re: Killorn, he has it all wrong. The Top 8 teams (4 in each conference) would play for seeding (from what I understand), his argument is that the teams in the play-in round will be competing harder because if they lose, they’re out — whereas the the teams playing for seeding have nothing to lose, therefore the games will be less intense. The reality is that those Top 8 teams after about 70 games were playing for seeding anyway … and the “play-in” teams were always in danger of falling out of the playoffs —- so what exactly has changed? Nothing really.

  • We as a nation we enjoy many liberties, and freedom given us thru the Bill of Rights. These are a few, freedom of speech, press, and religion, but they all came at a cost.

    Armed Forces Day is for those currently are in our nation’s uniform.

    Veterans Day is for those of us who wore our uniforms, and came home to talk about it.

    Memorial Day is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and paid dearly with their lives, so that we can continue to have these rights.

    Please take a moment to reflect upon this, and never forget these brave men, and women who aren’t among us any longer, except in our thoughts. Having lost a few friends, I always get a bit emotional, and think how lucky I was to have known them, and had them as my friends. I also think about my friend Jerry, whom I’ve never met, but respect dearly. He was put in an unenviable position as to have to write letters to family members of men lost under his command. The pain never goes away.

    With that I say have an enjoyable week-end, and keep in mind those who gave you your rights, that were paid with in blood…………….

    • Please spare us your sentimental reminiscing. Unless you know someone here, let’s keep it to hockey and stay away from personal memoirs. We do not know who is real, who is fake, who is scamming. Sorry for being tough but that is reality.

      • Walt, Second Wave,
        Both you guys better kiss and make up okay? I’m sure Walt was just a bit tearful, had a beer or two and came on line to vent a bit. No harm in that. But in actual fact, Second Wave is right. Posting personal information on a public blog is a no-no. Too many scammers online. Just simply inappropriate. Proceed with caution.

      • Second Wave

        The only time I post anything along these lines is on Memorial Day, and I’m no fake dude.

        If you can’t appreciate the sacrifice that so many made, well I pity you. Just go down to Washington DC and visit the Wall, with the names of some 58,500 men, and women who I served with in Viet Nam, and if that doesn’t move you, then you are heartless, and have an empty soul.

        I’ll leave it at that………….enjoy your day off

        • Obviously you can’t read, “Walt.”
          I have no problem respecting our brave fallen heros. I also have no problem posting and commenting on hockey. What I do oppose are personal comments here. No place on a hockey board for that. Too many scammers. You might be authentic, you might not be. You might be just one big con man, or some sex offender posting here. NO ONE KNOWS. So, to be safe, let’s just keep it to hockey and leave your personal life out of it. Good day “Walt.”

        • WALT
          What I think second wave is saying is that you should not post any personal information on this blog. Specifically about Jerry even though it might be true and you might be real. It is true that there are a lot of fake people on the Internet. We do not know who is who and there are probably a lot of kids here.

          I recall one time when one hockey fan [not here] was talking about how someone in his family died and everyone was oooing and aaaahing about it – a hundred apologies and offers to donate money, investigate the death, etc….. then it turned out that the guy was fake and all he wanted was to jerk our chains around and have a laugh. Total bullshit. The guy [or woman] was a long time member, behaved respectfully and everyone thought he/she was real. Last time I trusted strangers on the Net.

          • Respectfully, I do not think a small number of bad apples should ruin the sentiment of what a day like today represents.

            While some are “celebrating” others are having a hard time thinking about the people they served with and may have lost. So today is not all about “fun and games.”

            So, if a long time poster here wants to express his/her sentiments that epitomize this day, then I have zero problem with it.

            But I also respect your opinion and others who may disagree with me. Today is a lot more than BBQs and parties. IMO, it represents the courage and heroism that is our country and what our country represents.

            Be safe my friend.

          • Glen

            Regarding Jerry, he is a poster on this site who has had that horrible experience, and still keeps in touch with the family members of his men to this day. I ask for nothing, never have, never will, except to take a grand total of a minute to reflect, that’s it.

          • Glen Sather
            A second SPIKE in the COVID virus is on the way if those selfish morons continue to defy common sense and basic health. Don’t people realize that this is a virus and you can contract it and die? I get it that many might be resilient against it but many are not and if infections and deaths continue – which they are now, THE WHOLE UNITED STATES WILL SHUT DOWN AND THE ECONOMY WILL BE DESTROYED. We can avoid a second GREAT DEPRESSION if people stop being so ignorant and selfish and exercise restraint for a month… but

          • Unless you know someone here, let’s keep it to hockey.

            And then you post this, wow……….

  • I LOVE our young Goalies…….But if we play Carolina I might be surprised (but NOT shocked) if we go with Henrik (in the first game at least )……….Lets Go Rangers !!!!!

    • HOF19
      Wanna bet? It will be Shesterkin and if we end up playing this condensced playoffs, we will likely win the Stanley Cup. If you have a hot goalie and enough, which we do, then we stand as good a chance as any other team on that list of 24.

    • As big a Hank fan as there is here, and even I know this isn’t happening.

      Even with Hank’s career record against the Canes, Shesty will be the guy. Remember during January, I think it was, DQ went with Georgie over Hank against the Canes, even though Georgie played like 3 games in a row.

      Hank is done as a Ranger, very sadly. Breaks my heart.

  • If the NHL does go through with this, and the Rangers are in, with a healthy Kreider, I would say that the Rangers will be a dangerous team to face.

    • Richter1994 great call. That is why they pay you the big bucks sir.

      I’d even go as far to say the New York Rangers are a Cup favorite with Kreider, Shesterkin, Panarin, angry Trouba and supporting cast.

      • LOL, maybe it’s just false Ranger hope, but I can see them making some noise. If they play the Canes, they’re certainly very beatable.

        “Angry Trouba.” Perfect, and I agree. He imposes his will physically, which matters in the playoffs.

  • No one wants to face the Rangers with a healthy CK and a healthy and rested Shestorkin. We are a four line deep team that has a much better defense than what we started with and who is getting the most playing time. Fox and Lindgren are top notch. Trouba is healthy and he and ADA are a legit top 4 unit. Even Smith played well towards the stoppage if we are being honest.

    At forward we have all the pieces needed to ice a very good too 6 and we also have a good bottom 6 now with the addition of Gauthier. Our offense is a s good as any in the league and our record from early December until 3/12 was top 5 in the league.

    The Rangers are the team most of the top teams don’t want to play against. I believe we can easily be in the quarter finals and then, who knows what can happen.

      • I’m certainly getting fired up. I just hope the idiots violating social distancing because they believe fun and freedom is more important than safety and health do not ruin it for everyone else. I’ve never seen such ignorant selfish behavior in my life. If we have to shut down the whole United States and everyone loses their jobs because a few idiots felt the need to express their freedom and ignore common sense, honestly we deserve it. Jesus Christ.

        • It’s happening already.

          Last weekend (not this one) my wife and I went to a packed park by us on Long Island. Other that her and I, there were 5 people with masks on.

          • Richter1994
            You are sensible. The issue with this virus is that no one knows what it will do. True, it might mutate and disappear, or it might return in a Second Wave. But why play Russian roulette?

            The smartest thing is to wear a mask, respect social distancing & hygiene, and stay away from crowded places. What I do not understand is that it is so obvious how it spreads and how deadly it can be, yet people still disregard the danger.

            I suppose Trumpet contributes to all this stupidity as he does not wear a mask. I can tell you that if you have a friend or loved one who dies from this, you will quickly change your behavior. What might be even worse is the impact this will have on the economy.
            The longer this crisis lasts, the deeper down we will sink. When people start losing savings and have nothing to eat, then you might see some very violent carnage, anger, anarchy the likes we have never seen before. Hope it never goes that far.

            Sad in this age of enlightenment and knowledge.

          • Second Wave, I am not a physician, but I have been around a medical nonprofit all my life, and I have been directly involved for over 30 years, National President for 10 of them.

            IMO, there will be no “end” to this. We may be in the same position that we are in now, a year from now. And, IMO, sadly, I do not think that there will be a vaccine to PREVENT the virus from being contracted. I believe that there will be a vaccine to HELP LIMIT the effects of this virus on individuals, once someone contracts the virus. Big difference.

            So, what is the answer? We have to learn to live with this threat, going forward. Wash hands, be socially conscious, stay healthy (overall), take vitamin C (which has been shown to help against this virus), and just employ common sense.

            We have lived with “threats” forever, with flues, viruses, etc., happening every year. 50K to 60K die every year because of influenza, etc., this is nothing new. The issue with this virus is that it spreads more quickly, and we were not prepared, in any way, to battle against it. Hence the extreme reaction we implemented.

            So, IMO, there is no “magical date” to say that “this is over.” It won’t be over, we have to ADJUST our living habits, and learn to offset this virus by taking the steps we need to take as individuals to fight this threat.

            And, after saying all this, I just told you all the story that we have not learned our lesson (only 5 people in a packed park that had masks, besides the wife and I). So, yeah, it will probably get bad, again.

          • Richter1994
            Agree. I’m a bit more optimistic about controlling the virus with a vaccine, similar to the annual flu vaccine I receive every year to help prevent me from getting sick. But let’s see what science comes up with. Makes no sense to debate since no one knows what will happen and we are just speculating.

            However to your point: “…. we have to ADJUST our living habits, and learn to offset this virus by taking the steps we need to take as individuals to fight this threat….”

            I think that is exactly right. As you said, eventually it might not be that different than influenza, but in the meantime, this virus is deadly for certain segments of the population, especially older folks. It is a tragedy and rather selfish if we do not take the right steps to protect those individuals who might be more prone to suffer and die from this disease, rather than to simply ignore it as just another bump in the road.

          • SW, the flu vaccine has been around a long, long time. You know how effective it is? Around 20%. That’s it.

            I am not optimistic at all about a preventative vaccine for this virus. Treatment, yes, but not preventative.

          • I always thought it was more like 40-70% effective, really depends on the vaccine (it changes every year) and the predominant flu during the season.

          • I might have been thinking about the kennel cough vaccine. lol

            In any event the flu vaccine does tend to be more effective than 30% — but I thought it was a cocktail of vaccines for various strains of the flu, every year they select a slightly different cocktail based on which strains they believe will be prevalent. So if they do come up with an actual vaccine for covid-19 it should work for most people.

          • I hope so my friend.

            But the cynical side of me does not think so. Pharma makes a lot of money treating people.

            Think about it, how many “cures” do you know of that effectively stops all further treatment of any kind.

  • Folks, no hockey, no sports, no entertainment and we will face over 25% unemployment soon and a GREAT DEPRESSION if we continue defying social distancing and act selfishly. Mark my words. Either we recover by August by respecting social distancing, or this virus destroys us and the economy by continuing through December.

    • Ok so you need to calm down and stop trying to scare people. You want to stay indoors, please by all means. The last place anyone should be is inside. I will stop there.

      • CZECH
        You should stop there. You are suggesting people infect the rest of the population with your ignorant suggestion that “the last place anyone should be is inside.” People should social distance and beware that this virus spreads very easily and can be deadly. I’m sure if you caught it and gave it to your mom and she died you’d be singing a very different tune.

  • If they do play hockey again, I hope all are safe. If the Rangers are in it, then it will of course be fun to watch no matter the outcome. Great experience for the youngsters and a just reward for the vets who have given it their all.

  • Isn’t it great that in this NY Ranger blog, we have the freedom to talk about anything? BUT – the purpose of this blog is to discuss NY Ranger hockey. Can we try to stay on topic?

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