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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.