In these blissful days of late March, the season is turning before our very eyes: buds on the trees, birds in the sky, and of course, growing talk of playoff match-ups.
Don’t count Tom Renney as a participant, however. The coach was asked whether there was a team out there that the Rangers sized up best against, and he quickly deferred. With seven games remaining in the regular season, and a very desperate Philadelphia team on the Rangers plate tonight, Renney had little interest in looking too far ahead.
“It’s just too close and we recognize the teams we’re playing against are very good and they’ll do everything they can to prevent us from securing a playoff spot,” the coach said. “So untilÂ such time as we do that, I’d rather not go there.”
And yet even in saying that, Renney acknowledged that home ice is very much a priority at this point in the season, if only because the East is so close, it might come down to that. For the Rangers, that is still very much within their grasp, sitting just three points out of fourth place.
Should the stars align, the team could be in that fourth spot some time around 9:30 on Thursday. But it’s hard to get too excited given the setbacks the team has endured of late: still without two of their top centers and their top defenseman, the Rangers first have to worry about getting through tonight in one piece. If they do that, maybe the conversation can begin anew tomorrow.
More in a bit…