Scenarios, scenarios


The Blog Headquarters supercomputer has been spewing out probabilities left and right, and my understanding is yes, if Carolina loses in regulation to Tampa Bay tonight, the Rangers are in.

Furthermore, if the Devils get even a point, the Rangers would be guaranteed not having to play Ottawa in the first round because the Senators then couldn’t catch New Jersey.

Why does this matter? Some of you would argue this doesn’t matter at all since the Senators are a shell of what they were. But I still think of that team as dangerous given its firepower and experience.

In fact, what may qualify as a best case scenario for the Rangers is a four-five match-up against the Devils while the surging Capitals meet Ottawa in a three-six. That way one of those two teams — both of which contain a bit of an X-factor — is gone after the first round.

And by the way, don’t think for a second the Rangers are taking their 7-0 record against the Devils this season for granted. As players and coaches have said, those wins have almost all come down to a single save or flukey lapse — Nigel Dawes’ shoulder anyone? — and could very easily have  gone in the other direction. It may give the Rangers confidence in their  ability  to come back against the Devils, which they did in each of the last two wins. But that’s about it.

Is this all premature? Of course.

But that’s just what we do here.

More in a bit….

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  1. I completely agree with Sam. We should be happy to play NJ in the first round. The Devils have been struggling lately and I am sure the 7 straight losses are circling somewhere in the back of Brodeur’s mind. Even though it isn’t possible, I wouldn’t want to play Wash in the first round with the way Ovechkin has been playing. Let’s go Tampa Bay!!!!

  2. Sam, I wouldn’t want to play either Ottawa or Washington, either, but what do you think of the Rangers chances in a 1st round matchup with the Devils? We all know the Rangers have had the upper hand throughout the season, but should we fear the law of averages?

    Look at what happened in ’94, Rangers won all 6 regular season meetings only to have to fight claw, tooth & nail to get past them in the playoffs.

    Frankly, I’m concerned. The Rangers beat the Devils so many times on bounces going their way, most of those games could’ve just as easily gone the other way, and I’m afraid their luck will change..

  3. Billy, of course it’s possible.

    Washington could take the 3rd seed while the Rangers fall to 6th.

  4. Jeff, I kind of agree with you, a Ranger regular season sweep of the Devils mean absolutely nothing come playoff time. The Devils are a dangerous team that will be tough to beat in a 7 game series especially with Marty between the pipes.

  5. Doodie Machetto on

    The Rangers better finish in 4th or 5th. I just bought Devils playoff tickets.

  6. I like our shot against pretty much anyone right now. I think this team, if built for anything, is built for the playoffs. We have a good mix of good youth and veteran experience and a big game goalie. I feel very confident. That being said, I know we didn’t clinch yet, but I am certain we will. Let’s Go Rangers!

  7. Given the fact that the Rangers Devs games this year 3 games were won by 2 goals (I think I remember a few EN goals), and 3 others were in OT or SO. So none of them were wholly convincing, except maybe the first 2-0 shutout when we thought we were going to win the conference outright.

    So against the Devs, we might have a 52/48 edge. No more.

    Ottawa is a shell of their former “15-2 in first 17” selves. They don’t have a steady goalie. Their D kinda sucks. Aside from last year they have not had much playoff success. They don’t scare me this year.

    Washington scares me. Their mojo is very hot right now.

    The Blueshirts just need to get 4-5 pts out of the remaining 6. Simple, right?

    BTW, I really do think Prucha27 was actually Prucha and now that he is playing (and playing well I might add) he doesn’t have time for the blog anymore?

  8. REPOST!

    No, I wasn’t refering to Avery although that’s another very good example. I don’t consider Avery to hold the level of “talent” I was kind of talking about. But more importantly, I don’t think anyone on the Rangers is a real “shtdck” teammate at all. I do think that “real team play” has sometimes been sabotaged in efforts to revolve around someone though….

    Just very vague similarities, no parallels by anymeans. Does it need to be spelled out? lol

  9. Damn…so much to catch up on and I was only gone for a minute!

    Salty – I’m in for that conversation, but I’d have to put some thought into it. I knew exactly who you were referring to also. I don’t know if I’d be willing to make a gerneralization on the topic though. I think my opinion would vary player to player, case to case. Emery is just a F’n jerk-off. I don’t think Jags is. “Stubborn Talents”, no feakin doubt.

    Doodie – I can’t believe you can still get a pair of tix for face value just 10 rows off the ice right now. They should be F’n ashamed of themselves. I asked the 2 devil fans here in my office if they got their tickets yet. Their response: “what tickets?” Losers.

    I don’t want to play Ott or Carolina in Rnd 1. Ott DOES have firepower, and just our luck it would ignite at the wrong time. Carolina doesn’t scare me, and they’re missing their playoff leader. But for some reason, I don’t have a good feeling about it.

    I’d like to see us face NJD in rnd 1 honestly. I think we can beat them b/c we always show up against them. The games may be close, and surely we’ve won on some lucky bounces, but there’s other teams in the East that we just don’t play well against. I’d take my chances vs NJD. There ya go Doodie! haha

  10. Newman, Prucha can barely speak English let alone type it. Therefor your assumption is moot. Ha.

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    The Rangers better get at least 3 of their next 6 points. It’s not asking a lot, and I think that’s all they will need to realistically seal the Rangers/Devs match up. If they get that, only two wins by Ottawa, or very strong performances by Philly (who plays Pittsburgh twice) and Boston would remove them.

    And Ottawa and Boston play each other. So long as that one ends in regulation, one of them won’t be able to catch the Rangers with my modest point demand.

    If they get 4 points, only Philly or Boston could catch them by winning all 3 of their games. 5 points seals it.

    Of course, I’m assuming the Devils don’t drop either.

  12. I don’t want to play NJ in the first round. My reasoning isn’t because I’m worried about them…it is based on not wanting to hear Doc ‘still in puberty’ Emerick calling games. I know I can’t avoid him in the later rounds, but hopefully I can get a pass in the first round.

  13. I have watched Ottawa on center ice play their last few games, and they look horrible. Bad goaltending, only one decent scoring line and Heatley and Spezza are playing as lazily as they played in the finals last year. Some team will be lucky to play them, if they even make the playoffs.

  14. Speaking of Spezza…Anyone see him throw-down last night?

    nakedjoe – Great point. I changed my mind. I don’t want to play them either. But I may just stab my ear drums out. Or I can just get tickets for EVERY game. lol

  15. I know a Devs fan, but she is doing rotations for med school and might not have time for PLayoffs, at this point my sister and I keep her more informed about her team then she does.

    I hope Washington gets eight and plays Pittsburgh. I want to se the dumpster crawler :^) take on the pretty boy face of the NHL. And I think Ovechkin is the only one who could have a chance of getting passed the league and officiating. friend of mine checked blogs for other teams and allt eh fans agree the officitaing gets worse when playing the Penguins…

    SO excited for the next two games. Iw as going to Friday’s (bought the tix before the season started) but yesterday I went to the Colisseum, and they still had tickets so I am going there too!!

  16. +Playoff Scenarios for Wednesday April 2, 2008
    Rangers Can Clinch If:
    Carolina loses in Regulation

    Pittsburgh Can Clinch The Atlantic If:
    New Jersey loses in Regulation or OT

    Buffalo Will Be Eliminated If:
    Philadelphia & Boston get at least one point each

  17. Beer Me, I had tickets 6 rows off of the ice in Newark 2 weeks ago when the Rangers won in the SO from ticketmaster. Def get the tickets if you can, the new arena is really nice, just odd. It seems like a mall, not a hockey arena and inside it doesn’t seem massive like the garden does.

  18. Devils are definitly not the team they once were thats because 2 reasons, they do not have Brian Rafalski and Scott Gomez.

  19. Great Blog entry today Sam, thanks. I love it when it comes down to the wire like this, all the calculating of different scenarios. Makes every shift of every game something to behold :)

  20. thanks jason. The only thing that makes me nervous is if the devils don’t play the rangers or philthy, I’ll never be able to get rid of the tickets. Sad.

  21. I honestly don’t care who we face in the playoffs…if you believe in your team, which I do, I think we can beat anyone if we play our game…
    However that being said, I would love to be the team to knock the Devs out just to rub it in Brodeurs face a little more…

  22. I have to think CANES give us a real tough matchup. I also have to think OTT comes back to life for playoffs.

    You guys always talk about playoffs being a whole different world than reg season, and I do agree. However, MANY of you look at teams regular seasons and final stretches as a judgement of how they’re going to perform in the playoffs…. while still assuming the Rangers are just going to come alive!
    FWI I don’t agree or disagree…. but I do see a double standard there! No?

    By your guyses’s logic (that logic being look at their final stretch to determine their playoff intensity), I wouldn’t really worry about facing the Rangers if I’m any other team in the East. They do not look easy, but they do not look any more threatening than anyone else in a playoffs sense IMO…except for maybe Henrick starting to look really solid again. Also… you’ve got to wonder if the size issue comes back to haunt us.

    But thinking back to Lundqvist… you really just don’t know… he might go into shutdown mode and give us a ‘real’ chance for a run…. he’s looked real good last few.

  23. Maybe we should all buy the Tx and sit together…lol
    I’m sure we could find a complete section together…

  24. Doodie Machetto on

    I found someone who would take the tickets off of me in case it isn’t the Rangers.


    Beer, if you’re really worried, you can buy insurance for 6 bucks a ticket and get all of the other money back.

    I figured if worse came to worst and I couldn’t sell them, it’s still a playoff hockey game, and I have wanted to see their new digs in Newark. So I didn’t pay the 12 bucks.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    I got section 229. After all ticketmaster fees, etc., it came out to just under $120 for two tickets.

    A bit of a ripoff, yes, but for Rangers/Devs playoffs? totally worth it.

  26. Salty in the same post you said that Ott may suddenly come alive and we assume the Rangers come alive…
    every team steps it up in the playoffs, if you don’t your tee time comes sooner than others…
    The Rangers have alot of players with tons of playoff experience…so I’d have to put my money on the Rangers showing up…Shanny, Jags, Drury, Gomez, Straka, are a few. And they know what it takes…if we make a serious run these will be the backs we do it on…

  27. Devils are definitly not the team they once were thats because 2 reasons, they do not have Brian Rafalski and Scott Gomez.


    LOL, somebody better tell them that, quick! They’ve had a pretty good year so far…

  28. doodie – thanks. The insurance covers “not playing the team I want”?

    salty – I think if you look at it a certain way, it’s a double standard. But I think the final stretch has a lot to do with playoff performance. Or better, 1st round performance.

    IF washington makes it, they’d have to be one of the hottest teams going in. Now if they just want to MAKE the playoffs, you’d probably see them sit back and get swept right out the door. The Rangers actually have a decent last stretch here. (looking at last 10 vs div). Not on fire by any means, but finding ways to win games. It always seems like big playoff goals look just like Dawes “shoulder shot”, or the one vs pitt the other night that was almost the high stick by gomez.

    So I don’t think that Ott’s sprint out of the gate means anything at this point. But like I said, Wash would have to be on fire to get in, and that’s a real threat.

  29. Staal Wart, are you sure you have a doctorate?

    EZ Translation: I agree any team can come alive in the playoffs. However, it seems like alot of people around here think the Rangers are the only team who is capable of “turning it on” for the playoffs suddenly despite a quiet final stretch, and yet are quick to discredit other teams…who may have shown actual dominance at times earlier in the season.

    EZ Translation #2: I’d sooner assume a team like OTT find it’s game “again” come playoffs, than I would assume a team like the Rangers all of a sudden find their best “A game” for the first time. OTT has felt it this year, Rangers haven’t. Call me skeptical, I don’t understand why how or why all of a sudden the Rangers whole game is going to change for the better. OTT may very well just need to find that groove once again, while the Rangers are still looking for their “first real groove”. Not bashing, don’t get your undies bunched.

  30. I’m with you Pavel. A good team should be ready to play any team passionately and confidently.

    I want the Devils, really badly, I think it would be a great series. The Devils would be playing for blood and if we took them out I think the Rangers might actually grow some real deep confidence in themselves.

  31. Salty do you always get insulted when someone merely asks for an explanation…damn…can’t even get into a civil discussion on what you meant…and in no way was I trying to get your undies in a bunch
    I was looking for clarification on what you meant…
    Thank you my lord for clearing that up for me…

  32. I agree with that too. But I don’t like the word “deserved” being used like it has here for the last couple of days. Nothing towards you Pavel, just a statement.

    But no team ‘deserves’ anything. The team that wins the cup EARNS it. There’s always those crazy bounces, sometimes they go for you, sometimes against. But you’re either putting yourself in the right spot to get those bounces (ie: Dawes crashing the net) or being out of position or making low % passes and turning the puck over. There’s bad calls on top of all that too. But if you can play above the officials, play above the bad bounces, you’ll get your share & EARN a championship.

    I’m sure people have different intents when they say “deserved”. But I just don’t see it being appropriate in sports. That’s all.

  33. Beer I agree with you on the “deserved” thing…
    If we were to carry that thought further, with an example, the Patriots “deserved” to win the SB based on there season, but the team who worked harder and played as true team and had the better coaching actually won, therefore the Giants actually won and “deserved” the Championship.

  34. Why does it bother me so much that for 3 hours now, Devils playoff tickets have been on sale and there’s still seats available in the first 10 rows? And they’re “only” $130./each.

    I say “only” b/c @ msg, those seats are $500+.

  35. Beer, it bothers me to.
    I mean the Devils have had a good team for years now…and yet they couldn’t sell out a high school gym…its pathetic.
    If I were a Devs fan I’d go to games all the time…
    The Rock was supposed to boost attendance because it was so much more convenient to hop a train and go…but it doesn’t seem to be shaping up that way…Maybe they really don’t have many fans…

  36. Deserve is a funny word. I think teams *can* win championships without “deserving” them as much as another team. BUT I also have to say that the team that actually wins does “deserve” it, in another way. I know that doesn’t make sense… but it does in my head.

    I just think often times there is a lot more to be said about a team that over achieves than there is about a team who may underachieves and still “win”.

    Looks back at the 2007 Sabres. You can say anything you want, but the truth is that they *underachieved* vs both NYI and then NYR… and yeah, they “won” but there are two points to be made there for me:

    1. Not playing up to their ability, and “sliding by” eventually *did* come back to haunt them. You can say “I’ll take a win however I can, It doesn’t matter how they play as long as they get a win” … but that is where it all shows up in the laundry and eventually proves to cost you, at the worst time, big time. Sabres should have stomped NYI & NYR, but they didn’t come to play hard, and they couldn’t get all their duck in a row when they really had to.

    2. NYR TOTALLY overachieved in that series, and as crushing as it was to eventually fall to Buffalo…I know/knew that the Rangers played as well as they possibly could, and that was victory enough for me at that point. They “deserved” it more than Buffalo in a *certain* way. Rangers, a C+ team played B hockey, while Buffalo, an A+ team, played B hockey.

    ramble ramble ramble…. I’m off to vegas in a few hours… think I’ll be able to catch the last few games out there?

  37. I just bought 2 tickets for home game #3, which would be Game 5 of the series.

    I got Section 16 (side the Rangers shoot on twice), Row 9, and the total charge, with shipping, with the insurance (which allows me to get my money back in case I simply don’t “want” to go, i.e. illness, other obligations, etc) I paid just under $300 total.

    That’s crazy, that’s so worth it.

  38. jeffL – I looked at those things all morning. HAHA

    salty – I know what you’re saying. But most of all it is a tricky word. Good luck in Vegas.

  39. It’s possible you may be able to catch the games in one of the Sports Betting rooms. Please don’t place any bets on our boys though!

  40. The Rangers lack of physical players, especially defensemen scares me in the playoffs. Whoever the Rangers wind up playing they’ll have to prove they can compete physically. I would assume that opposing coaches will make their game plan simple – bang the Rangers, especially their defense over and over.

  41. Does anyone know the potential dates for the first round? And, is it 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2? I am guessing it’s the former?

  42. Isn’t there a history of the Devils not selling out the 1st round?

    I bought tickets at 9:00AM for the 2nd home game, section 229 (center ice, nosebleeds), a guaranteed game now that they’ve clinched. I checked a little after 11:00AM, tickets available one row behind me.

    Its disgraceful that they don’t sell out, given a streak of 11 years. If it wasn’t for Brodeur that franchise would be long gone. I even grew up in NJ and don’t like the Devils…..

  43. im trying to score some devils tickets…does anyone know which side the rangers would shoot twice on? and where is the insurance to return tickets option on the ticketmaster website? thanks

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