With Florida’s loss to Atlanta and Buffalo’s win last night, here’s the deal (and please correct me if I’m wrong, because it seems I usually foul up something when I play with numbers … I’m like a six-year-old playing with matches):
If the Rangers go 2-2 for 93 points and 42 wins, Florida would have to go 3-0-1 or 4-0 to pass them (if the Cats go 3-1 they get to 93 points but only 41 wins). But Buffalo could knock the Rangers out by going 4-1 for 93 points and 42 wins and the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If the Rangers go 1-3, pray.
The next-to-last Saturday of the season is a big one. Eastern teams 4 through 8 all play today:
Carolina vs. Pitt.
Philly at Ottawa.
Montreal at T.O.
and Your NYR at Boston.
Plus, your friends in New Jersey can really help in a big way against No. 10 Buffalo.
And looking ahead to the BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR, Tuesday at the World’s Most Famous: Keep in mind that the Habs play Ottawa on Monday night — those inter-province games can be pretty draining, seriously — and should come in tired, while the Rangers ought to be fully rested and ready to rumble at home. Just a thought.
John Tortorella had some interesting remarks in Raleigh yesterday, and Larry Brooks summed them up in his story today. Unfortunately I can’t locate the link on the Post web site. But here’s the meat. The headline said, “Tortorella: Rangers must man up, now!”
Here were the telling quotes:
“We have to find the way to be stronger in our mental toughness and in the details of the game. If we don’t in the next week, we’re done.”
And: “When there is a play to be made at a big time, our top players have to make them. They have to lead the way. If they don’t, we’re going to be done.”
For those who might care, here’s my column today on Bailout Ballpark.
I want to add that the outfield wall is a strange nod to the New York Giants — a black wall with an orange home-run stripe that looked oddly out of place. A faithful blog reader and Rangers diehard also pointed out that there is very little link to the Mets’ past — the ’69 and ’86 championships, or the Seavers and Goodens — in the ballpark.
I noticed something about the New Yankee Palace. The clubhouse floor is covered with NY logos — a huge one in the middle, and many, many small ones all over the XXXXXL-sized room. What would Tortorella have to say about that? Keep off the $%@&’n carpet?
Another reminder that Jane and I will do a live video chat Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m, leading into THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR. The more response we get, the more we can do these things … and the more people realize how important this blog is, thus the more time Jane and I are allowed to spend on it. I know we can’t get to every question, but still, good response helps us and it helps you.
Enjoy the game.