Some rainy, holiday-weekend, pre-playoff housecleaning:
The Habs play at home against Pittsburgh tonight. If Montreal loses, everything is settled as far as the Rangers are concerned. They finish seventh and play Washington in the first round.
If Montreal gets a point in overtime or with a loss in a silly skills competition after the overtime, then the Rangers would need just one point in Philly to clinch seventh.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues for making the playoffs (thanks, in part, to that win over the Rangers a little while back). The Blues are run by one of Rangers Report’s favorite all-timers John Davidson.
* Henrik Lundqvist said he wants to play in Philly for a number of reasons. One of them, he said, is that he has 37 wins for the third season in a row and like to top that number.
* We failed to mention that the Rangers’ 26 home victories (albeit in the skills competition era) are the most since their 28 in the Stanley Cup year of ’93-94.
* With the Hartford Wolfpack in the playoffs it is doubtful the Rangers will make many callups just to have extra bodies around. They have gone with one extra player (Aaron Voros) since the trade deadline, with the exception of injury-related recalls.
Get ready for some playoffs. NHL Network announced that it will have a special season wrap-up tomorrow night at 8 p.m., with all the final playoff matchups decided. Then, Monday at 8, NHL Network will do a big playoff preview show.
PS, the Rangers announced that the Flyers-Rangers game Thursday was the highest-ranked game on MSG Network in 2009 and the second highest of the ’08-09 season (a November game against the Capitals was first).
Also, beginning Monday, you can get almost all the information the news media gets at thePortal at NHL.com — it includes the guide (Total Stanley Cup), plus NHL hockey operations rulings (should be interesting), plus statistical matchups and storylines; and live streams of coaches’ postgame press conferences. Trust me. It’s good stuff.
Thanks for all those who sent “before” or current photos for the Rangers Report’s inaugural PBE (Playoff Beard Extravaganza). We will have a slide show on the LoHud.com Web site Monday. I’ll post more details when I get them.
In the meantime, keep them coming. For those who missed it, you can e-mail “before” or current photos to me at rcarpini@LoHud.com. Please only send one or two so my inbox doesn’t implode. We’ll then ask for some whisker updates during the first round, and we’ll set up some sort of poll at the end of the playoffs (after the Stanley Cup parade?).
And, again, thanks to Sal’s Hair Station in White Plains for donating a gift certificate for a beard trimming for the winner.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 1:21 p.m.: Andrew Gross reports in his blog that John Tortorella was a little ticked off for the way his team practiced this morning. Also, that Chris Drury did not skate for a second day in a row.