It’s pretty simple with two games left.
Well, actually, it’s not so simple thanks to Bettman Losers’ Points, Bettman Bonus Points, Breakaway Contests they sometimes hold after the hockey teams finishing playing the hockey game, ROWs, non-ROWs, and this new jackwagon playoff format which includes wild cards and in which a team from one division could end up winning the other division’s playoff title.
But … If the Rangers win both, provided one of them is in regulation or OT, they clinch the No. 2 seed and will start the first round at home.
If they win either game they clinch the No. 2-3 seed matchup and avoid the wild card. If they win one in regulation or OT and Philly loses one in regulation, they clinch the No. 2 seed.
On the other hand — and not to be Negative Nancy — if the Rangers lose to Buffalo, they are very much right back in the wild card race, with the possibility of having to face Boston or Pittsburgh in the first round, and needing to win in their House of Horrors in Montreal Saturday.
And if they lose to Buffalo, well, that’s kind of what they deserve.
The Rangers, 8-2-1 in their last 11, are expected to go with the same lineup tonight, meaning Jesper Fast remains in and Daniel Carcillo, Justin Falk and Ryan Haggerty are prucha’d. Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) and Chris Kreider (ha nd surgery) remain out.
Henrik Lundqvist in goal against any of the five goalies listed on Buffalo’s Tire Fire roster, none of them named Ryan Miller any longer.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.
Also, if anybody wants to join me and Kenny Albert in picking the stars for playoff games, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.