Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool Scoreboard Watching | Rangers In Control of Playoff Destiny

About 10 days ago, after the Rangers had lost at home to Montreal and St. Louis and then lost in a critical Sunday matinee to Boston in Beantown, their playoff hopes were seemingly dashed.

Now an interesting series of April Fool's Day results presents a potential turning point for the Rangers' 2009-2010 playoff hopes.

The 4 teams immediately above the Rangers -- Atlanta, Philly, Boston and yes, even Montreal -- have decided that they cannot stand prosperity and have tumbled back toward the Rangers, the current denizen of 10th place in the conference.

Tonight saw the Thrashers lose in regulation in D.C. to the Caps in a 2-1 squeaker.

Meanwhile, in Boston, the Florida Panthers made an early goal stand up as Ryan Clemmensen shut out the Bruins 1-0. I watched the final few minutes of the game and heard a raucous chorus of boos greet the Bruins as they left the ice. Meanwhile, the Bruin announcer commented that once again the Bruins made a second-rate goalie look like a Vezina candidate. How many times have Ranger fans said the very same thing the past couple of seasons when a rookie or backup goalie appears?

Finally, in the shocker of the evening, the Isles broke their 15 game losing streak to the Flyers (Stretching back to February 2008) with a 6-4 shellacking of the Broad Street Bullies in Uniondale. Although the Flyers tried to recover from a 6-2 deficit, they simply ran out of time.

As a result, Ranger fans can dream a little about a possible playoff berth. In fact, according to our calculations, if the Rangers can finish the regular season undefeated by winning 6 in a row, they can claim the 8th spot (as long as they sweep the Flyers and win one of those 2 end of season matches in regulation).

Then the Rangers would end up with 90 points and would make it because they would pass Atlanta (who can max out at 88) and Philly, regardless of what Boston and Montreal do.

TEAMGames LeftPoints

I, for one, am not quite ready to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid but it's hard not to start to dream about a possible playoff berth, the possibility of the Rangers knocking out either the Habs or Flyers from the playoffs and even a possible run for 7th place to lead to a possible payoff date with the Devils, and their inept offense and Marty in goal, and . . . STOP ME, PLEASE!!!! before I get sucked in once again.

Further enticement came from the Rangers today who called me to let me know that buying playoff tickets had gotten cheaper as the initial commitment for the first round is now only 3 games instead of the usual 4 for the purchase of the round-by-round plan. Decisions, decisions.

Bottom line -- win them all and they are in. The Rangers have back-to-back games with the pesky Florida teams this weekend.

First up is a Friday night encounter with Tampa Bay, who only shut out the Pens at the Igloo on Wednesday and then a Saturday night contest with the Panthers, who shut out the Bruins in Boston. No game going forward is a gimmee.

To Drink or Not To Drink?
The agony of being a Ranger fan.
It is so tempting to believe in them.

We will know much more by the end of the weekend.

In the meantime, I am inclined to take a chance on playoff tickets, knowing full well that I may be damned if I do buy them (the Rangers won't make it) and damned if I don't (the Rangers go on an Edmonton 2006-like run).

Regardless, I may be a damn April Fool for even considering any of these possibilities but I am enjoying the ride right now.

---The Graying Mantis

1 comment:

  1. Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread!


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