Well, after what has been an incredible roller coaster of a season, the Rangers finally clinched a playoff spot yesterday with the win over Philly. I got a text message from my friend in Miami, she is a die-hard Panthers fan (apparently there are a lot of them, who knew?), and said that the first goal was “bogus”. I still don’t know how it went in, but hey, I’m not complaining. A goal is a goal. And it’s us in the playoffs, not them.
There’s no other way to put this, but Hank was brilliant in net. That glove save on Carcillo in the 3rd, WOW! Save of the year. The Garden was rockin all night, but that save made the Garden shake. Outside of Hank, the Rangers got their scoring from two of their 20-goal scorers in Callahan and Naslund. Christopher Cross Drury added two assists. He came on when the Rangers needed him the most, with two goals and two assists in two must win games. Thank you Captain Clutch.
As for playoff seedings, with the Ranger win and Montreal OTL last night, the Rangers actually sit in 7th place, tied with Montreal in points, but hold the total wins tiebreaker. A 7th place finish means Washington and the Alexanders. Should Montreal manage to sneak ahead of the Rangers in the final game of the season, it’s 8th place and the Bruins. Personally, I would rather face the Alxeanders, the goaltending is shaky in Washington, and good goaltending goes a long way in a seven game series. That said, the Rangers will need to improve on their 16-19-5 record away from home in order to advance in the playoffs.
There are two playoff spots left, for three teams out west. The Ducks, Blues and Preds all sit tied with 88 points. My prediction? I think Nashville is the odd-man out. Anaheim has been good lately, and I like the Blues, and want JD to make the playoffs. Call me sentimental. All three of those teams are in action tonight, and if you have NHL Center Ice, and have nothing to do on a Friday night, I recommend watching them.
Update 10:05am: I guess it’s time to close the poll. They are in. It feels good to be an optimist.