With their win against the Devils yesterday, the Rangers were guaranteed to finish no lower than seventh and could finish sixth depending on what the Senators did. Seeing who was in third, I assumed the Rangers would go from not sure if they would make the playoffs to finishing the season in sixth place. I was right. So what does this mean? The Rangers get to play the Washington Capitals for the fourth postseason in five years. (The only year they didn’t play each other the Rangers missed the playoffs.)
Of those four postseasons, the Rangers and Caps have met three times (inlcuding this year) in the first round. As I’m sure everyone knows, the Caps won the first two series in seven and five games. Last year, meeting in the second round, the Rangers finally defeated their foes in seven games. So expect the series to go for a while. I will probably change my mind after watching game 1 (which we still don’t know when is) but I’m taking the Rangers in six. Yes I know the Caps are playing well right now but I think the Rangers can beat them. I just hope we don’t have to go through game three and five of last years’ series again.
Speaking of the playoffs, with the Whale missing theirs, it was a given that a bunch of players would be recalled to practice in case the Rangers needed players during their playoff run. This years squad includes two goalies, two defensemen and six forwards as the Rangers announced this morning that Cam Talbot, Jason Missiaen, Stu Bickel, Dylan McIlrath, Ryan Bourque, Micheal Haley, Brandon Mashinter, J.T. Miller, Brandon Segal (whose wife just gave birth the couple’s first child, a girl), and Christian Thomas were recalled. Haley is expected to practice with the Rangers and travel to DC but the rest will practice on their own and only join the big boys if needed. Curious why Haley is actually being recalled. (Is there another injury? A replacement for someone else? Guess we’ll find out soon…)