I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I just love the Minnesota Wild jerseys. Green isn’t my favorite color, but those jerseys, they are just…sweet.
Anyways, this was such a strange day for the Rangers. Looking at the Penguins schedule you had to figure tonight was their easiest game of the remaining season, and go figure the Pens lose to the Isles, and the Rangers just barely squeak by the Wild.
The funny thing is, the only thing that the Rangers struggled at tonight, was the thing they can generally be counted on to be great at, killing penalties. The Rangers are an outstanding PK team, tonight they weren’t. It’s rare, but it happens. The thing is, if you just take out the Rangers PK time, they were really good tonight. Minnesota plays hard, but the Rangers were able to withstand their surges by keeping the quality chances down (though they did bend a few times and Henrik was there) and they were able to pot 3 even strength goals to secure a big 2 points.
Why are the 2 points so big? Couple it with the Penguins loss tonight and the Rangers not only control their own destiny, but can actually afford to lose to the Pens in their head to head matchup and STILL control their own destiny, furthermore the Rangers can no longer lose the ROW tiebreaker to Pittsburgh, meaning the Pens will need to overtake the Rangers in points to secure #1, not just tie them (technically the Pens can tie the Rangers in ROW wins, but for that to happen, the Rangers would need to lose out and the Pens to win out, and if they did, they would overtake the Rangers in points anyway). What does all that mean? Basically, the Rangers need 9 more points to secure the top spot in the East no matter what Pittsburgh does. 9 out of a remaining 12 points and the Rangers secure the East. It’s a very doable total with the games the Rangers have left. They play Winnipeg, who is good at home, but still a very beatable team, Montreal, but at home, thankfully, Boston, who we have owned, Pittsburgh, who has owned us, Philly, who we have owned, and the Caps who are a possible first round matchup.
That’s a doable schedule right there. Only game that you’d have to say the Rangers would have trouble in is against the Pens. All the other games, while not being cakewalks, are definitely games the Rangers could, and should win.
Just win baby, just win.