When is a Loss a Win?

It’s never fun to see your team steamrolled, but that’s exactly what happened to the Rangers last night.  With a win they could have clinched the Presidents Trophy, but they didn’t come close.  Washington, which was playing for a shot at the division title, scored 32 seconds into the game and then again two minutes later. By the end of the first period, it was 3-0 and the Rangers never got closer than that.  It wasn’t a pretty night, but the Rangers may have won by losing.

First and foremost, they avoid playing Washington in Round 1 of the playoffs. Ottawa is a good team, but they do not have Alex Ovechkin. Everyone seems to focus on the fact that Ovechkin’s production has been down this year, but he still netted 38 goals, good for fifth in the league. This guy can dominate a playoff series like few others in the league, as Rangers fans well remember from last year. 

But secondly, the Rangers really had just a bad period, not a bad game.  They rediscovered their mojo in the 2nd and 3rd and played their brand of hockey.  They outshot the Caps 25-10 in those periods, but Braden Holtby only allowed one shot to beat him. 

So, it wasn’t the end to the regular season Rangers fans had hoped for, but I don’t see any reasons to panic heading into the playoffs.  We will find out later today when exactly the Rangers will get a chance to prove that hypothesis. 

 

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