With both the 8th placed Canadiens and 9th placed Panthers in action last night, there was a reasonable chance that the Rangers might earn a little breathing room against at least one of them. Unfortunately that’s not how it worked out, and the Rangers once again find themselves enmeshed in a tight race for the final couple of playoff spots.
Montreal is now just one point behind, and the Panthers – who have a game in hand, but would lose the first tie-breaker – are just two points behind. As for tonight, the Penguins play the Devils and the Sabres are in Atlanta and the Flyers visit Toronto.
It means that Henrik Lundqvist will have to turn in more performances like what we saw against the Devils if the Rangers are to remain in 7th or advance higher. Another key will be of course how John Tortorella keeps things progressing, Larry Brooks already seems willing to take him to task over some of his decisions.
Former Ranger goaltender Glen Hanlon is back behind the bench for the Belarus national team after a disappointing season with Jokerit of the Finnish SM-Liiga. Hanlon talks to eurohockey.net about resuming the national duties.