With the New Jersey Devils losing to the Calgary Flames tonight by a score of 1-0, the New York Rangers have officially locked up their spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The way the standings played out, the Rangers needed the Devils to either lose a point tonight (which they did), or they needed to gain at least a point on their own tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes. Now that a playoff spot is officially locked up, the New York Rangers will now shift their focus to obtaining home ice in the first round.
The Rangers can still slip down to the third seed as the Philadelphia Flyers are only two points back with a game in hand. With two more home games coming up, the Rangers will control their destiny heading forward, and now it's just a matter of taking advantage of this opportunity. You also can't count out the Columbus Blue Jackets as they are starting to catch fire as of late, and could still leapfrog the Flyers as well. This last week of the season should definitely be entertaining,that's for sure.
Finally, I just wanted to touch base on some of the stuff that I've been seeing on Twitter. A lot of people are saying the Rangers took the easy route, or basically "backed" their way in at the expense of another team. Listen, I get clinching a playoff spot by another team losing is not the greatest way to get in, but a trip to the playoffs is a trip to the playoffs. Not to mention, prior to these last two games, the Rangers have went 7-1 over their last eight games. I'd hardly call that backing in.
Anyways, let us celebrate tonight, and get ready for a big game tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.