NHL denies petition from Rangers and Panthers, "Someone has to be the 8th seed"

After the Rangers lackluster performance in losing to the Bruins 1-0 on Saturday in Boston, NHL Commissioner Gary "what channel is Vs. again?" Bettman announced that he was denying the joint petition submitted by the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers to refuse the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

"Whether they want to or not, someone is going to have to finish 8th, so I am therefore denying the petition" Bettman remarked outside the TD Banknorth Gardens in Boston.

The Rangers thought they had the inside track to the 9th seed by virtue of losing to the Hurricanes on Thursday night, but in a classic display of "We'll show you"-edness; the Panthers went out and lost to Atlanta in their own building last night.

Florida pulled out all the stops in losing last night, even encouraging their fans to wear black and wave towels that said "9 is just fine", and hung a banner in the rafters that said "In the NHL, anyone can make the playoffs, missing them takes effort....Who wants it less?"

But the Rangers then when out and showed they aren't done showing just how done they are, and lost to Boston 1-0 today. "8th seed my ass", remarked Rangers coach John Tortorella, who went as far as to play former Rangersrd period, and even sent Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and Roman Ndur on defense for a majority of the third period and sent Wade Redden out to take a few face-offs.

Bettman also said after the game that despite repeated phone calls from Lindy Ruff, that the Buffalo Sabres couldn't just have the 8th seed, they would have to earn it.

"We are holding out hope that despite their best efforts, one of these teams will win a game and clinch that 8th seed" said Bettman.