Rangers may be placed with Bruins in an opening round robin 24 team NHL playoffs
If the rumored plans of a 24 team playoffs comes to fruition, the Rangers may have a very difficult task. According to the latest reports featured in Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts blog, the Blueshirts could be shifted into the Atlantic Hub and have to take on the Boston Bruins.
Potential Set Up
Obviously when hockey comes back, the plan is to bring teams to one of four hub cities. That’s where the belief is the Rangers would fall in a division with the Bruins and likely have to take them on in a 5 game round robin in order to get to the traditional 16 teams.
METROPOLITAN HUB: Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Islanders, Columbus31 Thoughts
ATLANTIC HUB: Boston, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Florida, Montreal, Rangers (added as lowest seed from Metropolitan — Bruins are top-ranked in East, and should have that reward in their hub)
CENTRAL HUB: St. Louis, Colorado, Dallas, Winnipeg, Nashville, Chicago (Blackhawks stay in Central because Blues are top-ranked in West)
PACIFIC HUB: Vegas, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Arizona, Minnesota
Could the Rangers win 3 games against the other 5 teams in the Atlantic to get into the 16 game tournament? They certainly can beat the Leafs, Panthers and Canadiens, but can they pull off a win against the Bruins or Lightning? And even so, getting into the dance means having to likely face one of those two teams, if not both to get a Metro team in the Conference Final.
For Rangers fans, this news will of course rub them wrong. The Blueshirts had excellent numbers against the Metro and were 14-8 on the season. Against the Atlantic the Rangers were 10-9-2. They were also just 1-3-1 against Boston and Tampa with no wins against the Big Bad Bruins. So if the Rangers end up in the Atlantic hub as rumored, it will be quite the task to advance.