NHL Playoff Schedule 2012: Top Seed Spells Bad News for Rangers

April 7th, 2012 by Jessica Isner Leave a reply »
Earning the top seed the playoffs means you're the best. Unfortunately, it also means you're in trouble.

The New York Rangers will enter this year's postseason with the top seed in the Eastern Conference after an impressively consistent season and yet they enter the playoffs knowing that the top seed hasn't reached the finals—never mind won the Stanley Cup—since 2004.

They also enter the playoffs knowing that they might have to face the Washington Capitals in the first round. If Washington ends up with a seventh or eighth seed instead of a three at the conclusion of Saturday's regular-season games, it could present the most challenging first-round matchup for any team this year.

New York, despite playing like a Stanley Cup contender throughout the season, could find its road to the finals to be the most daunting.

At 51-23-7, the Rangers have a league-best 109 points and they are led by winger Marian Gaborik, whose 41 goals are third-best in the NHL. Though they've lost two of their last three games, they have been in first place in the Atlantic Division since December and have only lost more than two straight regulation ma ...

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