2010 NHL Draft: New York Rangers' Luck Turning Towards Higher Pick

New York Hockey DailyContributor IMarch 24, 2010

SASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 5:  Taylor Hall #4 of Team Canada waits for a faceoff during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Gold Medal game against Team USA on January 5, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Team USA defeated Team Canada 6-5 in overtime.(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Most Rangers fans are feeling the blues these days, with the team’s chances at making the playoffs on life support.

A loss against the Islanders on Wednesday night would all but officially end the Blueshirts’ chances at appearing in the postseason.

Yet there is something to smile about for at least some segments of Rangerland. Some of the Rangers' rivals around the NHL picked up wins Tuesday night, moving them closer to the Rangers in the race for the top pick in the draft.

If the Rangers don’t make the playoffs, then the franchise really needs to luck out in the NHL Entry Draft Lottery, and the lower they are in the standings at the end, the better their chances will be.  

Up in Toronto, the Florida Panthers did their part to help the effort with a 4-1 win over the laughable Leafs. The Panthers’ biggest rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, took the streaking Carolina Hurricanes to overtime for their 3-2 win. Those damn Devils, however, defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3, in another contest that could affect where the Rangers finish.

Here’s how the bottom of the standings look going into Wednesday night. The Rangers are just three points above the third-worst total:

22. Atlanta, 75 points

23. Rangers, 71 points

24. Florida, 71 points

25. Tampa Bay, 70 points

26. Columbus, 70 points

27. Carolina, 69 points

28. Islanders, 68 points

29. Toronto, 64 points

30. Edmonton, 55 points

Keep in mind, the Rangers would absolutely love to get their hands on either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, the consensus No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft. Both are offensively inclined forwards, and both are a cut above the rest of the forwards in the draft. To have the right to draft either of them, the Rangers would have to finish in the bottom six and hope to win the lottery for the chance to move up as many as four spots, and hopefully, into the top two.

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