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Ranger Notes: Standings, Injuries, and Questions

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25:  Chris Drury #23, Brandon Dubinsky #17, Michael Del Zotto #4 and Michal Rozsival #33 of the New York Rangers celebrate Drury's scores the game-tying goal against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  The Rangers won 4-3 in a shootout.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
New York Hockey DailyContributor IMarch 29, 2010

Only a few teams were in action last night and the Rangers were not one of them. There were some outcomes that could effect their season though.

First, out of the teams the Rangers are chasing only the Flyers were in action and they beat the Devils which is bad news for the Blueshirts. Philly now has 82 points, six more than the Rangers, but the Rangers now have a game in hand.

Out of the teams that are trailing the Rangers, two were in action last night. The Maple Leafs, last place in the Eastern Conference, lost, but they lost in overtime which means they’ve pulled one point closer to the Rangers. Columbus was also in action and they won.

This is big. They are in the west and are now just one point behind the Rangers. That is good because they can’t upset the Rangers playoff chances and are now very close to giving the Rangers a better draft pick.

Here are the updated standings:

7. Philadelphia – 82 points – 38 wins – 6 games remaining
8. Boston – 80 points – 34 wins – 8 games remaining
9. Atlanta – 78 points – 33 wins – 7 games remaining
10. Rangers – 76 poings – 33 wins – 7 games remaining
11. Tampa Bay – 72 points – 30 wins – 7 games remaining

Here are the standings for the bottom of the league:

23. Rangers – 76 points – 33 wins – 7 games remaining
24. Columbus – 75 points – 31 wins – 6 games remaining
25. Tampa Bay – 72 points – 30 wins – 7 games remaining
26. Islanders – 72 points – 31 wins – 7 games remaining
27. Florida – 71 points – 30 wins – 8 games remaining
28. Carolina – 71 points – 31 wins – 7 games remaining
29. Toronto – 69 points – 28 wins – 6 games remaining
30. Edmonton – 55 points – 24 wins – 8 games remaining

Injuries: Also, Sean Avery walked out of the arena the other night without crutches, a good sign, but told reporters that he has no idea when exactly he will return to the ice.

He’s still questionable for their next game. The Rangers have recalled Corey Locke from Hartford which is a sign that they don’t expect him or Ryan Callahan to play. Callahan is also nursing a leg injury and is questionable.

If you think the Rangers were healthy all season long and are now at the very worst time getting bit by the injury bug, you are not alone. The Daily News’ Michael Obernauer has a story on that very subject today. Take a look .

Larry Brooks of the NY Post was writing about Marian Gaborik and his need to step up his poor play. Gaborik is another injury story in a way. He was healthy and dominating all season long, but he suffered a groin injury during the Olympics and hasn’t been the same since.

He’s shown signs that he might be feeling better, especially against the Islanders last week, but he’s obviously not at 100 percent. The Rangers really need him to play well if they are going to make the playoffs, especially with Avery and Callahan out.

Question: Last week I was firmly of the belief that the Rangers were out of the playoffs and even though I don’t want them to half-ass anything on the ice, part of me was hoping that they would go on a big losing streak to get a better draft pick.

Five points later and a look at their schedule later and I’m not so certain they are going to miss the playoffs. So personally I’m kind of flip-flopping on the team and leaning toward them making the playoffs.

Where do you stand? Do you think the Rangers are going to make the playoffs? Or should we just focus on the draft pick?

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