A new scenario to start up the 2019-20 season could benefit the New York Islanders but would leave the New York Rangers in the dark.
According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, the NHL is looking at a plan that could see the top six teams from each division meet for an intradivisional playoff. Such a plan would include the New York Islanders who are ranked sixth in the Metro, but not the New York Rangers who are ranked seventh in the Metro.
This plan would only occur if the NHL can’t finish the regular season and would have to go right into a playoff format.
But any plan that includes the Isles and not the Rangers (who are just one point out in this scenario) is hilarious.
Rangers fans will certainly be upset, and rightfully so. The Rangers were playing some great hockey leading up to the suspension of the season. The Rangers were 5-4-1 over their last ten games and are one point back of the Isles for sixth in the division.
With a 2-4-4 record over their last ten, the Islanders weren’t any going into the ‘break’. But thanks to a 17-game point streak from earlier in the season the Islanders were able to stick around the playoff picture longer than they deserved to.
Here is the plan according to Mark Spector:
"Assuming no regular season games get played, the most popular playoff scenario is the following: The Top 6 teams from each Division meet in one city. They would open with best-of-three series between the No. 1 and 2 seeds (to decide a Division winner), while No. 3 meets 6 and 4 meets 5 for the right to keep playing."
For the Metro Division, this would include, in order, the Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, and Islanders. And not the Rangers.
A three-versus-six matchup would place the Isles against the Penguins. The Pens are a team the Islanders have played well against this season with a 2-0-1 record, scoring an average 4.00 goals-for in the process.
So far I’m liking this proposal a lot for the Islanders.
Not So Fast
To be fair, the NHL came out shortly afterward to state that they have not made any decisions and that they are still weighing their options. Although, they did state that “small group activity” in training facilities around could be possible by “mid-to-later May”.
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If this is the plan the NHL goes for in the end, I’m all in. Not only does it favor the New York Islanders over the New York Rangers, but it also gives the Isles a good matchup right out the gate.