The results are in from our informal Twitter poll. Fans of the New York Rangers want the playoffs at the expense of a potential lottery pick.
It’s the million dollar question. Playoffs or lottery? With the odds good that there will be a resumption of the season and it will include an expanded postseason pool of teams, it appears that the New York Rangers will be a postseason participant for the first time in three years.
Twitter polls are pretty basic. There’s no room for nuanced questions, so this poll is hardly scientific. It does tell us that after two years of no playoffs, Rangers fans want to see the team continue to play.
The Rangers may be part of a 24 team playoff play-in before the playoffs start. If the choice is a best of three play-in or no playoffs and a 7 team draft lottery…which do you prefer?
— Blue Line Station (@BlueLineStation) May 19, 2020
100 folks voted in this poll over a 24 hour period. The question was simple, a 24 team play-in versus a draft lottery involving the seven teams on the outside of the postseason bubble. 56 votes were for the playoffs and 44 for the lottery.
While 56 percent is a clear majority, it does indicate that many fans are convinced that the rebuild is far from over and the guarantee of drafting Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Tim Sturzle, Lucas Raymond, Cole Perfetti, Marco Rossi or Jamie Drysdale is worth a shortened season.
The crux of the debate has to be expectations of a deep playoff run and on Blue Line Station, we’ve taken a look at why the Rangers are a postseason threat. Click here to see that analysis.
If one of the choices was a postseason that ends with a quick ouster in the first round (a best of three or five), you can be sure that the vote for a lottery pick would be much greater.
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In the 53 years since expansion, the Rangers have been a consistent postseason participant. Other than the seven season drought from 1997 to 2004 they have never missed the playoffs for three straight years. For that reason alone, we should want to see how the team can do.
It’s also an opportunity to see how far Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Igor Shesterkin, Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox and company can rise to the challenge of the playoffs.
There are reasons to be optimistic about a longer playoff run. Can they win the Stanley Cup? Doubtful. Could they get as far as the Conference Finals? Why not. And that’s why a majority of the poll respondents want to see the team in the playoffs.
The NHL should finalize their postseason plans in the coming days. When they do, there will be some very happy Ranger fans, no matter what they decide.