For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the Eastern Conference playoffs will not feature the New York Islanders or New York Rangers.
It’s not mathematically factual yet, but the Rangers actually have a better chance to make the postseason compared to the Islanders, though both odds are microscopic.
This was expected from the Rangers, who swiftly dealt with a slump at the beginning of the 2018 calendar year by becoming active sellers at the trade deadline.
Dealing away Rick Nash, Nick Holden, JT Miller and captain Ryan McDonagh, Rangers president Glen Sather and general manager Jeff Gorton were straight with fans as they released a letter stating that they were going to enter a rebuilding mode, one that was quickened by the deals they made at the deadline.
While it was somewhat harsh, it immediately gave everyone around the organization a vision that the postseason was nothing more than a pipe dream this season.
The same can’t be said for the Islanders, who had a lot more riding on this season compared to the Rangers.
With John Tavares’ contract expiring at the end of this season, the postseason was a necessity in the organization’s pitch to coax the star center to re-sign. In the 27-year-old’s nine years in the NHL, he’s only been to the postseason three times and gone past the first round just once.
At the trade deadline, the Islanders were just two points out of the final playoff spot with clear needs on defense. However, Garth Snow did not do a thing to improve the roster and help better their chances of making the playoffs.
In the 14 games following that dormant deadline, the Islanders have lost 14 of their last 18 games and dropped past the rebuilding Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. Not only does it mean they won’t be playing this spring, but they could see the face of their franchise walk in free agency in order to join a contender.
Per SportsClubStats.com, the Blueshirts have a 0.135-percent chance while the Isles are at 0.0149-percent entering Tuesday night as the Metropolitan Division’s bottom-two teams.