Under the NHL's "most popular" expanded playoff format that reportedly could be used if the league is unable to finish the regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the top six teams in each division would make the playoffs.
Among the teams missing the playoffs in that scenario, reported by Sportsnet, would be the Rangers (79 points).
When the season was paused, the Rangers -- who have played 70 games -- were two points back of the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets for the two Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference.
Under the reported playoff plan outlined above, the Rangers would be left out in the cold due to the strength of the Metropolitan division, which has seven teams with 79 or more points. The Islanders, who have 80 points and are in sixth place in the division, would be in.
In the other three NHL divisions combined, there are 11 teams with 79 or more points.
A Rangers spokesperson told SNY that the report on the potential playoff format is untrue.
It seems that if the NHL wants to expand the playoffs to 24 teams from 16 teams in a fair and balanced way, a better idea would be to add four Wild Card teams in each conference instead of rewarding mediocre teams that happen to play in weaker divisions.