Here is the problem with getting one point against the lowliest team in the Eastern Conference: it is one point closer to a faint playoff hope and one point further away from a top draft choice. The Rangers were unable to hold down a 2 - 0 lead and didn't get further than 39 seconds into OT before Toronto completed the comeback.
Over at Blueshirt Bulletin Plus, we debated which direction would be best for the team considering that missing the playoffs would result in a decent draft pick in a very deep draft class. Then again, with Henrik Lundqvist's ability to get hot, anything could happen should the Rangers get into the postseason.
But last night, the Rangers exemplified a middle ground. They got a point, but lost the critical second point. When Nikolai Kulemin scored so early in the extra frame, you almost got the sense that the Rangers could miss the playoffs by one point, which would be perhaps the worst scenario.
Purgatory would afford the Rangers nothing. It wouldn't be an immediate impact player from the draft nor would it give them a chance to compete for the Cup.
The Rangers will keep competing for the playoffs until they are technically eliminated, but it may be that fighting spirit that defeats the organization long term.