Apr 11, 2011, 5:16 PM EDT
These two teams played an incredible seven game series a couple seasons ago, but they’re vastly different teams now. New York rolls with Marian Gaborik and a blossoming Brandon Dubinsky while the Capitals are more defensively responsible now. The Caps still have Alexander Ovechkin and Alex Semin to do the scoring and now Mike Green is back in the lineup on the blue line.
Whether it’s Semyon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth that leads them in goal against all-world star Henrik Lundqvist is still up for grabs though. Here’s how we’re looking at things in this high-profile series which you’ll get to see Game 3 of which on Sunday on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.
There are some flashing neon lights pointing in the way of a Rangers upset, but my gut says that the Capitals are just too talented for New York. As great as Henrik Lundqvist is, can he overcome New York’s disadvantages in terms of quality depth, high-end talent and special teams? The Blueshirts keep proving me wrong, but I must obey my gut or it will grumble.
Any team that has Henrik Lundqvist is going to have a puncher’s chance. Losing Ryan Callahan is a huge loss for a team that wants to play the type of game the Rangers want to play. Honestly, it might be too much to overcome. For the Capitals, there’s no question that their year starts now. Through the system change and all of the ups-and-downs that came with it, we’ll find out if it was all worth it. As usual, despite a stellar regular season, Washington will solely be judged on their playoff performance. The Rangers won’t be the biggest test, but it’ll be the first test. It shouldn’t be a huge problem for them either. Capitals in 5.
The Capitals learned a lot of lessons from their first round ousting last year against Montreal. They’ve changed up their style and don’t play with reckless abandon anymore. They play the way a playoff team should now and having an ace up your sleeve offensively like Alex Ovechkin is huge. Unless Henrik Lundqvist goes ape and turns into the Swedish Superman, I don’t like how the Rangers shape up against them. It won’t be easy for Washington and the Rangers will give them fits, but I like the Capitals in 6.
What say you faithful PHT readers? Think we’re all in the bag for Ovechkin and coach Bruce Boudreau and his saucy stylings? Vote in our poll and let us know who you think wins.
May 21, 2013, 9:49 AM EDT
The Colorado Avalanche’s chief scout doesn’t think there’s a clear favorite.
May 21, 2013, 8:46 AM EDT
But before that the Bruins will try to take a 3-0 series lead on the Rangers.
May 21, 2013, 7:38 AM EDT
“They’re discussing the final details of an arrangement.”
May 21, 2013, 7:15 AM EDT
Tuesday’s collection of links.
May 20, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT
Is that an intentional Sharks pun?
May 20, 2013, 11:22 PM EDT
He thinks it could be a valuable wake-up call.
May 20, 2013, 11:03 PM EDT
At least between Dan Cleary and Bryan Bickell.
May 20, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT
Joel Quenneville said they “hit the wall” after that.
May 20, 2013, 10:36 PM EDT
Tough night for the zebras.
May 20, 2013, 10:23 PM EDT
Finally some adversity for the Blackhawks.
May 20, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT
Peter Horachek had been with the team since 2003.
May 20, 2013, 9:18 PM EDT
Two goals in 31 seconds, including his beauty.
May 20, 2013, 9:15 PM EDT
That Craig Adams hit didn’t feel very good, though.
May 20, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT
Did anyone go over the line?
May 20, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT
Perhaps that hurt less than it looks.
May 20, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT
“Sooner or later something’s got to give,” he said.
May 20, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT
He has a no-trade clause.
May 20, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT
Lots of stink talk coming from New York.
May 20, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT
He hopes to be ready for the start of the 2013-14 regular season.
May 20, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
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