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Brad Richards after two Game 7s: “I don’t think anybody is going to be tired”

May 13, 2012, 7:51 PM EDT

OTTAWA, CANADA - APRIL 18: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his first period goal with teammate Brad Richards #19 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Place on April 18, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) Getty Images

On paper, facing the two bottom seeds in your conference would theoretically mean that you could cruise to the conference finals. Instead, the New York Rangers needed all 14 games to put down the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators through two rounds.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils efficiently handled the Philadelphia Flyers in five games after a seven-game battle against the Florida Panthers. Some might believe that the Devils will carry a significant freshness edge, but Rangers star Brad Richards isn’t concerned.

“I mean, first two series, you don’t really think about it like that … but we’re just halfway,” Richards said. “We’re a young team. We should be excited and energetic going into this. I don’t think anybody is going to be tired.”

Meanwhile, the rest vs. rust factor flip flops for the Devils. They faced the Flyers just days after beating the Panthers in overtime of Game 7 and while it seemingly showed as they wore down in Game 1 against Philly, New Jersey won the next four games. Now they’ll have the advantage of resting older and banged up players at the possible loss of momentum.

Which team do you think will be at an advantage as the series begins on Monday?

  1. brian32556 - May 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    There’s a lot to be said for adenaline. LET’S GO RANGERS!!

  2. babykaby - May 14, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    Sitting around waiting is worse than being a little tired and still keyed up.

  3. hattrk - May 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    As the saying goes, momentum starts with the next shift. This will be another great series for sure.

  4. blockedshotnyr - May 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    While I am admittedly a little concerned about fatigue – the Rangers are not dealing with any nagging injuries (although everyone is a little banged up at this point) to any key players so it is less of a concern as far as “healing” goes.

    Also I think fatigue will not be as big a factor as some are making it out to be because the adernaline that comes with home ice will undoubtedly balance out any fatigue. Once you get to Jersey (which will likely be a 65/35 split for Jersey, but still better than any other playoff road game), you are in the heart of the series at that point so you have your legs, plus you come off two off-days before game 3.

    Plus, there is no travel issue, which is also big for fatigue. You’re not dealing with major roadtrips.

    Of course, this is even for both sides… I don’t think the two games difference in games played, nor the week off for Jersey will be much of a factor – Better team will win this series, period.

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