Skip to content

Do Rangers prefer Kings or Blackhawks? AV: ‘Pick your poison’

Jun 1, 2014, 5:44 PM EST

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Three Getty Images

You won’t run into many situations in which an idle playoff team will acknowledge its preferred opponent as the next round approaches. Even so, it seems that much easier to believe the New York Rangers when they seem ambivalent regarding their opponent in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

As strong as the Rangers have looked during their best moments in their first run to the championship round in 20 years, there’s a good chance most pundits will predict that the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks will go on to win it all.

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault certainly didn’t provide any potential bulletin board material to the Bergen Record, deeming it a “pick your poison” situation.

“They’re two different teams,” Derick Brassard said. “Chicago is really high skilled. They transition really well. They have a good D corps. And L.A. is in your face. They work hard. But it doesn’t matter. We never picked our opponent. Every round you’re facing a different team and you’re up for the challenge.”

Whether the Rangers are “rooting” for one team or the other, they admit that they’ll watch tonight’s big contest.

They’ll bring an interesting perspective, too.

“I think it’s 50-50 – as a fan, but also you try to see what they like to do,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “We only played them twice, so we kind of know what to expect, but we’re going to have meetings in the next couple of days to go over what they like to do. But, a big part of me just likes watching the games right now. It’s intense out there. It’s good speed and great players making great plays, good goaltending. So, it’s fun to watch the game.

“So, I’m a fan, but also will try to learn a little bit.”

For what it’s worth, the Rangers fared pretty well in their games against those Western Conference powers:

Jan. 3: 3-2 at Chicago
Feb. 27: 2-1 win vs. Chicago

Oct. 7: 3-1 win at Los Angeles
Nov. 17: 1-0 loss vs. Los Angeles

Obviously a lot of time has passed and the stakes are significantly higher, so they might actually learn more from watching these two teams on June 1 than they would from meetings stretching back several months.

Latest Posts
  1. Blue Jackets proud as Columbus shows it’s a hockey town

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:49 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition - Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Getty Images

    “We’re so proud of our city for showing that hockey is such a big deal here.”

  2. From contract dispute to All-Star MVP, Johansen’s had quite the year

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:25 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Getty Images

    “This is something I’ll remember for a very long time.”

  3. Hawks put Versteeg on LTIR, recall Rasmussen

    Jan 25, 2015, 6:43 PM EST

    Kris Versteeg Getty Images

    Chicago will resume play on Wednesday against Los Angeles.

  4. Video: Foligno sets up Johansen to delight of hometown crowd

    Jan 25, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    Johansen goal

    Johansen scored again before the first period ended.

  5. Video: Vrbata opens scoring in All-Star Game debut

    Jan 25, 2015, 5:43 PM EST

    Vrbata

    Vancouver forward gets Team Foligno on the board early.

  6. Byfuglien’s neon skates, More GoPro fun, other All-Star bits

    Jan 25, 2015, 4:58 PM EST

    buffyneon

    A grab bag of fun as the game rapidly approaches.

  7. Get your game notes: Team Toews vs. Team Foligno

    Jan 25, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    Johnny Gaudreau Johnny Gaudreau

    It’s the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, on NBCSN.

  8. WATCH LIVE: 2015 NHL All-Star Game

    Jan 25, 2015, 3:33 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Getty Images

    Team Foligno and Team Toews square off.

  9. Ovechkin’s quest for a free car continues

    Jan 25, 2015, 12:48 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    He has more control over his chances in the All-Star Game itself.

  10. Out for at least a month, Bobrovsky laments missing All-Star game

    Jan 25, 2015, 10:50 AM EST

    Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    A rare opportunity sidetracked by his groin injury.

  11. Report: Lightning’s Johnson may sit out All-Star game

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:30 AM EST

    Tyler Johnson Getty Images

    It sounds like he won’t face the same headaches as others who skipped the event.

  12. Video: Luongo sprawls out to rob Sekac in shootout

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:41 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    Florida’s All-Star goalie never gave up on it.

  13. Video: Weber wins hardest shot with 108.5 mph blast

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:14 PM EST

    Shea Weber AP

    Just 0.3 away from Zdeno Chara’s all-time record.

Featured video

Who will excite most in All-Star game?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (3466)
  2. S. Crosby (2878)
  3. J. Ortio (2756)
  4. C. Price (2688)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2685)
  1. E. Malkin (2658)
  2. S. Bobrovsky (2392)
  3. Z. Rinaldo (1745)
  4. K. Versteeg (1680)
  5. J. Toews (1679)