ENS Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Rangers vs. Penguins
I think it’s going to be tough to find anybody who cares too much about this series, never mind ENSers. I’ll try to make this as short and interesting as possible, because even I don’t care that much. These teams seem to meet every year now in the playoffs. We’re blessed with divisional matchups for the foreseeable future so that means we’ll likely get even more April hockey that features the King against the Kid. Goddammit I love the playoffs. Now I’ve been to both arenas (spoiler alert: they’re both nicer than the Concrete Jungle) but stepping inside the Garden is like none other. Gives you chills. Since I’ve been to the Garden more recently I’m calling myself a Rangers fan.
Game 1: Thurs., April 16 Pittsburgh @ New York, 5:00 pm MT
Game 2: Sat., April 18 Pittsburgh @ New York, 6:00 pm MT
Game 3: Mon., April 20 New York @ Pittsburgh, 5:00 pm MT
Game 4: Wed., April 22 New York @ Pittsburgh, 5:00 pm MT
Game 5*: Fri., April 24 New York @ Pittsburgh, TBD
Game 6*: Sun., April 26 New York @ Pittsburgh, TBD
Game 7*: Tues., April 28 New York @ Pittsburgh, TBD
New York: 3-0-1
LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THEY ARE YAY TEAMMATES AND SPORTS that’s over now. I’ll sum it up like this: Pittsburgh has two of the best players in the league, but are also the lowest scoring team in the playoffs. The Rangers have scoring depth to the moon and back. Seven Blue Shirt forwards had over 45 points this year. Seven. Good lord.
The Penguins actually have a pretty steady back six when healthy. But they’re not. See those two guys sitting on the bench together being all fun and doing hockey? That’s Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang, the two best Penguins defenseman, both injured. Stud defenseman Olli Maatta, also injured. Derrick Pouliot? You know the drill. The Pens are so hurt on the point former Oilers bust Taylor Chorney is forced to play big minutes for the Steel City. Some guy named Brian Dumoulin is listed as their sixth oh ok that’s interesting. Ben Lovejoy is currently their number two. Ben Lovejoy. I’m not even going to go into detail on who the Rangers defenseman are, because their number two defenseman is a lot better than Ben Lovejoy.
If the Rangers struggled anywhere in the regular season, it was on the power play. They were worse than the Oilers on the man advantage. You never want to be worse than the Oilers at anything. They both had strong PKs, but for the sake of giving the Penguins as edge at anything in this series:
I’d say Henrik Lundqvist’s health, but Cam Talbot’s even a better goalie than Fleury. So let’s say Sidney Crosby. He’s the best player in the world for a reason. By no means is it his fault the Penguins are where they are, but he will have to be Godlike for the Pens to stand a chance in this series. He’s fully capable too. I’d readily willing to completely write the Pens off against the Rangers here, but if that guy and Malkin catch fire the Pens are just as good as anybody in this league.
Snash: Rangers in 4
Hank: Rangers in 6
Teeps: Rangers in 5
Peens: Penguins in 7
Bold move by the rookie. Very bold.