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The Inevitable Matchup Is Here - Rangers Set To Take On The Mighty Bruins...Wait, What?

Well, this is awkward. I thought getting swept by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals was a foregone conclusion? What a difference a couple days makes. Instead, we’ve got a different pair of Original Sixers squaring off for a shot at the best trophy in sports. I actually kinda like the Canadiens. I’d love to have PK Subban in Rangers blue & Prust was a fan favorite during his time in NY. And honestly, how could any Blueshirts fan hate the team who took on Scott Gomez & gave us Ryan McDonagh in the process? From my perspective, there’s no animosity here. Not yet.

These two squads are almost carbon copies of each other. Neither carry an imposing physical reputation & instead rely on team speed. Both have their fair share of dwarfs (Gallagher & Gionta vs St. Louis & Zuccarello) as well as goalies who have been outstanding. Lundqvist was beaten for more than 2 just once while disposing of the Penguins. Price surrendered only one over a pair of must-wins. NY & Montreal mounted comebacks against the top 2 teams in the East & finished the job with road Game 7 victories. It’s all about peaking at the right time in the playoffs, and these two teams have proven just that. So who moves on?

The regular season doesn’t tell much. All three games were shutouts, which Montreal took a pair of. However, one was the Rangers home-opener way back in October & the other was the last game of the regular season where the Blueshirts already had their postseason matchup set. The lone NY win was a November 1-0 shutout by Cam Talbot – all of which carry no weight now. The Habs offense has been clicking, potting well over 3 per & boasting the best playoff power play (26.3%) that’s still dancing. The only team penalized less than the Blueshirts though is Montreal, which is a HUGE plus. AV’s boys can hang with anyone 5-on-5, so the more even strength the better.

I still stubbornly think the Rangers have another level to get to offensively. They’ve gotten this far despite a no-show from their top line, but I refuse to believe that’ll continue for another series. Marty & Step have been in on a goal in each of the last two games, and playing in Montreal will undoubtedly be an emotional boost for St. Louis. As for Rick Nash, he’s been working hard. Guy’s got almost twice as many hits in the playoffs than he had all regular season. If he can get one early, the floodgates will open for him & the Blueshirts should be able to ride the wave to the Prince of Wales Trophy.

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Prediction: Rangers in 6

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