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11-08-2013, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by McRanger View Post
There is no such thing as a 5th-8th finish anymore. The playoffs are set up within the division until the conference final against the Atlantic. If we land in the second spot in the Metro our path to the conference final is likely Capitals/Islanders and then Pittsburgh. There is nothing but injuries keeping this team from another shot at the ECF.

People seem to have rosier memories of the '12 playoffs than I do. We had to play elimination games against the 8th and 7th seeds. Actually we had to play 2 against the 8th seed. Getting to play the 8th, 7th and 6th seeds, none of them particularly good teams, the Rangers should have gotten to the cup finals well rested.

But the team looked beat up and exhausted. Opposing coaches were able to exploit our game plan with relative ease. Same story in pretty much every playoff series in recent memory.

The sad reality is that the Rangers have not "controlled" a playoff series since they beat the Devils in '08.
This team is probably closer to finishing 5th to 8th in the conference in points than it is in the top 4. I disagree that injuries is what is holding us back from another ECF. Even when healthy, this roster would have a very difficult time beating Pitt. Wednesday's win doesn't change that.

There are still a lot of question marks on this roster. Hagelin and Kreider have played well but can they keep it up? When is Nash coming back and how will he play when he returns? Can Callahan stay healthy? Brassard, Pouliot, and Zucc are inconsistent and streaky, can they be relied upon? As good as McDonagh has been, our other defensemen have been pretty bad offensively. Another thing that concerns me is whether the Rangers have enough grit up and down the roster to battle through the playoffs.

So far as 2012 goes, regardless of the fact they didn't dominate as much as some would have liked, it still remains our best regular season and the furthest we have gone in the playoffs in the Sather era. The expectation that they could have built on that or at least replicated that is not unreasonable.

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