Honestly, Horton and McCabe getting injured in 08-09 had just as much if not more to do with team's tailspin at the end of the season than the Boynton incident. I feel like that is often overplayed. But it's no secret that DeBoer butted heads with some veteran players. Maybe he just needed to get some experience under his belt and now he is better for it in NJ. In any case, I think he needed to be removed and I agree with Tallon, Dineen is a better personality for this team and where it has to go, more laidback and obviously you'd have more respect for him as a player right off the bat considering what he did in the NHL. Pete isn't a horrible coach. I wish him no ill will at all. I really don't care about the DeBoer aspect of it.
Obviously, the answer here is the Devils. We'd be out in 4 vs. the Rangers, maybe 5. First of all, Lundqvist has been maybe the best goalie in the league this season. Defense and goaltending wins in the playoffs. The Rangers have a lot of gritty, hardworking forwards that would make life miserable for us. In Torts' system, if you don't block shots and backcheck, you don't play. They'd shut us down and it'd be ugly. In almost all our games vs. them this season they made us look so bad, they just systematically dismantled us.
The Devils aren't that much better than we are. They are where they are because of a lot of SO wins. They have a real weakness, unlike the Rangers, which is their defense. If we can get all over their D and keep the play behind their net for most of the series, and stay out of the box, we can beat them. It wouldn't be easy, but definitely feasible, and if not I think we could still take them to 6 or 7 games easily. Even if we lose in round 1, more home games means more playoff revenue which means possibly a better product iced next season.
I would rather play the Devils ten times more than the Rangers. I think against the Devils, it would be an excellent and very even series because we are similar teams with a similar style of play. I'd estimate that it would go to 6 or 7 games no matter who would win the series. I have no hate at all for Deboer and felt horrible for him when he was canned. He was never given a legitimate chance with a decent team to succeed. However, I do understand why Dineen replaced him as he's a better choice for the type of team that we have. I think if we matched up against the Rangers, we would be lucky to win more than a game. They have a bunch of guys that always play their hearts out and have argurably one of the best goaltenders in the game. I'm really hoping for a Caps loss or at least a point from us tomorrow.