Despite us potentially being a 7 seed this year and a 5th seed last year, this year's team is DEFINITELY more playoff ready than last year.
Now that we've been through it before, we know what to expect. Ortmeyer, Hollweg, Lundqvist, Prucha, Tyutin etc. know what to expect now. They aren't going to be drowning in the intensity of the Devils- Rangers series like last year as they know what to expect (once again, that is if we play them). Last year the goal was to make the playoffs, and we were VERY satisfied with that last year. This year they have to pick it up and advance. Last year we had solid vets in Nylander, Straka Jagr, etc, but this year I really feel like we have the right guys leading us. You can't really ask for a better leader than Shanahan, and Cullen knows what it takes to win the Cup. Although we have a few injuries in Hossa and Tyutin, they aren't really going to be playing hurt. They'll be coming back fresh. Obviously people are banged up, but we don't have any devestating and lasting injuries to players like last year.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend we're bound for the Cup, because we are clearly the underdogs, however this team is VERY ready for the playoffs.
Agree, the total makeup of this team is in a better position.
What i like about this team is very slowly there are new heroes every night. Th ebig players are playing big but one night Avery explodes, another night Nylander gets a big goal, or a Pock, tonight it was Prucha with a huge start to the game. Not to mention Hank on top of his game and no Olympics to drain the team of half of its key players.
This team seems close now, determined, lead. Its nice to see.
I think their confidence is pretty high.
13-2-4 to show for it going in. Would love to be 14-2-4.
bottom line is we are better prepared bc last year we got off to such a great start we laid off the throttle in the last month and limped into the playoffs with terrible gameplay. this year we had to rev it up and bc of that the team is sharp, and they have accomplished something allot of people didnt think they had a chance to last month... this year we are the hot team going into the playoffs
Last year an Olympics-worn Rangers steam stumbled down the stretch into the 6th seed. Jagr and Lundqvist got them to the playoffs almost alone, but with them hurting and no one else ready to step up, they were swept.
This year, the Rangers played incredible down the stretch (despite numerous injuries), tightened up defensively, and were helped by the additions of Shanahan & Cullen, traded for Avery & Mara, and got contibutions from youngsters Callahan, Girardi, and Pock.
The biggest improvement is having second and third lines that can score and also have some grit.
Looking forward to see what this team can do in the playoffs, with Lundqvist on a roll, Jagr playing better and better, and with Shanahan, Tyutin (and hopefully Hossa) getting back to full speed.
Not many expected the Rangers to make the playoffs last year, and there were many vicious doubters down the stretch this year, but they again proved the skeptics wrong!
Last edited by Czech Your Math: 04-05-2007 at 11:15 PM.
I agree...if there were no olympics last year, this team would have made a run..but clearly this is a MUCH more well-rounded team this year. And the momentum isn't even close...I know the playoffs are a different animal than the regular season, but you simply can't say enough about momentum and state of mind at the end of the season going towards the Playoffs.
This year: More physical meaning more playoff ready, have already been involved in some playoff-like games, Sean Avery has changed this team's attitude and make-up, Henrik is playing like the best goalie in the world, Jagr just got his A game back, and the team is on a hot streak
Last year: 1 or 2 guys who would throw hits...lost their game late in the 2nd half and never really played playoff hockey, no trades to spark them, Henrik playing well but certainly not like he has now, Jagr was starting to lose his touch before he got hurt, and the team was cold
Last Year we limped into the playoffs Injured
This Year we surged in from 12th place after everyone counted us out
Last Year was all about Jagr and 123 points
This Year is about offensive threats from three lines
Last Year was the Chezch Connection
This Year is about the melting pot
Last Year was about Prucha and Lundy showing us the future
This Year is about Girardi and Callahan showing us even more
Last Year we hit a Red Hot Devils Team in the first round