Me too. I think we get hammered by any other team in the playoffs. If they can't shake this fatigue, that is. If they come with the team that played in October, November, and just prior to the Olympic break, I think we could do some damage.
Yeah, Shadow. Although I'm not convinced that we can't beat New Jersey or Buffalo. I'd just rather face John Grahame and Gerald Coleman (if Burke is still hurt) than Miller and Biron, or Marty Brodeur.
Immediately, I don't think a series against NJ is anymore beneficial to us than it is to them. However, a low-travel series such as NYR vs. NJD would benefit the winner greatly, in comparison to say the winner of an Ottawa vs. Tampa series, or Carolina vs. Montreal.
Another scattered comment, not really to do with anything else I mentioned: I see Buffalo as a team very much like the Rangers right now. They've showed several forms over the season, and if they can build some momentum heading into late April, they'll be a force - the same can be said for the Rags. They're similar in a lot of ways, really: great young goaltenders; unheralded, yet effecitve defense; positionally disciplined; excellent special teams; etc.
The fan in me would like to see New Jersey, however. Lets get some of that old bad blood going.
Lets keep this thread close to the top until the first round is over.
That wasn't meant to be a cheap dig at your team. You never know what happens in the playoffs, but I think you'll agree that between Ottawa, Carolina and your goodselves, you are looking like the team that's less likely to walk the series 4-0.
Carolina/Montreal, I don't know about Carolina... They have alot of points, but they play in the weakest division in the East and the pressure of playing a Montreal team in the playoffs should test what they are made of.
We've been their bithces for some time now, so we'll probably just bend over and take it up the arse.
I got a bad feeling about facing Montreal in the first round, hot goaltender, hockey hot bed, fanatic following, and a pretty balanced lineup when healthy.
As for NJ: I think we have a better chance beating them in seven, but it would definitely take a physical toll on our lineup.
If I had the choice I'd say Tampa. They're very well coached but they're not the same team that won the cup, and the league is different now regardless. We trump them in goaltending and desire I'd say.
One team I really, really would not want to play in the 1st round would be Atlanta. If they make it (and it would take some heroics at this point), I see them as a real sleeper.
they likely would've ran the table through the end of the season and could be out of gas come playoff time. Still not sold on their defense. I would see an early exit from them, but it's a longshot for them to make the playoffs.
Tampa or the Devs. While I don't share the confidence a lot of people are showing going against the Devs, I see a lot of positive things that could come with a 1st round victory over them. I think it would give an amazing boost and confidence to this team, and it would be a great learning experience for the youngsters.