I'm not one for fantasy predictions or simulations of what might be but this Ranger team makes me so proud I look ahead to what could be our most successful post season in decades. As we all know, anything can happen in the play offs and an 8th seed can knock out the #1 seed causing an upset. Hell, did't we all hope for that last year?
This year, however, unless there is a monumental collapse or key personnel injuries, the Rangers will be entering the play offs as one of the favorites to go deep. I am a superstitious hockey fan so I will never attempt to predict my team winning the Holy Grail, just like I never utter the words shut-out before a game is complete. Having said that, I have compiled this fun play off projection based on my belief (read: hope) and current rating of this Ranger team as well as the present NHL standings and form of most teams.
East standings & seeds going into the play offs West standings & seeds going into play offs
1. NY Rangers 1. Detroit
2. Boston 2. Vancouver
3. Washington 3. San Jose
4. Pittsburgh 4. St. Louis
5. Philadelphia 5. Nashville
6. New Jersey 6. Los Angeles
7. Ottawa 7. Chicago
8. Florida 8. Calgary
East 1st round of play offs West 1st round of play offs
NY Rangers defeat Florida Detroit defeat Calgary
Boston defeat Ottawa Vancouver defeat Chicago
Pittsburgh defeat Philadelphia San Jose defeat Los Angeles
New Jersey defeat Washington St. Louis defeat Nashville
East 2nd round of play offs West 2nd round of play offs
NY Rangers defeat New Jersey Detroit defeat St. Louis
Boston defeat Pittsburgh Vancouver defeat San Jose
East Conference Finals West Conference Finals
NY Rangers defeat Boston Detroit defeat Vancouver
Stanley Cup Finals
Detroit defeat NY Rangers
Now, before you call me a heathen & yee of no faith, I did state earlier I don't want to jinx the Rangers. Also, I believe the Red Wings are stacked, have scoring threats, are good on D, have a good (young) goalie, are well coached & most importantly play off experienced. Their window is this year with some vets about to retire or about to experience the inevitable slide down the career spiral. (Lidstrom, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Franzen, Kronwall). Finally, the Rangers hard style of play will finally take its toll on them and they may come up just a hair short.
I for one would be satisfied if they made a run to the finals. Would I love for them to drink from the Cup? Of course, but if it doesn't happen this year I really feel they could tweak the line-up and make another run at it the next year. And let's all be honest here - did anyone think at the beginning of the season we could win the Cup this year?