Sunday, April 12, 2009

Here Come The Rangers

As a result of Penguin Scum defeating the Montreal Canadiens last night, the Washington Capitals will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The schedule will be released later today but in the meantime, this is the fifth time the Caps and Rangers have met in the playoff and the first time since the Rangers ended their 54 year Cup drought in 1994. The four previous series are split at 2 a piece with the Caps winning in 1991 and 1990 and the Rangers winning in 1994 and 1986. Even the 22 total playoff games between the teams are tied at 11 a piece. The Caps have outscored the Rangers, 75-71 and the Caps are 6-4 at home and 5-7 on the road in the playoffs against the Rangers.

The Caps won the season series this year 3-1 with the lone Rangers win coming via the gimmick on February 11th in Madison Square Garden. The Caps staged a huge comeback in the Garden down 4-0 to win in overtime 5-4 on December 23rd. That accounts for the Caps 7-3 edge in the standings points between the two teams.

Though all four games took place before Head CoachTom Renney was dismissed on February 23rd, 2009 and replaced with John Tortorella. You might remember him, he coached the Ning in 2003 when the refs beat us in the playoffs that year. Tortorella took over a 31-30 club with 69 points in the standings and now has them 42-39 with 93 points heading into their finale today with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, 10 of those wins are due to the Rangers 10-6 record in the gimmick, the most gimmick wins in the NHL this season. The Rangers also added the notorious Sean Avery to their lineup on March 3rd. At the trade deadline the next day they then added Nik Antropov and Derek Morris at the cost of Dmitri Kalnin, Nigel Dawes, and Petr Prucha.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens meet again for the second consecutive year in the 1-8 matchup with seeds reversed this time. The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes go at it in the 3-6 series after yesterday's 3-2 Devils win over the Hurricanes in New Jeresey. The 4-5 series will be the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguin Scum however, home ice will be determined by today's Flyers-Rangers game with Philly needing no more than a Bettman point to clinch home ice for that series.

Out West, the only series setup so far is the 4-5 where the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Calgary Flames. The St. Louis Blues-Colorado Avalanche game today will determine the rest of the pairings. St. Louis has to win in order for them to face the Vancouver Canucks as the 6th seed. That would make the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets the 2-7 series and the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Thug Ducks the 1-8. Should St. Louis lose in any fashion, they will face the Sharks as the 8th seed while Detroit will get Anaheim and Vancouver gets Columbus.

As we did last year folks, we'll step things up and make sacrifices for the playoffs. We'll have a post for you about this series every morning. We'll also read Larry Brooks so you don't have to. If our old friend Lar' says anything worth responding to, you can rest assured that we will do it. That means if we don't respond, it isn't worth responding to. Finally folks remember,

It's not just hockey... IT'S PLAYOFF HOCKEY!!!

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