As I logged into my ESPN.com account to find my unbeatable fantasy team, I noticed a video regarding the eastern conference playoffs. But somewhere in the middle of it, the words were uttered (and I'm paraphrasing here), "the Washington Capitals should have no problem with the New York Rangers." Wait, WHAT?! Are the Washington Capitals that good, or are the Rangers that bad? (Both answers are a vehement "no.")
The Capitals may be a dangerous team in certain aspects of the game, but, at least in my opinion, they carry the worst goalie in the 2009 playoffs, aside from Chris no-good. Yes, for all the bandwagon hockey fans, they do have an awe-inspiring player in Alexander Ovechkin, along with Backstrom, Semin, Green, etc, etc. Although they have a sparkling offense, offense isn't everything.
In fact, I'm fairly sure there is a saying that goes something like this: "offense sells tickets, defense wins championships." How true is this statement; you have constant promotion of players like Ovechkin as the best or the epitome of talent in the modern hockey world, but the stronger, harder-playing enforcers and rarely scoring defenseman don't get a shot at any advertising or attention? Why does Mike Green get all this praise for being an outstanding defenseman? He is the equivalent of a forward playing defense: he has a great wrist shot and slap shot, but he is not as up to par on defense as he should be, considering he's a defenseman.
Sure, I can take Nikolai Zherdev and allocate him to defense, although he would be a horrible defensive style defenseman; if he scores goals and assists, he will still be considered great.
This brings me back to the current match-up. If the Blueshirts can score consistently, both on the power play and even strength, and can get strong goal-tending from King Henrik, then this may well be the year of fortune for the New York Rangers.
What do you think it will take the Rangers to finally get deep in the playoffs?
Personally, I say Rangers win in 6.