Playoff season is in full swing in the NHL and teams are battling it out on the ice to see who moves on to the next round of playoffs. The New York Rangers look to clinch the series tonight, at home, against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 3-1 series in favor of the Rangers so far. But a few miles east at Nassau Coliseum the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals are getting ready to head to game 6 on Saturday with the Caps up 3-2 in the series. But who should the Rangers root for?
It is in Rangers’ fan nature to root against the Islanders no matter who they are playing, but are the New York Rangers ready to host the Washington Capitals in a round 2 match up? The Caps are a hot team right now, winning the last game 5-1 against the Isles and taking the last two games at the Coliseum to OT. Both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have goals in three of the five games, Backstrom credited with a Power Play Goal as well. Good news about Washington is that they take some of the fewest penalties out of the teams left in Playoffs now meaning that the dreadful Rangers Power Play won’t be seen much. Also, the Rangers beat the Caps three out of the four regular season games. The Rangers speed would be a great advantage against the Caps but Ovetchkin seems to hurt players when we play then, like Kevin Klein‘s arm injury on March 11, and we want to avoid any injuries in the post season.
If the Isles take the series against the Caps, it will be World War III in New York, with the Isles last season in the Coliseum and the New York Rangers journey to reclaim the cup. The Isles have played well against the Rangers in the regular season with three wins for the Isles and two for the Rangers during the five games they met. However, the last two games where the Rangers and Isles met, the Rangers played great and won. The Rangers are more than capable of beating the Isles but the Isles are equally as capable of bringing the series to seven. A round two series against the Isles would be great for location, being able to go to both home and away games turning both arenas into war zones. The best and worse thing about an Isles Rangers series would be the rivalry and history between the two teams. Yes, it’s a great rivalry with great history and insanely intense arena atmosphere, but personally the battles between Rangers and Islander fans on twitter are already tense and frequent, I couldn’t handle an entire series between the two.
The New York Rangers need to handle the Pens tomorrow and close out the series before looking ahead to any round two teams, but which ever team they face, the New York Rangers are capable of beating any team when they focus and play the way we know the boys can.