Usually I would do a complete breakdown of all the aspects of the two teams, with super in depth analysis, in this case, I’m just going to keep things short and sweet:
Coaching–>Rangers (though Oates is a very good coach)
How the Rangers can win–>The Rangers have really only 1 chance to win this series. They CAN NOT play the 6 goalie system as they did in the playoffs last year against the Caps. The Caps, thankfully, tried to do the same back to us and it led to a lot of even play in that series, this go around, the Caps will push the pace, and against the 6 goalie system that can lead to LONG stretches of being trapped in your own zone, it leads to your goalie having to single handedly win you games, and it leads to…well, a very short, very upsetting series for the Rangers. The way the Rangers will have to win this will be with puck control and getting the puck in deep and forechecking quickly….Carl Hagelin, I’m looking at you. MZA, you too. Our top 2 lines will need their speedsters to cause some havoc with aggressive forecheck causing turnovers. If the Rangers can get in deep, control the puck, make the Caps play in their own zone, and get Staal back early in the series the Rangers will win this in 6.
How the Capitals can win–>If the Capitals can get out of their zone quickly, getting the pucks from the dump ins and turning them up to their forwards while under duress, the Rangers will get swept, or maybe push it to 5 tops. Rangers simply do not have the firepower to go toe to toe with the Caps, even with Nash, Richards, Brassard, Stepan, and Cally. More importantly, we are the injured team, and not having Staal to bail us out will hurt…a lot.
Rangers in 6. I think this team will finally do what they have failed to do for years….actually out offense the other team by playing in the other teams zone.