Hurricanes coach on Rangers: ‘What don’t they have?’

Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour might be trying to butter up the New York Rangers with some recent comments ahead of their Eastern Conference Second Round series. When asked about facing the Blueshirts, the well-regarded bench boss didn’t hesitate to heap praise.

“What don’t they have? They’re the best team in the League,” he exclaimed on Wednesday.

To be fair, the Rangers did finish with 55 wins and 114 points to claim the Presidents’ Trophy as the best regular-season team. They also dispatched the Washington Capitals in four games being the first team to advance the Stanley Cup Playoffs last Sunday.

“We know what they are all about,” Brind’Amour said via The Athletic. “They’ve got immense talent and coached really well with good goaltending. We know it’s going to be a tough matchup, but it would be anywhere. You get into the final eight, they’re all going to be tough.”

Related: Jacob Trouba dismisses underdog talk

Rod Brind’Amour calls Rangers “best team in the League”

NHL: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

While the compliment is nice, no one on the Rangers is going to put too much stock into Brind’Amour’s words. And it’s not like the Hurricanes are a wild card team that squeaked into the playoffs like the Capitals. Quite the contrary, they finished third overall in the standings with 111 points.

“They’re fast,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. “They close fast, they move the puck quick, they throw a lot of pucks at the net. It’s just fast hockey. They’ll swarm at times. They can get going and you’ve just got to keep your cool in your own zone at times, get the puck out, live to fight another day. But they come in waves. They’re good in the [defensive] zone, they control the puck in the offensive zone and they get a lot of looks at the net.”

On paper, the two teams are pretty evenly matched, but there’s an underlying storyline that should pique plenty of interest. Brind’Amour played for Peter Laviolette and was his captain for the Hurricanes team that won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

When asked about his former pupil, Laviolette passed his own level of praise after Rangers practice on Thursday.

“From his own personal life to the way he played the game, to the way he practiced, and the details to how he executed on the ice, he’s just a detailed person in general,” Laviolette explained.

Game 1 of this series will open at Madison Square Garden. No official date or start time has been announced.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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