No McDonagh, No Problem! Rangers over Pittsburgh in 6 and complete 1st round predictions

Marc Staal shutdowns Sidney Crosby (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Marc Staal shutdowns Sidney Crosby (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Here we go! The Rangers took to the ice again and appear eager to get the playoffs going. You have to ask yourself, after a trip to the Final in 2014, a monstrous Presidents’ Trophy finish and ECF exit in 2015, were the Rangers just going through the motions this year?

I’m not trying to make light of the defensive lapses we saw almost all year from this team, but after getting so close twice, maybe they just wanted to get back at it. The only way to know if I’m right will be how they play in game 1 tomorrow night.

McDonagh Might Play In Round 1?

While there is no definitive as to the extent of his hand injury, he practiced today with gloves on and was able to hold his stick with both hands. Alain Vigneault played it coy by saying “There’s a chance he might be able to play at some point”.

 

Henrik Ready to Roar!

It’s never boring in Rangerstown as yesterday, Henrik Lundqvist left practice twice due to illness. Today he told reporters, he will be ready.

[su_quote cite=”Henrik Lundqvist via Blueshirts United” url=”http://www.blueshirtsunited.com/article/healthy-henrik-looking-enjoy-moment?cmpid=nyr-soc-tw”]”Every time you don’t feel 100 percent you don’t know exactly when you’ll feel right again, but today was a good step, a good practice for me,” explained Lundqvist. “I’m confident that tomorrow with another skate I’ll be ready.”
[/su_quote]

Shutting Down Crosby

It looks like (and let the fancy stats bloggers begin to panic) that Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will be paired to stop Sidney Crosby. While, there is certainly a reason to be concerned with the way their regular seasons went, both Girardi and Staal are battle tested warriors and could just shut a few mouths or more this post season.

Eric Staal Will Be the Rangers Secret Weapon

It’s been 6 long years since Eric has tasted post season action and something tells me he is going to give the Penguins fits. While I believe Rick Nash is the key to a Cup and needs to show up immediately, I believe that it will be Eric Staal that does in the Penguins in round 1.

1st Round Predictions

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Capitals over the Flyers in 6

Rangers over Penguins in 6

Panthers over the Islanders in 5

Lightning over Red Wings in 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Stars over Wild in 7

Blackhawks over Blues in 7

Ducks over Predators in 4

Sharks over Kings in 6