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What to know ahead of Rangers-Canadiens playoff series
Here’s one thing to count cheap patriots jerseys on: The Rangers-Canadiens first-round series that begins Wednesday will have a long way to go to match the drama, twists and turns of the Eastern Conference finals in May 2014.
Carey Price was knocked out for the series on a controversial play when Chris Kreider collided with the goalie in Game 1, the entire Rangers team attended the funeral for Marty St. Louis’ mother the next day, and the Rangers won Game 2 behind 40 saves from Henrik Lundqvist to sweep the visit to Bell Centre. In Game 3, former Ranger Brandon Prust’s hit broke Derek Stepan’s jaw and Dan Carcillo, trying to retaliate, was suspended for making contact with an official. Oh, and the Canadiens won in overtime.
On the day off, Montreal coach Michel Therrien (who was fired this past February) ordered three Rangers staffers out of the Habs’ practice, citing a gentleman’s agreement not to spy. In Game 4, St. Louis beat Dustin Tokarski in overtime to give the Blueshirts a 3-1 series lead. The Canadiens responded in Game 5 by chasing Lundqvist with four goals on 19 shots. Stepan returned wearing a protective mask and scored twice in the 7-4 loss. In Game 6, Dominic Moore, who had not played in the 2012-13 season in order to care for his wife, Katie, who died of liver cancer, scored the only goal as the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
Many of the notable figures from three years ago — on both teams — are not there anymore: St. Louis wholesale jerseys, Brad Richards, Derick Brassard, Carl Hagelin, Moore, Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and Cam Talbot. Therrien was fired and replaced by former Bruins coach Claude Julien; defenseman P.K. Subban was traded to Nashville for Shea Weber, and Lars Eller, Thomas Vanek, Daniel Briere, Brian Gionta, Dale Weise, Tokarski and Prust are elsewhere.
The Rangers have three new defensemen (Brady Skjei, Nick Holden and Brendan Smith) in their top six, and are younger and quicker up front with Mika Zibanejad, Michael Grabner, Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich. Note: Kevin Hayes (17-32-49) and Jesper Fast did not play in the 2014 series and J.T. Miller skated in only one game. The Canadiens have new blood, as well.
Stepan has turned the page on 2014 and referred to this season’s games. “You look at the three games we lost [to the Canadiens],” Stepan said. “We lost one in a shootout. We lost one in Montreal where we gave up, I think it was, two goals in a span of 50 seconds [actually, it was three in 62] . . . I think we’re two evenly matched teams. It’s going to be a heck of a series. The two buildings are phenomenal buildings to play in the playoffs. You’re going to see physical, speed, goaltending. You’re going to see it all.”
The Rangers lead the NHL in road wins, but Bell Centre is a bear Wholesale Sports Jerseys Authentic. Conversely, they have not played well at home, especially in late February and March and are 20-16-4 . . . Under Julien, the Habs are 15-6-1. “They’re a well-coached team,” Nash said. “They’re going to play a good system. They’ve got a lot of speed, a lot of skill, some heavy guys on the back end and great goaltending. We’re going to have our hands full.”
Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
In what is slated to be a series headlined by elite goaltending, the Montreal Canadiens will take on the New York Rangers in the first wholesale nba jerseys round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Despite putting up a strong 102-point season, the Rangers were boxed out of a top three finish in highly-talented Metropolitan Division and finished with the first Wild Card spot. Facing them is the Atlantic Division-winning Montreal Canadiens who bested the Rangers’ point total by one. However, New York is probably happy to sacrifice home-ice advantage to finish outside of the Metro. A series win against Montreal would lead to an even easier second round opponent with the winner of the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins best-of-seven waiting for Blue Shirts.
The Rangers had the edge in the latest of playoff meetings between these two teams, defeating the Habs in six games during the 2014 Eastern Conference Final. However, the Canadiens won all three regular season matchups this year and will be looking for revenge three years removed from being denied a shot at the Cup, this time, with their top goaltender in net.
Canadiens fans will quickly remember how nike soccer jerseys a collision with Rangers forward Chris Kreider in Game 1 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Final sidelined Carey Price for the rest of the series. Interestingly enough, it’s Kreider who led New York in goals this season with 28 and will be a huge factor in the series once again. Meanwhile, Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist has struggled to find consistency against the Canadiens, posting a collective 14-17-3 against the team in all regular season matchups.
Outside of goal, the similarities between the two teams end. The Rangers feature a deep offense as head coach Alain Vigneault relies on three balanced lines to put the puck in the back of the net. However, the Rangers lack a strong defensive presence beyond Ryan McDonagh who has just returned from injury.
On the blue line is where the Canadiens are at their strongest, featuring a shutdown pair of Shea Weber and Andrei Markov. Under head coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens are allowing half a goal fewer per game than they were under Michel Therrien. Furthermore, the Canadiens went from being the most-penalized team in the NHL to the least penalized from when Julien took over. To find success, the Rangers will need to capitalize on power play chances that will likely come few and far between.
Montreal went 16-7-1 to close out the year once Julien took over as head coach, earning the Atlantic Division title with a five-point cushion. The team will also be getting a boost with the returns of Weber and Jordie Benn to the lineup after missing the last two weeks of the regular season with injuries. Aside from Alexei Emelin, who will miss game one with a lower-body injury, the Canadiens are largely healthy entering postseason play and could be a favorite to reach the Eastern Conference Final once again.
New York limped into the playoffs, posting a 8-9-4 record from the end of February to drop nfl mobile deal out of contention for a spot in the Metro. The Rangers wisely rested their banged-up talent such as Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello in the final week of the regular season while McDonagh returned to the lineup for the final game. New York is also entering the playoffs without one of its best postseason performers in Derick Brassard who scored 18 goals in 59 playoff games the last four seasons.
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