New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals: Speed vs. Size


The great debate of speed vs. size in the NHL should be on display in this 2nd round matchup between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

The 2nd round series of the 2014-15 NHL postseason between the
New York Rangers and
Washington Capitals will be an intense matchup of speed vs. size.

The Rangers have the speed while the Capitals have the size.

When someone mentions the Rangers’ speed, the two names that immediately jump out at you are Chris Kreider and
Carl Hagelin. However, the majority of the Rangers’ starting lineup has above average speed, which the utilize to create offense and win games.

When someone mentions the Capitals’ size, the first thought that immediately follows is their hitting game and overall physicality.  So far this postseason, the Capitals have two players in the top 10 with over 30 hits each, one of them being their leading goal scorer in Alexander Ovechkin, while the Rangers’ postseason hit leader thus far is J.T. Miller with 19 hits.  By the way, there are a total of 6 Capitals with more hits than the Rangers’ postseason hit leader in Miller.

So obviously one can see the difference in the two teams’ style of play.  While the Rangers have literally no physical presence in their starting lineup, they use their speed advantage to win games.  The Capitals on the other hand, while they may not out skate most teams in the league, they use their size advantage to win games by hitting and wearing down the opposition.

But with the Rangers and Capitals now facing each other in the 2nd round of the playoffs, one style of play will ultimately have to beat out the other.  In my opinion, with the way the NHL is today, speed should beat size, however, the Rangers always seem to struggle against teams with size, with the Boston Bruins being a prime example.

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The good news for the Rangers is that they were able to advance past the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1st round of the playoffs in just 5 games while the Capitals won a grueling 7 game 1st round series vs. another very physical team in the New York Islanders.  So for the Rangers’ sake, hopefully the Capitals are worn out from their tough 7 game series against the Islanders and the Rangers are well rested from being off for 6 days and can take advantage by utilizing their speed throughout this 2nd round series, which by the way starts later tonight in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden.

Nevertheless, if the Capitals are not feeling any effects of their 1st round series against the Islanders, then the Rangers may be in trouble this series.  But, with all of that being said, we will not find out who wins in this speed vs. size matchup until the games are actually played.

Next: New York Rangers: Jesper Fast Anticipated to Improve Offense

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