With the Stanley Cup Playoffs less than two months away, it is time for the New York Rangers to start thinking about potential playoff opponents. There are definitely some that they wouldn’t mind facing, and at the same time, there are some they would like to avoid. Here’s an assessment of all of the possible team they could meet in the first three rounds of the playoffs. We’ll start with two they would definitely prefer to play..
These two teams are currently in wild card positions, and they’ll probably stay there. New York should be happy to play either of these teams.
The Rangers wouldn’t be too upset if they had to play the Capitals in Round One.
New York played one of their worst games of the season opening night against Washington, but they are a completely different team now; this showed when they blasted the Caps on February 26.
Washington has some flaws: their goaltending is not consistent, their defense has not looked great, and sometimes their only glimpse of offense comes from Alexander Ovechkin. With all these taken into account, the Rangers match up well against Washington and would love to play them Round One.
Since being re-called from a five game stint in the AHL, Jeremy Swayman has looked like a new man. He is second in the league in GAA behind Igor Shesterkin and fourth in save percentage, and overall he has looked great.
Boston also has experience: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and others have all played in big playoff games. This would be a tougher matchup than fans think.
Still, New York should enter as the favorites. They have beaten Boston in both their meetings this season and have the look of a more talented team when the two are on the ice together. Boston has struggled for consistency at times as well, and who knows what Swayman (or Linus Ullmark) will look like in the playoffs?