Road to Glory
Despite the first round being a rather coin-flip series, New York’s road to the final may not be as difficult as some of the other teams that are looking at their potential road to Lord Stanley. New Jersey is a difficult team to beat but in the complete fantasy world where they lose to the Rangers in round one and New York progresses. This road to Lord Stanley is a lot more friendly than you think.
In round two, they would either get the Carolina Hurricanes or the New York Islanders. Both teams have had injuries ravage their top six, and both teams have seen goal-scoring dry up. Both have a great defensive structure but you wouldn’t say that either team is a clear favorite against the Rangers. I would actually argue the winner of the Devils-Rangers series should be the favorite, even if the division-winning Canes come out of that series.
So, let’s say that the Rangers progress through there too. They’re into round three. They’d play whoever survived between the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Lightning, and Panthers. Obviously, Boston has set records this year, but that is a team on the older side. If it’s any of the others, I’d flat-out say the Rangers are the better team. There’s a path to the finals for the Rangers if they can win this series.
In the Finals, I would take the Rangers over any team in the Western Conference. Regardless of seeding, players, injury status, or anything. If the Rangers look anything remotely like the team they will ice in game one against New Jersey, they should be beating most if not all of the teams that come out of the Western Conference. There are exceptions to the rule, but there’s a chance for the Rangers to win it all.