3 reasons the NY Rangers can fall into a major trap in Round 1

The NY Rangers may be the best team in hockey, but they are facing a Washington Capitals team looking to pull off a major upset.
Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Washington’s goaltending is better than the credit it’s been given

Goaltender Charlie Lindgren will likely be in the net every time the Rangers face the Capitals in Round 1, and he won’t be easy to beat. A late-bloomer, Lindgren still has just 110 appearances in the eight years in which he’s played NHL games. Before his unprecedented season with the Capitals, Lindgren appeared in just 60 contests, winning 28 of them and posting a 0.906 save percentage with a 2.69 GAA and two shutouts. 

Overall, these aren’t bad numbers, but they’re nothing worthy of a 1A or No. 1 goaltender. That changed in 2023-24 when he won 25 games in 50 appearances and logged a 0.911 save percentage, a 2.67 GAA, and six shutouts, proving to everyone he is a playoff-worthy goaltender. 

He also won two of his three starts against the Rangers, shutting them out on December 9th in a game when he saved all 31 shots on goal. He allowed a grand total of four goals against the Blueshirts in the two subsequent contests, making 54 saves on 58 shot attempts. Do the math, and Lindgren had a 0.955 save percentage against the Rangers, saving 85 shots on 89 attempts. 

Overall, the Rangers must figure out Lindgren if they’re not interested in the Presidents’ Trophy winner going one-and-done for two seasons in a row.