Two seasons ago when the New York Rangers fell to the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, you could tell the Rangers wore down in the end due to them having to play 14 games to get through the first two rounds of the playoffs that season. Despite being a No. 1 seed in the 2011-12 season, it took the Rangers the full seven games, even having to come back from 3-2 down, in the 1st round against the Ottawa Senators, and then another seven games to defeat the Washington Capitals in the second round. That Rangers team was highly criticized for having a lack of killer instinct to put teams away quickly, and the same is occurring this season right now.
The 2011-12 Rangers were lucky to have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals that year, and though the Rangers’ goal this season is to get back to the 3rd round and then some, their consistent lack of a killer instinct will ultimately be their undoing yet again, only this time,it could happen a lot sooner. Try next week for example.
The 2011-12 Rangers played an easier opponent in the Senators in the 1st round that year, but this season, the Rangers are currently facing the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1st round, with the series tied at 2 and Game 5 at noon this afternoon. The Flyers this season are a way better 1st round opponent than the Senators were two years ago, but with the Rangers’ same lack of killer instinct, I feel the Flyers will win this series and eliminate the Rangers in the 1st round.
Even with the changes in head coach, from John Tortorella to now Alain Vigneault, and players, from Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov to now Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello, the names might have all changed, but the Rangers’ soft mentality and their inability to go for the kill are still present.
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