Yes, the New York Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games in the first round of the 2013-14 NHL playoffs. Yes, the Rangers are now coming off of an impressive Game 1 win in Pittsburgh over the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking a 1-0 series lead in the second round. The Rangers’ bandwagon is seemingly starting to grow, and has even reached NHL analysts, but the die-hards and casual fans will be disappointed in the end because the Rangers just do not have enough to win the Stanley Cup this season.
The biggest reason as to why the Rangers will not win the Stanley Cup this season is their lack of offense. Heck, this major weakness for the Rangers could very well keep them from advancing past the second round, as the Penguins can easily exploit this weakness and win this series over the Rangers as a result.
The Rangers’ leading point getter this season was Mats Zuccarello with a modest 59 points and their leading goal scorer this season was Rick Nash with a very average 26. This obviously means the Rangers have had pretty balanced scoring all season long, otherwise they would not have made the playoffs, and this is true. But in the playoffs you have to have that player, or players, who assert themselves and come up big in the clutch, and the Rangers just do not have that.
In my honest opinion, as a Rangers fan myself, if the Rangers can somehow defeat the Penguins in this best of seven second-round series, then the fans should treat this as their Stanley Cup victory because the absolute furthest this Rangers team can go is the third round. The Rangers could possibly upset the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs, even though it will be an extremely tough task, in which the Rangers could easily find themselves going home by series end, but even if they do get by the Penguins, there is just no way they could upset either the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins’ size, defense, goaltending and scoring proved to be too much for the Rangers in the regular season and will in the playoffs, if the teams do end up meeting each other, and the Canadiens’ speed and home ice advantage proved to be too much for the Rangers in the regular season and will in the playoffs as well.
Now anything can happen, of course, but in my opinion, the Rangers even getting to the Stanley Cup Finals, never mind winning it all, is a long shot at best.