NHL Network Manager – Randy Holt
This is a series with a pair of surprise teams. We knew that the New York Rangers would be improved, but few predicted them to take the Eastern Conference in such simple fashion. They almost ran away with the division, mostly thanks to the play of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who could very well walk away with the Vezina Trophy this summer. They have a potent offensive attack, led by Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, as well as a strong group of blue liners in Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, and Michael Del Zotto.
The Ottawa Senators are a team that few expected to be anywhere near a postseason berth in their current rebuild, but they’ve shocked the world, and almost walked away with a Northwest Division title. Their biggest asset is on the blue line, with All Star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who could be the favorite for the Norris Trophy. He’s posted big time points and has been fantastic this year. They even have what it takes between the pipes, with Craig Anderson holding down the crease. However, this is a team that simply does not have the talent to keep up with New York. They’re up and coming, and have the young talent to be a very good team in the East very soon, there’s just too much talent overall on the New York side.
Prediction: New York in 5.