Metro New York and Metro News Ottawa teamed up for a point-counterpoint with one simple question: Who wins the first round match-up between the Rangers and Senators?
Let the trash talk begin!
Managing Editor Metro Ottawa
No one thought the Ottawa Senators would get this far. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
The Senators will beat the Rangers. Our defense is bigger and better and, although this is a matter of opinion, the Sens generally are faster and tougher.
Ottawa won the season series with New York. The best predictor of future behaviour is the past. Our guys play well in Madison Square Gardens for some reason.
The Rangers have more to worry about than the Jason Spezza. There’s Eric Karlsson with 78 points and Milan Michalek with 35 goals this season. And don’t forget Mr. Experience, our team captain Daniel Alfredsson.
It isn’t the regular season any more; it’s the playoffs sure. And there’s a lot to be said for having players who have experience playing in them. But it’s not all what happens on the ice, it’s also what happens behind the bench.
Our coach, Paul MacLean, has a cooler head than John Tortorella and a much, much, much cooler moustache.
Overall the Sens have been surprising all season and there’s no reason they should stop in the playoffs.
Sports Editor Metro New York
Two words describe the reason why the Rangers will beat the Senators: King Henrik. We all know the Stanley Cup playoffs put a premium on goaltending. So why not go with the best in the NHL -- Henrik Lundqvist. If you can find his miniscule goals against average it will read 1.97 with eight shutouts. Both are tops in the Eastern Conference. I tried looking for Craig Anderson's GAA, but I fell asleep when I got to 30th.
I know, I know, Jason Spezza! 3-1 in the regular season! Sorry, this isn't the regular season anymore. This is the playoffs and the playoffs reward good goaltending, physical defense and balanced scoring -- also known as the “Jeopardy!” answer to “What are the New York Rangers?”
When Stu Bickel, Brandon Prust and the boys are done roughing up Spezza, have fun watching Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Brad Richards go to work. The talent just keeps on coming.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.