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As the season winds down and it becomes more clear who will play who in the east I am only left with one question: Can any team beat the New York Rangers. Don't get me wrong I expect them to lose a game or two per series, but I honestly don't feel as though any team can beat them four out of seven times.
 

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First it was Boston, then it was Pittsburgh, now it's the Rangers. It's funny how teams get handed conference titles before the playoffs even start.

The Rangers have had a great regular season, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will carry over into the playoffs. It's pretty likely they'll play either Buffalo or Washington in the first round. Ryan Miller is capable of stealing a playoff series, and the Sabres have been one of the better teams down the stretch. Ovechkin is also capable of carrying a team on his back.

Then you've got teams like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Boston to go through to win the conference. Plus we all know how much the Devils and Rangers hate each other. If they met in the playoffs it would be a war. The road through the East is not as easy as some would like to believe.
 

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rangers are by no means unbeatable, lots of good teams in the east this year.. philly, pens, rangers, and bruins can all make it to the finals. all those teams hate each other so its going to be a fun playoffs!
 

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I really wouldn't be surprised if any of the teams that make the playoffs in the East go to the Final. It's pretty much wide open this year.
 

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Yeah, Boston is built for hte play offs. Big and rugged. Pittsburgh has been amazing since Crosby has been back and even before that. Caps are capable of a lot if they can put it all together for hte play off.s
 

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HF-MOTM Winner - Apr 08
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Yeah, Boston is built for hte play offs. Big and rugged. Pittsburgh has been amazing since Crosby has been back and even before that. Caps are capable of a lot if they can put it all together for hte play off.s
I think you're confused. The Pens are 6-4-1 since Crosby's return and during that time, the power play has only scored 6 goals on 36 attempts (16.7%). Their penalty kill dropped by over 4% since his return.

The team is giving up an average of an entire goal per game more since his return than over the course of the regular season. Part of that is his play with his silly no look behind the back pass to no one in the slot from beside his own net like he did on Sunday against Philly.

The guy has put up a ton of points in a few games since his return, but the overall performance of the team is down across even strength and special teams play. Maybe the offense has picked up since he came back, but at the expense of everything else.

Here's ESPN's power rankings comment about the Pens this week after they dropped 4 spots:
A bit of the bloom is off the rose for the high-flying Penguins as they've lost three of four, including the blown lead at home Sunday and losses in a home-and-home affair with the New York Islanders earlier in the week. Does it mean anything? We'll tell you in about 10 days.
Since his return, the Pens have lost to the Flyers twice, after having leads in both games, lost a home and home to the Islanders (27th worst team in the league), and got spanked 8-4 by Ottawa.

Prior to the first loss against the Flyers, then Pens were on a roll with a 11 straight wins, only 2 of which had Crosby in the lineup. They were cruising toward catching the Rangers. They were 26-13-1 from when he went out in December and returned in March. 26-13-1 = 0.6625% of possible points. 6-4-1 = .5909%.

They simply have not performed at the same level since his return. I'm in no way saying Crosby is the reason, it's just in line with his return. I'd put it on the coaching. Any time you have a guy put up points during his 19 game return that would equate to a 133-point season if he were healthy, and your team performance goes down, something isn't right.
 

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I think you're confused. The Pens are 6-4-1 since Crosby's return and during that time, the power play has only scored 6 goals on 36 attempts (16.7%). Their penalty kill dropped by over 4% since his return.

The team is giving up an average of an entire goal per game more since his return than over the course of the regular season. Part of that is his play with his silly no look behind the back pass to no one in the slot from beside his own net like he did on Sunday against Philly.

The guy has put up a ton of points in a few games since his return, but the overall performance of the team is down across even strength and special teams play. Maybe the offense has picked up since he came back, but at the expense of everything else.

Here's ESPN's power rankings comment about the Pens this week after they dropped 4 spots:


Since his return, the Pens have lost to the Flyers twice, after having leads in both games, lost a home and home to the Islanders (27th worst team in the league), and got spanked 8-4 by Ottawa.

Prior to the first loss against the Flyers, then Pens were on a roll with a 11 straight wins, only 2 of which had Crosby in the lineup. They were cruising toward catching the Rangers. They were 26-13-1 from when he went out in December and returned in March. 26-13-1 = 0.6625% of possible points. 6-4-1 = .5909%.

They simply have not performed at the same level since his return. I'm in no way saying Crosby is the reason, it's just in line with his return. I'd put it on the coaching. Any time you have a guy put up points during his 19 game return that would equate to a 133-point season if he were healthy, and your team performance goes down, something isn't right.
I think part of it may also be by having Crosby back the rest of the players tend to relax more and rely on him. idk it's just something i've noticed with some teams. On my AAA team a couple years back our best player went down for three weeks and we went 4-0-0 in those 3 weeks. We were demolishing other teams 5-1, 6-3, etc. He came back and suddenly we were losing games. Something about losing your best player can bring a team together and have them play for each other.
 

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And the Flyers finally cracked Lundqvist put the game at 4-1. I don't know what it is this year, but the Flyers just struggle with the Rangers the way the Pens struggle with the Flyers. I'm hoping for another comeback like the last two wins over the Pens.
 

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I really hope those 4 teams play each other in the second round.. Im more exited for the matchup on the east this year than the west. should be some really entertaining hockey.
 
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