For the fourth time in five years, the Rangers will face the Capitals in the playoffs. Two of those series have gone seven games, including last year's epic battle that went a little something like this…
…with the way the Rangers and Capitals were struggling last month, if you told me at that time they would meet in the first round I would have said you were crazy. And that's why I love the game of hockey. Now we get to see Ovi and the boys yet again. We talk about the Rangers rivalries with the Flyers, Devils and Islanders, but with all the recent playoff battles, you have to put the Capitals in the same category. I've officially rediscovered my old Patrick Division hate for the team from our Nation's capital. And it's going to be taken to another level now that they're going to be in the same division again starting next season.
…most of us were hoping to avoid the Penguins in the first round, but I tell you what, if you think the Rangers are hot going into the playoffs, the Capitals are on fire. They went 11-1-1 in the month of April to run away with the Southeast Division after starting the season with a 2-8-1 record. And the reason why they were able to turn it around? Alex Ovechkin. The guy had 22g, 12a in the final 21 games. Wow!!!!!
…the Rangers might also be catching Holtby at the wrong time, as after starting the year with an above 5.00 gaa and under .870 sv%, he has improved every month ending with a 2.19 gaa and a .937 sv% in April. The Rangers biggest strength over every team in the NHL is in goal, so if Holtby can match Lundqvist the Rangers could be in trouble.