NHL Wet Dream: Rangers v Blackhawks for the Cup

Published on 17-May-2015 by Chips 10
NHL / NHL Daily Update

Romantic past vs relentless present.

We're down to the final four in the Stanley Cup chase after some stirring quarter-final series.

Of the four teams still standing, the NHL has to be hoping for a Chicago v New York final.

That pairing almost happened last year, but the Los Angeles Kings took out Chicago in seven games for the Western crown and went on to beat the Rangers for the Cup.

Still, that featured North America's top two markets and a fair amount of star power, so the poobahs weren't complaining.

New York is coming off a classic seven-game series victory over Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, where they clinched it in overtime.

Henrik Lundqvist no doubt appreciates that his teammates get a goal for him every now and then. It takes a bit of the pressure off.

Every game the Rangers have played this spring has been decided by one goal, and the trend continued yesterday as Dominic Moore was in an opportune position late in the third period to give the Rangers a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay and a 1-0 lead in the Eastern finals.

The Rangers v Lightning series is intriguing on many fronts because of the players who've shuttled between those clubs.

Moore, for one, used to play of the Lightning, as did Dan Boyle and former 'Ning captain Marty St Louis, who was traded to the Rangers for former Blueshirt captain Ryan Callahan. He joins Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman as former Rangers who now play for Tampa.

The key in this series, as usual, will be the goalies. King Henrik has been playing as if this was his last bite at the cherry -- mainly becuse he's had to -- and 6-7 Ben Bishop has been just as stingy for Tampa Bay.

Chicago wants to get back to the finals after coming so close last year, and as has been expected almost all season, will have to go through Anaheim to do so.

The Ducks have breezed through the playoffs so far, tossing Winnipeg and Calgary aside, while the Blackhawks struggled with Nashville before disposing of Minnesota in four games.

Anaheim will have the home advantage after finishing with the most points in the West. They're led by goalie Frederik Andersen (1.96GAA) and Corey Perry, who tops the team with 15 playoff points. Chicago, as always, is led by Patrick Kane, who after coming back from a broken collarbone, has 13 points in ten games. Corey Crawford, back from a benching in the first round, is back in shape and will be a big key in goal for the Hawks.

There's just something about the originals going at it.

We know whom the NHL is picking to emerge from the semi-finals. An Original Six matchup for the second time in three years would have them hallucinating in the hallways at 1185 Avenue of the Americas in New York.

But the Ducks are relentless and the 'Ning are high-scoring. Both franchises have hoisted the hardware, so this stage isn't new to them. They're not as enamored with all the traditional trappings.

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