A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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As the Rangers and Devils prepare to begin the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, the role reversal is nothing short of astounding.
For years and years, the Rang
ers -- and other teams -- complained about the Devils' neutral zone trap that was perfected by former New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire in the mid 1990s.
It was a defensive-minded system in which the Devils would clog the neutral zone to take away scoring chances. It was highly effective, but critics charged that it led to dull and boring hockey.
Well, here we are 17 years later, and the Rangers have taken a page out of New Jersey's old playbook while the Devils are the more offensive-minded team.
The Devils are averaging three goals per game in the playoffs while the Rangers (2.07) are barely over two per outing.
This series certainly will bring back memories of the 1994 classic between the rivals when the Rangers won in double overtime in the seventh game, then went on to win their first Stanley Cup since 1994.
In fact, games three through seven are scheduled to played on the same dates as they were 18 years ago. How's that for an eerie coincidence?
Los Angeles won its sixth consecutive road game in the playoffs with a 4-2 victory over Phoenix in game one of the Western Confernece final on Sunday.
The Kings moved within one win of the NHL record for most consecutive road victories in the playoffs, last achieved by the Chicago Blackhawks en route to the Cup in 2010.
Los Angeles improved to 9-1 in the playoffs -- and this is a No. 8 seed?
The Kings could get to the final as a No. 8 seed by beating the top three seeds (Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix) in the West
If the Rangers make it, the No. 1 seed in the East will have beaten the No. 8 (Ottawa). No. 7 (Washington) and No. 6 seed (Devils).