Rangers Hurricanes round 2
New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes Round 2 Preview 5/16
The second-round series between New York and Carolina is set and let me tell you what people, it’s gonna be a good one. Both teams coming off a Game 7 win, New York over Pittsburgh & Carolina over Boston. The Rangers & Hurricanes have sort of met in the playoffs once, back in 2020 when Covid ended the regular season early and the league decided to do a best of 3 play-in round for the last few wild card spots. The Rangers ended up getting swept by the Canes 3-0 to have their bubble vacation cut short.
During the regular season NY & Carolina met four times, the Canes getting the upper hand with three wins in those meetings. Carolina spanked New York in the first meeting 6-3, then the Rangers struck back with a 2-0 shutout, and then Carolina finished out the regular season matchups with 4-2 & 4-3 wins. Now these teams do not have much history but let me tell you there is definitely some personal beef between the Rangers and No. 77 on Carolina’s back end.
Little backstory on that beef because I believe some tempers may flare because of it, Tony DeAngelo was on the Rangers from the 2017 season up until he was placed on waivers back in February 2021 after being involved in a physical altercation with fellow Ranger Alexandar Georgiev. After a 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins DeAngelo reportedly made a comment to Georgiev after the game that resulted in Georgiev swinging on him. He was placed on waivers less than 24 hours after the altercation. DeAngelo had already been in hot water that season when he took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first game of the season that resulted in former Rangers Head Coach David Quinn benching him for the second game. Coach Quinn called the penalty “undisciplined” & former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton even stated “if there was another behavioral incident, he would be placed on waivers” which clearly he meant what he said. Tony DeAngelo has come under fire multiple times in the past & personally I’m not here to talk about politics but what I will say is the Rangers put up with a lot of bullshit from DeAngelo and the Georgiev stunt was the last straw.
Anyway I fully believe this series will be extremely physical & both sides will need everyone they have to pull off a series win. I fully believe there is one key factor for both teams that will help them win this game and that is stealing a game on the road. Besides the Rangers triple OT Game 1 loss the Rangers were able to win all their other games at the MSG and were even able to steal 1 on the road in game 6, which ultimately was the biggest momentum shift in the series in my opinion. Now for Carolina, the Hurricanes won all their home games, but couldn’t steal a single game on the road in Boston. Which honestly if I were a Hurricanes fan that would make me nervous. Carolina honestly looked like 2 completely different teams when at home and when on the road. At PNC Arena, Carolina was dominant defensively, limiting chances for Boston and able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone. But their game straight up vanished when the series went to Boston. So stealing a game on the road for either team is going to be huge.
For the Rangers they are going to need to drastically improve their 5 on 5 play. The Rangers were heavily relying on Igor & the Powerplay unit which was barely on the ice due to lack of calls anyway. The Rangers need to generate more scoring opportunities and maintain offensive possession in 5 on 5 play if they are going to want to win this series. Heading into Game 7, the Rangers were ranked last among the 16 playoff teams in expected goals during 5 on 5 play & were the only team to dip below 40%.
For the Hurricanes it’s simple, stay out of the box. The Rangers have one of the most deadliest Power Play units in the entire league, they are able to score from almost anywhere in the offensive zone when man up and anyone on those power play units can do it too. Stealing a game on the road will also be huge considering that in the Boston series every home team won.
I am absolutely thrilled for this match up and as a Rangers fan I couldn’t be more excited. There’s some decent beef between the teams & both have high powered offenses. Should be extremely physical & fast pace as well. Listed below is the current schedule for this series as well. My series prediction: Rangers in 6.
Game 1: Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, May 22, 3:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, May 24, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: Thursday, May 26, TBD
*Game 6: Saturday, May 28, TBD
*Game 7: Monday, May 30, TBD