TCL Round 1 Staff Predictions: New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators



Not a lot of people expected the Ottawa Senators to be one of only two Canadian teams that managed to make the playoffs this season. In fact, in the "normal" NHL universe, the Canadiens and Sens would probably be in each others positions. The Sens started the season with people assuming they were at the beginning of a rebuild, with GM Bryan Murray half-blowing things up the prior off-season. But then something happened. The Sens top players started playing like... well... top players. Alfredsson was on his game as rumors of retirement grew bigger and bigger. Jason Spezza became a dominant center once again. And then there was this guy named Erik Karlsson. You may have heard of him? He's just about a lock for the Norris trophy this year.
But on the other side of the ice, you have a team that has been in the exact position everyone expected them to be this year. The New York Rangers spent most, if not all of the season at the top of the East. They have superstars like Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, they have hard working players like Dubinsky and Callahan, not to mention a solid, young defense corps and one of the best goalies in the game in Hank Lunqvist. This team is built for a long run in the playoffs. They really shouldn't have a problem getting by the Sens, but this is the playoffs, and anything can happen. But ya, they're gonna win.

Consensus: New York Rangers in 5 Games


Game 1: Thu. April 12 at 7PM in New York
Game 2: Sat. April 14 at 7PM in New York
Game 3: Mon. April 16 at 7:30PM in Ottawa
Game 4: Wed. April 18 at 7:30PM in Ottawa
Game 5: Sat. April 21 at 7PM in New York (if necessary)
Game 6: Mon. April 23 at TBD in Ottawa (if necessary)
Game 7: Thu. April 26 at TBD in New York (if necessary)
*All Puckdrops are in Eastern Standard Time*
Genius or Madness: 
Evan Pivnick - Sens in 6
The Ottawa Senators to me are really an under the radar team. When their offense is on, it is on. Not to mention they have more than decent goaltending. The Rangers are going to go into this series a little to confident, and that is what will hurt them.
George Royle - Sens in 6
After a very good regular season, I am predicting the Rangers to crash out early in the playoffs. Ottawa have impressed me a lot this season and finishing in 8th place didnt do them justice. They look pretty deadly in front of net with the likes of Alfredsson and Spezza, and scoring 8 past the Pens recently shows this.

Previous SeriesThis is the first meeting between these two teams in the playoffs.

Blogger Showdown: Ottawa Senators - Andy Veilleux

Key Players:
New York: 
-F Marian Gaborik 82GP 41G 35A 76PTS +15 276 shots;
-F Brad Richards 25G 41A 66PTS -1 229 shots;
-F Ryan Callahan 29G 25A 54PTS -8 271 hits;
-D Dan Girardi 5G 24A 29PTS +13 26:14TOI;

-G Henrik Lundqvist 62GP.930SVP 2.46GAA 8SO 39-18-5

-F Jason Spezza 82GP 34G 54A 84PTS +11 232 shots;
-F Milan Michalek 77GP 35G 25A 60PTS +4 10PPG;
-F Daniel Alfredsson 75GP 27G 32A 59PTS +16;
-D Erik Karlsson 81GP 19G 59A 78PTS +16 25:19TOI; 

-G Probably Craig Anderson? 63GP .914SVP 2.84GAA 3SO 33-22-6

Key Injuries:
New York: Michael Sauer (concussion, indefinitely), Steve Eminger (knee, indefinitely), 

Los Angeles: Peter Regin (shoulder, done)

Prax's Take:
The New York Rangers were arguably the most consistent team in the league this season. I can't remember them spending any significant amount of time out of the top spots in the east. As a result, they find themselves in the top spot of the east, and ahead to facing the Ottawa Senators, arguably one of the most surprising teams this season. Everyone had written them off as a lottery team before the season even started, but they persevered, they got everything they could out of their top stars, and even managed to create a few in the likes of Erik Karlsson. But in the end, they're still that team that should have finished dead last. And the Rangers are the team that should have finished at the top, and did. As much of a Cinderella story as it would be, the Sens aren't winning this one.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Around The Checking Line:
Andy Veilleux:
Rangers stink against The Senators. Sens have beaten them 3 of four games this season, scoring 15 goals against them, only allowing eight. Sens have beat the Rangers in MSG 11 times in 14 games since lock out. Rangers can't seem to play stingy defense against the Sens, as they get caught up trying to run and gun. Anderson will have to play his best, but the Sens should come out on top here led by Alfie (in what may be his last playoff run).
Prediction: Sens in 7
Kyle Busch:
The Rangers finally have everything in place. Henrik Lundqvist will finally have a chance to show what he can do with a strong team in front of him. With the playoffs much tighter, Erik Karlsson won't have free reign and New York's depth will crush the Sens.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Derrick Newman:
Lundqvist will be the difference maker here. Ottawa backed into the playoffs and are just happy to be there and the Rangers are flying high. I dont see this being a problem for the blueshirts
PredictionRangers in 5
Mark Trible:
New York is a bit more susceptible to upset than they were mid-season. That being said, it's hard to picture Ottawa beating the Rangers four times with Lundqvist in net. The difference in seed truly reflects the discrepancy between these two teams.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Nick Symon:
As good as it is to see he Senators in the playoffs this season, they are simply out-matched against the Rangers. The Senators reply heavily on their offense and going up against a should be Hart Trophy candidate in Henrik Lundqvist, the task is a tall one. The Rangers depth mixed with Brad Richards leading the way up front, the Rangers shouldn't have an issue in the 1st round.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
John Link:
I believe the Rangers are only going as far as Lundqvist will take them in these playoffs and that they have enough to get past the Senators. Ottawa did take 3 out of 4 games from the Rangers in the regular season but I think the Rangers pull this one out and move on in 6 games.
Prediction: Rangers in 6
Conor Hassard:
Unlike the past few seasons, the Rangers have everything just where they want it to be. Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan have led the offense and have done a good job at it with 70 combined goals. Add Brad Richards, a solid two-way player who is more than willing to block shots like the Rangers defense has been known to consistently do, and it will be hard for any opposition to get shots on net. With Henrik Lundqvist in net, the Senators just won’t stand a chance. Not even a whole lot of luck could propel them to win four times.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Matt Cefalu: 
The New York Rangers have been an outstanding hockey team all season. Their consistency has been matched by few teams in the league and they are poised to make a deep playoff run. Injuries won’t affect their success nearly as much as other teams who are relying on a few key players, but one area where it will make or break them will be the health of Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Callahan. Callahan will be the playoff warrior his team needs him to be to give them the emotional edge to take the series. Lundqvist is healthy enough to play, as I understand it, but he did suffer a small injury in the Rangers’ last game vs Philly. Lundqvist is arguably the most consistent goalie in the NHL and the foundation of the Rangers entire team. If he is playing well, New York will keep winning.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Adam Pardes:
The Rangers stumbled a bit as of late, but are ultimately still the team to beat in the East. Their success rests on Lundqvist's shoulders, which he's proven are quite capable of carrying Atlas-size loads. The Senators will squeak out a couple games at home, but the Rangers will be too much for Ottawa to handle.
Prediction: Rangers in 6
Chuck Gaston:
I find it hard to believe that the Rangers do not win this series. They are extremely difficult to play against and with King Henrik in net, there is not much this Ottawa team can do. Look for Callahan to excel this season offensively, while still protecting the back end.
Prediction: Rangers in 5
Ty Fisher:
If the Rangers had showed any sign of weakness over the last few months, I'd be hesitant to end this series in 5. Maybe it would have taken 6. They're the most complete team in the East by far and one can expect Lundqvist to stand on his head as usual.
Prediction: Rangers in 5



George Prax's picture

Nothing completely insane here. Sens don't have the goaltending to pull the upset. Rangers will be moving on.