Updated: Sep 24, 2020
PP% 22.81 (7th) | 3.34 GF/G (7th)
PK% 77.68 (22nd) | 3.17 GA/G (9th)
Igor Shesterkin 10-2-0, .932, 2.52
Alexander Georgiev 17-14-2, .910, 3.04
Henrik Lundqvist 10-12-3, .905, 3.16
Artemiy Panarin: 95 points
Mika Zibanejad: 75 points
PP% 22.22 (8th) | 3.26 GF/G (9th)
PK% 83.95 (4th) | 2.84 GA/G (21st)
Petr Mrazek 21-16-2, .905, 2.69
James Reimer 14-6-2, .914, 2.66
Andrei Svechnikov: 61 points
Dougie Hamilton: 40 points
Changing it up:
New York played all of their games against Carolina before the trade deadline – The Canes were one of the “winners” this year, acquiring a versatile C Vincent Trocheck, and adding to their already solid D with Sami Vatanen and blueshirts own Brady Skjei. Might be interesting to see how that plays out.
Notes for CAR:
- Dougie Hamilton will be returning from his injury by the time the playoffs start. He is a tough defenseman, a good playmaker and got himself into a bit of a groove before his injury. If he can stay sharp (along with Andrei Svechnikov), they’ll be giving NY a hard time. - Defense needs to stay strong – Hamilton returning is good, but D men like Slavin need to be on their game. Bonus if Brady Skjei also steps up and uses his knowledge against his former team. - Goaltending needs to be able to stop powerhouses like Mika Zibanejad and Artemiy Panarin – Petr Mrazek would be the better of the two, since James Reimer spent the remainder of the season recovering from his lower-body injury.
Notes for NYR:
- Zibanejad needs to pick up where he left off before the hiatus, along with Panarin and Ryan Strome. These 3 forwards lead the team in points. The rest of the KZB line also needs to be strong (Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich). - Along with Strome, D Adam Fox and Tony DeAngelo have been strong on the PK and have been great playmakers. They are key against a strong defensive team like Carolina - that being said, NY needs to be able to break through Carolina’s defenses.
- The younger boys like Kaapo Kakko (not sure if he’ll play due to his health conditions), Filip Chytil, Ryan Lindgren and Brett Howden have to adjust to the pressures of the playoffs. (Though, due to the format change, hub cities and no fans, it’s fair to say that this year’s playoffs will be a new experience for everyone)
- Trouba also needs to work on his defense: less turnovers in own zone, blind passes, more consistent in his game.
- Igor Shesterkin or Henrik Lundqvist would be great starters – while I believe that Alexandar Georgiev has the ability to give them the W, the matchup results from this past season show that the King and the Czar both have had successful games against the Canes. My gut reaction is saying “put Igor in”, mainly due to his great record and his ability to stay sharp when the defense falters (a frequent problem for the Blueshirts).
- On the other hand, it’s important to point out that while Hank has had a shaky season record compared to Igor, he has a more consistent record. Making the decision to start Igor when he’s only played against them once is a little risky, and this is best of 5, not 7 – there’s even less room for mistakes. Hank: Igor:
11/7/19 – 4-2 2/21/20 – 5-2 11/27/19 – 3-2 12/27/19 – 5-3
I wouldn’t sleep on the canes. Carolina has proved that they can capitalize on those who take them lightly. Last year, they made it to the conference final: they beat Washington, the reigning Stanley Cup champs in 7 games, and swept the Isles. Based on the Rangers’ record against the Canes and comparing their rosters, it certainly looks like they have the advantage – but I’d be wary about overconfidence.
New York in 4