Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Focusing on Round 2

The New York Rangers will be doing just that tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden as the team begins its second round series against the Washington Capitals.

For the Blueshirts, this playoff match-up has no surprises. The two teams met in both the 2009 and 2011 postseason and both times, the Capitals came away with the series victory.

The main difference is the seeding of these two clubs. The Rangers finished in the top spot in the Eastern Conference while the Capitals took the seventh seed.

For the Rangers to be successful in this series, the team will need to once again play “Ranger hockey”. The club will need to be all over the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich. As such, the Blueshirts should be prepared to block a ton of shots this series.

On the other side, the Rangers’ big offensive players need to step up and produce. Marian Gaborik really needs to start scoring some goals while others like Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider must continue to find ways to generate offense.

The team will need to pepper Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby. Holtby was stellar in his team’s first round series against the Boston Bruins and finished it with a 2.00 GAA and a .940 save percentage.

In turn, Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist will need to return the favor and keep up his excellent play. The Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy finalist was terrific against the Ottawa Senators in the first round and is the main reason why the Rangers are in the final eight in the NHL.

This should be a great series and one that will hopefully have another happy ending for the Rangers.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Comments

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Great matchup for the Caps. Our speed wore down the slow Rangers D last year and we clearly have the secrets to beating King Henrik. Throw in our improved defense and commitment to blocking shots and it’s going to take a huge effort from the Rangers to beat us. Caps in 6

Posted by eric from baltimore on 04/27/12 at 12:55 PM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.