Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/16/14 at 05:12 PM ET
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
These two teams don’t have the same history and that means there won’t be as much talk about hatred as there was in the Boston series. Here’s the way the teams shape up going into Game 1 Saturday at the Bell Centre.
GOALTENDING: This was the key ingredient for both teams as they came from behind to win their conference semifinal series. Carey Price allowed one goal in the final two games of the Canadiens’ seven-game win over the Bruins, while Henrik Lundqvist led the Rangers back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins by allowing only one goal in each of the last three games. The one difference is that Lundqvist has never been totally comfortable playing at the Bell Centre. In the two regular-season games between these teams, the Rangers started Cam Talbot.
DEFENCE: This series features two of the top young defencemen in the NHL in P.K. Subban and former Canadiens prospect Ryan McDonagh. Subban represents a double threat because he’s also the Canadiens’ leading playoff scorer. The Canadiens rely heavily on Subban, Markov, Alexei Emelin and John Gorges, and the four eat up 50 minutes of ice time a game. The addition of Nathan Beaulieu offers an offensive counterpoint to shot-blocking Mike Weaver on the third pair. The Rangers are more likely to play a stay-at-home style, but McDonagh and Dan Girardi have offensive skills. Mark Staal has a physical presence and is coming off a strong series in which he frustrated Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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