The New York
Rangers Can Win Because…
They’ve got Henrik Lundqvist. Although Carey Price might be getting more accolades right now, it’s hard to argue with Lundqvist, who has now ousted the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the last two rounds. Those two teams have far more prolific offenses than Montreal. Handling this unit should be even easier.
The last five meetings between these teams have produced a shutout. That’s good news for the Rangers because that’s the exact style of hockey they want to play.
The Montreal Canadiens Can Win Because…
They own this series. The Habs have won seven of the last 10 meetings overall and five of the last six in Montreal. The Rangers have a really tough time generating offense in this matchup. They’ve scored two goals in the last six meetings while getting shutout four times. And after playing a physical, rugged team like the Boston Bruins, this will be a much easier test for them to pass.
Price has a career 2.06 GAA and .934 save percentage against the Rangers, and right now, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. It’s hard to go against him, home-ice advantage and the better offense.
Outlook & Pick
Lundqvist actually doesn’t do so well against Montreal. He’s just 13-13 against them for his career with a subpar 2.85 GAA and .897 save percentage. Those numbers in each category are his second-worst against any teams he’s faced in the league. Taking that into account, the Habs are the team I’m taking with my NHL picks.
Pick: Canadiens in 6 at 5Dimes