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New York Rangers Vs Carolina Hurricanes Mid-Series Review

Rangers vs Hurricanes

In the blink of an eye, the New York Rangers have been given another chance to take down the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round tilt. The series has provided quality hockey, with every game decided by one goal. Monday should be no different, with New York given a chance to clinch the series on home ice and earn themselves a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three years. There’s still plenty possibly left in the Rangers vs Hurricanes series.

After Saturday, the Hurricanes will have something to say about that. Unfortunately, Rod Brind’Amour‘s squad is playing quality hockey, yet they are still on the verge of elimination. All four games have been must-watch television, with Monday’s matchup trying to live up to the standards set in the first four games. Now, the tide turns back towards New York City and Madison Square Garden. Blueshirts fans will be slightly on edge, looking for the series clincher. Echoes of The Who’s Baba O’Riley will ring out through The World’s Most Famous Arena. John Brancy will belt out another splendid rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. The puck will drop at centre ice. Game Five cannot come soon enough.

Rangers vs Hurricanes Series Breakdown

Is Discipline The X-Factor?

Clearly, both the Rangers and Hurricanes do not disappoint in the special team’s department. Carolina ended the regular season with the second-best powerplay in the NHL. Right behind them were the Rangers, finishing in the third spot. On the other side of the puck, New York has the most dominant penalty-kill unit in the playoffs. Evidently, their 91.18 percent leads the eight remaining teams battling for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The problem with that is New York is having a difficult time staying out of the penalty box. In the first four games, New York has taken 23 penalties (including offsetting penalties). That is an absurd amount considering that a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals is on the line. As a team, you do not want to give your opponents a chance to both capitalize on and control the series from the man advantage. We’ve been guilty of calling out players like Adam Fox, Matt Rempe, Vincent Trocheck, and Jacob Trouba for taking silly penalties that have cost New York some games in the regular season. As you can see, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a different animal.

Turn the record over and you will see a team who finally took their chance and found themselves in the win column. A Brady Skjei power play-goal was the deciding factor in Carolina’s 4-3 Game 4 victory over the surging Blueshirts. The way that the series was going, Carolina was due for a win. No one could have predicted the Rangers going 8-0 to start their playoff run. Facing adversity for the first time in about a month, how will New York respond?

Carolina’s Speed and Skill Will Be On Full Display

The Hurricanes have been so impressive in generating offensive zone time against New York. Entering the attacking-third with such promise, they are excellent at controlling the puck and playing with a purpose. Unfortunately, they only have one win in this series to prove it. Brind’Amour’s squad showed just how quickly they can punish a team courtesy of Saturday’s three-goal opening frame. If the Rangers keep turning the puck over like that, a talented team like Carolina will make them pay.

Along with their noticeable structure, Carolina continues to show poise. Even when down, they still can find themselves in a position to win. Game One showcased their tenacity when down multiple goals, cutting the final score to one. Game Two was an all-time battle, they just took a penalty at the wrong time. In Game Three, they dominated from the start, giving the Rangers everything and the kitchen sink. The common denominator is one man who is still standing in the way of Carolina completing the near impossible.


May 13 just might be one of Henrik Lundqvist‘s best days as a New York Ranger. In 2013, The King posted a 35-save shutout over the Washington Capitals. The next year, Lundqvist pulled off another 35-save shutout over the Pittsburgh Penguins, earning his team a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. Finally, 2015 saw Derek Stepan‘s overtime winner saw New York take down Washington once again, clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals thanks to (you guessed it) another 35-save shutout from Hank.

The lore of Igor Shesterkin, although young, continues to grow during New York’s current playoff run. Night in and night out, the Moscow-born netminder is turning into one of New York City’s greatest sports icons. From the chant to the miraculous saves, no goaltender is hotter right now than Igor Shesterkin. If he can work his magic once again, New York can steal their much-needed fourth win of the series and wait for either the Boston Bruins or Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Will Igor shine or will Carolina bring an expected storm?

Main photo by: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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