The Rangers won a tight one over the Capitals on Saturday night to set up the New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers Eastern Conference Finals. The two teams will have the luxury of heading home after both home and away games in this series because the drive is only about 25 minutes from the Madison Square Garden to the Prudential Center. This should bode well for whichever team does make the finals, although in the West it is two teams from the same division (Pacific) that are also battling it out. The Rangers have home ice advantage in this series, although both teams were great on the road in the regular season (each winning 24 road games) so I don’t expect much of a home ice advantage in this series but rather a long tight checking series that could go either way.
The odds for this series has the Rangers as the series favourites at -130, while the Devils at +120 are not very big underdogs at all. The Devils looked very good against the Flyers and even though they were pushed to the brink in the first round against the Panthers they were by far the better team. The Rangers situation is a little different with both their first and second round series going the distance and almost every game being extremely tight. I think it is safe to say that the Rangers could have just as easily lost to either the Sens or Capitals, but they have found themselves in the Conference Finals and the favourites to advance to the Stanley Cup.
It’s important to look at a variety of sportsbook review sites when deciding to open an account to bet on this series..
I personally expect the Devils to take this series based on how each team has performed thus far. The Flyers showed how much offensive ability they have in the series with the Penguins, but they couldn’t get much going against the Devils at all, losing 4 straight games after winning game 1 in overtime. If the Devils are able to crack the Rangers team defense, which is very similar to their own, they should be able to outscore New York.
New Jersey finished with only 3 fewer wins than the Rangers after the regular season so it isn’t fair to say that the Rangers had a significantly better regular season. The one aspect where the Rangers are superior to the Devils is in goal. Martin Brodeur has played fairly well, but he isn’t as consistent as he was in his prime, while Lundqvist very rarely has a bad game. The Rangers will win this series if Brodeur can’t find his rhythm, but if he plays like he is capable of for the entire series then the Devils should have the edge.
One thing is for sure, the Kings and Coyotes know how long their flight will be if they make the Stanley Cup Finals. The only question that remains is if they will be heading to MSG or the Prudential Center. My money is on them flying to Newark.