What We Learned: Rangers’ strengths could only take them so far
There are always a number of reasons why you do or don’t win in the playoffs, from matchups to injuries to bounces to roster construction to coaching, and more.
But more often than not, the No. 1 reason a team gets eliminated is that they just weren’t as good as the team that beat them, and especially when you’re deep into the playoffs, your faults usually end up being laid bare for better or worse.
Ask anyone this question coming into the Eastern Conference Final: “What do the New York Rangers do well?”
They get the puck up and down the ice pretty quick, for one thing. They make teams pay on special teams. And of course, get world-class goaltending on basically a nightly basis.
And those three things will take you pretty far. But when you’re in the bottom third of the league, or close to it, in terms of allowing scoring chances, controlling play territorially at 5-on-5, and drawing penalties (all of which the Rangers were in the regular season), your margin for error really isn’t great. These guys came back from down 3-1 in the first round, and down 2-0 in the second.
They also had the second-most come-from-behind wins in the regular season. All of which speaks to the ability of their goaltender and power play to keep them afloat.
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