Rangers secret: Anonymous NHL insiders break Penguins’ streak

I saw opinions. I saw Models. It’s a mixed bag as far as the media and data views on Rangers-Penguins go.

We asked some real insiders what they think, and… well, see for yourself. Our group consists of two Boy Scouts, both covering the metro division, an Eastern Conference coach and two CEOs, one for the Eastern Conference team and one for the Western Conference team. All five of them saw a lot of Notice And penguins this chapter.

And only one in five members thinks penguins have a chance.

Scout No. 1

“The most important position when it comes to the playoffs is the goalkeeper. With (Tristan) Garry in great doubt for the series, I think it will be an uphill climb for Pittsburgh. Give the clear advantage to the Rangers and their favorite in Vezina (Igor) Shesterkin.

“Obviously the key to the Rangers’ success is minimizing the damage done by (Sydney) Crosby and (Evgeny) Malkin. Kendre Miller’s play and Jacob Troup Not only will the outcome of this series dictate, but it will ultimately determine how deep a run the Rangers can run this spring. Tropa’s physical strength, Miller’s size and mobility should make life very difficult on those first two lines for Pittsburgh.”

Scout No. 2

“Rangers will need to limit the high-risk opportunities. They have the advantage in goalkeeping, but the amount of high-risk opportunities they leave in the regular season will hurt them in the playoffs if they can’t control that. The key for them is playing power and continuing to be good when they get On the chances. I love the moves they made on the deadline. They added to the overall depth to the team, which you need at this time of year.

“For the Penguins, they have to step up, and their superstars have to be superstars to have a chance. I love the depth of position. This team will go as Crosby and Malkin do. They have the potential to win in a series. I’m not crazy about their D depth, and I’m afraid they’re not physical or Good enough on the back end, with the target being a question mark on top of that.

“When we talked earlier in the year, I told you Rangers weren’t ready. I might rethink that. With each series winning, they can gain confidence, and they have some really good Superstars. If you asked me in January who would win in the East, I might have said that three teams have a legitimate shot, and now with all eight it would be an absolute battle just to get out of the East.”

the coach

“I can’t even believe you’re asking me. Rangers are at five.”

“The goalkeeper (Chesterkin) is very good. Gary broke his foot. Even if they were healthy, the other guy would win Vezina. If you look at their defense, Pitt’s D is very good, but that’s the biggest improvement I’ve seen with Rangers. (Ryan) Good lindgren, good Miller, Tropa – they have a strong handling of the goalkeeper and can take some offense. The Rangers power game is as good as it is with (Adam) Fox running it. (Mika) Zibanijad, (Ryan) Strom, (Artemi) can Both panarin shoot from their locations They have (Chris) Kreider 50 targets of tightness. They have four or five plays groups they can play on you with this power game. The penguins must stay out of the box.

“The most important thing for me with Rangers is at the beginning of the year to where they are now, they’re checking hard. The back pressure, the tracking, they weren’t like that at the beginning of the year, but they were called. Pete has two lines, but (Rangers GM Kris) Drury did Some great pickups.(Frank) Vatrano, (Andrew) Cope, (Tyler) Mott, if he could come back – it’s true. They’re as deep as anyone else. I think they’re going to the conference finals. I’d be absolutely stunned if the pens beat them.

Andrew Cobb (Tom Horak / USA Today)

“Pete’s best hope is games with low goals. They have to be in a tough game. Rangers are like Florida and Tampa. You can explode with some guys they have. Rangers’ goalkeeper can frustrate you to the point where you start cheating, and you have to change the tactical part. From the game to manufacture the attack.When that happens, it’s usually not a good thing.

“I think Pitt is a good team, but they are an older team and that’s their last resort with (Brian) Rost, Malkin. PP for Pitt could be good. When you look at the special teams and the goalkeeper, you have to give the Rangers the advantage. I don’t see any way you can. Pittsburgh to win this series.

“Rangers are playing more aggressively now. The top players have the mentality of players who play in fourth. They understand clock management, who they are playing against. They have done a good job getting opponents to play 200 feet. It’s too much for Pete. Kreider, Zibanjad, these guys They play well. Strom plays hard. Their skill guys don’t play pool hockey; they work silly. Understand. I don’t think Malkin and Crosby are going to have the time and space they need to succeed.”

Eastern Conference exec

“Unfortunately, this streak is not the same as it would have been before Gary was injured. As good as Mike Sullivan – one of the two best coaches, three coaches in the game – I don’t see how he would be able to achieve that with this kind of handicap. I had my doubts About my neighbor at first, but without him, I don’t see how the Penguins can win more than one game.

“Rangers, on the other hand, have the best player in the league now, so with that kind of advantage I think it will be enough for them to win this series on their own. While Sid is still one of the best players in the world and plays at such a high level, he could match The best two streaks in the Rangers with the best two penguins. New York’s defense is much better than Pittsburgh’s. They are back there from players who can make the game miserable – in Tropa, Lindgren and (Braden) Schneider. That’s what you need at this time of year. Depth up front is a factor for Rangers after their lead, but that won’t be the case this round.”

Ryan Lindgren and Sidney Crosby (Bruce Bennett/USA Today)

Western Conference exec

“Rangers start with the advantage, with how well they play and have the best goalkeeper in the league. They really helped themselves to the deadline. Their top players all had good years, (and) those moves they made on the deadline really strengthened that group of attackers.”

“Pittsburgh has the elite players. Crosby, Malkin, (Chris) Letang, (Jake) Genzel, Rust, (Jeff) Carter. Their best players need to score. They need sophisticated goalkeepers. It looks like he (Casey) DeSmith is going to have to give them high goals. Level They have to stay out of the box too because Rangers are a threat.

Crosby and lead Pete will have to fight against the tendency to open up if Shesterkin frustrates them. The experience they had, you come to New York and want to break up with you. You also want to play your game. Maybe later in the series and Shesterkin playing as he did in the season, they’d lose a little bit. , but you have to start playing your game. Anything other than that is a problem.

“For Pete, three guys could be key to me: (Evan) Rodriguez, (Danton) Henin and (Caspri) Cabanen. They need the secondary score. You know what you get from the top players. Especially early on It’s important to start early and make the Rangers guess who will put the best players.

“The focus will be on Rangers D to keep serving. Miller. Sneijder. It will be important that they play at the same level in the playoffs that they played in the regular season.

“I won’t give you an expectation, but I think everyone I’ve spoken to has said to Rangers. I’m fine with that.”

(Top image from Kasperi Cabanen shoot the Igor Shesterkin: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)