Cheesy Bruin: Stanley Cup Contenders and NY Rangers

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Cheesy Bruin

@CheesyBruin Stanley Cup chat.

MOOSEJAW, SASKATCHEWAN – On Friday, Broadway Blues lover and world traveler Different Matt encapsulated the Blueshirts stretch run to the playoffs. Today, I’m here as a Boston Bruins fan to drop the gloves re the New York Rangers Chances as Stanley Cup Contenders.

Time Tick, Tick, Tick. It’s already been twenty-two years since the Rangers sweated out a Game 7 victory, after being up 3-1 in games, versus Vancouver in 1994. That was so long ago that I wasn’t married, had no children. There is no Messier Graves or Leetch on this current roster but Nash, Brassard and McDonagh – with two of that three on the injured list with no set return date.

A window of opportunity is open for only so long and as I see it an estimate of five years in the NHL is about right. There have been close calls over the past four years heading into 2015-16: Losses in the Conference Finals in 2012 and 2015, a Stanley Cup Finals loss in 2014 and a 2013 Semi-Finals loss to the Boston Bruins in 2013. Recent playoff history dictates that this is the last Cup run for New York and this compilation of players. The Washington Capitals look tough but Cups aren’t won in the regular season and don’t they always lose to the Rangers in the playoffs anyway?

Dan_Boyle Dinosaur Meet_The_Matts

Dan Boyle: “D-Rex.”

Deep playoff runs mean lots of hockey has been played under the stress and great effort that is the most intense of any team sport. No position endures these rigors than defensive corps. There are x amount of extra miles on this crew. Dan Boyle is already a dinosaur and Dan Girardi usually gets banged up and/or exposed in the second season but he did make me eat these words last year. Keith Yandle is said to be on the trading block once again and how did that Anthony Duclair trade work out for you Rangers fans? The concussions suffered by McDonagh make him eligible to visit Queer Street with any hard contact this point forward. According to what I’ve seen the defense can be this team’s concern and even the thought of dealing Yandle puts the team at greater risk although I love Dylan McIlrath’s game immensely. Marc Staal is vulnerable on the blue line and becomes exposed at playoff time, too.  I won’t pretend to know what the organization has in the AHL but don’t mortgage the future as has been done in the recent past.  And don’t expect a Loui Erikkson trade with the Bruins; he’s going to the Western Conference if anywhere at all.

Always has a chance.

Always has a chance.

The question marks re Nash and McDonagh can become exclamation points if healthy, since they should be nothing but fresh comes April.  However, pound-for-pound there are fewer stiffs bigger than Nash in the playoffs. The great equalizer for the Blueshirts always is world-class goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who will be 34 in a couple of days and is nearing the end of his fantastic statistical prime. Even a less-than-spectacular King Henry will keep the Rangers competitive in a down year for the Eastern Conference.

Ask me if this is the Rangers year to hoist the silverware and I say the East can be had but the West is way too tough for the Rangers to overcome.  Might be a while longer, folks.

Drop your gloves and comment below, check us out on Twitter (@CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts) and come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle.

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About the Author ()

A man amongst men. Cheesy Bruin kicked cancer to the curb - twice. The Cheese Man's a big, tough teddy-bear who survived the Bronx despite being an unabashed Boston Bruins fan and Sargent-At-Arms for Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse. Nuff said. Doctors have taken most of this throat and had to make him a new tongue from thigh-meat (his own) and still he won't shut up about the Bruins, Cowboys, Pirates and Cleveland Cavaliers. And yes, his kids do love him.

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