Originally posted on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 5/26/12
This one stings. It’s going to sting for a while. The Rangers were the best team in the Eastern Conference, but the best team does not always win. Even the best teams struggle with matchups, the best teams have clunkers, the best teams hit skids. The Rangers were barely playing above .500 hockey heading into the playoffs (11-9-1 in March/April), and played .500 hockey in the playoffs. That doesn’t get it done in May. The Rangers were victimized by matchups in the playoffs. Ottawa and Washington were the toughest draws the Rangers could get in the first round, and they wound up facing both of them. Ottawa victimized the Rangers with skill and speed, and the Rangers escaped because they were the better team. Washington, a team like the Rangers, made life difficult with great goaltending and team defense. A Joel Ward double minor helped the Rangers escape that series. But perhaps the team that the Rangers didn’t match up against at all were the Devils. It was something no one could see...
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