Levitra vs viagra New York Rangers fans should thank Gary Bettman and the new NHL playoff structure for a couple of reasons. Levitra vs viagra First off if the NHL were using last year’s playoff system, levitra vs viagra the Rangers would be matched up with the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference’s four-five matchup. Levitra vs viagra Given how much of a nightmare the Bell Centre has been for Henrik Lundqvist that is a good thing – no matter how successful the Blueshirts have been on the road this season.

Levitra vs viagra The second reason for being thankful is that the Rangers don’t play the Washington Capitals. Levitra vs viagra Of course, levitra vs viagra a large part of the thanks for that has to go Alex Ovechkin and his teammates who were shut out of the playoffs – thus preventing a potential fifth playoff series in the last six seasons.

Levitra vs viagra Instead, levitra vs viagra the Rangers get the opportunity to renew their hostilities with the hated Philadelphia Flyers. Levitra vs viagra While there is hatred for the Devils and Islanders, levitra vs viagra it is strictly business. Levitra vs viagra When it comes to the Flyers, levitra vs viagra it is all personal.

Levitra vs viagra This season’s matchup marks the 11th time the Rangers and Flyers will do battle in the playoffs – tying them for the 10th most common playoff matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Levitra vs viagra Louis Blues who are renewing their playoff rivalry for the 11th time.

Levitra vs viagra The Broadstreet Bullies lead the all-time series 6-4; including winning the last meeting between the two teams in 1997 when the Flyers won the Eastern Conference Finals in five games. Levitra vs viagra That series marked the final playoff appearances for Wayne Gretzky, levitra vs viagra Mark Messier, levitra vs viagra Mike Richter and it marked the final Rangers playoff appearance for Brian Leetch.

Levitra vs viagra It was also a series that featured a banged up Rangers team that turned to the likes of Ken Gernander and Dallas Eakins in order to fill out a lineup that featured 12 players who were at least 30-years-old.

Levitra vs viagra The Rangers won Game 2 behind Wayne Gretzky’s hat trick to even the series, levitra vs viagra but the Flyers swept Games 3 and 4 before finishing off the Rangers in Game 5.

Levitra vs viagra The playoff victory in 1997 was the Flyers third consecutive playoff victory over the Rangers. Levitra vs viagra The last time the Blueshirts defeated the Flyers in the playoffs was during the team’s improbable run to the 1986 Eastern Conference Finals as a fourth placed Rangers team (78 points) defeated the first place Flyers (110 points) in a fifth and deciding game in Philadelphia.

Levitra vs viagra Normally having home ice in a playoff series would be cause for celebration. Levitra vs viagra At first glance, levitra vs viagra that appears to hold true with the Rangers and Flyers considering the Blueshirts have won eight in a row against Philly at MSG. Levitra vs viagra However, levitra vs viagra a closer look at the two teams’ season records tell a little different story.

Levitra vs viagra Among playoff teams, levitra vs viagra only the Detroit Red Wings (18) had fewer homes wins that the Rangers (20). Levitra vs viagra While the Rangers accumulated 44 of their 96 points at home, levitra vs viagra the Flyers gained 51 of their 94 points at home.

Levitra vs viagra The Rangers big advantage is that they have been road warriors this season as only Colorado (56 points) and Anaheim (54) racked up more road points than the Rangers (52, levitra vs viagra tied with Boston). Levitra vs viagra The Rangers road record of 25-14-2 is made even more impressive when you consider they started the season with a 2-6 record in their first eight road games – thus finishing up with a sizzling 23-8-2 road record.

Levitra vs viagra Brad Richards was at a loss for a concrete answer to the Rangers road-home swing.

Levitra vs viagra “I’ve never been on a team with the best road record and this kind of home record, levitra vs viagra” Richards admitted to Jeff Z. Levitra vs viagra Klein of the NY Times.

Levitra vs viagra “Sometimes, levitra vs viagra there’s no rhyme or reason. Levitra vs viagra There’s no real great answer for you — I’d love to make one up. Levitra vs viagra But we don’t prepare any differently at home than we do on the road.”

Levitra vs viagra Richards understands that certain parts of a team’s game can be swayed by the home crowd and offered Klein the following explanation.

Levitra vs viagra “Certain things, levitra vs viagra like the power play, levitra vs viagra I understand how that sometimes can be better on the road than at home, levitra vs viagra” he said. Levitra vs viagra “You’re not hearing the fans, levitra vs viagra you’re not trying to score in the first 10 seconds. Levitra vs viagra You don’t consciously shoot because people are saying, levitra vs viagra ‘Shoot, levitra vs viagra’ but you just hear them get on you. Levitra vs viagra But as far as the overall team game, levitra vs viagra I don’t have an answer.”

Levitra vs viagra Marc Staal put home ice advantage in its proper context while speaking with Steve Zipay of Newsday on Tuesday, levitra vs viagra April 8.

Levitra vs viagra “Home ice is big especially if you get later in the series, levitra vs viagra Game 7 is an advantage if you have that home ice, levitra vs viagra” Staal opined.

Levitra vs viagra One wouldn’t think that it is imperative that the Rangers win Game 1, levitra vs viagra but I believe it is important for the Blueshirts to draw first blood. Levitra vs viagra The last thing you want to do is give the Flyers even the slightest glimpse of having any advantage in the series. Levitra vs viagra The longer the Flyers troubles at MSG last, levitra vs viagra the deeper the losing streak cements itself into Philly’s psyche.

Levitra vs viagra It is a belief that the Flyers are bringing into this series.

Levitra vs viagra “We’re obviously going to go there and try to get a split, levitra vs viagra” Scott Hartnell said to Sarah Baicker of csnphilly.com. Levitra vs viagra “But if you get the first one, levitra vs viagra then you can go for two. Levitra vs viagra We’re really going to put all our eggs in the one basket the first game and put it all on the line. Levitra vs viagra I think that’s got to be the mindset of the game.”

Levitra vs viagra In order for the Rangers to even contemplate making a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, levitra vs viagra they need to stop playing seven game series. Levitra vs viagra You want to “grab and go” in terms of the playoff series, levitra vs viagra in other words, levitra vs viagra you want to get in and out as quickly as possible – and most especially in this series.

Levitra vs viagra You can expect the Flyers to come out hitting from the opening faceoff and through the final whistle – and beyond. Levitra vs viagra I don’t think the Rangers will have a problem with the Flyers in terms of “regular physical play”, levitra vs viagra but I do think they will have a problem with extracurricular activities that happen after every whistle – the type of play that turns every stoppage into a scrum.

Levitra vs viagra It doesn’t matter who the player is or what kind of style he played before he joined the Flyers, levitra vs viagra but it seems that once someone puts on the orange and black they all take on the Broad Street Bully persona.

Levitra vs viagra The longer the series goes, levitra vs viagra the more and more that will play a part in this series. Levitra vs viagra With Games 6 and 7 being played on back-to-back nights, levitra vs viagra it might be a lot to ask the Rangers to go seven and then turn around and be ready to play against a Pittsburgh Penguins team that should make short work of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Levitra vs viagra It is this potential for Flyers shenanigans that would tempt me to play Daniel Carcillo over Jesper Fast. Levitra vs viagra Given Alain Vigneault’s style of play, levitra vs viagra I expect that he will opt to go with Fast’s speed and hockey abilities until circumstances dictate Carcillo’s style of play.

Levitra vs viagra The Rangers recall of J.T. Levitra vs viagra Miller might signify that the team is looking for a bit more jam in the lineup than Fast provides and a bit more finesse than Carcillo provides.

Levitra vs viagra It is too bad that Chris Kreider’s status for the Philly series is unknown. Levitra vs viagra He brings the best of what Fast and Carcillo can bring in terms of finesse, levitra vs viagra speed, levitra vs viagra scoring with just the right amount of chip on his shoulder. Levitra vs viagra Unfortunately, levitra vs viagra at this time of year all teams are facing their own injury problems. Levitra vs viagra At least the Rangers are assured of the return of Ryan McDonagh.

Levitra vs viagra The question will be how far out of the way with the Flyers go to punish McDonagh’s shoulder and just how many liberties will they take – and you know the Flyers are going to take some liberties. Levitra vs viagra This is just another reason why I would insert Carcillo instead of Fast/Miller.

Levitra vs viagra The Flyers are not without their worries, levitra vs viagra chief among the health of goaltender Steve Mason who suffered an upper body injury (possible concussion) in Philly’s game against the Penguins on Saturday. Levitra vs viagra

Levitra vs viagra Mason will not be travelling with the Flyers when they make their way to New York. Levitra vs viagra Ray Emery will get the start as rookie Cal Heeter serving as the backup. Levitra vs viagra If Mason is healthy enough to play in Game 2, levitra vs viagra he could join the team for the Easter matinee.

Levitra vs viagra While Emery did lead the Ottawa senators to the Stanley Cup Finals, levitra vs viagra that was seven years ago and I am sure the Flyers do not necessarily want to find out if Emery can recapture his 2007 playoff form.

Levitra vs viagra That is not to say that the Rangers have iced away the series. Levitra vs viagra Emery’s lifetime record against the Rangers is 7-2-0 with a 1.87 GAA and a .936 SV%. Levitra vs viagra One of those two losses occurred in a 4-1 Rangers victory in January.

Levitra vs viagra Interestingly enough, levitra vs viagra despite the spotty goaltending of the Flyers, levitra vs viagra there is one Philly reporter who thinks Henrik Lundqvist has not been a clutch goaltender in the playoffs.

Levitra vs viagra Tim Panaccio of csnphilly.com is quick to point out Lundqvist’s 30-37 playoff record and only one appearance in an Eastern Conference Final.

Levitra vs viagra What Panaccio conveniently forgot was the work The King put in against Ottawa in the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals, levitra vs viagra defeating the Senators in Games 6 and 7. Levitra vs viagra Lundqvist duplicated this feat in the 2012 Conference Semifinals as the Rangers eliminated the Capitals.

Levitra vs viagra Lundqvist repeated his performance last year by not only winning Games 6 and 7 against the Capitals, levitra vs viagra but he shut Washington out in both games.

Levitra vs viagra I guess in Panaccio’s world, levitra vs viagra only goalies who win Stanley Cups can be deemed “clutch”.

Levitra vs viagra Looking ahead to this series, levitra vs viagra I see the Rangers path to victory coming down to four keys.

Levitra vs viagra 1. Come playoff time, levitra vs viagra scoring goals becomes an even bigger imperative because all teams (unless you are the 2012 Flyers or Penguins) tend to become more aware of their defensive zone. Levitra vs viagra As a result, levitra vs viagra the need to increase goal scoring becomes more important in the playoffs.

Levitra vs viagra 2. Hand-in-hand is the need to elevate special teams. Levitra vs viagra The Rangers have demonstrated the ability to not only have one of the NHL’s best penalty killing units, levitra vs viagra but they have developed a knack for creating offense when shorthanded. Levitra vs viagra The problem has been their power play which has shown signs of reverting to its pre-AV habits. Levitra vs viagra The more the Rangers power play struggles, levitra vs viagra the more liberties the Flyers will take with the Rangers. Levitra vs viagra The quickest way to neutralize the Broadstreet Bullies is to make them pay for taking penalties.

Levitra vs viagra 3. Keeping with the Broadstreet Bullies theme, levitra vs viagra the Blueshirts will have to learn to “walk the line”. Levitra vs viagra That is the fine line of knowing when to “turn the other cheek” and when to retaliate. Levitra vs viagra There is no iron clad rule on when to retaliate or not, levitra vs viagra but a simple solution might just be in it is a one-one battle – let it go. Levitra vs viagra When the Flyers get into their pack mentality, levitra vs viagra it will be time for the Rangers to retaliate.

Levitra vs viagra 4. The last key is one that will ultimately determine how far the Rangers go in the 2014 playoffs. Levitra vs viagra It has been great to see the likes of Benoit Pouliot, levitra vs viagra Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello develop into productive players. Levitra vs viagra However, levitra vs viagra the Rangers need their best players to be their best players. Levitra vs viagra That means the likes of Lundqvist, levitra vs viagra McDonagh, levitra vs viagra Dan Girardi, levitra vs viagra Marc Staal, levitra vs viagra Rick Nash, levitra vs viagra Martin St. Levitra vs viagra Louis, levitra vs viagra Brad Richards, levitra vs viagra and Derek Stepan have to be the players who lead the way. Levitra vs viagra When push comes to shove, levitra vs viagra this is the most important key to the Rangers playoff success. Levitra vs viagra It is time for the stars to start playing up to the numbers on the backs of their hockey cards.

Levitra vs viagra Before I give my prediction, levitra vs viagra I want to share an interesting side note that was written by Tim Wharnsby of CBC sports. Levitra vs viagra Wharnsby noted that in 2004, levitra vs viagra Richards, levitra vs viagra St. Levitra vs viagra Louis and Vincent Lecavalier were leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup victory. Levitra vs viagra Now 10 years later, levitra vs viagra Richards and St. Levitra vs viagra Louis do battle against their former teammate.

Levitra vs viagra By the way, levitra vs viagra Richards led the playoffs in scoring that year with 26 points and St. Levitra vs viagra Louis finished second with 24 points.

Levitra vs viagra In the end, levitra vs viagra the Rangers goaltending and ability to win games on the road lead the Blueshirts to hard fought victory in six games. Levitra vs viagra

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