Free Hockey Pick: Devils @ Rangers Game 1 Preview
- Updated: May 14, 2012
The Eastern Conference Finals get started on Monday, May 14th at 8:00 ET, when hockey betting fans get a chance to take in the clash between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers.
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The fact of the matter is that the Devils are the fresher of these two teams, and they might want to put together some fireworks right off the bat. There were three fights in the first three seconds of action when these two teams met at Madison Square Garden two months ago, and the month before that, there were two fights in the first two seconds. New Jersey might want to put together some similar antics, knowing that New York just came off of a brutal seven-game series that ended on Saturday night. As far as the Devils are concerned though, they had a relatively easy road to get here to this series. Taking down the No. 3 Florida Panthers was hardly something that was a stretch, as there are many that thought right away that Jersey had the easiest road into the second round of the playoffs. It took seven games to dismiss the Southeast Division champs, but the job was finally done. From there, Martin Brodeur carried the team against the Philadelphia Flyers in a series that was over in just five games.
It is hard to imagine that the Rangers have already played in 14 games here in the postseason, and it seems even harder to imagine that they have gone just 8-6 in those duels in spite of their remarkable regular season record. New York has had to face the No. 8 Ottawa Senators and No. 7 Washington Capitals to get to this point in the season. Again, it makes it all the more remarkable that the top seed in the East has struggled this much. But in the end, if the Rangers go on to win the Stanley Cup, no one is going to ask whether it took 16 games or 28 games, and no one is going to ask how difficult the road was to get there. The Stanley Cup is the Stanley Cup, and the argument could be made that it is the most difficult trophy to win in all of sports. New York is only going to go as far in this series as Henrik Lundqvist takes it. Lundqvist really has been at the top of his game over the course of this entire postseason, and he is surely going to be in the running for the Conn Smythe Award should the Rangers end up lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time since 1994.
New Jersey Devils @ New York Rangers Pick: We just aren’t all that sure that the Rangers are going to be able to match the intensity that the Devils are going to be bringing to the table when push comes to shove in Game 1. This is going to be another brutal series, and we think that it is going to end up going seven games. Take Jersey in the first clash though, as that extra time off for getting rid of Philly in five games really should pay dividends.
Free Hockey Pick: New Jersey Devils
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