Next up in the 2014 NHL Playoff Predictions, the (M1) Pittsburgh Penguins and (M2) New York Rangers will meet in the Metropolitan Region Final starting on Friday at 7 PM EST.
The Rangers are coming off of a rough and chippy 7-game series victory over the (M3) Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers continued their Game 7 dominance in the playoffs but also continue their lack of success when leading the series. My prediction for that series was Rangers in 6 which gives me a .5 for my 2014 Prediction score. Getting the games correct is .5 and getting the team to win correct is another .5.
The Penguins are coming off of a 6-game series against the (WC1) Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets put up a truly valiant effort but ultimately came up short in the series. My prediction was Penguins in 5 so that is another.5 added to the 2014 Prediction Score.
After analyzing the Boston/Montreal series and this one, my 2014 Prediction Score is up to 2.5 out of 4 points.
The two teams have not met in the postseason since the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals in a series where Pittsburgh won in 5 games en route to a Stanley Cup Final loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
The two teams split the season series and have both proven their worth in front of their own crowd. Whoever can steal a couple games on the road will win this one. I say a couple because I think that this series is going to be at least 6 games. If New York watches closely at what things Columbus did right, it could be a long series for the Penguins.
New York profited with a home Game 7 last series and have shown that they are clutch when it comes to Game 7s. The problem is, they can’t find a win when they lead in the series. They may have survived against the Flyers but the Penguins have much better tools to burn them if the Rangers can’t build a series lead.
I think the Penguins move on to face the Bruins and they win in 6 games.