The Beginning and The End

For the Rangers, tonight marks the start of the NHL Playoffs. For the Knicks, tonight marks the first day of the offseason. Let’s delve into both.

The Rangers have won eight playoff series over the last four seasons, but they haven’t hoisted a Stanley Cup. That ties a “record’ held by the Bruins of the late 1980’s for most playoff series wins without a Cup- ugh. They absolutely can win this year, but they made it more difficult by beating Detroit on Saturday. If they had lost that game, they would have opened the playoffs in Florida and assuming a victory there, played the winner of the Detroit-Tampa series. Now they have to beat the Penguins in Round 1 and probably face the best team in the NHL, Washington, in Round 2.

It won’t be easy, but it comes down to a simple formula for them. Lundqvist, Lundqvist, and more Lundqvist. If he is on top of his game, the Rangers will be a very tough team to play. If he isn’t, if he plays like he has the past few weeks, this will be a very quick playoff appearance.

*****

Then there are the Knicks and we can actually look at their season with some good feelings. For one, they weren’t the disaster they were last year. 32-50 is nothing to brag about, but when it comes on the heels of a 17-65 season it represents progress. Two, Kristaps Porzingas looks like a cornerstone player.

They are going to need more and that’s where Phil Jackson is going to have to earn his paycheck. I think that the easiest route to respectability is trading Carmelo for a lottery pick this year, stinking next year for another lottery pick, and using your major cap room after the 2016-17 season to round out the roster. I can’t tell what the team is going to do. Part of me thinks Anthony is going to force his way out of here, but part of me suspects that the Knicks won’t part with him because he gives them the illusion of competitiveness. I hope I am wrong about that because Anthony is on the decline and by the time Porzingas is all that he can be, Anthony will be a role player at best.

Stay tuned.

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Comments

  • blmeanie  On April 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    you are lucky to be out of the NBA playoffs, what a damn joke. The celtics vs. hawks, should be a dream matchup for a Boston fan living in Atlanta…right? 3 days off between every game? What the hell is that? Remember when games were back to back? Middle three in the day were sometimes three days in a row? Tempers flared. Adjustments could be made and momentum shifts could be had. Yawn, what a joke pro sports have become. if you are going to make opening rounds best of 7, try to wrap it up in less than 3 weeks.

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      TV rules all. I noticed the other day that they have scheduled quadruple-headers for every weekend in the first round and they scheduled all the Game 7’s for a weekend, so they spaced things way out. It’s ridiculous, but the NHL does a similar thing. Rangers played three games- Wednesday, Saturday and Tuesday while Islanders played Thursday, Friday and Sunday for three games in four nights. That allowed NBC to have a New York team play on each weekend day.

  • blmeanie  On April 20, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I just want the pain to be over, just kidding. It kills the fan interest I believe. Snooze alert.

  • Greg  On April 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I was wondering why there are so many off days built in. It seemed absurd to me. Now I know. This is one of the reasons I have no patience for the NBA or the NHL. The post season is far too long. Too many teams qualify for the post-season (rendering the regular season almost meaningless); each series is best-4-of-7; far too may off days scheduled in. Honestly, it seems interminable. It almost feels as if their post-seasons begins during MLB’s Spring Training and extends to MLB’s All-Star Game. Almost.

    Please, MLB. Expand to 32 teams, partition each league into four divisions of four teams each, eliminate the Wild Card, and strictly schedule each post-season series as 2-OFF-3-OFF-2.

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Another thing they do is manipulate the times of games to a ridiculous extent. The NHL still hasn’t released starting times for games this Saturday and it is 7pm Thursday. Good luck if you are a ticket holder, you are just going to have to wait to make your plans for the day.

  • blmeanie  On April 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

    BIG NEWS! Steph Curry out for 2 weeks in playoffs, likely will miss only 2-3 games due to TV scheduling!

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