Rangers preview Part IV: Conference, Cup predictions


First, best wishes to our Jewish friends on Yom Kippur. Happy fasting.

Here is a photo of a Rangers T-shirt sent to us a few weeks ago from Israel by our friend and captain ilb (apologize for forgetting to post it earlier). The inscription is “New York Rangers” according to the captain.

Now …

I usually go with Leastern and Bestern, but I really feel the tide starting to shift a bit, or at least the Least is catching up, and I’m not just saying that because those boozing Bruins won the Stanley Cup (google Bruins, bar tab). Not sure if the elite-level talent in the East is as good, but I think the East has more good teams. Or maybe there are just more good teams throughout the NHL.

Here’s another belief I have about the 2011-12 season (with the hope that the Mayans, or whomever is predicting the Apocalypse is off by a few years): I think that the Rangers are much, much better this year, but that the 6-7-8-9-10 seeds are still going to be a last-week cage match, and that it could even extend up higher, to Nos. 4 and 5. I really do, and the reason I do is that so many teams who didn’t make it last year are going to be better this year.

So here are my picks, and I hope you all have your own to share with us in the comments section (I usually have to beg you guys to share your opinions).

Without further ado, and without mentioning The Grate Sean Avery for a cheap hike in the comments, my picks:

1. Tampa Bay.
2. Pittsburgh.
3. Washington.
4. Boston.
5. Philadelphia.
7. Buffalo.
8. New Jersey
9. Carolina.
10. Montreal.
11. Toronto.
12. Winnipeg.
13. Islanders.
14. Florida (Quebec).
15. Ottawa.

1. Vancouver.
2. Detroit.
3. San Jose.
4. Anaheim.
5. Los Angeles.
6. Nashville.
7. Chicago.
8. St. Louis.
9. Phoenix.
10. Dallas.
11. Calgary.
12. Minnesota.
13. Columbus.
14. Edmonton.
15. Colorado.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Pittsburgh over Washington.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Anaheim over Vancouver.

STANLEY CUP FINAL: (all birds) Pittsburgh over Anaheim.


Next: It’s Go Time!

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  1. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw this T in Israel…I got two of them in L.

    Well, we made it…. LGR!

  2. Nice tshirt! Can i get one online somewhere? Id like one in several languages alphabet!

    Bummed that im gonna have to watch this one on the dvr,but…

    Hoping for Rupp/westgarth throwdown!

  3. I used to own one of those shirts!! I was living in Israel in 93-94. What a year to not be in the US. I wore that shirt all the time during the finals but got afraid to wear it after Game 7 because they’d lost the last couple. That morning, my roomate from Cleveland decided to wear it (not sure why). I then called my sister to find out the result of the game and started screaming and swearing in the middle of the hotel we were staying at. I still believe that my roomate wearing my shirt brought them luck. I wish I still had that shirt, but I do still have the championship shirt my parents greeted me with when I returned to the states.

    Love this column, I’ve been lurking for years!

  4. Good morning everyone. Finally, hockey season is here! I’m bummed since I won’t be able to watch the game today. Time Warner Cable is showing the Sabres game instead! It never fails.

  5. Carp,

    Unless I’m mistaken, the top three seeds go to the division leaders. But I agree with the teams for the most part.

  6. By the way, Latona ( who told me to promote hockey in Israel before I went there), when I saw this T, I said to myself- my mission is accomplished! Have you noticed a little yarmulka under the armpit lol?

    Anyway, I don’t do predictions in general. One thing I know that this year should and will be a huge step towards the main goal- to be a formidable team for years to come. We have stability, good set of young players and the coach. We added some talent and depth. And can we please, please get in the playoffs a few days BEFORE the last day of the season?

    Where is mama?

  7. You’re right, Latona. TB and Washington can’t go 1 and 3. Give Carp a break, I’m sure it’s been a long night for him with the Yankees and all… By the way, to all our Tankees fans, sorry about that. I haven’t watched a single game this season iirc. Not a fan of that sport at all. Just couldn’t get excited…

  8. Captain Callindahan on

    Morning Ilbzo :-) and all you wild and crazy HEADS!!

  9. onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    I think they (Ranger) will finish higher than 6th..

    Staal will be a huge ? this season , if and when he returns with his style of play another concussion is very probable, same for Cindy..

  10. Tampa Bay will be lucky to make the playoffs.

    No way in Hell do Devils make the playoffs.

    Blues are not going to make the playoffs and I doubt Chicago will either.

  11. Captain Callindahan on

    Ilbzo, been ready since April lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO BOYS!!!

    missing the game this afternoon to a vile 4 letter word called work… so cheer the boys on for me!!!

  12. I would also like to see us clinch a playoff position a little earlier. Baseball in NY is over and Hockey starts…..LGR!

  13. Stranger Nation on

    I see Debbies in year two of the great decline. I know they got healthier up front, but their shaky back line, coaching carousel and an older Fatso thinks they will be out of the picture with Canes getting #8 spot. Probably come down to last week like always for spots 6-10 which is why hockey is such a great sport. Playoffs basically start in mid-Feb after all star break and last through June (too late IMO).

    Isles down, debbies out and and no NBA this year – priceless…

  14. Captain Callindahan on


    Good to see youse guys again!!! I’ll be here during my lunch hour, so hopefully you guys will have good things to report! I don’t think NHL.com will play on my iTouch, but iLLTRY

  15. Captain Callindahan on

    after last night, I wonder if Tiki will be here for the start of hockey season, or if he’ll still take the month off.

  16. damn yankees! at least you lost on hockey eve!

    i have to disagree with carps predictions. i dont see pens having the depth they need to be #1seed especially with cindy being one hit away from…? i also doubt the debbies will be as good as many predict. unless hedberg comes up big when marty finally figures out he should have retired.

    having said that, i think the rangers will be a 6,7,8 seed without staal and 4 or 5 with him.

    PP should be better, top line should be better, can i be the first? rupp=monster…or am i too late?


    I can’t watch as I’ll be at work, but the DVR is set and I should be able to catch some of the game on my lunch break since it’s on VS.


  18. I was happy the Yankees lost. (Not Really…but sarcastically…) at least it doesn’t bleed into my hockey season.

  19. thanks Carp
    i’m already dealing w/ a nasty headache
    and now i’ve got to see your
    prediction of the pens winning the Cup
    to make me sick to my stomach!!

  20. What do you mean it’s on VS? Don’t start with me, I’m upstate and am pretty sure it’s on MSG. I’m also hoping my Slingbox works well, it’s been cranky lately…

  21. Must be nice to have the day off, ilb! Must be great. SOME of us have to sit in our cubicle and listen.

  22. 4 hrs to go.

    must get a split in europe. please no 0-2.

    my predictions

    wash over rangers conf finals

    chicago over kings

    chicago over caps in 7

  23. Carp – good predictions overall, but Anaheim. Anaheim?!? For the cup?!? That, my friend, is a prediction you’ll have to eat. I think you’re pretty much spot on with the rest, though I think the Flyers will drop down a bit lower than fifth. Also, you’ve got some dire thoughts about the future of three North American cities with this slate. I foresee riots in San Jose, Vancouver(again) and Washington if your final and semi-final predictions come true.

  24. Julie, If Time Warner is showing the Sabres game, you should be able to watch the Rangers on Versus.

  25. how did wiese do last night?

    i couldn’t watch after i saw a tweet that
    cooke cooke scored

    tweeted to espn burnside that Avery never ended another
    player’s career like cooke did with marc savard

  26. JIMBO! I’ll ask mam to bring someone back for you. She just had hers and she liked it. ;)

    We were at another hotel earlier, having cocktails and meeting LW(who is really nice btw) and just happen to run into a couple of players from the LA Kings team; kopi and Richards. Funny! So now we’re having a little pregame nap then it’s off to Globen! Can’t wait! LGR!!!


  27. Did LW come with his British translator, Krisy? ;-)

    Say hi to mama. And have fun. LGR! Off to walk the dogs. It’s gorgeous up here!

  28. I don’t understand all te fear about concussions and getting another one. The things I’ve read say that if the player waits until they are fully healed to cone back they are at thesame likelihood to get another concussion as before their first one. The reason you see savard and others getting them again is because they cone back before they are fully healed. That being said I believe Crosby coming back In November will lead Pitt to the cup over Chicago ( added so much physical depth this summer) and I also see the rangers 5th. Even if Staal is out for awhile. Pumped to watch the season. Will be watching the game from work this afternoon

  29. Doodie Machetto on

    Some bold predictions Carp. I don’t know which is bolder: that Anaheim wins the Cup, that Tampa Bay finishes first in the East, or that they reorganize the divisions midseason so that Tampa and Washington are in different divisions.

    My predictions will have two versions. One assumes Crosby comes back around January and finishes the season. The other is Crosby-less.

    1) Washington
    2) Pittsburgh
    3) Boston
    4) Philly
    5) Buffalo
    6) Rangers
    7) Tampa
    8) Carolina
    9) Montreal
    10) New Jersey
    11) Toronto
    12) Winnipeg
    13) Islanders
    14) Florida
    15) Ottawa

    Without a Crosby return, I pick Boston to finish second, Philly third, and Pittsburgh 4th.


    1) Vancouver
    2) LA
    3) Detroit
    4) San Jose
    5) Chicago
    6) Anaheim
    7) Nashville
    8) Minnesota
    9) Columbus
    10) Phoenix (Quebec)
    11) St. Louis (JD gets canned when Hulsizer comes in. Maybe he comes back to broadcast for us?!)
    12) Calgary
    13) Dallas
    14) Colorado
    15) Edmonton

    Eastern Final: Pittsburgh vs. Washington. With Crosby, Pittsburgh wins, without him, Washington.

    Western Final: LA vs. Chicago, LA Wins

    Cup: LA vs. Washington, LA wins.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    Actually, to modify, without Crosby, I think the Conference Final is Washington vs. Boston, and Washington wins.

    I think in the with Crosby scenario, we lose in the first round to the Bruins. In the without scenario, we lose in the second round to the Caps.

  31. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    That shirt is amazing. I now regret not looking for one when I was in Israel a couple years ago.


    And to the fellow chosen people, have an easy fast. It will be great to take a break from temple tomorrow to watch Game 2!

  32. LOL at the Avery mention.

    I was traveling the past few days, so I couldn’t keep up my lurker status here, but I’m sure everyone saw the post article about Glen Sather commenting on Avery. Dunno how much that is a Larry Brooks wishful thinking thing or not.

    Anyways, I’m really excited that the season has started! Lets go Rangers!

  33. doodie

    make up your mind already. geez giving me a headache. lol

    hope things are well.

    to all my jewish friends enjoy the holy day. make sure you atone for all your sins.

  34. Brooks reported Lundqvist to wear a tribute mask to former olympic teammate Stefan Liv who perished in KHL crash.

    King Henrik, a very good role model, always a class act.

  35. I don’t know about the cup, but I see no great fall off of Vancouver so far this season, and I think Buffalo will be higher than that. ( Tough to pick against a goaltender like theirs.)

  36. Lots of Ranger jerseys in Stockholm today!! Helped someone out with the stupid Metro tickets, don’t want anyone to get lost :)

    Let’s go Rangers!

  37. Insane amount of Rangers fan in the lobby of our hotel, when the players walked out they got applauded. Christensen with a press pass around his neck. Can’t wait for the game to start! LGR!

    RangerSwede: if you want to meet fellow boneheads contact mama: lbabs@aol.com


  38. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    Did Christensen really have a press pass?? I like that.

  39. Anyone know the roster for tonight’s game? Is Woywitka in at D?

    McD, Sauer, Girardi, MDZ, Erixon, Eminger? Or did Woywitka make the trip?

  40. Wow wish I was back in Stockholm, was there in July/Aug, came home too soon!

    How’s the weather? Cold and dark?

  41. I don’t know which Stanley Cup prediction is worse: yours with Pittsburgh winning or Matthew Barnaby on ESPN picking the Flyers to go all the way.

  42. Doodie Machetto on

    vogs, the lineup for today:


    Del Zotto-Sauer

    Pruchas: Christensen, Bell, Woywitka

  43. Tampa lucky to make the POs? Huh? LeCavalier, Stamkos, St Louis, Hedman and now Brett Connolly.


  44. Predictions are a lot of fun.

    I see the Rangers higher, and I see us losing in the Eastern Conference Finals….but that was before Marc Staal went down. Our defense changes dramatically as he is reaching his peak years and his career may be over.

    As to Cindy, methinks he wants to be the Gretzsky of the NHL. Gretzsky scored with impunity during hockey’s rough years…when players beat the heck out of each other.

    Cindy may be sitting out in an effort to make this an even less contact sport.

    If Gretz was playing today in non contact hockey, would he score 100 goals in a season?

  45. Krisy, we’re in A28, think it’s different ‘A’ sections. I’m in A28, row 2. No jersey, just a pretty cap and face :)

  46. My Bruins prediction held up last season. So, I’m trusting my instincts again.

    Kings vs Caps in Cup Final – Kings win! BOOM!

    I couldn’t sleep at all last night. Too nervous! I’m hoping they get off to a good start with a win.

  47. I still don’t get why Wolski is not on the top line. What did he do to play himself off it? Not score in that 1 game vs Prague?

  48. I can’t concentrate! 45 minutes until the puck drops. Should I play sick and go home to watch the game? Anybody have good excuses I can use? LGR

  49. Putting aside so called intangibles, such as personal preferences, emotions and wishful thinking, highly paid actuarials in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, using latest computers and software, did already all predictions (expectations), based on countless teams and individual statistics, including experts and fans opinions, so, relax and enjoy the unpredictable show.

  50. ORR!

    Sounds like a plan! In no way will that backfire! Looks like I’ll be listening on NYRangers.com… I was going to wait and watch it “live” on the DVR later, but there’s no way I won’t check the score.

  51. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on


    Pittsburgh over Anaheim ?

    well at least you make a pick that will not be all that popular here, or anywhere !

    I predict you will be wrong

  52. JimboWoodside on

    Wow! I just tuned into the game – Kings look super fast…maybe it’s just this big ice surface, but wow….

    Where’s our offense!?

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