While the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are set to begin their battle for Western Conference supremacy tomorrow night, the Tampa Bay Lightning are still awaiting their opponent for the Eastern Conference Championship. Tonight, they’ll know who they face as the New York Rangers try to do what they and the Boston Bruins were unable to do: beat the Carolina Hurricanes on home ice.
The Canes are a perfect 7-0 in Raleigh so far, but haven’t won a game in New York in this series, and were able to win just one in Boston in the first round. It feels like something has to give here, and if the Rangers can muster the kind of effort we saw in Game Six, this could be the night that the Hurricanes run out of steam in their quest for a 2nd Stanley Cup.
And let’s not forget that in the last ten years, no team has played as many Game Sevens as the Rangers. They’ve won 5 of the 6 they’ve played, and already overcame a 3-1 defecit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round One.