Flyers vs Rangers. Rangers vs Flyers. Whichever end of the Metro Division you hang out in, you probably don’t need to be told that there’s a long history of bad blood between these two teams going into the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs. In case you’re new to hockey or just starting to follow these long time Eastern Conference rivals, you can read about the blood feud in this related article in the Inquisitr.
As a New York Times article points out, this series has the potential to be reminiscent of the ’70s playoff series that led to the bad blood in the first place. Like the “Broadstreet Bullies” teams of old, today’s Philadelphia Flyers are a big, hard hitting bunch that like to play rough. Likewise, today’s New York Rangers bear at least a passing resemblance to the high-finesse teams that hit the ice in Madison Square Garden in the ’70s and ’80s.
The two franchises bring a long and storied playoff history into tonight’s game one of the Rangers vs Flyers series, though all of it took place long before most of today’s players were in the league. According to this Rangers vs Flyers preview in the Bleacher Report, the two teams have not met in the playoffs since 1997. Look for a battle that could well go the full seven games between the two well-matched opponents. The teams split the regular season series 2-2. Home ice was the deciding factor in every game, which theoretically gives the second place Rangers a razor thin advantage over their third place rivals from Philly.
Both teams in the Flyers vs Sharks series bring similar stories into the 2014 NHL Playoffs. Both teams struggled out of the gate, but picked things up in the second half of the season, battling each other for second place in the Metro (as the Boston Bruins easily outpaced both for first) until late March, when the Rangers passed the Flyers up, never looking back.
In all likelihood, this series will come down to who can figure out how to win on the road. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the Flyers last road victory over the New York Rangers came in 2011. On the other hand, the Flyers historically are 10-1 against the Rangers in postseason series. Unfortunately of Philadelphia, though, none of the players on any of those teams is suiting up tonight.
Lost trying to figure out the 2014 NHL playoff format and trying to figure out why the Rangers and playing the Flyers in round one int he first place? This related article in the Inquisitr explains the new format and this one gives a rundown of the final battles that led up to the final pairings.
You can watch the Rangers vs Flyers game here tonight at 7 PM Eastern Standard Time.