The analytics folks, the pundits, the armchair coaches and GMs seem to all be in agreement: The Rangers are considered the better team than their second-round opponents in Ottawa.
Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators, Guy Boucher, may even believe that himself.
Speaking with the press, Boucher said he’s aware of the betting odds against his team saying, “from what I hear from everybody, we don’t have much of a chance”.
Boucher, obviously, isn’t buying what Vegas is selling. But that doesn’t me he’s not realistic about the upcoming Second Round series.
The New York Rangers took out the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. The Atlantic Division winning Canadiens were favoured against the Rangers before the series began, but won the series in six nail-biting games.
Ottawa made it through their division-rival the Boston Bruins in six games as well, but the Bruins were depleted by injuries that hamstrung their blueline.
Boucher and the Senators are likely fine with the underdog label, despite being the last surviving Canadian team in the Eastern Conference.
The road to the Stanley Cup requires any team to play at their absolute peak if they want to even compete, so this will just have to be par for the course in Ottawa.
The Second-Round Stanley Cup Playoffs series between the Rangers and the Senators will begin Thursday, April 27th in Ottawa.