There are many factors that need to happen to make a deep run for the Cup. Arguably the most important factor is team chemistry. The series between the Hurricanes and Rangers is a great example of great team chemistry. This series will be kicking of the NHL’s return on August 1st and it has potential to be one of the best of the qualifying round.

The Rangers and Hurricanes have  been very much built similar to one another. Both teams have a handful of great offensive stars mixed with a solid core on the back-end. These two teams have become the definition of great team chemistry. I have no doubt that which ever team moves on will be the dark horse in the race for the Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes 

Carolina has been enjoying their hockey the past few years. For the second straight year the Hurricanes qualified to the playoffs in the very deep Metropolitan Division. Last season they knocked off both the Capitals and Islanders on their way to the Conference Finals.  The key to Carolina’s success this year has been the play from their young core. Players such as Aho, Teravainen and Svechnikov have proven last year’s run was not a fluke.

Not only has the young core been playing well, the team as a whole are very well run. Coach Brind’Amor has implemented a fantastic system that gives the Hurricanes a never die attitude. The best example of this came when they were on the road in Toronto in February. After having both their goalies leave the game with injuries, they were still able to beat Toronto despite having an emergency goalie fill in.

New York Rangers

The Rangers had a very rough start to the season. They were among the bottom of the eastern conference for much of it, but in the final few months they were able to turn things around. When the season came to halt the Rangers were only 2 points out of a wild card spot. With they way they were playing, I have no doubt they would secured a spot.

The success they had this year was due to many factors. Late in the year the duo of Panarin and Zibanejad were lighting up the league, but it didn’t end there. Both DeAngelo and Strome were having career years. Even in net, Georgiev was one of the most sought after goalies at the trade deadline, pushing Rangers legend Lundqvist to the bench.

Prediction

My prediction for this series is that it will go the distance. Despite the Rangers sweeping the Hurricanes in their season series, I think they will be playing all five games.  Both teams are confident and they will be putting on a great show for us. However, I do feel the Rangers will move on and I have a feeling they will be going deep into the playoffs.