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Revenge for last year? The main subtext of the battle between the Rangers and Washington in the NHL playoffs

Date: May 22, 2024 Time: 11:21:13

This season we will see one of the most exciting first rounds of the NHL playoffs in years. However, among all the couples one stands out that, perhaps, will be the most interesting. When was the last time that the confrontation between the first and sixteenth teams in the championship was rated as the most attractive series?

But it’s the Rangers-Washington pairing that’s rife with a lot of intrigue. And the main one is how the confrontation between the team and the former coach will turn out?

Peter Laviolette, who coached the Capitals for three years, will play at least four games with the former club. And it will definitely be an amazing sight.

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In three seasons in the Washington camp, the American mentor could not achieve great achievements. In their debut 2020/2021 championship, the Capitals finished second in the East and seventh in the entire NHL. And in the playoffs they lost to Boston in the first round 1-4.

The following season, Washington already became eighth in the conference, although with a significant advantage over the ninth islanders (100 against 84 points). But in the playoffs everything happened again: 2-4 for Florida and elimination in the first round.

The last campaign was a complete failure. The Capitals, under Laviolette, failed to reach the Stanley Cup for the first time in nine years. It is difficult to blame only the American specialist for this, but it will not be possible to exempt him from all responsibility.

However, it seems that the resignation only benefited the coach himself. Many were perplexed when the Rangers decided to rely on Laviolette and the season began with two losses in four games. The Rangers were often criticized for their new style of play.

Peter Laviolette

Photo: AP/TASS

But in the end, the trust paid off in spades. The Rangers won the President’s Cup for the first time in nine years, team leader Artemi Panarin had the best season of his career, even the discarded Alexi Lafreniere started playing and 38-year-old Jonathan Quick found a second youth.

The separation also appeared to benefit Washington. Trusting rookie coach Spencer Carbery, the Capitals achieved success, rebuilt the game and heroically reached the playoffs. It was luck, because the Capitals’ play leaves big questions. But still there were no major improvements in the team compared to last year, and even Laviolette, who this season showed the potential of him with great players, could not lead this team to the playoffs.

In other words, Carbery also collected the necessary keys to the “capital” and performed a miracle. Washington played for his coach, and the coach gave everything for the hockey players.

However, the past cannot be forgotten or erased. Like many exes, “Washington” and Laviolette will probably want to show each other the best versions of themselves to evoke thoughts like “oh no, who did we lose…” For each side, victory will be a matter of principle.

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In a press conference prior to the start of the playoffs, Laviolette was asked what he thought about the matchup with Washington in the first round. The Rangers manager even joked about it.

“To be honest, I didn’t think much about it. The thoughts were simply about our team and how to get to the playoffs. I have coached many clubs. If we consider this (the fact that he got his former club in the first round. – “Championship” note) as history, then I will have such a story in every round. I hope so. I have a lot of respect for the Capitals, the organization and their players. They obviously did a lot of good things to get to the playoffs. Our team also did good things to qualify for the playoffs. But the outcome of the game is decided on the ice.

I think it works both ways. It seems to me that they also understand me and my systems, but we judge it by the four games we played in the regular season. You need to get on the ice, and the team that can figure out their game and play it best will be successful.

You have to give a lot of respect to Washington for what they had to do to earn a spot in the playoffs. There are good players, good organization, good staff. I know many of them. Any team can go further and is capable of doing so. Us, them, whoever. I’ve seen the best teams win, I’ve seen the worst teams win. You have to play well when the puck hits the ice,” Laviolette said.

Washington and the Rangers

Photo: AP/TASS

The Rangers coach also shared his opinion about former captain Alexander Ovechkin: “He is just an incredible goalscorer. He has a competitive spirit and plays hard. “His ability to score goals is at a level that few can reach.”

Washington players were also asked questions about the former coach.

Ovechkin responded briefly about Lavioletta: “This is a business. “That’s what we’re all here for.”

Another Washington veteran, TJ Oshie, didn’t say much either: “No matter who we play, we’ll do a preliminary analysis. It’s nothing strange. “We will prepare like everyone else, we will be ready for the first game.”

Capitals forward Dylan Strome, who only worked with Laviolette for one year, thinks this series may feel strange for those who have been with the team longer.

“It might be a little bit stranger for the guys who have been here for a while and worked with him for three years. This is a little different. The Rangers have had a very, very good season and Laviolette is a great coach. He has been an excellent coach for a long time. I think we’re excited to get to the playoffs.

As far as how the Rangers play, we played like that last year, the Caps played like that for a couple of years. I think a little introduction never hurts. We’ll see how this plays out,” Strome said.

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In general, the confrontation between the Rangers and Washington will definitely be interesting, although few people see real intrigue here. But the teams will definitely rock. And one of them will definitely prove something and show it to her exes.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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