The Atlanta Thrasher's finished atop the Southeast division, but it was the least competitive division in the league. The New York Rangers turned it up a notch late in the season to separate themselves from the pack, finishing 6th in the East. The Rangers have been battling all season in the tough Atlantic division, which sent 4 teams into the playoffs.
Both teams have the potential to run up the score. The Ranger's are lead by Jagr, Nylander and Shanahan. Nylander is not postseason experienced, but Jagr and Shanahan are, with 2 and 3 Cups, respectively. The only question for New York is Jagr's heart, for the past few years it's been up in the air on whether he was going to show up or not. He didn't score in last years early exit from the playoffs. But, when he does show up to play, he can be one of the most dangerous players in the league. The Thrasher's themselves have the incredible one-two punch of Hossa and Kovalchuk. But in the playoffs, depth becomes more important than ever, and they just don't have it.
Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen will be making his first playoff start, but he comes in playing strong. He's given up more than 3 goals only once in his last 17 starts. Henrik Lundqvist started 3 games in the playoffs last year, but he dropped all 3, giving up a total of 13 goals. How these young goaltenders play could shape the series.
I don't think this series will be as close as it may seem, the Thrashers are severely overrated, and I believe the playoffs will showcase their flaws. I'm picking the Rangers for the 4 game sweep.