the rangers aren't crap like it or not and the Pens have two of the 5 best players in the league. If Miller was gonna keep with his .901 SV% since he got to STL, they weren't going anywhere and weren't particularly good overall
I think you're overestimating the quality of hockey that's been played in the East the past couple weeks:
- Penalties being called every minute and a half in the Philly-NY series, a complete lack of playoff-level physicality or intensity (for example, 2 NY embellishment penalties in game 2; what team has even gotten ONE embellishment penalty in a PLAYOFF series). Don't even get me started on how piss-poor the Flyers' play has been compared to their March surge against pretty much all the top teams out West. What should've been an easy series for the Rangers has somehow been dragged out to be 3-2 at this point; Flyers just haven't been good all series, while Rangers are taking advantage of almost never having to play 5-on-5 hockey, which their power play numbers are benefitting from. Obviously, their penalty kill is better than Philly's, so special teams has been the story in this series.
- Top-seeded division team like Pittsburgh absolutely struggling to get past a Columbus team that would've never qualified out West, a noble but still substandard CBJ team I see as on par with the Devils, but who got the odd shootout win or 1 extra necessary win at the end of the season. Pittsburgh, once again, still finds itself in perilous waters and without answers to some of their questions, but probably reaching round 2, similar to the Islanders series last year. We know what happened next.
- An "okay" Montreal team somehow sweeping a 2nd place Tampa Bay team says everything you need to know about how I view those teams and the series.
Meanwhile, the Western Conference is chugging along. Even Dallas put up a valiant fight and the series was angry, physical, and hard-fought. The only team I saw out West as substandard was Minnesota and even they're putting up a good fight.
I know you're gonna blame my Devils bias, but overall, the Eastern-based playoff teams have been piss-poor, and as an objective hockey fan, it's a bummer that teams like St. Louis and San Jose/Los Angeles will be out when round 1 is all said and done; and that's just a testament to how strong the West is.
Edited by DJ Eco, 28 April 2014 - 11:39 AM.