Justin Cuthbert breaks down the first-round matchup between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: To the Metro we will go. And the Rangers and Penguins have the closest series on paper right now. It's the 2-3 match-up, and it's pick-'em with minus-110 on each side.
It did open as the Rangers, the two-seed, as a small dog. And I jumped on that at plus-100. This iteration of the Pittsburgh Penguins has just had so much trouble breaking down tight defensive structures and quality netminding in the postseason.
Now, New York is not a world-beater defensively at all. Actually, they're a little below average when you look at the numbers. However, they have these strongest individual force-- at least, presents to be, in the form of Igor Shesterkin. If there is one netminder in the entire Stanley Cup playoffs best positioned to steal or be the most dominant factor in a series, it is the presumptive Vezina Trophy winner.
The Rangers also have home ice. It's a team built for the playoffs. I mean, we've-- people have been skeptical and critical of what they've done. But they're sort of catered to this time of year.
And of course, they've got the elite goaltending which is so, so important. I think the Rangers should be favorites in this series, and plus money was offered. So I took the New York Rangers at plus-100.