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Past history, stats hardly a concern to Rangers

by Dave Lozo

NEW YORK -- Since the NHL went to a best-of-seven format for all four rounds in 1987, no team has won the Stanley Cup after playing 14 games over the first two rounds.

The New York Rangers will play their 15th game of the postseason Monday night when they host the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Not surprisingly, coach John Tortorella, to put it nicely, doesn't lend much credence to that statistic.

"That's a bunch of (hogwash)," he said Monday morning.

Statistics that extend 25 years into the past can either be looked at as having deep meaning or so old that they are completely irrelevant. Last season the Boston Bruins won their first-round series in seven games and went on to win the Cup, becoming the first team to accomplish that feat since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.

The always insightful Ruslan Fedotenko, who is 6-0 in Game 7s in his career and scored twice in Game 7 when the Lightning won the Cup in 2004, offered his thoughts on what statistics mean to him.

"Statistics are all in the past. It doesn't matter what we did in the past," Fedotenko said. "I scored two goals in Game 7, but does that matter? Did I score last two games? No, it doesn't really matter. What's in the past is in the past and there's always a record to break and always a new record to set and things to do. To me, it doesn't matter.

"Each round is different. Each team is different. There's different circumstances, different things. I don't believe in stats, or, 'Oh, I'm 6-0, that means for sure I'm 7-0.' No, it's absolutely not. It doesn't matter what's in the past. It's good in the past I was able to be on the winning side, but it doesn't matter going forward. That's my point of view."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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