Thursday, May 16, 2013

Peepin' Foes Playoff Edition: Boston Bruins

The Rangers have an Original 6 matchup in the conference semifinals, a best-of-seven date with the Boston Bruins. As the series starts tonight, this will be quick.

When Do We Play:
Game 1: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Boston
Game 2: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. at Boston
Game 3: May 21st, 7:30 p.m. at MSG
Game 4: May 23rd, 7:00 p.m. at MSG
*Game 5: May 25th, TBD at Boston
*Game 6: May 27th, TBD at MSG
* Game 7: May 29th, TBD at Boston
* - if necessary

Where We Are: In the second round!! The Rangers rallied from a 2-0 hole to defeat the Capitals in seven games. The team had two days off to hopefully learn a power play and heal some wounds before facing the Big, Bad Bruins.

Where They Are: Boston nearly blew a 3-1 lead in their series against Toronto and were down 4-1 going into the third period of Game 7. But they won 5-4 in overtime. If you didn't see it, it was one of the more remarkable finishes in a looooong time. The Bruins finished the regular season with the fourth seed - one point behind second-seeded Montreal, five more than Washington.

What Happened This Season: The Rangers took on the Bruins three times, all within the first dozen games. They lost the season opener in Boston 3-1 (my recap), won 4-3 in overtime four days later (my recap) and took a 4-3 shootout victory in the third game three weeks later (my recap).

What Happened Past Seasons: The Rangers have faced Boston in the playoffs nine times, winning just three of those series. Two of the seven losses were in the Stanley Cup Finals (1929, 1972), but two of the three victories, however, were on the way to Stanley Cups (1928, 1940).

Who Played On Both Teams: There are some great names to wear both the spoked-B and the Blueshirt: Andy Hebenton, Dean Prentice, Allen Stanley, Red Sullivan, Orland Kurtenbach, Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Rick Middleton, Carol Vadnais, Phil Esposito, Chris Nilan, Marc Savard, PJ Stock, Mike Knuble, Brian Leetch, Colton Orr and Wade Redden!

Who To Watch For: Milan Lucic was a beast in Game 7 against the Leafs during crunch time, absolutely dominant. Patrice Bergeron rarely wows but is one of the most complete players in the NHL. Brad Marchand is a smaller version of Sean Avery, just with better hands, and Tyler Seguin has been slumping but when he is on, he is on. Their defense is thinned by injury (no Seidenberg, Ference or Redden) but they still have the man-mountain that is Zdeno Chara, who admitted to me in Prague before this season that he hated the Rangers.

What To Watch For: That Jagr guy to score, especially since he enters with just one goal in his last 17 games. Bergeron winning all the faceoffs. Nathan Horton making himself comfortable in the slot. Shawn Thornton sending a message. Tuukka Rask either completely shutting the Rangers down or completely falling apart. Hank to make some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful saves. During the regular season Boston's power play was actually worse than the Rangers' but their penalty kill was better.

Also Check Out: Big fan of two of the Boston blogs, Stanley Cup of Chowder and Days of Y'Orr.


Vincent said...

I did some research and found that since the 2005-2006 season, the Rangers are 22-7-2 vs Bruins, with 22 of those games being decided by 1 goal or in the shootout.

In the last 4 seasons, the Rangers are 11-4-0 vs Bruins, with 11 games decided by 1 goal or in the shootout.

Always really, really close games. That the Rangers seem to win most of.

This should be a very tight series, with a lot of tense exciting moments, and hopefully the results continue the trend and the Blueshirts come out on top.


Pete said...

Poor Marc Savard.