Right now, the Rangers have much better balance than the Bruins. For almost the entire first round, the Bruins were a one line team. Mr. Girardi and Mr. McDonagh, meet Mr. Lucic. Boston thin on the backline but Rask a very good and underrated goaltender. First round really showcased the value of Rangers depth.
I really like the Rangers in this matchup. And the second round traditionally is less emotional than the first round.
Winnable series but Boston is the better team. I have tickets for game 4, so let's go Rangers!
Why is Boston the better team??
Lets look at regular season for example:
Boston - 131
NYR - 130
Boston - 109
Rangers - 112
So the numbers for regular season are almost identical!
Now lets look at playoffs:
The Rangers have 12 players with at least 2 points, and 11 players with at least 1 goal in round 1. Boston have 10 players with at least 2 points, also 11 players with at least 1 goal. Boston has a top line (Krejci line) but the Rangers are starting to develop a top line of their own with Nash-Brassard-Zucc.
So in terms of depth and "star" power I think the teams are very similar. Neither team has a true star like Malkin or Crosby. Both teams rely on depth at forward and a strong defense. We have Staal out, they have Seidenberg and Ference out...I think for now that cancels out. In terms of physical play, I believe we are just as physical.
Assuming F and D cancel out, I see Lundqvist outplaying Rask and that should be enough to win this series.
Much respect to Boston. The Rangers got better and better in the Caps series. The Rangers are able to convert on some of their chances in the Caps series and that series was over in 5 or 6. The Bruins PP is like the Rangers PP. The Caps PP with Oates and his 5 plays for each PP was ridiculous. The Rangers did a better job on Green in games 6 and 7. Green was ripping the Rangers a new one. It took the Leafs until game 3 to get fully engaged. They were a young team. Many of those players didn't have much playoff experience. The Rangers know how to play these games. The new guys saw how the coach and team leaders reacted. We are down 2-0. Big deal. When the Rangers were down 2-0,Torts was leaving the Rangers room. The locker attendants probably knows him and told John "hope to see you soon". Torts told him we will be back here. We're down 3-2. Its not over yet. The team knows how to play in these series. Go after the Bs D. The Caps were supposed to crush the Rangers. Hottest team in the NHL. MVP. Holtby was excellent until game 7 when the roof caved in.
Bruins fan here, and a worried one at that. Will offer my thoughts on the B's and ask a little about the Rangers.
The B's have not had a good year, and they don't deserve to be in the second round. While they got a lot of shots on the Leafs through the series, they didn't got a lot of quality shots, and didn't do well in following up for rebounds (of which there were pleanty). The Leafs outworked the B's for most of the series which is what worries me the most.
B's weakness: They are injured, especially on the blue line so they are very shallow there. If Redden, Ference, and most importantly Seidenburg are able to recover from their injuries it would be a major factor in the series. They haven't worked hard consistently, it's like Julien hasn't found the right buttons to press. They haven't been able to finish on their scoring chances against Reimer. While Reimer has played very well, a lot of it has been the B's shooting the puck at him, or just missing the net. Against a better goalie like H.L., they may have a very hard time scoring. Finally, the B's are tired. They had a very hetic last few weeks to the season, and just finished a 7 game war. They probably don't have the gas in the tank to fight it out in a long series again.
Bruin's strengths: They are crazy good on the faceoff. Rask could have very well been nominated for the Venzia with H.L.. I'm hard pressed to give the Rangers the edge in goal. When the B's are skating hard and playing inspired, they 2 legit #1 lines, and 2 legit #3 lines. Finally, the dramatic way that they came back to beat the Leafs may have fired up the team in a way that was missing all year, if so the B's may be hard to contain.
So I ask, what are the Rangers strenghts and weaknesses from a Ranger's fan perspective?
just looking at lucic's face makes me wanna slam his head against the boards.
bruins struggled down the stretch, they played ALOT of games, they were definitely worn down heading into the playoffs. now their D is banged up and coming off a 7 game series needing a miracle comeback. as their series went on they played worse and worse, we on the other hand played well down the stretch and got better and better as the caps series went on. i think we're peaking, i think the bruins are hanging on.
NYR's strength right now is Center depth. We're running Brassard, Stepan, Richards, and Boyle down the middle, and Brassard is red hot. Lundqvist is playing well, and we finally have a steady third pairing in Moore-Eminger. If Staal comes back, it gets even more comfortable defensively.
Power play. 2 for 27 in the series. Matched against the B's top PK of 87% and it will be tough to see more than 1 or 2 pp goals this series for the Rangers.
Absence of top performers... Nash and Richards have provided little to nothing offensively. Best thing I can say about Nash is that he has opened space for Brassard and Zuccarello, while Richards has been good defensively.
Ference is hurt, Seidenberg is hurt, Redden is hurt, they have a teenager playing in the POs for the first time, and Chara playing more than half the game.
To me the key to the series is the blue line. If the Rangers can wear down a depleted B's blueline with their forecheck and the Rangers top D can shut down the Lucic line and Bergeron then they are in good shape.
If Redden plays he will be booed every time he touches the puck. I personally hold nothing against him, but its the POs so bring on the boos.
i also thought nash looked great in game 7, he was all over the ice. still amazing we beat the hottest team in the nhl with our best player scoring ZERO goals. if he plays like he did in game 7 hes gonna score a few no doubt about it.