If you love defence this is the series for you. The Bruins and Rangers both like to keep pucks out of their own net. These two Original Six franchises have 10 Stanley Cups between them and both are very serious about adding another one to their trophy case this year. After coming off 7 game series’ in the 1st round, the B’s and Blueshirts find themselves potentially facing another 7 gamer in what many believe will be a very close checking, low scoring, evenly played battle.
The Bruins are only two years removed from their first Cup in 39 years, however they failed to advance past the 1st round one year ago. The Rangers organization hasn’t won a Cup since 1994, almost twenty years ago. They did make the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago, losing to the New Jersey Devils.
Both teams have their stretches when goals are hard to come by, but that’s not really their game. This series is probably going to be low scoring and very intense. Two great goalies and very solid defence corps’ make these teams tough to find goals against. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is considered by many to be the best goaltender in the NHL. Tuukka Rask isn’t too far behind. His .929 save percentage this season was actually better than the .926 Lundqvist posted.
Zdeno Chara is always a factor. The big bruising defenceman for the B’s is one of the most dominant forces in the league at times. When he is having a great night it’s very tough to beat the Bruins. Without a Chara type of their own, the Rangers’ D is more by committee but very strong in its own right.
Coming into this season the Bruins and Rangers were both considered two of the top 3 teams in the Eastern Conference, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Because the Rangers struggled at times this season they made the playoffs low in the 6th spot but it’s no real surprise they are one of the four teams still standing in the East.
Henrik Lundqvist posted back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 & 7 of the 1st round to help his team comeback from a 3-2 deficit against the Washington Capitals. With King Henrik, the Rangers have a weapon that can shut teams down. He will play a very significant role in this series. Perhaps the most significant role of anyone involved.
Bruins In 6.
The Rangers aren’t as deep or as experienced and that could cost them in a couple close games, and ultimately in the series. Other than that, the two teams are almost identical in defensive approach and playing style. This one is unpredictable.