With the playoffs on the horizon, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, and little splash of opinion for seasoning. This is my attempt at providing that.
4) Boston Bruins vs. 6) New York Rangers
Head-to-Head in 2013: One win for the Bruins, two for the Rangers, haven’t played since Feb. 12th
A stat: Two squads haven’t met in playoffs since 1973!
*** ALL STATS REGULAR SEASON ***
Goal differentials: Boston: +22, New York: +18
Shots-per-game: Boston: 32.4 (2nd), New York: 30.9 (7th)
Shots-against-per-game: Boston: 28.6 (13th), New York: 28.2 (11th)
BOS: Tuukka Rask: .929 save percentage, 2.00 goals-against average
NYR: Henrik Lundqvist: .926 save percentage, 2.05 goals-against average
BOS: Brad Marchand, 36 in 45 games
NYR: Derek Stepan, 44 points in 48 games
Reason to watch: Because these are two flawed teams and someone has to win, so it’s a lot of fun to see which group can pull it together long enough to advance.
Lately: Bruins beat the Leafs in seven, Rangers beat the Capitals in seven
BOS: 14.8% (26nd)
NYR: 15.7% (23rd)
BOS: 87.1% (4th)
NYR: 81.1% (15th)
Special teams evaluation: Boston’s PK is kind of okay. If the Rags can’t score on the PP, Bruins can play tougher, could get un-fun for New York.
Injuries (via NHL.com): “The Rangers have Staal (eye), Clowe (undisclosed) and Powe (undisclosed) on the sidelines. … The Bruins are missing Ference (lower body), Seidenberg (undisclosed) and Redden (undisclosed). Ference has been spotted wearing a walking boot.”
First game: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. EST
Flippant barstool opinion: This is going to go poorly for the Rangers and look bad on Rick Nash, because they won’t score much and he’ll assume the blame.
I feel like the Boston Bruins are the type of team that has the horses if they can get hot at the right time, and sneaking by the Leafs might have been just what they needed to get the ball rolling. It helps that they have a stud of a goaltender and the Rangers have had trouble scoring all year, so they don’t have to score a ton to move on.
Prediction: Bruins in five
Your NHL.com preview: