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Why the Rangers Can Replicate the Bruins (Part two)

We already took a look at the key similarities between the new Stanley Cup champion Bruins and the developing New York Rangers. So what are the key differences? Let’s take a look.

The system

Claude Julien has done a magnificent job with the Bruins even if they are not always pleasing to the eye. The Bruins play a conservative 1-4 forecheck (trapping style of hockey), which suits their slower, but more physical roster to perfection. Their main goal is to shut down the neutral zone, prevent odd man rushes, and force transition rushes in the other direction. The ultimate reward of a Stanley Cup fully vindicates their system.

On the other hand, John Tortorella plays a 2-1-2 forecheck (puck pursuit brand of hockey), which requires a good consistent effort on the puck, a high pace, and the use of defensemen to join or lead the rush. This system aims to keep play in the opposition’s zone by aggressive forechecking and pinching defensemen.  Can Tortorella’s system once again be successful in the playoffs?

‘One Ahead of the Other’

Amid all of the similarities is the fact that, simply put, the Bruins are ahead of the Rangers in their development. Chara IS a Norris trophy winner and annual candidate for the award, while Marc Staal hasn’t reached that level (yet). Krejci is an established playmaking center while Stepan is at the beginning of his (hopefully successful) NHL career. The entire Bruins defense has a great amount of experience when you consider Kaberle, Seidenberg and Andrew Ference while the Rangers D is still in its learning curve. There are the forwards such as Bergeron, Horton, Recchi and Ryder who possess a greater level of experience than the Rangers equivalents.

Winning Experience

Mark Recchi has an unbelievable amount of playoff experience and now boasts 3 cups. Chris Kelly (who had a very good playoffs for the Bruins) had been to the Cup final with the Senators. Kaberle, believe it or not has a ton of playoff experience with over 100 NHL playoff games including a deep run with the Leafs (yes, really). Andrew Ference has been to a Cup final before this year and is now one game shy of 100 playoff games in the NHL. Seidenberg has had two long playoff runs before arriving in Boston, even Shawn Thornton boasts over 60 playoff games in the quest for Stanley.

The point here is that Boston has/had a surprising amount of playoff experience and that is invaluable. The only Rangers with what can be considered significant NHL playoff experience is Drury (135 playoff games), Gaborik (34 games), Prospal (65 games), Fedotenko (88) and McCabe (56). As they go into next season, the Rangers will probably still be relatively green in terms of playoff games played (another reason for a Brad – Conn Smythe – Richards signing?) especially if all of McCabe, Fedotenko, Prospal and Drury do not return, which is very possible.

Overall Assessment

The Rangers appear to be similar to the Bruins in personnel as well as roster composition and they seem simply to be at a different point in their development. If anything, the Bruins cup victory should excite Rangers fans as the Bruins offer the Rangers legitimate hope that a cup victory could be in their future.

With the likes of Lundqvist, Callahan, Staal, Dubinsky, Stepan and Gaborik providing an established core for the future, the Rangers have the chance to do something special. Tempering the enthusiasm and excitement, this all comes with a few caveats. Prospects still need to be developed, holes on the roster need to be filled, and key players on the current roster can’t afford to stagnate. Having said all that, there is plenty of reason for optimism, and now it is up to Glen Sather and John Tortorella to make the dream of another Cup Parade a reality.

8 Responses to “Why the Rangers Can Replicate the Bruins (Part two)”

  1. Dave says:

    Good job noting the coaching strategy differences. That’s a big difference in the success, a trapping system is good for teams that don’t necessarily have the skill level for a 2-1-2.

  2. Mikeyyyy says:

    Just looking at the similarities is scary.

    Now we just need that playoff experience.

    I wonder if there is a late 30s ish type player that is proven in the playoffs that is available…

  3. Jess says:

    Chris
    Great Job here but you are ahead of yourself as Gordie Clark was once an asst Bruin coach then scout and finally Asst GM.

    Jeff Gorton who is currently Gordie’s #2 was in fact the person who ran Boston’s draft in 2006 (which resulted in Kessel, Marchand, and Lucic)

    Gorton spent 15 years working for the Bruin as a scout and Asst GM.

    The Rangers also hired Daniel Dore who worked with Gorton in Boston as a scout. Dore worked for them for 11 years.

    • The Suit says:

      How is Chris “ahead of himself”? And why do your daily comments always seem to come off as half compliment/half jab? Do you not like Bristish people?

      • Jess says:

        Suit

        If you have an issue with me please bring it to me as an adult. My email is easy to find.

        Have no idea what the heck you mean by not liking British people?

        And since it was unclear to you then I will make it so you understand.

        Chris said what has been badly needed to be said for quite some time. The Boston model or the Detroit model is why they are contenders and the Rangers are not.

        And since you need me to make it clear for you then let me say this. Chris, Dave, Michael are 3 people who I have a lot of respect for (you kind of just lost mine).

        This place is one of the few that I make it a point to read daily whether agree with it or not.

        Hope that was clear enough “Suit” (yes that one was a jab)

  4. Mundo says:

    Are you two gonna drop the gloves?

  5. Matt J says:

    I want some fisticuffs Jess and suit.