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BSB Conference Finals Predictions

Glory

Glory

Admin note: No goal breakdown from last night’s game. Sorry about that.

We’re more than halfway through the playoffs and the Rangers are still not only breathing, but breathing a bit easier today after a slaughter yesterday. As always, below are our super knowledgeable predictions, and I think most of us were shaking our way through the ECF guesses. Share yours with us in the comments.

ECF: New York vs. Montreal

Kevin’s Pick: Rangers in 7. Well, we know it’s going 7 either way. Carey Price is probably the one guy on the planet that’s Henrik Lundqvist’s equal right now, so I’m terrified of him. But I think the tragedy with Martin St. Louis was a real rallying point for this team and that momentum is going to carry the Blueshirts.

Becky’s Pick: Rangers in 6. I know, no seventh game? But they’re bonded as a team and it’s incredible. It seems as though they can read each other’s minds out there, and that paired with Hank being hotter than the sun right now makes for a trip to the Cup Finals and a spike in blood pressure medication in the tri-state area.

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What the Rangers could learn from the Minnesota Wild

This game is humaaangous big

This game is humaaangous big

The first round of eliminations typically brings some surprises and, regardless of your team making the playoffs, a few disappointments. Fans who watched the Minnesota Wild edge out the Colorado Avalanche certainly found a new bandwagon to hop on. With the Rangers still in it, fans in the metro area may not have taken notice, but there is good reason why some glory coming to the state of hockey should be celebrated.

The Wild, well.. some have speculated (ahem, Kevin and myself) they would be swept straight out of the second round. And who knows, maybe they do go down in five games, but until then the bandwagon seems to be going strong. It’s hard to deny that watching Spurgeon in round 1 tie the game with 2:27 to go to take Game 7 into OT (heart palpitations, anyone?) and then having former Islander Nino Niederreiter win the series 5 minutes later wasn’t exciting. I was jumping around and I have zero feelings for either squad. So why should anyone be on this bandwagon aside from their obvious perseverance?

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BSB’s Round 2 Picks

Getting Closer...

Getting Closer…

Another day, another playoff round is upon us. The Canadiens opened up Round 2 last night with a double overtime win, giving starved fans all the hockey we can take. Below are our expert picks for the upcoming round, with Suit filling in for Chris this time.

Montreal – Boston

Justin’s Pick: Habs in 7. Obviously the Bruins are a juggernaut, but I think the Canadiens are a really bad matchup for them.  Carey Price can cancel out Tuukka Rask, and the mobility both up front and on the blue line could give the bigger, slower Bruins fits.  Factor in a rejuvenated Rene Bourque and I could see the pesky little Canadiens outlasting their bitter rivals

Suit’s Pick: Montreal in 7. Grit vs. Speed always makes for an interesting matchup and normally I’d go with grit, but in this case I think MTL will finally get past these guys. They’ve been really good on the road and that can be devastating since the Bell Centre is an extremely tough place to play. I also think Price is going to finally steal one.

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An Open Letter to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Wakey Wakey shirts

Dear Hawks,

Usually, I like you. Despite growing up loving Detroit (thanks to my brother), I always thought there was something about you that was a bit charming. Maybe it’s the awesome jersey, or the great crowds you always seem to draw, or maybe it’s Patrick Sharp’s face. I can’t be sure. I certainly appreciated you last year when you took out the team that steamrolled the New York area straight into baseball season. But this postseason…. not so much.

I guess it started off bad for you. I’d begun to like the Blues cause who can’t when there’s so much American Olympic representation, including the shootout king Oshie and a kid who grew up a Rangers fan in Shattenkirk. But still, there was a respect I felt for you and an excitement I felt in what would be a gritty, tough, skilled matchup. I would love to see some nice, clean hockey played between rivals.

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Playoff Predictions: Round One

2014 contenders for Lord Stanley

2014 contenders for Lord Stanley

Here at BSB, we’re always using “expertise” and “knowledge” and “total guesses” to bring you news and our views on goings on around the Rangers organization and all around the NHL. A few of us have broken down our individual predictions for each of the Round 1 playoff series. We’ll be doing this as each round advances. Enjoy.

Detroit vs Boston

Kevin’s Pick: Bruins in 7. I love the way the Red Wings are playing right now and probably would have taken them over any other team in the Eastern Conference, but this is a nightmare matchup for Detroit.

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End of the Regular Season Musings/Awards

John is angry

As we’ve hit the final day of the regular season, it’s time to look back and think about surprise teams, great plays and big news from around the league.  As our boys in blue look ahead to opening up the playoffs against Philly Thursday night, several teams around the league are getting their golf equipment ready and leaving hockey for the summer.  Of those teams are nearly all of the Canadian teams (except for Montreal) and a bevy of shocked fanbases. Ahead is a season reflective musings for this sunny Sunday on the East Coast.

Worst Display by a Fanbase: The Edmonton Oilers had an absolutely abysmal season, finishing with just 67 points after acquiring a new head coach (Dallas Eakins) and a new captain (Andrew Ference) in the offseason.  In an effort to show their displeasure with the team, a fan decided to throw their sweater on the ice. Twice. Goalie Ben Scrivens voiced how disrespectful that is, which it is, as it shows a lack of appreciation for all of those years that the teams before the 2014 squad had won. Scary thought: the Oilers wouldn’t even be the worst team if they played in the East. Scarier thought: when their talent clicks and they start to do well. I wish I was tech-savvy and could embed the video, instead, watch it here.

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Scouting the Playoffs: the Boston Bruins

Hockey.

Hockey.

With the playoffs on our doorstep, reminding us that our Rangers have yet to clinch a spot, it’s time to continue our look ahead at teams that we’ll definitely be seeing through late April at the very least.  Though the focus has been mostly on the west, the East is also somewhat settled up. The reigning Eastern Conference champs, the Boston Bruins, have been in destruction mode all season and don’t seem to be letting up.

The Bruins, cashing in with 113 points as of today, are making quick work of nearly everyone who comes their way. Much like last year in the playoffs, they’re a terrifying group to look at, which is useful as the Rangers come down the home stretch and need them to make work of rivals like the Flyers. With their defeat of Philly yesterday, they clinched the best record in the East and home ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference finals, something that’s a huge deal as they’ve got the best home record in all of hockey.

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Players policing the ice

Muscle for the 2013-14 Rangers

During Friday night’s melee against the Blue Rangers Jackets, we certainly saw something we weren’t used to seeing since the departure of our captain at the very latest; we saw heart and a team playing with passion. We also saw an instance of a hard, borderline hit which rocked one of our players so hard he hasn’t played since with a questionable timetable to return.  Though I feel I can speak for everyone in saying we never want to see this, what we saw afterwards was refreshing.

The passion came about with a fight – a quick 30 second dance – between a seasoned fighter and a guy who’s got 5 prior career NHL fights. Benoit Pouliot made his best effort to avenge an apparent concussion on John Moore, holding his own and pinning down Derek MacKenzie. For me, an unashamed Pouliot fan, this was exactly what I love to see: a guy unafraid to potentially get his butt handed to him in an effort to let the other team know they can’t mess with our guys. But is that really the right way?

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Thursday Musings: Rangers vs. Rangers edition

With the Rangers playing the Rangers rejects (or is that the Blue Jackets playing the Blue Jacket rejects?) on Friday it seemed like a good chance to throw up a Musings ahead of Friday’s game in Columbus. So, let’s get to it.

The fact that there is even a debate as to who won the Nash deal (so far) is proof enough that Nash has underwhelmed so far in New York. Nash was by far the best player moved in the deal but while the ex-Rangers in Columbus have developed quite well Nash has left the Rangers fans always wanting more.

Given the likelihood of Brad Richards leaving in the summer, you think the Rangers would live either of Dubinsky or Anisimov back? Dubinsky has 41 points so far, as he’s playing major minutes and a good two way game for Columbus while Anisimov is on 19 goals for the season and playing a very solid year to date. Both would still be solid players for the Rangers.

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Scouting the Playoffs: St. Louis Blues

Your Presidents' Trophy frontrunners...

Your Presidents’ Trophy frontrunners…

Being an enthusiast of following several teams closely, it’s only natural that playoff fever has hit me a bit earlier than for my nervous Rangers do or die fan counterparts. The great part of watching several teams is that you gain a perspective which you don’t get when your head is so far gone in hating that one guy on your team or figuring out why that other player isn’t getting enough ice time. It also educates you on the other conferences and divisions which your team will hopefully see down the road in May.

Throughout this journey of a season (isn’t it wonderful to have a full season again?), we were all graced with Olympic hockey which created a perfect opportunity for the casual hockey fan to learn about other teams. Who the heck is Bobby Ryan and why are we upset he isn’t being selected? Who is Cam Fowler? What is Blake Wheeler? All of these questions led to learning and eventually seeing these guys play.

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