Game Thread

Game 49: Gotta find a way to beat the Bruins

The New York Rangers have won two in a row in games they probably didn’t deserve to win against mediocre opponents. Tonight they face one of their fellow playoff teams in the Boston Bruins, a team that has given them fits for a while now. Some blame it on the Bs size, I blame it on their stifling defense and all-world goalie Tuukka Rask.

It’s not boys amongst men when the Rangers play, it’s Boston executing Claude Julien’s systems to a T, and the Rangers unable to mount any sustained offense. The lazy narrative is size though, so it plays. And yes, the Bruins are bigger. But the Rangers are faster and more skilled. These are teams the Rangers usually eat alive, but the Bs have the Rangers number, as shown by their 3-0 blanking last month.

What have they done lately?

The Bruins are red hot right now, going 8-1-1 in their last ten to secure a comfortable cushion in the wild card race on the Florida Panthers. At this point, the Bs are a playoff team and they aren’t looking back. They’ve done so by getting back to basics and maintaining puck possession after spending most of the season under 50% FF. They are the yellow/black line below, the Rangers are the blue line.

nyr bos ff

It helps that they’ve been riding a bit of a hot streak from Rask, which has spiked their PDO to over 103. Their SH% in this span is about 8%-9%, which is also pretty high, but those are the peaks and valleys you expect throughout a season.

nyr bos pdo

Bruins Systems

The Bruins have had the same style of play for years under Claude Julien. They play an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck early in the period and then switch to a more conservative 1-4 or 1-1-3 lock later in the period if they have a lead. In the defensive zone, the Bs play a low zone collapse and try to defend you in layers depending on puck location. On special teams, the Bruins use an umbrella power play and a wedge+1/diamond force penalty kill where they try to pressure for turnovers.

Bruins Lines

Jordan Caron/Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Reilly Smith
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui Eriksson
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-David Pastrnak
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

PP1: Smith-Soderberg-Bergeron-Eriksson-Hamilton
PP2: Lucic-Krejci-Marchand-Chara-Krug

PK: Kelly-Eriksson-Paille-Campbell-Chara-Seidenberg-McQuaid-Miller

Tuukka Rask is in net.

Rangers Lines

Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Derick Brassard-Jesper Fast
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Kevin Klein
John Moore-Dan Boyle

PP1: MSL-Brassard-Stepan-Nash-Boyle
PP2: Stempniak-Kreider-Zucc-Girardi-McDonagh

PK: Stepan, Nash, Girardi, Staal, Moore, Fast, Hunwick, Boyle, Hagelin, Klein, McDonagh, MSL

Cam Talbot is in net.

Scratches/Injuries: Henrik Lundqvist (upper body/throat), J.T. Miller (healthy), Matt Hunwick (healthy)

Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 8pm on NBCSN.

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9 Comments

    1. I think that’s just showing who the extra forward is and where he plays when in the lineup.
      If I’m not mistaken the B’s had to play much of the season so far without Chara who was injured early on.
      Chara is also getting into his “golden years” in the NHL at his age. Yet Boston couldnt win without him. Without him they were not looking like a playoff team and had trouble with depth on the back end.

  1. This is a big game for the Rangers. The Rangers haven’t showed much against the better teams around the East. The B’s are one of the best in the Conference despite their record (slow start).
    AV has said it a few times now in recent press conferences about beating the good teams.
    I think what the Rangers do or don’t do at the deadline is going to depend on games like tonight.

  2. Miller needs to be in the lineup, and not on the 4th line…Fast knocks Glass to the press box and Miller plays with Brass & Hags…unfortunately Miller may on Broadway very much longer…a big, big mistake

    1. In my opinion it’s generally a waste to trade past 1st round picks for Rental UFA especially if you don’t win the cup. It’s gonna end up setting you back. Why not move him for a young centerman with more NHL experience. The spot in the lineup the Rangers need a player for, gives them room. Assuming it’s a 3rd centerman the Rangers need. AV uses that line predominantly in the offensive end so it doesn’t have to be a 10 year vet.
      The NYR are one of the older teams in the league after being the 3rd youngest in 11/12. A young skating center would be a good thing. If he’s cost controlled as an RFA for years to come it’s a bonus rather than hurting you. Santorelli seems like the best plan B however, they do things backwards in Toronto so you never know if that’s doable.

      1. Jon

        Great point, and that’s the main issue with trading our young kids for rentals. That was well stated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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