Rangers-Bruins position-by-position matchups

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From the Journal News and LoHud.com:

By Rick Carpiniello

GREENBURGH – The Rangers and Bruins won’t need mirrors this week. They can just look at each other while they’re grinding out games in their first playoff series in 40 years.

Here’s a look at the matchups:

FORWARDS: The Bruins have nobody like Alex Ovechkin, whom the Rangers shut down in the first round. They have some skill, certainly, in David Krejci, Tyler Seguin and former Ranger Jaromir Jagr. But more typical of the Bruins forwards are rugged Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Brad Marchand, Scott Thornton, Gregory Campbell and one of the top two-way forwards in the NHL, Patrice Bergeron.

All of them are physical, most of them responsible defensively.

Similar to the Rangers, whose big gun Rick Nash, failed to score a goal in seven games vs. Washington, and whose captain, Ryan Callahan, didn’t score one until the third period of Game 7. But Callahan led a hit parade against the Capitals, causing turnovers and creating offense, and after losing the first two games, the Rangers won four of five because guys like Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, Derek Dorsett, Arron Asham won wall wars.

The Rangers will need to be very good in that area, and will need offense and two-way play from Derek Stepan, Callahan, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, Carl Hagelin, of course Nash, and it would help if Brad Richards got untracked. Maybe Boston’s Chris Kreider tosses in some offense, too?

EDGE: Boston.

DEFENSEMEN: The Rangers have nobody like Zdeno Chara, but who does? The Boston defense is more physical, with Adam McQuaid and Andrew Ference dishing it out, and the B’s have skilled rookie Dougie Hamilton. But their defense is also banged up with Ference and Dennis Seidenberg, along with Rangers’ buyout Wade Redden nursing injuries.

The Rangers’ top pair of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh did a wonderful job on Ovechkin, who didn’t have a point in the last five games, and had one goal in the series. They were pounded by the Caps, though, and will be again. Marc Staal is questionable, at best, for this series, so the Rangers will need Anton Stralman to continue his steady play, and for Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger and John Moore to play as they did in Games 6 and 7.

EDGE: Even.

GOALTENDERS: Henrik Lundqvist vs. anybody right now is a win for the Rangers, coming off his two shutouts in elimination games, and having allowed one regulation goal in the last three road games of the Washington series.

But Tuukka Rask has always been good against the Rangers, and is capable of being better than Braden Holtby was in the previous series.

EDGE: Rangers.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The key to the Rangers’ special teams vs. Washington was to avoid them. The Caps’ NHL-best power play couldn’t get on the ice the last three games. The Rangers’ kill was about the same during the season and first round (81.1 percent/15th in the NHL; 81.2 percent/ninth), but their power play stunk (7.1 percent vs. Washington, 15.7, ranked 23rd, during the season).

The Bruins will take penalties, especially guys like Ference, Lucic, Thornton and Marchand. But Bergeron and Gregory Campbell are top killers. Boston was fourth best in the NHL during the season (87.1), but worse than the Rangers on the power play (14.8 percent/26th).

EDGE: Even.

COACHING: Both John Tortorella and Claude Julien have Stanley Cups on their resumes. Tortorella’s press conferences tend to be more entertaining or annoying, depending on your view. But both favor a grinding, tough, forechecking style of play, both get their players to buy into defending, and players for both coaches will run through walks for them. They have played close games head to head, mostly low-scoring, seemingly forever.

EDGE: Even.

PREDICTION: Bruins in 7 (sorry).

(photo from johnkstuff.blogpost.com)

(thanks for the idea, Hagerstown Md Rangers Fan.)

 

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78 Comments

  1. Carp I can see how you pick the Bruins in seven but dont see how their D is even with the Rangers especially if it isn’t healthy. I assume in grading that you assumed Boston had everyone healthy.

  2. No need to be sorry. You picked the Caps in the last series. This could only be a good omem

  3. Hagerstown Md Rangers fan on

    Carp your welcome. Now lets hope I’m right and your wrong visa vi the prediction for the series. Park Ranger Henrik will not give up too many picnic baskets. I hope.
    And heres hoping Nash can pot a few plants kick in a few goals or whatever euphamism works here.

  4. I wonder which Ref broke Ovechkin’s foot and how long said red will be suspended by Shanahan.

  5. carp at least you gave an analysis this time and an apology :P! I don’t know if you saw my comment from the prediction blog, but i was mad you keep picking against our boys and gave no reasons!

  6. omen. Can’t type any more Must be suffering from dyslexia. Sure win Tues nite by the Rangers. My wife’s going with me and she was 6-0 during the season. Just worried about the other games. Boston’s a little beat up so hopefully it should make a difference. Also, we matched up pretty well with them during the regular season.

  7. Peter, but they do have the best defenseman in the series, and their D is more physical, and the baby-faced kid is a wild card.

  8. Hagerstown Md Rangers fan on

    What do I win? A real pizza or maybe a real bagel or even Italian bread. I do miss getting a nice pizza on Flatbush Ave

  9. Thank goodness no more “chatting”.

    Now we can discuss the main topic.

    Can the Rangers win this series if Hank does not play out of his gourd?

  10. I actually think the Rangers will win this series because they have more scoring depth at F than Boston.

  11. CoosCoos, re: your Jean Shepard comment on the previous post.

    Yes I do remember his show as well as many other things deemed nostalgic.

    I particularly like your remembering many Cole Porter lyrics and your literate posts.

    When I can understand them, the code you know! ;)

  12. If I make the shirt, will you wear one, Carp? Would look GREAT in that video review. I can’t imagine Torts reaction if you wore that while asking him a question about a time out….

  13. Nanny, I’d wear one.

    Did you ever think you’d be saying that the Rangers have more scoring depth than anybody?

  14. The Bruins are a better team than the Caps.

    Their D will rough up our forwards while our D is harassed by their forwards.

    I cast one vote for Carp’s pick Bruins in 7 or less.

    Unless Henrik plays every position!

  15. Paul in sunrise on

    Carp you have to ask where is musky tonight. Get it on video. Instant twitter classic.

    I see the pic above and immediately hear “heeey boo boo I see a picinic basket” in my head.

    Hopefully lots of biscuits in the bruins basket tonight.

  16. Rangers in 5. Hank will be stellar, Rask will lose his composure. The NYR offense will finally get it together. Nash will be a BEAST despite facing Chara (who will be exhausted by game 3)

  17. Bruins in 6.

    2 OT losses (both within first 5 mins) (including game 6 series loss)

    Every game close (will make it more painful)

  18. If I had a question for Tortorella today, it would go something like this:

    (* = His blood pressure spikes)

    “Talk about (*) coming back here to Boston where you grew up (**) and then talk about (**) your philosophy (****) below the circles and then, in closing, talk about (***********) your relationship with Gabby (*****************************).”

  19. Be ready to start asking yourself for the rest of the summer: “what if Toronto never blew that lead?”

    just like “what if Florida had beaten NJD in game 7 OT?”

    and “what if we traded Kreider to get Nash before the playoff in ’12?”

  20. Carp

    Chara isn’t close to the player he was two years ago, so I would give an edge to the NYR on defense given that and Seidenberg?Ference being question marks. But I don’t think your prediction is unreasonable. Me? Rangers in 6. And in weird style —– only three victories for the home team in the entire series.

  21. Chrystal Ball on

    Rangers in 5 games..

    Richards scores tonight as does Nash.

    Carp gets a raise

  22. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, sorry I missed the Charp. I was in Philadelphia giving a presentation. From one of the offices I was in, you could see the Comcast Center. Coincidentally, the windows make it look blue.

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    So Ovechkin had a broken foot in games 6 and 7. What is his excuse for games 2-4?

  24. Such is life in the NHL. McDonuts is no longer the baby face kid, starting to look (facially) like the guy who picked a fight with Zorro. Moore should enjoy his pretty visage for as long as it lasts. These guys go home and their mother says: “OMG, what happened to you.” Their answer: “Playing with the big boys now, ma.”

  25. Love to hear Carp mention wall wars, as he so often does. Casual fans sometimes forget how much this means. Don’t notice Dorsett negatives any more. Our blogsters are smarter than the average bear.

  26. Guess I might vote for Weiner for Mayor. He’s not afraid to display his shortcomings.

  27. Dorsett looks to have a very hard wrist shot…looking forward to seeing him pump that thing more in this series as he gets back into game shape.

    DORPEDO!

  28. Canada loses in the quarterfinals again, Sweden advances. Great shootout goal by Pettersson – built up a bit of speed and fired a slapshot past Smith.

  29. In hindsight, I bet some of the CAN shooters wish they had done the same. But I will admit Pettersson’s approach was unpredictable.

  30. That’s my cuz Yogi in that ‘toon! Love it! Rangers seem to do well against the B’s when the Bruins are beaten up and missing some key parts, like Ference. Chara==Beukeboom, but the Rangers may have an edge if their defense stays healthy and can weather the punishment that Boston’s forwards can hand out. I understand why you are picking the Bruins in 7, but have more confidence than you in the Rangers. Let’s play hockey! LGR!!

  31. Why is my comment awaiting moderation? I don’t think my comment was immoderate! Never before received that notice…should I expect that all series long when I use a “bear” icon?

  32. my buddy just texted me from Boston, said Marchand was hurt in morning skate. I don’t believe him. anybody hear this?

    it was snowing this morning on the hillside here above Anchorage. nothing stuck.

  33. BickelsPickle on

    I think those yellow and black sweaters are intimidating. Right up there with the Kings’.

  34. Good nervous evening all! Carp, you know I consider you a friend and excellent hockey reporter….but what the hartnell! No soup for you!

  35. Ralph from N.M. on

    I’m here ” Huckleberry ”
    The RANGGERS in how ever many it takes to get this done !

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