Getting to know the New York Rangers
The New York Rangers will be the next obstacle standing between the Bruins and the Stanley Cup. The Bruins had a dramatic come-from-behind win to advance to the second round and will look to pose a threat to the Ranger’s playoff chances.
The Rangers boasted a regular season record of 16-18-4, have been a strong team all season, and are not to be trifled with. The battled it out against Washington, taking the series to seven games before winning Game 7 to advance to the next round.
The biggest factor in their success has been goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who had been stellar all season but even better in the postseason. Lundqvist has played all seven playoff games in goal, racking up a save percentage of .947 along with two shutouts. Having him keeping opposing offenses at bay has been the biggest factor the Rangers’ success and will help propel them forward in the playoffs.
While the Rangers’ defense has been rock solid, their offense has not been close to the level it was during the regular season. Team leaders in points and assists, Derek Stepan (center), and goals, Rick Nash (left wing), have not come close to making the leaderboard in the playoffs, proving some concern to the Rangers. Most of the offense has come from center Derek Brassard who played just 13 games for the Rangers last season.
If the Rangers hope to succeed against the Bruins their veterans will have to step it up and preform to their regular season form, otherwise it might be a struggle against the Bruins’ defense, even if they are starting three rookies
The Rangers won two of three matchups against the Bruins in the regular season, so if history repeats itself they have a clear upper hand going into this series. That said Lundqvist has not played too well against the Bruins, getting slapped with a 2.95 GAA in the regular season while Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has a 2.62 GAA against the Rangers.
This will be a low scoring series based on defense, but should either team suddenly click and provide an offensive surge they will have the clear advantage in the series and will walk away the victor.