Woah, woah, woah. You’re telling me the Boston Bruins can string together consecutive quality games?
It seems to be the case right now. After winning another overtime thriller in Game 1 of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins decided to play drama-free hockey in Game 2, beating the New York Rangers 5-2. Here are a few observations as Boston heads to the Big Apple with a 2-0 series lead.
The legend of Torey Krug continues.
At 5’9 and 22 years of age, expectations for Krug were pretty minimal as he entered the playoffs for the first time in his career. He had only played one regular season game this year before injuries thrust him into duty against New York.
So when Game 2 came to a close and Krug had registered another goal and a key assist, it felt like fans were watching the Bruins’ version of “Rudy.”
The rookie has shown zero fear being placed on such a big stage against a formidable opponent. His quickness has been a breath of fresh air on the Boston blue line, as it allows him to make offensive pinches without the risk of getting burned on a breakout.
And let’s talk about that goal. The setup pass was off line, but Krug, as professionally as you can do, played the puck off his skate and fired a shot right through Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Krug’s play is the talk of the series right now, and Boston will have quite a decision on their hands once their veteran defensemen get healthy.
Lundqvist is human after all.
If there was one aspect of this series where New York had a clear edge, it was in net. Not to discount Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask as he’s playing quite well, but Lundqvist is one of the best goalies in the world.
At least, he’s supposed to be.
In two games so far, the Swedish superstar has let by eight goals. Some have been dirty, yet others were clearly “he’s got to have that one” shots.
Regardless of how they go in, it all counts for Boston.
As Brad Marchand scored his second goal of the series 26 seconds into the third period, he made some history. Now up 4-2, it was the first time Lundqvist had allowed more than three goals against Boston.
He certainly has the talent to bounce back from this, and Boston can’t afford to assume Lundqvist is a pushover now.
That being said, seeing a final score of 5-2 in favor of the Bruins is quite a twist ending.
Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are finally awake.
Both Boston second liners struggled quite mightily throughout their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. All of the sudden, after Bergeron tied and won Game 7 against the Leafs, it seems both he and Marchand have found their games.
In a play that looked eerily similar to the overtime winner from Game 1 Thursday night, Marchand took a perfectly placed pass from Bergeron on a breakout and put it past Lundqvist.
These two are crucial to Boston’s success this postseason, and early signs are showing that their respective funks are behind them.
If this is indeed true, the Rangers have yet another issue to deal with.
Boston must maintain momentum heading into New York.
A 2-0 series lead is great, it really is. But the Rangers faced the same hole against the Washington Capitals, and look how that turned out.
We’ve also seen the Bruins struggle to maintain consistent play in the past few weeks. This is why there’s no need for Boston to assume they’ve got New York on the ropes.
It must be said though; the Bruins showed much better resolve in Game 2 than they did through most of the series with Toronto.
Twice Boston scored a go ahead goal only to see New York tie it back up seconds later. There was a sense of dread that maybe this would deflate the Bruins.
Boston fans were more than happy to be wrong in that department, as the team rallied back each time. And when they took a 3-2 lead, they never looked back.
Madison Square Garden is an incredibly difficult place to play, but if the Bruins can steal at least one of the games there, then maybe we can start thinking the team is turning over a new leaf.