Five Reasons Boston Bruins Are Up 3-0 on New York Rangers
Five Reasons Boston Bruins Are on the Verge of Sweeping New York Rangers
So here we are again. For the second time in what seems like minutes, the Boston Bruins have an NHL Playoff opponent on the ropes. This time, it’s the New York Rangers.
While every Boston fan is already dreaming of a marquee matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins for a shot at the Stanley Cup, those same fans have to be hesitant. After all, these same Bruins had a 3-1 lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one, and these same Bruins were minutes away from blowing it.
However, Boston is now sporting a near-insurmountable 3-0 edge over the Rangers. I say “near” because, well, the Bruins have some bad memories in that department.
Although, as we observe their series against New York, there is a little reason to believe Boston may leave the drama out this time around.
For one, they just don’t seem like the same Bruins that struggled to consistently attack Toronto in round one.
Secondly, the Rangers look like a team deflated.
They can’t seem to score, their power play was so bad it sent Pierre McGuire into an intense tirade, and if you look close enough, you see a team who appears to be bailing on their coach.
Long story short; New York may already be booking tee times.
But let’s not discredit the Bruins here. They’ve done a lot for themselves in this series. Let’s take a look at five reasons why the Bruins have a chance to eliminate the Rangers in Game 4.
The Team is Finally Showing Up Consistently
It’s safe to say Boston’s last minute rally against Toronto that got them here in the first place has given them new life. And more importantly, it’s finally brought some consistent hockey from the Bruins.
After turning in more than a few sloppy performances against the Leafs, Boston has been the better team in all three of their games against New York.
What’s even more impressive is that the Rangers have had the lead in two of the three games, yet the Bruins never gave up. This resolve is the biggest reason they’re on the verge of closing the series out.
Bruins' Young Guns Are Stealing the Show
It can’t be stated enough; Boston’s rookie defensemen are a huge factor in this series.
What should’ve been a clear advantage for the Rangers has been the complete opposite. Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton have taken the big stage with a vengeance.
Their speed is allowing Boston to move the puck out of their own end more efficiently. They’ve been getting in New York’s face all series, and the offensive skill, especially from Krug, almost looks as though it’s overwhelming the Rangers.
Who knows if they’ll stick around when the Bruins’ vets are healthy, but one can hope they keep getting chances.
Boston's Entire Blue Line Has Been Stellar
Let’s not put the focus all on the kids. Boston’s entire defensive core has contributed to this 3-0 lead.
Zdeno Chara is once again stuffing the stat sheet in terms of time on ice, proving to be the bane of New York’s existence.
Johnny Boychuk is second on the team with four goals, two of which he scored this series.
Overall, Boston’s strategy of firing shots from the blue line is significantly negating the Rangers' typical style of loading up the area around the net. They’ve also done an amazing job making sure New York’s struggling stars aren’t busting out of their slumps anytime soon.
Tuukka Rask is Outplaying Henrik Lundqvist
Not the prediction anyone would’ve stated coming into this series, but it has to be said; Tuukka Rask has been the better goalie.
Make no mistake; nobody would pick him over Lundqvist when starting up a franchise. And Lundqvist certainly looked unstoppable in Game 3.
But it’s Rask whose team’s up 3-0, and it’s Rask who’s only allowed five goals to Lundqvist’s ten. The Finnish phenom has done everything he can to keep Boston in this series, and the Bruins are up 3-0 because of that.
A Few Core Players Have Finally Arrived
It’s safe to say by scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals in Game 7 against Toronto, Patrice Bergeron had finally arrived this postseason. He’s continued his pace throughout this series, looking much like the leader the Bruins need him to be.
Following in his stride has been Brad Marchand. With two goals in three games, the “little ball of hate” seems to be back to normal. He’s been able to weave through defensemen again, and has been happy to get in the face of New York every now and then.
As long as these two keep clicking, Boston is in good shape.