The Boston Bruins are the cream of the crop, the top of the heap, the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, and the New York Rangers found that out the hard way last night. I mean it is pretty common knowledge with the Bruins going to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, but just in case the Rangers forgot they were reminded last night in a brutal 6-3 home loss at Madison Square Garden.
After the Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on J.T. Miller‘s breakaway goal, the rest of the game was pretty much all Bruins. The Rangers’ inability to capitalize more than once on a 20-9 shot advantage over the Bruins during the first period speaks volumes. Once Jarome Iginla tied the game at one late in the first period, I knew the Rangers were in serious trouble, and I was right. The Bruins would take over and dominate the game from there.
Later goals from Dougie Hamilton, Carl Soderberg and Gregory Campbell not once but twice perfectly showcased why the Bruins are Stanley Cup contenders and the Rangers are not. Defensemen and third and fourth-line players on the Bruins constantly contribute in the Bruins’ goal scoring, and the Rangers simply do not have that type of depth. While the Rangers’ third and fourth lines have improved from last season, it is still not good enough to compete for a championship.
The Rangers’ lack of finishing and the Bruins’ ability to capitalize on every opportunity they created, mostly by using their physicality, speaks to the lack of depth the Rangers have. This is why if the Rangers stand pat at the deadline and make no trades; you can absolutely forget the Rangers making any noise this postseason, if they even make the playoffs that is.