Rangers at Bruins Picks and NHL Game 1 Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 5/16/2013
Incredibly, even though these two Original Six franchises have long been in the same conference, this is the first time they have met in the playoffs since 1973. New York won that series in five games, for what that’s worth. Forty years later, they meet again. In the meantime, though, the sporting rivalry between the two cities has intensified, and this will only add to the mystique.
While this is a historically captivating series, it’s quite surprising that it is happening at all this year. Both teams looked to be in real trouble last round. The Rangers were trailing the Capitals and looked like they would lose the series. Then Washington just quit in the last two games and went as far as to suggest there was a conspiracy aimed at their failure. Sure thing. Boston had all but lost Game 7 of their series against the Leafs and were showing the effects of delayed travel as flight issues in Toronto forced them to fly on game morning for the first time all year. But then they found new life in the third period, Toronto collapsed, and Boston won in overtime after trailing by three goals. It was a very emotional win, and now Boston has to refocus on the task at hand.
Rangers at Bruins Betting storylines
What makes this series most interesting is that these two teams are perhaps more similar than any other two teams in the league. They are both teams that rely on strong, physical defensive play and excellent goaltending. They don’t have explosive scoring, and neither team scores as well as they should be able to on paper. Both do score more than their share of junk goals, though by getting in the way of things in front of the net and hoping for the best. When two teams are alike, the one that executes better is going to come out on top. During the regular season the Rangers won two of the three meetings, but they needed extra time to secure the two victories.
No position matters more in this series than the goaltenders. Boston’s Tuukka Rask is coming off a decent series against Toronto. He had 18 goals against in seven games. He wasn’t consistently brilliant but was sharp when he needed to be — especially late in Game 7. Compared to New York’s Henrik Lundqvist, though, Rask looked pedestrian. Lundqvist allowed just 12 goals in his seven games against Washington, but those came in just five games because Lundqvist had shutouts in each of the last two games. Part of the second shutout is owed to Washington’s horrifically poor effort in the game, but Lundqvist was still more than sharp. He is 21-7-2 with a 1.67 goals-against average and ,943 save percentage against the Bruins in his career, so there is a good chance that his hot streak will continue early.
Derick Brassard was the leading scorer for the Rangers in the opening round. That’s not a good thing. With all due respect to Brassard, who played very well and had nine points, there are other guys who need to step up and surpass him. Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan are leaders of this team, but they each had a single point in seven games. Just not good enough.
Boston has a different problem with their offensive production. Offensive leader David Krejci has just been too good. He had 13 points in the first round — the best of any player in the league. While that has been very valuable for the team, the production is very unlikely to continue at the same level in this round. It’s just not sustainable against a team with goaltending and defense that is so much better than Toronto’s. Boston wouldn’t be here without Krejci, so can they keep going with much less from him?
Rangers at Bruins NHL Game 1 Odds and Betting Trends
Eight of the last 10 meetings between these teams have gone “under” the total with one more ending in a “push”. New York has won five of their last six in Boston and seven of their last nine overall against the Bruins. The Bruins didn’t lose a game the last time they played in a conference semifinal.
Rangers at Bruins Picks and Game 1 Betting Predictions
The Rangers offer some value here. They have the red-hot goaltender, and in this series that is going to be significant. Boston is coming off an emotional win and could struggle to get focused again in the short term. New York is the pick.
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