The Bruins, literally, escaped the first round by the skin of their teeth. We already know the amazing story of how it happened. We wrote a recap about it and Patrice Purrgeron wrote an amazing story called "How The Bruins Stole Game Seven". If you haven't checked out Purrgeron's story yet, you're a fool and you need to remedy that immediately.
So with the second round upon us, I figured I would give you a quick look at the New York Rangers and which bloggers to annoy during the series. So let's go!
The New York Rangers
After the jump we take a look at the Rangers and give our predictions...
Hey New York, thanks for trading this guy.
The New York Rangers offense was more or less anemic during the series against the Washington Capitals. Out of the 16 playoff teams, the Rangers currently rank 10th in goals for against, which ranks them 2nd to last in teams still in the playoffs. There are three eliminated teams that currently have scored more goals per game than the Rangers – Toronto, New York Islanders and Anaheim. The paltry 2.29 GF/G was good enough to beat on a Washington team that couldn't score a goal if you let the net empty.
That's probably because Alexander Ovechkin is one of the most overrated NHL players to ever skate on the ice, but hey he's AO so the NHl is going to give him handies until Bettman's calluses burst.
One could look at shots per game as an idication of why the Rangers scoring has been so slow. New York ranks 13th (out of 16 teams) with 29.3 shots per game. Note that this isn't shots on goal per game, this is shots taken, which includes blocks. Take that for what it's worth.
We're talking about a team that scored 16 goals in 7 games, while their upcoming opponent scored 22 (2nd in the NHL), which was only a few behind the NHL's playoff leader Pittsburgh – who scored 25 before last night's 4-1 beatdown over the Senators.
Even their "superstar" players aren't stepping up. Rick Nash is performing in this playoffs like he has in the previous ones – when he wasn't in them. In 7 games, Nash has 0 goals and 2 assists. In fact, the Rangers leading scorer is Derick Brassard with 2 goals and 7 assists.
Their offense is definitely in some sort of slump and that should bode well for Boston.
Unfortunately this is where the Rangers have shined this playoffs. This could be – again – because the Washington Capitals are a fraud team, which is definitely a reason. Was it that the Rangers collapsing into their defensive zone and Lundqvist being Lundqvist or was it the Capitals' true colors showing? Either way, here are the facts (or #FACTS):
The Rangers are third in the NHL among playoff teams, giving up 1.71 goals against per game. Henrik Lundqvist was sensational in the Washington series. His GAA is good for 5th among playoff goalies at 1.71 and his SV% is 4th at .947. Again – is this due to Hank playing out of his mind or Washington being Washington?
As a defensive unit – the Rangers have allowed teams to get an average of 32.3 shots to be taken and Lundqvist has faced 226 of those shots in 7 games. So you can get shots on net against the Rangers, it's just a matter if an offense can produce.
Lastly we will look at special teams. The Rangers power play was awful against the Capitals. They scored 2 power play goals in the entire series and they rank 2nd to last among NHL playoff teams with 7% success on the power play. SEVEN PERCENT SUCCESS. That's bad. That's 2011 Boston Bruins bad. As you know, however, having a successful power play doesn't really mean anything.
With that said – the Rangers had 28 power play opportunities while Boston had 20.
But the Bruins may not get a lot of chances on the power play this round (good) because New York, at least in the first round, didn't take many penalties. They took 42 penalties throughout the 7 games series, averaging about 6 minutes of penalties per game. You're looking at 3 power plays a game for Boston and their power play is so dreadful (but not Rangers dreadful) that 3 is 3 to many.
It's not like New York had tons of success on the penalty kill either. They killed about 81% of the penalties they faced against the Caps, but the team only went short handed 16 times which, among playoffs teams, ranks them 4th overall and 2nd among teams still in it (San Jose is first with 11). So they don't take a lot of penalties either.
They are well disciplined, where the Bruins are not. They took 21 penalties against the Leafs (some thanks to James van Reimsdyve).
Go out, right now, and follow Kevin DeLury. Kevin runs the NY Rangers blog here on Bloguin. He's a big fan of copying and pasting things. He can take and dish chirps too. Seriously though, go follow him.
Justin: Bruins in 6
Jon: Rangers in 7
Pez: Bruins in 7
Purrgeron: 7 tiny poops in the litter
Pizz: Bruins in 6