Bruins – Rangers rivalry won’t take long to rekindle

Rick Nash and Johnny Boychuk are sure to tangle again over the next 10 days or so. (Getty Images)
Rick Nash and Johnny Boychuk are sure to tangle again over the next 10 days or so. (Getty Images)

It is shocking that two teams with so many similarities haven’t met in the postseason for exactly 40 years. The last time the Bruins and Rangers played each other in the playoffs was the 1973 quarterfinal round (New York won 4-1). These Original Six rivals will be renewing their acquaintances again starting Thursday (7:30 p.m., NBCSN) for Game 1 at TD Garden. Besides having passionate fan bases and defensive minded coaches, when you dig beneath the surface you’ll realize how much these clubs have in common.

“It’s another New York-Boston series,” said Bruins left wing Milan Lucic after Boston’s wild 5-4 overtime win over Toronto on Monday. “Red Sox-Yankees, Patriots-Giants and the Celtics just played the Knicks in the playoffs. There is plenty of hatred between the two cities so we’re looking forward to the series.”

Plenty of people bash Bruins head coach Claude Julien’s overly defensive system but one can bet Rangers head coach John Tortorella (a Concord, Mass. native) would not be a part that vocal group. Boston often struggles to score but New York usually has big trouble putting the puck in the net as well. The strength of both teams lies in goal: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy (award for best goaltender in the NHL) last season and he is a favorite to capture it again this season. New York only allowed 12 goals in its grueling seven-game series against Washington, including back-to-back shutouts by the Swede they call King Henrik in Games 6 and 7.

Center Brian Boyle, from Hingham, Mass., and left wing Chris Kreider, from Boxford, Mass., both played at Boston College for legendary head coach Jerry York. Defenseman Matt Gilroy won the Hobey Baker (top college hockey player) at Boston University for the recently retired Jack Parker in 2009 but he was a healthy scratch in the entire series against the Capitals. New York’s mentality is to wear teams down by playing physically, blocking shots and letting Lundqvist do his thing. It’s a formula that makes for plenty of close, low-scoring games that are extra nail-biting in the postseason.

Matchup-wise, this doesn’t seem like the worst opponent for the Bruins especially since they will have home ice and both teams have the exact same amount of rest since New York won its Game 7, also on Monday. One of the main reasons that Toronto rallied from a 3-1 series deficit is that their overall team speed was something that the mostly plodding Bruins couldn’t keep up with. In the Rangers, the B’s will find a team that’s more of a mirror image. Even if the games turn out to be boring, Tortorella’s press conferences are always a must-see since he is constantly battling with the media, opposing coaches, his own players etc. The man is certifiably insane but in an enjoyable way.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.