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

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.