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

VIDEO: In Israel, Michael Bloomberg calls Wolf Blitzer…

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked if the billionaire, three-term former Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought there might be political reasons for the FAA's decision.

Local

Advocates say MTA has room to improve service…

Advocates released a new study that suggests low-tech tweaking of subway posters and higher-tech fixes to improve the service interruption experience

Local

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud…

Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a…

National

Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern…

By Mary WisniewskiCHICAGO (Reuters) - Want a giant historic order of fries with that?A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale…

Movies

Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."

Entertainment

Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…

Arts

Artist Fiona Yang creates stunning 3-D murals that…

Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang creates large-scale murals of animals that appear three-dimensional.

Television

Portia de Rossi to appear on 'Scandal'

Portia de Rossi will be appearing in a few episodes of "Sandal" in a yet-to-be-revealed arc.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

NFL

3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…

Style

Jennifer Oz LeRoy tell us how to lunch…

Jennifer Oz LeRoy tells us what to pack for a day in the surf and sand.

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Wellbeing

Marijuana lube is a real thing

Heighten your sexual experience by actually getting high. Foria, a cannabis-infused "sensual enhancement oil," is now on the market, kind of — residents of California…