2011-2012 Records: Bruins (49-29-4), Rangers (51-24-7)
2011-2012 NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (41-35-76)
2011-2012 BOS Leading Scorer: Tyler Seguin (29-38-67)
2011-2012 NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (62 GS, 1.97 GAA, .930 SV%)
2011-2012 BOS Goaltender: Tuuka Rask (22 GS, 2.05 GAA, .929 SV%)
Rick Nash-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-Taylor Pyatt
Mike Rupp-Jeff Halpern-Stu Bickel
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Probable Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Arron Asham (groin), Matt Gilroy (healthy)
Preview: On Saturday, the Bruins were clearly the better team and forced the Rangers to play their game. Their game, of course, is the 1-2-2 and 1-4 trap. The Bruins suffocated a rusty Rangers team, limiting them to 21 shots on goal.
As Chris noted in the goal breakdown from the game, the first two Bruins goals were scored directly off miscues. Whether these miscues are sloppy line changes, missed defensive assignments, or bad rebounds, the Rangers need to tighten their coverage and put a focus on limiting these types of mistakes. Staying out of the box wouldn’t hurt either.
In the opener, we didn’t see much of that patented 2-1-2 forecheck that has made the Rangers a pain to play against. We saw sloppiness, and an incredible urge to shy away from the dirty areas of the ice. While the miscues above will correct themselves over time, the desire to play gritty Rangers hockey needs to come back.
Suit elaborated that the Rangers might shift strategies, specifically in the defensive zone, but it may be some time before we see that shift from defensive zone collapse to defensive zone pressure. In the mean time, a collapsing strategy requires sound positioning.
There are a bunch of areas that the Rangers will need to shore up before they hit their stride. This isn’t a must win, but it sure would be nice to split this week with the Bruins.
Crazy Thought: No rust.
Opposition Blog: Bruins Daily