New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins: Game 1

After the Boston Bruins’ thrilling 5-4 OT victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, you wouldn’t think their season could get any more exciting. However, they now face the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and these two Original Six teams look to play one of the most physical and intense semi series’ we’ve seen in some time.

First and foremost, if the Bruins are going to earn a win, they’re going to have to navigate around the shot-blocking abilities of the New York Rangers.

“[We have to] box them out before they get (near the goal) so they can’t provide a screen,” Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. “If we can’t box them out, the biggest thing is getting (at) their sticks. Hankie is going to stop that shot if he sees it. We have to do a good job of letting Hankie see those first shots, make sure there’s no tips.”

“They’re definitely going to be laying down to block those shots,” Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. “We have to be aware of that. I think it’s about finding ways to get that puck to the net and faking shots and moving more.”

The Bruins are currently -120 moneyline favorites in Game 1 tonight, though it’s going to be a brutal match up for both squads. It’s going to be a battle of wills as both teams use their superior size and physicality to outmuscle their opponents near the net.

“We’re going to have to work extra hard to get those pucks through and then get them to reach the net,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “At the same time, I don’t think it’s a big secret to know that they got a pretty good goaltender, and that traffic in front of the net is going to be something we’re going to want to do a lot.”

“They protect their goaltender fairly well,” Julien said. “You know he’s good enough to stop what he sees. They box out extremely well, so we’ve got to work hard to take away that vision that he needs in order to stop pucks. There’s going to be a lot of battles, I think, in this series. By the end of it, I think you’re going to have some exhausted teams.”

Here are some of the other gambling trends for Game 1, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

New York Rangers Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Florida are 6-4
After playing Washington are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

Boston Bruins Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Ottawa are 5-5
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a win are 4-6

A few Rangers at Bruins trends to consider:
NY Rangers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing on the road against Boston
NY Rangers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games
NY Rangers are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of the NY Rangers last 10 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Boston’s last 10 games when playing at home against NY Rangers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston’s last 6 games
Boston is 2-7 SU in their last 9 games when playing NY Rangers
Boston is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against NY Rangers

 

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