Bruins' Lack Of Offense Allows Rangers To Become The NHL Pick

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 4:16 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2016 4:16 PM UTC

The Rangers are franctically trying to hold off the Penguins for second place in the Metro Division, a race that could determine home ice advantage in the NHL picks for the first round. 

The Boston Bruins (39-26-8 84 pts), as usual, are coming off a disastrous West Coast trip in which they failed to earn a point. The Bruins are holding on to the ninth spot in my top ten power rating while the Rangers are sitting at number 13. New York should be looking to use this game as an opportunity to beat a good team at home to gain some momentum heading down the stretch. Both New York teams are playing tonight, which makes it a big deal for the fans.

Must Read: Islanders For The Win Against Senators

Rangers Overview
Although New York should be focused on Boston, one look over their shoulders in the Metro Division will show them a hungry Pittsburgh Penguins team right on their doorstep. An important fact because the 2-3 spot in each division will determine first round home ice advantage.

Henrik Lundqvist has been confirmed to start in goal for the Rangers while Tuukka Rask will start for Boston. Rask was taken against the Kings Saturday after a puck hit him in a vulnerable spot, knocking the wind out of him.

All three traveling goaltenders were on the ice for pregame skate today but it does appear that Rask, who did practice, will make the start after being the first goaltender off the ice. Rask didn't practice Tuesday because he was feeling sick.

We've talked before about one of my components to my power rankings is probability of a team gaining a point in a particular match-up. The gives you an indication of a team's consistency. The Rangers, although not currently ranked high, have a high probability in the NHL odds boards rating of 62% which means they only have a 38% chance of not receiving a point. The Bruins, although ranked higher, are just a mediocre 58.9% which is in the middle of the pact. To simplify, the Rangers have a greater chance of earning a point in their games than Boston, so when coupled with home ice advantage, it gives a play on New York tremendous credibility.


Boston Sneak Peek
A concerning point for Boston is their ability to regain possession of the puck after opposing teams breakouts. In their 2-1 loss to Los Angeles, the Kings were able to maintain too much time in the Bruins offensive zone. There were some instances where Boston had a two on one advantage in the corner and still was not able to clear the puck. This was a product of a tight Kings forecheck and the Bruins defensemen unable to make a good pass to clear the zone. Boston was to indecisive in their own zone which are the little things over the course of a game that causes you scoring chances.


Final Analysis
The Bruins have not been a team that likes allot of rest either. In their last 21 games when they've had three days or more rest, Boston is a horrible 5-16. A fact that is coupled with their lack offense gives me confidence to back the Rangers tonight as my NHL pick.

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Free NHL Pick: Rangers -120
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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