Bruins Won’t Find Enough Offense at Rangers

Dana Lane

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 2:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 2:37 PM UTC

Now that the New York Rangers are back to .500, can they keep the momentum going when they face their Eastern Conference rival Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden? Puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.

Free NHL Pick: Rangers -128Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Boston Bruins at New York Rangers

A quick glance at the Bruins' roster leaves you wondering if you’ve stumbled on the Providence Bruins page. It’s a miracle that they’ve found their way to a 6-4-3 record considering their injury list is comprised of the team’s biggest stars, led by Brad Marchand, who will not travel with the team to New York or Toronto. Too many injuries to mention, but the reality is you’re more likely to recognize the names who aren’t playing more than the ones who are.

Boston's second line features Jake DeBrusk, Jordan Szwarz and Frank Vatrano. Between them, they have nine total points and are -6 in 26 combined games. Szwarz is playing in just his third game of the year, and up until now has been labeled as a decent AHL player. Anders Bjork, who is playing in his first season, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak make up a first line that will be heavily relied on to provide offense. That top line needs to produce at least 4-5 points for the Bruins to have any chance unless you’re anticipating a phenomenal effort from Tuukka Rask, which I’m not sure is the way to make money on a consistent basis.

This isn’t 1979 when the Bruin players decided to exchange pleasantries with the Rangers fans, but believe me this is a game New York has circled. Anticipate a little extra intensity with it being a home national television game.

By all accounts, Alain Vigneault still is the head coach of the Rangers, which has been a topic of discussion among the New York faithful. The prevailing thought was if his team didn’t beat the Vegas Golden Knights recently that would have been it for Vigneault. The Rangers beat Vegas 6-4, a win that appears to have lit the fire under a team that has now won four straight while recording at least a point in eight of the last 10. Besting Vegas and Florida is one thing, beating a hated rival is another.

I’ve always felt like this series has meant more to the Rangers than Boston, which is a theory that has played out on the ice where New York has beaten Boston in five straight meetings while allowing just eight total goals. They haven’t played since March, but the memory of that game is vivid. Boston was held to the perimeter with very little chances for rebound opportunities despite its 33 total shots. Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant, while the New York defensemen were active and engaged. They played with a confidence that seems to always find itself over to the Ranger bench in this series.

If we dig deeper into the history of this series, the numbers don’t get better for Boston. In their last 26 meetings in the Big Apple, New York has been victorious 19 times. It seems the Bruins can’t stand prosperity, either, as they’ve now dropped eight straight games coming off of a win.

History and lack of depth doom the Bruins tonight.

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