If you enjoy power-play goals, then the Bruins-Rangers Eastern Conference Semifinals series is definitely not for you.
We are only two games in, with Game 3 tonight in New York – but the respective power-plays both look nearly hopeless: Boston’s power-play is 1-5 vs. New York and 4-for-25 (16%) in the postseason, while New York’s is 0-8 vs. Boston, and 2-for-36 (5.6%) in the post season.
Bruins Fans probably thought that they had seen the worst man advantage in the NHL all year, but the Rangers take it to a whole other level in terms of power-play futility. This is how they look when they’re running a power-play: stupid.
Boston has the 11th-ranked power-play of the 16 teams that were in the 2013 playoffs, the only active team that is below them is New York, which is 15th – and is only slightly comforting in this round, and will be significantly contrasted by the following series which will (hopefully) be against Ottawa.
In many ways, it’s remarkable that these teams have advanced this far. It speaks to their overriding strengths in other areas – namely goaltending, depth and team defense. When you look around the league, three of the top five power-play units (Penguins, Sharks, and Kings) in the playoffs and four of the stop six (Senators) are still alive and have all won at least one game in the semifinals.
Pittsburgh’s is the best one so far (No. 2) as it has scored 10 times in 37 opportunities (27%) – a frightening potential match up next round. If I had a choice, I’d take Ottawa all day.
Compared to the Rangers – the Bruins have at least shown signs of life with their power play. Newly indoctrinated defenseman Torey Krug scored a power-play goal to tie it at two in the third period of Game 1 (a game the B’s eventually won 3-2 in overtime), and Boston’s power-play early in overtime didn’t result in a goal – but eight shots on goal and constant pressure swung the momentum their way for the rest of the contest – so regardless of putting the puck in the back of the net, there is still quite a positive aspect of our power-play, if the Bruin’s are hungry enough to keep at it.
Somehow the Ranger’ power play seems to get worse every time they roll it out – and I ain’t complainin’. They are 0-for-21 on the road and they haven’t scored in their last 16 chances overall. A statistic worth noting going into Game 3. With the Rangers down 0-2 in the series, they will have to win four of the next five games (for the second series in a row) to get back into the Eastern Conference Finals (where they lost to the Devils last season).
It’s hard to see them pulling that off without an exorcism of a horrid power-play unit, and with Henrik Lundqvist standing on his head for the next 240 minutes of play. There’s a small chance – but all my money is on the Bruins.
Now LETS KEEP THAT MOMENTUM GOING – for Boston, and for all its fans.