2013 Playoffs Round 2 Preview Part 2

With Pittsburgh beating Ottawa 4 - 1 and Los Angeles beating San Jose 2 - 0 last night, The Checking Line: Isles Edition will take a look into the other two semifinal series.

Boston Bruins (4) vs New York Rangers (6)

Both the Bruins and the Rangers are coming off game seven victories. Boston fought back from a three goal deficit late in the third period to tie the game and eventually get the game winner from Patrice Bergeron in overtime, to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs and advance to the second round. (Photo Credit: Ranger Nation)

The Rangers fell behind in their series with the Washington Capitals 2 - 0 before evening it up at home. After evening the series at two the Rangers headed back to Washington where they would lose game five and fall behind 3 - 2. Then coach John Tortorella lit a fire under the Rangers and they came out on all cylinders to win back-to-back games to advance to the semifinals for the second time in as many years. 

Keys to the Series:

 Boston-

The Bruins need a better performance from Tyler Seguin (0G 1A 1P) in the second. They have received offensive production from hardworking sources such as David Krejci and Milan Lucic but the rest of the team needs to contribute if they hope to bounce the Rangers in the semifinals. The Bruins will need to play a physical game and make sure that they get good match-ups against the likes of Stepan and Nash. 

Here’s looking at you Chara.

  New York-

Much like Tyler Seguin for the Bruins, Rick Nash (0G 4A 4P) needs to up the offensive production if he hopes to lead the Rangers deeper into the postseason. Nash needs to rely on his strength and puck-handling ability and get to net for more quality shots than the shots he had taken in the first round. Nash lead the team in scoring during the regular season and has to find the back of the net soon. And of course the outstanding play of Henrik Lundqvist will be heavily relied upon to advance past the semifinals. 

Key Players:

  Boston-

#46 David Krejci - 5G 8A 13P (+9)

#33 Zdeno Chara - 1G 7A 8P (+6)

#40 Tuukka Rask - 2.49 GAA 4W 3L .923SV%

  New York-

#16 Derick Brassard - 2G 7A 9P (+4)

#61 Rick Nash - 0G 2A 2P (+2)

#30 Henrik Lundqvist - 1.65 GAA 4W 1L 2OTL .947SV%

 

Gm1- Thu. 5/16/13 - New York @ Boston - 7:30pm - NBCSN, TSN, RDS

Gm2- Sun. 5/19/13 - New York @ Boston - 3:00pm - NBC, TSN, RDS

Gm3- Tue. 5/21/13 - Boston @ New York - 7:30pm - NBCSN, TS, RDS

Gm4- Thu. 5/25/13 - Boston @ New York - 7:00pm - CNBC, TSN, RDS

*Gm5- Sat. 5/25/13 - New York @ Boston - TBD - TSN, RDS

*Gm6- Mon. 5/27/13 - Boston @ New York - TBD - TSN, RDS

*Gm7- Wed. 5/29/13 - New York @ Boston - TBD - TSN, RDS

 

Prediction: New York in 6

Chicago Blackhawks (1) vs Detroit Red Wings (7)

The Blackhawks had a relatively easy first round this year eliminating the Minnesota Wild in just five games. After a record breaking start to the 2013 regular season many people have picked Chicago as the favorites to win it all. In order for Chicago to get there they have to get through a very persistent playoff team, a team that regardless of seeding finds ways to win, the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings had a much tougher first round series as they faced the number two seeded Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks were the one team many people said could challenge Chicago in the West, but Detroit forced them to game seven. Detroit is coming off of back-to-back wins, game six and game seven, and will try to carry that momentum in to Chicago. (Photo Credit: Aerys Sports)

Keys to the Series:

  Chicago-

The Blackhawks are a very skilled, offensive team. They get contributions from the entire roster and not just one or two players. In just five games in the first round the Blackhawks netted 17 goals against a normally stingy Minnesota defense. Aside from their offense the Blackhawks also boast one of the best captains in the league, Jonathan Toews. Toews not only leads the team but is also one of the best defensive forwards in the league, evident by the recent announcement that Toews is one of three finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy. 

  Detroit-

Despite the fact that they are aging the Red Wings know how to win. Lead by the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall Detroit will have to play near-perfect hockey if they hope to advance past the second round. Niklas Kronwall can expect to match-up against Chicago’s top forwards, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. The Red Wings have their own Selke Trophy finalist in Datsyuk, which is not surprising. It is well known that Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best defensive forwards in the league year in and year out. 

Key Players:

  Chicago-

#88 Patrick Kane - 0G 5A 5P (+3)

#19 Jonathan Toews - 0G 2A 2P (+1)

#50 Corey Crawford - 1.32 GAA 4W 1OTL .950SV%

  Detroit-

#40 Henrik Zetterberg - 3G 5A 8P (+3)

#13 Pavel Datsyuk - 2G 5A 7P (+2)

#55 Niklas Kronwall - 0G 1A 1P (-2)

 

Gm1- Wed. 5/15/13 - Detroit @ Chicago - 8pm - NBCSN, CBC

Gm2- Sat. 518/13 - Detroit @ Chicago - 1pm - NBC, CBC

Gm3- Mon. 5/20/13 - Chicago @ Detroit - 7:30pm - NBCSN, CBC

Gm4- Thu. 5/23/13 - Chicago @ Detroit - 8pm - NBCSN, CBC

*Gm5- Sat. 5/25/13 - Detroit @ Chicago - TBD - CBC

*Gm6- Mon. 5/27/13 - Chicago @ Detroit - TBD - CBC

*Gm7- Wed. 5/29/13 - Detroit @ Chicago - TBD - CBC

 

Prediction: Detroit in 7