BOSTON (CBS) — If you go back and check every single series prediction from every single hockey mind in the world prior to the Bruins-Rangers second-round playoff series, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone crazy enough to take the Bruins in five games. Most everybody anticipated a long, grinding series that would go six or seven games. As for the winner, the predictions were pretty much split.
Instead of that long, even series, the Bruins dominated nearly from start to finish, only letting up for a hiccup in Game 4 and eventually winning the series four games to one.
While the Bruins, largely intact from their 2011 Stanley Cup run, are a very good team, it was nevertheless a surprising series. But if you’re curious just how the Bruins were able to take care of business in just five games, just let their opponents explain it.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said the Bruins are, simply, good at everything.
“I just want to start by saying congratulations to Boston, I think they played a great series, and they deserved it. They did so many things really well. Forecheck, power play, PK — they were a great team,” said Lundqvist, who stopped just 170 of the Bruins’ 185 shots in the series. They have four lines going really hard. Their D’s are playing really well. I just think they’re a very balanced team, and they play a great game.
“Every part of their game is very solid,” Lundqvist added. “Their power play, I mean they killed us. I have to take some responsibility there. But they made it tough for us. No question, that’s why they won. I think they were a little bit better than us.”
Rangers head coach John Tortorella, not usually much of a talker, spoke at length about how talented and well-coached the Bruins are.
“They deserved to win. They were the better team, they deserved to win,” Tortorella said. “I think Boston has a really good chance [against Pittsburgh in the next round]. I think Claude [Julien] and that staff has done a heck of a job with their club. I can’t believe some of the people, how they second-guess him, just being in the city for a few days, and the type of job he’s done here. That’s a good team. They’re very well-coached, and they’re seasoned. They’ve been through it before, and I give them a lot of credit, as far as what they’ve done with their club. They’re a good hockey team.”