This Saturday, the two titans of the NHL East collide.
The currently successful New York Rangers are first in the Atlantic Division, first in the Eastern Conference and are tied for second in the entire league.
The powerful Bruins are not far behind—first in their Northeast division, second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the league.
It's difficult to say which team will come out on top in this game. Both teams boast powerful, efficient defenses, while the Bruins hold the offensive edge.
Furthermore, each team is the home of, arguably, the two greatest goalies of the 2011-12 season with Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers and Tim Thomas for the Bruins. Both men are posting similar numbers—Lundqvist with a SV percentage of .936 and a GAA of 1.93, while Thomas is showing a SV percentage of .935 and a GAA of 2.06.
The defending Stanley Cup champions are no joke, posting the stats that show they are the real deal this season and a tangible threat to successfully defend the Cup.
The Rangers are also looking to make a playoff run this year, and they show legitimacy as candidates in the chase for the Stanley Cup as well.
That being said, I believe the Rangers will come out on top, winning by no more than two goals.
I say this assuming that both Lundqvist and Thomas will be in net for their respective teams and that each team will be bringing their defensive A-games.
Yes, Tim Thomas is an outstanding goaltender, but i believe that the Rangers "grind-it-out" style of play will afford them opportunities to score. And at least a few will find their way through Thomas.
The Bruins are an outstanding hockey team yet again this season.
The Rangers will have to keep their defense strong, but with that defensive strength plus Henrik Lundqvist in net, I am confident they will take the win this coming Saturday.