Although one of the two Stanley Cup playoff games on Monday night had ex-Boston College Eagles in it and the other did not, one must freely admit that it was a more exciting night of hockey in the game that didn’t have the BC connection.
In the Eagle-related series, the New York Rangers blasted the Washington Capitals, 5-0, in Game 7 of that series to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second-consecutive year. Both Brian Boyle and Chris Kreider got time on the ice and both played well by any estimation. Kreider assisted on Arron Asham’s game-winning goal in the first period and also racked up five hits, playing with more authority on the defensive end and finishing his checks, particularly in the third period.
Meanwhile, Brian Boyle still lost a majority of his faceoffs, but he blocked three shots and leveled two hits in his eighteen minutes on the ice.
So long as Ryane Clowe is out for the Rangers, and there is no telling how long that will be, one might expect to see some more of Kreider in the second round. The rest of the Blueshirts’ bottom six has played well enough that he probably wouldn’t work his way into the lineup when Clowe returns. Boyle, on the other hand, is a solid third-liner for the Rangers and will see ice time throughout the playoffs as long as he’s healthy.
The Rangers will face the Boston Bruins, who mounted an improbable Game 7 comeback at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, erasing a late 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime. There are no active ex-Eagles on Boston’s roster, though Tommy Cross is in their organization.
The first wave of second-round action begins on Tuesday, including Rob Scuderi’s Los Angeles Kings hosting an all-California matchup against the San Jose Sharks. Brooks Orpik and his Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Ottawa Senators in their Eastern Conference semifinal as well.