I wasn’t sure if I was ever actually going to be able to write this post, but here it is. The Bruins will kick off their lockout-shortened 2013 season tonight at home against a fellow Eastern Conference powerhouse squad in the New York Rangers.
Last season, many hailed the Rangers as one of the deepest and most complete teams in the league and they proved that to be true with an Eastern Conference best 109 points in 2011-2012. Well, they’re still being hailed as such…except now they’ve got Rick Nash.
The Bruins, in their own right, finished second in the East last season and have pretty much kept their entire team in tact while adding youngster Dougie Hamilton and God’s Ray Bourque’s son Chris Bourque, who had a fantastic (one-game) preseason and should be a solid role player for this team. They’ve got a pretty young squad that should continue to develop and get better with more experience.
Oh, and first-liner Nathan Horton is back and reportedly 100%.
What it all adds up to is a season-opener that should be a very tough test for both sides, and one that very likely could be a preview of something bigger later this spring.
Bruins coach Claude Julien commented on facing a very difficult Rangers team right out of the gate in their 2013 campaign:
“I’d rather play one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference than not. My view is ‘Let’s go at it.”
Oh indeed, Handsome Ralph, oh indeeeeed. Let’s go at it.
Rangers @ Bruins
Time: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 7:00 PM EST
Broadcast: NESN & NHL Network
Out of network/can’t watch the game on TV? Here’s a live stream.