The Bruins will play the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. I really, really, and I mean really, wanted to play Ottawa. Why? I’ll tell you why. We absolutely dominated Ottawa all year. I was very confident that we would wipe the floor with them in the 1st round. However, the hockey gods had other ideas. We’ll have to play the hand we’re dealt.
Goalies: Advantage, Bruins.
Two words, one name. Tim Thomas. That’s all you need to know. There is no other goalie I’d rather have in the playoffs. Thomas doesn’t have to go on a streak like he did last year for us to win. I think we have a deeper team than last year. If Timmy can just play solid, we’re going to be alright. Washington has somewhat of a revolving door, in terms of their goalie position, as starter Tomas Vokoun went down with an injury. I am confident that we will be able to get 2nd and 3rd chances against whoever it is they have back there.
Forwards: Advantage, Bruins.
Obviously Washington has Ovechkin. I’m not stupid, the guy is unreal. He has the ability to take over a series They have a couple of other flashy players in Backstrom, and Alexander Semin. They also have some younger guys that can really play. It’s going to be a lot of line matching, as Boston will look to put Seidenberg and Chara every time Ovechkin is on the ice. I think the Bruins have more depth at the forward position compared to the Capitals. We have 6 20-goal scorers. That’s impressive. Any line for the Bruins can score, and that is a huge advantage. Peverley is back and looking like he hasn’t missed a step. Bergeron, Marchand and Segiun are looking phenomenal right now as well. Puliot is playing out of his tree right now, and the 4th line is no stranger to scoring. Krejci and Lucic look to have another great playoff run.
Defense: Advantage, Bruins.
The Capitals have some really good young defensemen. John Carlson, Dimitry Orlov and Karl Alzner are very talented. At the same time, they have little playoff experience which could be an advantage for Boston, as they are coming off a historic post-season run last year. Ottawa also has Dennis Wideman. He is the just the worst, so that is another downfall for Washington’s defense. I love our defense. Chara and Seidenberg are a solid pair who are extremely hard to play against. McQuaid and Ference are another solid pairing for Boston, as they will beat the bag out of anyone. Hopefully Boychuk will be back for the opening game of the series.
The Verdict: Bruins in 6.
As long as Boston plays physical and brings emotion and intensity to the series, we should be able to win this one. It’s going to be tough against Washington’s high-powered talent. The Bruins need to play physical and on the edge, but at the same time, they cannot get into penalty trouble against an offense like this. Balanced scoring is going to big for Boston as well. Last years run is definitely a big advantage and I like our chances here. It’s not going to be as easy as it would have been against Ottawa, but I am excited to get it going here.