After watching those last few games of the regular season, I got a little nervous for the Boston Bruins. They have one of the most talent laden rosters in the NHL. They’ve got four(mostly) solid lines. Their defensemen know what they’re supposed to be doing. So, what has been going on with them? Things just haven’t been clicking like they were earlier in the season. So, after drinking a bottle of Maalox, I decided to take a look at what the front office has been saying.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has done some amazing trades for this team during his tenure. You just know at some point during a Boston home game the crowd is going to start chanting ‘Thank You Kessel!’. Chiarelli was the mastermind behind the Phil Kessel Toronto trade that bagged us Tyler Seguin, and this years’ 7th Player Award winner Dougie Hamilton. Chiarelli is feeling positive going into game one. “I’ve liked the physicality in these last three games[of the regular season],’’ Chiarelli said. “I’ve liked the effort, it’s been consistent. We are starting to generate more chances. We are not finishing those chances and we have to improve on that, but we are generating more chances. “So the level of activity and intensity has picked up. That I like, and as a message, I would want that to continue.’’
Will it continue? Yes. Very likely so. The Bruins really took their foot off the gas once they realized they had all but locked up a playoff spot. I don’t see the Black and Gold going into cruise control now.
We’ve also got a massive edge in post season experience. We’ve got 22 Bruins who own Stanley Cup rings. Toronto has none. The current Bruins roster has 1,273 games of NHL postseason action under their belts.(The Leafs have 206.) Half of the Toronto’s roster will be playing in their first ever playoff game. Chiarelli was confident that the Bruins will find themselves on the right side of victory in the conference quarterfinals. ”Certainly playoff experience is important, we’ve got a lot of playoff experience. You want to have success, and we had success two years ago. Not so much last year, so I expect success this year.”
The Bruins are also facing another of the ‘Original Six’. It’s taken a while for Toronto to get back into the post season. This year’s team is committed (they got the same D problems we’ve had though), and should be a good match for us. If Reimer brings his A game, we’re going to be in for some long games. Nazem Kadri is also going to be a big ‘X’ factor for us. If the Bruins give him any serious room to maneuver, he’s going to light up the lamp like it’s a Christmas tree.
I’ve been looking at the rosters and have done everything but by a Playstation to run NHL 13 a few hundred times to see what the playoff games would look like. So, I’m going to take my professional opinion (I’ll use that term loosely for the sake of integrity), and put forth that the Boston Bruins will defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games. (A sweep wouldn’t be bad though fellas.)