Saturday night, the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals begin the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs in D.C. at 7:15 p.m. The two middle teams in the East Division standings have battled through eight games this season with each team leaving the ice with four victories.
What does the best-of-seven series have in store for us? Who knows, but ahead of the series, here are some random thoughts before Game 1.
- When former Boston captain Zdeno Chara signed with the Capitals, deep down inside you had to figure the two teams would meet in the postseason, right? It’s only fitting.
- Jeremy Swayman is Tuukka Rask’s backup, which obviously is a pretty clear sign that Jaroslav Halak’s run in Boston is over. Just because Swayman is there does not mean that he’s going to play. It’s Tuukka’s net unless of an injury or a blowout where coach Bruce Cassidy can get him some rest.
- A best-of-seven series with Tom Wilson should be interesting for sure. How long until we get the first “Wilson should be suspended for that” tweet?
- The Bruins leaving most of their core players back in Boston and not playing Tuesday night gives them a much-needed break before the postseason. The Caps, who are dealing with injuries and COVID-19 protocols, played their core players. They got out of the physical game without any more serious issues, but they needed a crazy shot from Michael Raffl with three seconds left to beat the Providence Bruins (of course I’m kidding about the Providence Bruins).
- That’s no knock on the P-Bruins as they had a good year and will raise another Atlantic Division banner to the rafters at the Dunkin Donuts Center next fall.
- So, no matter who wins the series, some things will go under the microscope. The first thing will be if the Caps win, “Why did (Bruins general manager Don) Sweeney let Chara go?’’ If the B’s win? “Sweeney made the right move in letting Chara go.’’ Just wait.
- Can the Bruins get production from their bottom-six forwards? That could be an interesting storyline as the series goes along.
Bruins vs. Capitals. This should be a fun two weeks. Buckle up.