The Boston Bruins took out the Washington Capitals with a gentleman’s sweep in Round 1. The best part of taking out the Capitals so swiftly is the fact that this group gets some well deserved rest while being able to scout their next opponent in either the New York Islanders or Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the Islanders and Penguins beat each other up in a close series, the B’s should be taking a good hard look at their Round 2 potential opponents and isolate their strengths and weaknesses. The beauty and burden of having played both of these teams eight times in the regular season is that you already have experience learning these organizations’ systems, but that goes both ways.
Let’s look at which team the Boston Bruins matchup better against.
Do the Boston Bruins matchup better against the New York Islanders or Pittsburgh Penguins?
New York Islanders
The Black and Gold finished the season series with a losing 3-5 record. Although the Bruins finished up the series with their three wins, the New York Islanders had their number this year. The Islanders are a well-coached team who doesn’t have eye popping talent, but their defensive mindset can shut down most teams.
The Boston Bruins have improved offensively since early in the season and would be much harder to contain from a defensive perspective for the New York Islanders. A sneaky good offence, good enough defence and stellar goaltending so far from Ilya Sorokin though makes this team a dangerous one every night.
The Boston Bruins finished the season series with a winning 5-3 record. The Pittsburgh Penguins had an up and down year overall, but the Bruins consistently played good hockey against this team. Unlike the steady New York Islanders, the Penguins are more of a hot and cold club this season and you never really know what you’re going to get night in and night out. They certainly have the talent at all positions, but a lack of defensive reliability will most likely be their downfall.
As one of the better defensive teams in the playoffs, the Boston Bruins shutting down the Penguins top two lines and continuing their high-flying offence would be a recipe for success against this club.
Neither of these clubs will be easy outs in a Round 2 matchup, but if the Boston Bruins had to chose one it might be that of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In all honesty, the Washington Capitals may have been the second best team in this division and another quick series could be on deck for the Bruins.