The Boston Bruins are set to start their journey to the mountaintop on Monday against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Boston will look to continue their season-long dominance against the league as they march toward what could be a historic playoff run.
We covered the season series in the series preview post, this is mostly just to discuss any storylines going into the first game. Captain Patrice Bergeron didn’t practice Sunday due to illness and according to Don Sweeney, “If he feels well enough, he’ll play.” Boston not having their first-line center is a bit of a blow to start the series specifically on the defensive side of the ice. The key to the Boston Bruins’ playoff success is in their ability to rotate personnel.
Florida is coming in hot winning 7 of their last 10 games. It’ll be interesting to see how Boston defends Florida’s best offensive players. Matthew Tkachuk leads the team in assists and points. Tkachuk just ended a 40-goal season, I consider Tkachuk similar to Brad Marchand. He can score and annoy your team into taking a bad penalty.
Linus Ullmark is looking to start the playoff run on the right note after exiting from his last start against the Washington Capitals last Tuesday. Ullmark won the triple crown in the regular season leading the league in Save percentage, goals against, and wins and is the favorite to win the Vezina trophy this year. Linus Ullmark is certainly going to get the start for game 1 but his backup tendy might be someone we’re not familiar with. Jeremy Swayman was also absent from Sunday’s practice due to an illness. Hopefully the spread stops at those two, Tomas Nosek recently missed a game due to illness.
I think that Bergeron comes to play and the Bruins win the first game setting the tone for the series with their fast-paced, down-your-throat style of play to go up 1-0 in the series. This Boston Bruins playoffs run should be an exciting one to watch. Go B’s!