ESPN predictions are extremely grim for the Boston Bruins against the Florida Panthers

Predictions from ESPN paint a real grim outlook for the Bruins in the second round of the playoffs against the Panthers.
Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three
Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

For the second straight year, the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers are going to meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last season after a historic regular season that saw the Bruins set the NHL record for wins and points, they took a commanding 3-1 series lead over Florida. I think everyone remembers what happened next.

Boston went on to lose the final three games, Games 5 and 7 at the TD Garden in overtime to go from a historic regular season to a historic postseason collapse. What an emotional couple of weeks, to say the least.

It was a long offseason for the Bruins and their fans as there was some big roster turnover that saw Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire and GM Don Sweeney let some key pieces walk because of limited cap space. Despite all of that, Boston had another strong regular season finishing just behind Florida for second place in the Atlantic Division standings. After beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games, the Black and Gold get another shot in the postseason against the Panthers and ESPN doesn’t think this series is going to end well for Jim Montgomery’s team either.

Bruins are overwhelming underdogs against the Florida Panthers

ESPN released picks that were made for the series by their reporters, analysts, and broadcasters of the network. Twenty-three of the 24 picks were in favor of the Panthers, with Steve Levy the only one to pick the Bruins, in seven more games.

What do we make of this? Well for starters, it’s not that surprising that they are overwhelming underdogs against a Florida team that started a run to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final by rallying in seven games against Boston.

In reality, this Panthers team is just as good, if not better, than the one that completed the historic comeback last spring. As for Boston, this is one of their less-talented teams that has won a playoff series and advanced to the second round. Boston is built on their goaltending, special teams, and structure, which are all going to be severely tested by Florida.

Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk on Sunday said that they were planning all along for the Bruins to be their second-round opponent, throwing some shade at the Maple Leafs, but he was right. Boston vs. Florida for a second straight season and ESPN thinks that the outcome will still be the same, just in fewer games.