The Bruins' series with the Panthers feels different this year (here's 3 reasons why)

Coming into the second round matchup, fans in Boston were anxious to see how their team came out in game one. After it happened, they should be feeling different than last year.
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers - Game One
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers - Game One / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

After defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime on Saturday, the Boston Bruins went into Monday's game vs. the Florida Panthers - the team that dispatched them from the playoffs in seven games after clinching the President's Trophy.

Instead, the Bruins took Game 1 by the horns and deflated the air in the Panthers' tires and took the opening matchup by a resounding 5-1 margin. Boston had five different goal-scorers, their goaltender made 38 saves, and everything seemed to be clicking.

Now, before you say it's too good to be true, here are some reasons that this series with Florida will be different from 2023.

There is no President's Trophy curse for either team

Before I get into the mumbo-jumbo, let me preface by saying I am a very superstitious person. When the Bruins entered the playoffs last year as the President's Trophy winners, I was speculative of the team and if they could keep up their sustained greatness. Turns out, they couldn't, but I digress.

Both teams are in the playoffs because they truly earned the spot they are in. Neither ran away with the Atlantic Division this year, but neither really trailed the Eastern Conference race either. The Panthers wound up as the better team in the division, and the Bruins found themselves slipping towards the end of the season.

That's not to say both teams aren't great, as just one point (110 to Florida, 109 to Boston) separated the squads at the conclusion of the regular season. Players will tell you that the curse isn't real, that there are exceptions, but more often than not you see it affect some good teams who would go all the way just to lose, or in last year's case, get bumped in the first round. Both teams are playing with less stress in that way, and they are looking to just move past this round to get to the next one.

It's not veteran-on-veteran in the goalie department

In the 2023 series, the Bruins went away from their goalie rotation of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark in favor of playing the aforementioned Ullmark until Game 7 when Swayman, cold as the Arctic Ocean mind you, came off the bench to relieve the injured veteran only to lose in overtime.

This time, however, Boston is doing the opposite. The Bruins have gone away from Ullmark and approached this series from a younger perspective. They have decided to approach a veteran-heavy Panthers' offense with a younger netminder who seems like he can go all night in net,

Not only that, but it's different for Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to be facing off with such Boston's young goaltender when he himself has been around so long. It remains to be seen whether this plays well into the aforementioned Boston's favor or not.

The Bruins are a much more physical team this year

Going into last year's playoff matchup, the Bruins had the advantage in the scoring department, but once the Panthers figured out how to shut that down, as well as where and when Boston was weak on the physical side, Florida jumped on it and took the advantage.

This year, however, the Bruins have more big bodies on their roster and they are not afraid to go after the Panthers. Bodies like Patrick Maroon, Patrick Brown, and even to a certain extent, Trent Frederic give them a physical edge that they did not have the year prior.

They may have only played one game in the series so far, but it's definitely shaping up to be a much more physical one. It may even be more physical than some of the games earlier this year between the two Atlantic Division foes. Who holds up more and doesn't catch the injury bug should be the one who comes out of this series.

When/where is Game 2?

Game 2 is on Wednesday night, also from Sunrise, Florida at Amerant Bank Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.