The Bruins are back in the playoffs!! Everyone rejoice!! Seriously, it’s so much better to have your team playing in the best playoff in sports – the NHL Playoffs. They also caught a break with Toronto losing, after blowing a 2-0 lead, giving them WC2 and the Caps while the Bs finished third in the Atlantic and a titanic match up vs. the Senators.
Here is a quick scouting report on the Sens:
Now, the Sens are, objectively, not great. They had a NEGATIVE-2 goal differential and play a quite boring 1-3-1 that sucks the life and enjoyment out of any game they play in. Just look at this from a couple of years ago. They literally don’t move, and there is NO WHERE to go with the puck:
So, in that respect, the Bs are in for a slog. And key injuries to Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo won’t help. Hopefully the call up of Charlie McAvoy mitigates those losses somewhat.
Even with the injuries, the Bruins are (slightly) the better team, with the better Top 6 forwards (assuming David Krejci’s line produces). The bottom 6 is a wash, with perhaps a slight edge for the Bs given the way the Moore line has played. And the D is a wash, obviously the Sens have Erik Karlsson but not much after that. And in goal, Tuukka Rask has the edge over Craig Anderson.
The Bs have to find a way to break the 1-3-1, and keep the puck in the Sens’ zone, draw penalties and take advantage on the PP. This is a good breakdown of how to do that. Also, chip and bump (and whatever else) Karlsson at every turn, if you can of course. He’s likely not 100% with a foot problem and the Bs should use Backes and Beleskey as much as possible to hack away.
The Bruins had luck playing Guy Boucher’s trap against Tampa in the ECF back in 2011, and need to stay patient and not give the puck away. If they can adjust, they’ll be fine and I don’t think it’ll be much of a series. But the loss of Krug and Carlo is big, and it’s imperative that McAvoy and Colin Miller in particular play smart, disciplined hockey.
So, with that in mind, I say the Bs in 6.