Welp, my irrational fears have been put to relaxation. The Bruins are formally within the playoffs. However there’s truly nonetheless so much that would occur in what little is left of the common season. So, as of now, the Bruins’ playoff opponents are nonetheless undecided. So let’s undergo a number of of their potential opponents.
At present sitting within the high Wild Card spot, the Bruins’ playoffs are at the moment slated to start out in Carolina. This high-flying offense has been on the high of the Metropolitan Division for many of the season. Their offense has been led by Sebastian Aho, who at the moment sits at 36 targets, two off from his earlier career-high. And sadly, Boston has gotten an enormous serving to of that offense this yr.
Of their three video games in opposition to Carolina, the Bruins have been outscored 16-1. Nonetheless, I’d argue that these video games occurred earlier than the Bruins actually started clicking this season. Plus the Bruins additionally added Hampus Lindholm to fill a defensive hole that the Hurricanes exploited. Ought to these groups face one another within the playoffs, don’t count on each sport to seem like their regular-season matchups.
New York Rangers
The subsequent almost certainly opponents for the Bruins can be the Rangers. New York is at the moment tied with the Hurricanes for first within the Metro division, so even when Boston’s spot within the standings doesn’t change, their opponent might. The Rangers have had a number of large contributors to their season up to now. Equivalent to Chris Kreider having the most effective season of his profession with an astounding 50 targets, Artemi Panarin being his at all times productive self, and naturally the breakout season of the goalie, Igor Shesterkin.
The Bruins would undoubtedly have their fingers full in opposition to the Rangers within the playoffs. However for what actually seems like the primary time in what seems like eternally, I consider that on this sequence, the Bruins may simply have the benefit relating to the bottom-six ahead strains. In a sequence the place every crew has celebrity expertise on the primary and second strains, the difference-maker might simply be who can rating when these high strains aren’t on the ice. And with how the bottom-six has been taking part in for Boston just lately, I really feel as if the Bruins at the moment have the benefit.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Bruins proper now are only one level behind the Tampa Bay Lightning within the standings. If Boston can go Tampa, then they’ll almost certainly need to face some outdated mates. We’ve heard all of it earlier than, this yr the Leafs are totally different! I imply hey, Auston Matthews has been completely dominant offensively and at the moment sits simply two targets away from 60. One thing that has not been finished within the NHL since Steven Stamkos in 2011. However when these two groups meet, all these stats get thrown out the window.
The large query for this potential sequence could be can the Leafs shake off outdated demons? On paper, they need to be higher than Boston. However the Bruins will almost certainly make it look as if these groups completed tied within the standings. The Leafs can rack it up on Boston, as evident of their late March win in Boston. However that was only one sport, the query is might they string 4 of these collectively in opposition to a Boston crew that has been superb over the previous couple of months.
If the Bruins determine to relaxation up of their closing few video games this season and let the Washington Capitals go them within the standings, then the Bruins’ playoffs could possibly be drastically shortened. The Florida Panthers have been an absolute pressure all season. With the Avalanche within the West, Florida is taken into account to be the straightforward favourite to win their convention. The first-round match-up in opposition to them could possibly be a catastrophe for Boston.
Nonetheless, the Bruins wouldn’t be your common backside wild card crew. I’d nonetheless be upset if the Bruins win this sequence, nevertheless it wouldn’t be too shocking. I’ve most likely talked about it earlier than, however the Boston Bruins are good. No crew is unbeatable for a superb crew and that features the Panthers. However as a way to beat Florida, each single Bruin must be on the high of their sport.
Some Bruins Playoff Samplers
If you wish to see what any of those match-ups might seem like, simply watch the remainder of the Bruins’ common season. Excluding Carolina, the Bruins will play in opposition to all of their potential playoff opponents of their few video games. These video games could possibly be very important to see how every of those groups would play in opposition to Boston in an opening-round sequence. In fact, although, each the Bruins and their opponents could determine to not present their fingers too early. With all the Japanese Convention standings being so tight although, I count on there might be a playoff environment to those video games.
The Bruins will almost certainly take a look at methods in these video games to see if they will work when they’re really necessary. What’s nice too about these video games occurring so near the playoffs is that it’s going to nonetheless be recent within the Bruins’ minds. Heading right into a sequence and realizing what to anticipate might simply give the Bruins an edge. This additionally implies that their opponents might additionally know what to anticipate.
Hello, I’m RJ Oakley, the Bruins beat author right here at Stomach Up Sports activities. Verify again right here and observe me on Twitter for information and dialogue on the B’s. Make sure to observe Stomach Up Hockey for all of your NHL wants!