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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Keep On Keepin' On

Sweet victory indeed! With a 2-1 win over the Senators last night, the Bruins secured their spot in the post-season for the first time since the '03-'04 season. Defying all pre-season predictions by so-called "experts" at ESPN, NESN, et al., the B's have scratched and clawed their way through injuries and even an 0-7-1 campaign against the Canadiens.

Who can't love the way the Bruins made it into the playoffs? A rag tag team of tough guys, hard workers, and a defense first attitude. This team isn't going to dazzle you with its finesse or blow out it's opponents. The playoffs are going to be a battle from the start of the first game until whenever or wherever it ends.

Now I'm not going to get my hopes up and think that they will be competing for a Stanley Cup. However, what I will say is that those who think this team is going to be a quick 4 game sweep have another thing coming. This team is built, as mentioned above, as a defense first squad that emphasizes responsibility for your particular role, especially in their own zone. The playoffs are a totally different ball game in which teams that play good defense have the upper hand. Unfortunately, sacrificing offense for defense is also a drawback.

So, where does this leave the Bruins as they prepare for an opponent like the Penguins, Canadiens, Capitals, or Hurricanes? Well, what do know is that the B's have let up the 4th fewest goals among the 8 Eastern Conference playoff teams. On the other hand, they have scored the third fewest goals as well. When it comes down to it, it's going to be low scoring contests with the winner advantageous by 1 or 2 goals.

Obviously on its face, the Bruins would probably be best suited to play the Hurricanes given the weakness of not having Rod Brind'Amour's services and that they are probably the weakest of potential matchups. Perhaps we could even resurrect the lucky demons from 1999 when Anson Carter was sliding across the ice leading the Bruins to their 1st round victory.

Watch out for Washington folks, this team couldn't be any hotter going into the playoffs. Unfortunatly, my whole Hurricanes theory above would be completely moot if the Caps end up making it in.

So, when Sunday's dust clears and all the seeds are determined, here's what I think will be the playoff matchups for round 1 of the Eastern Conference. When the actual seeds are determined, I will throw out my predictions for the entire playoffs. Until then, enjoy the final home game and sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that your team is in the playoffs no matter what happens tonight!

1 Penguins vs. 8 Senators
2 Canadiens vs. 7 Flyers
3 Capitals vs. 6 Bruins
4 Devils vs. 5 Rangers


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