It’s nearly been 120 days without a championship parade in Boston. Unless you live under a rock, you know there’s a great possibility of another one coming soon, as the Bruins take on the St. Louis Blues in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins have been rolling, too. After taking all seven games to beat the Toronto Maple Leaves, they took care of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 6 and handedly swept the Carolina Hurricanes.
All the signs point toward Boston hoisting the trophy. Game one is going to be the most important when trying to gauge how the series is going to play out. There are a few factors that the Bruins need to take care of before they can parade through the streets, joining the Patriots and Red Sox.
Rest or Rust:
The Bruins’ toughest playoff series to date was the opening round. Why? Time off.
The Bruins had four days between their last regular season game and their playoff opener, and lost 4-1. Since then, they haven’t had more than one day off in between games. The one day layover had been used mainly for travel.
Boston heads into the Stanley Cup Finals ten days after sweeping Carolina. The worst thing you can do to a team that’s hot is take them off the ice. Fortunately, Cassidy set up an intersquad scrimmage, available to the public, on Thursday night. Also in Boston’s favor, the Blue’s will come onto the ice on Monday night after six games without action.
It’s the rest vs rust factor that will show us right away what kind of series to expect from Boston. In every game but one, the B’s blew out the Hurricanes.
Will the firepower still be there? Game one will shine the most light on if Boston fans will lose all of their hair, or all of their champagne in these next few weeks.
Tuukka has been one of, if not the best goalie this postseason.
Besides a few shaky goals in the Toronto series, he’s been a brick wall, playing his most impressive hockey in the Conference Finals. If Tuukka has his magic, it won’t matter how the rest of the team plays- the Bruins will win the series. If he has regressed during the week-and-a-half vacation, we’re in for a long series.
If the Bruins want to stand any chance in this series, Jaden Schwartz can’t dominate them. He’s been the Blues’ best guy this postseason, with 12 goals and 16 points.
Ryan O’Reilly, after a monster season, has been quiet so far, but could easily catch fire on the biggest stage. Chara is going to be rested and healthy, as well as the rest of the defense, and they need to be on their best in order for Boston to even have a fighting chance.
Bring in Vladimir Taranseko too, and the Blues could have the best offensive attack Boston has played yet.
If the rest has no damage on the Bruins, they should easily come out with the cup. They have been playing better hockey than anyone in this postseason, and are hot at the right time. Throw the superstition out the window, that every team who has swept has lost the next series. Boston is rolling, and should they throw off the rust in Thursday’s scrimmage, they’ll be on Boylston Street in a few weeks.
The Bruins will win this series with a five game sweep.
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