The Bruins who started off the season 14-2-2 have struggled in the month leading up to the playoffs. In April the Bruins
6-7-2 and have struggled to find their identity in the last month. They have been playing better as of late even if the record does not necessarily reflect that. Many questions have surrounded the lack of physical play from a team who is usually known as one of the toughest teams in the NHL. With the Bruins losing the final game of the season, they fell to the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. This is not a bad position to be in though considering the opponent that they are drawing.
The Maple Leafs may be the perfect opponent for the Bruins to get back to playing their style of hockey. Toronto is not Montreal, but over the last couple years, they have turned into a team that Bruins fans and players have seemed to become less fond of. Mixed with all the history of the teams trading with each other and all eyes always on Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel this could be a great series and a great opportunity for the Bruins to get back on track.
Phil Kessel in 22 games against the Bruins is a minus 22. Dion Phaneuf is not much better. This series though for the Bruins, depends on Milan Lucic. If Lucic is moving his feet and playing the physical game we know and love from him, the Bruins will rally behind him and play better as a team. Milan Lucic is what makes this team go. He is the emotional leader, and even if he isn’t getting on the scoresheet, his physical play gives the Bruins an emotional edge as well as opens up space for other players. When Lucic is playing like that and getting on the scoresheet, he is one of the best power forwards in the league and helps his team be one of the tops in the NHL. But when he struggles, it seems the team struggles too. Lucic does not have a great history of showing up in the playoffs, but if he does this year, the Bruins could make a deep run. He is my x-factor in this series and playoffs for the Bruins.
This series could get physical because of how chippy Toronto tends to get with the Bruins due to their lack of successes against Boston. This would play right into the Bruins hand, just like it did when Vancouver tried to be physical and intimidating against the Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Though Toronto is in the same division is not exactly considered the same kind of rival as a Montreal, probably because the Maple Leafs have struggled against the Bruins in the last couple years. With that said, this could be a good series and the Bruins if they find themselves, should have no problem winning this series. Bruins in 6.
Filed Under: Boston Bruins
About the Author: I am a Freelance Production Assistant for Comcast Sportsnet and former New York Rangers intern. I am an enthusiast of all sports and want to share my knowledge with those who are interested in reading what I have to say. Follow me on Twitter @ shmity91
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