Battle of the Eastern’s Best: Bruins @ Penguins Preview

So Bruins fans we’ve gone through seven games with the Toronto Maples Leafs and five with the New York Rangers. But there’s still two more series’ to get through to get to Lord Stanley. And the next battle will be anything but simple as the B’s are taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins and the Bruins will meet in the Eastern Conference Final for their first postseason meeting since the 1992 season (Penguins won).

(Credit: Slidingsideways/ Flickr)

Despite the Penguins getting the sweep over the B’s during the regular season, post season brings new opportunity. And as we’ve seen anything can happen. The Bruins know they’re considered the “underdogs” and they’re ready to prove otherwise.  Given the circumstances that have led them to his showdown, I have confidence in the “original” black and gold.

B’s Defensive Domination:
In the best two series’, the Bruins defense has been top of the league. Not only can they defend but they can score…and a lot of goal at that. Torey Krug has four goals in his first five NHL playoff games. Three of those were power play goals, which is something the Bruins terrible PP can benefit from. And obviously we can’t talk defense with Captain Zdeno Chara. He’s on the ice for more than half a game typically and he certainly makes his presence known. He’ll either be matched up against Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and one of them should be worried.

 That Time With the Trade Deadline…
Of course one of the big storylines in this series is about Jarome Iginla and Jaromir JagrThe Bruins once upon a time thought they were getting Iginla but just as soon as reports came out about the trade, it seemed Iginla had other plans and went to the Pens. So the B’s picked up fellow veteran/ future hall of famer Jagr. Though Iginla has had the better post season, I think we’ll be seeing former Penguin Jagr step up a lot more for this series. We’re going to need all players throwing their weight around and 41-year-old Jagr will have no problem doing so.

Penguins and their Power Play:
The Pens have converted a ridiculous 28.3-percent success rate (13-for-46) thanks to Cris Letang leading the NHL with seven power-play points, while Crosby ranks fourth with seven and Malkin is fifth with six. The B’s penalty kill isn’t quite as good as it was regular season with an 81.1-percent success rate that puts them eighth in the playoffs which means Boston will have to work to shut down the Pens PP.

Goalie Showdown:
It looks like it’s going to be Tuukka Rask versus Tomas Vokoun in net. Rask has been who through 12 starts has a 2.22 GAA and .928 save percentage, has only four losses thus far. Rask has gotten stronger as the playoffs have progress and if there were any doubts that he could carry the B’s through the postseason, those have been answered. Meanwhile Vokoun has won six of his seven starts, posting a 1.85 goals against average (third overall) and a .941 save percentage. What I’m trying to get at is that this is going to be a good showdown.

So tonight is Game One and the puck will drop at 8pm on NBC!
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!

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