NHL Network Manager – Randy Holt
The defending champion Boston Bruins head into the playoffs having answered the early questions of whether or not they were experiencing a Stanley Cup hangover. While this team might not look as impressive as it did last year, it’s still the same team that brought a Cup back to Beantown in 2010-2011. They’ve got the talent on the forward lines, with guys like Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Segin, and a possible Selke Trophy candidate in Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara still anchors the blue line. They’re going to need Tim Thomas to be as splendid as he was last postseason, though, if they’re to make a serious run.
Still, one has to think they have the upper hand against this Washington Capitals team. Yes, there’s talent on this team, with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom finally having returned from his concussion woes. Then grittier guys who have had breakout seasons, like Jason Chimera and Troy Brouwer. But, all things considered, this isn’t a team that has it in them to make a run. Unless they show us something we haven’t seen yet, they don’t play with enough energy and have trouble finding the net. I think this is a series that could be over quickly, with Washington undergoing some major changes this offseason.
Prediction: Boston in 6.