Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 6/1/13
Although the Bruins came into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a four seed, there was no doubt in my mind that they were the second-best team behind none other than the Pittsburgh Penguins who have home ice over the Bruins in this best-of-seven series.  Both teams have been dynamite throughout the playoffs, coming off of two rather easy series.  The Penguins dismantled the Senators in five games, and the Bruins quieted the Rangers in five as well.  But the similarities between the teams seem to end there.  The Penguins play an up-tempo high-flying offensive game showcasing star players on every shift, like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and James Neal, to name a few.  The Bruins on the other hand, are a boards-playing grind-it-out team that benefits from physical play because of their physicality and size.  Boston is all about puck possession, while Pittsburgh comes in quick strikes on the rush and the power play.  Pittsburgh managed to score 13 times in the final two games of their last series against Ottawa, winning 7-3 on the road, and then 6-2 at home.  Both teams have excelled in the special teams categories as well.  Pittsburgh is scoring on 28.3 percent of its power plays in the playoffs, and the Bruins clock in just under that, with a 21.9 percent conversion rate.  On the penalty kill, the Penguins are killing almost 90 percent of their penalties, while the Bruins are killing about 81 percent of their penalties.  It’s going to be a battle of two totally different styles, and should be a fantastic series to watch. via sportslistoftheday.com Key Matchup: Pittsburgh’s Attack vs. Boston’s Defense The firepower of the Penguins has been documented throughout the playoffs time and time again.  They are scoring a league-leading 4.27 goals per game, more than a full goal higher than any team, which happens to be Boston.  The Bruins, on the other hand, are rock-solid defensively, despite the plethora of rookies popping onto the blue line for the Bruins.  Boston is only allowing 2.33 goals per game.  Everybody knows of the Bruins’ captain, Zdeno Chara. The six foot, nine inch defenseman has won the Norris Trophy before and will definitely be matched up against Sidney Crosby or Evegeni Malkin on every shift.  Chara was paired with Dennis Seidenberg when Seidenberg returned from injury, but after practices, Chara was paried with Jonny Boychuk, the 29-year-old defenseman who is an even 0 in +/- through the playoffs.  Seidenberg was paired with Matt Bartkowski, a young defenseman who has bounced between the AHL and the NHL for a couple years.  But, the defenseman that every analyst is talking about is Torey Krug, the rookie who lit up the Rangers in the last round, scoring four goals in the five game series.  The NBC team practically slobbered over Krug every time he was on the ice so that every viewer understood where he was at any given time.  Krug will have a tough task against a much more offensively gifted Penguins team, and will be doing so alongside Adam McQuaid, who is only 26.  Overall Boston’s defense will have an incredibly tough time stopping the flying Pittsburgh offense that is led by Crosby (Seven goals, eight assists), Pascal Dupuis (Seven goals, three assists), Malkin (Four goals, 12 assists), and Iginla (Four goals, eight assists) and more.  It’s going to be an incredible series for all to watch, can’t-miss-television for viewers. via hockeysfuture.com My Pick: (1) Penguins over (4) Bruins in six games Pittsburgh has too much speed and firepower for the Bruins to matchup with consistently on every shift.  Something is going to give, and the Bruins lack of experience on the blue line will ultimately be their downfall, as the Penguins’ star power and experience will tally goals against Tuukka Rask.  The Bruins will have a chance if Tomas Vokun does not show up to play. -Weingold
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