Bruins 2014 Playoff Preview

Chris Arnaudo

The Boston Bruins season concluded Sunday afternoon in New Jersey, and Saturday they clinched the best record in all of the NHL winning the Presidents Trophy.

Now Boston will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, something they haven’t had since they won the Presidents Trophy in 1990.

The Detroit Red Wings are now the focus for the top seeded Bruins. Statistically, the Red Wings are the easiest team to play in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that Detroit is no easy team to beat 4 games out 7.

From top to bottom, Boston is a better team. Starting on the defensive side of the puck, Zdeno Chara holds down the fort for Vezina Trophy favorite,  goaltender, Tuukka Rask, who is 36-15 with a .930 save percentage and 7 shutouts. This makes the Bruins one of the toughest teams to score against.  This poses a problem for Detroit whose top scorer, Daniel Alfredsson, only has 49 points which makes him 93rd in the league. He is also 41 years old, and won’t be able to carry his team throughout a grueling 7 game series.

Not only are the Bruins tough to beat defensively, they also can score pretty much at will, having 5 players with 50 points or more (two with over 60). With this type of offensive threat, Red Wings goaltender, Jimmy Howard, having a suspect record this year 21-19 with a less than impressive save percentage of .910, is going to have his hands full trying to stop four solid lines that can all put the puck in the net.

Despite the numbers that stack up in favor of Boston, Detroit has something about them, that pedigree they have that has gotten them to the post season for the 23rd season in a row.

Another thing to take into account is that it’s the playoffs, the big dance, playing for a chance to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup. That means clean slate. Throw the regular season records out the window. They don’t matter in the post season. It’s all about if you can win 4 games before you lose 3.

This series could be one to remember with two original 6 teams and two teams that know how to play playoff hockey.