Well folks, the Bruins are moving on! The Black and Gold get a nice gentleman’s sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes. If you have just looked at the box scores; and not watched the games, then you would be assuming that this was an easy series. That wasn’t the case at all. The Bruins went from Pasta missing time, to Tuukka opting out, to the power play being off, and the team looking sluggish from time to time. From the third period of game 4 to the end of the game today, the Bruins looked like they had flipped a switch and you have to feel confident as a Bruins fan. These few observations will be the key to a long playoff run or an earlier exit from the bubble then expected.
David Pastrnak’s health is very key to the Bruins’ run in the bubble. Clearly we saw two different Bruins teams with him on the ice in games 1 & 5 and with him not on ice in games 2-4. Pasta on the ice gives the bruins more flexibility with lines, powerplay units, and other guys don’t have to extend their roles (looking at you Andres Bjork).
The best player so far in these playoffs for the Bruins has been David Krejci. Which should be no surprise, because he has been a clutch playoff performer during his Bruins career. When Pasta was out for games 2-4, he stepped up to plate and made the second line thrive with energy and create scoring opportunities. His play will give some much needed secondary scoring that they will need further down the line in the playoffs.
The Power Play
The special teams will be another big key to the Bruins’ playoff success. The Bruins penalty kill has been dynamic, but the power play units and having them score/look solid on those opportunities will be very key. As you saw in game 5, the power play was the difference maker and as the series with Canes went on it was an offensive spark for a team that struggled with scoring 5v5. You need to cash in on power plays, as that will definitely be the key for the next series especially if it’s against Tampa Bay
The Play Of Halak
With the departure of Tuukka Rask from the bubble for personal reasons. The play of Jaroslav Halak was the biggest question moving forward. Now it is a key to the success of the Bubble Bruins. While the other points I addressed are keys, they won’t mean anything if Halak is shaky in between the pipes. So what Halak we get is very important to how far this team goes. Will it be the game 3 and 5 performances/Halak who carried the Canadiens to East Finals a decade ago who was dynamite; or the round robin/ game 4 who was shaky at times? If we get the Halak that was dynamite with the Bruins talented roster, they should have a deep playoff run. If he’s shaky then you better hope my other points are perfect and firing on all cylinders.
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