Boston Bruins Prepare for the Stanley Cup

After 11 long days, the Boston Bruins are ready for the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.  After making quick work of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bruins will take part in their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2013.  The Bruins were looking to solidify themselves as one of the elite members in the NHL with a second Stanley Cup in three years but unfortunately fell to the Blackhawks 4-2.  Since then, the Bruins  have shown promise but haven’t got over the hump.  But this year, the Bruins are looking to bring Lord Stanley back to Boston.  Even more impressive, if the Bruins do pull it off, Boston really does become title town.

How They Got Here: Boston Bruins

Quarterfinals – Defeated Toronto 4-3.

Semifinals – Defeated Columbus 4-2.

Finals – Defeated Carolina 4-0.

The first round match-up against the Maple Leafs wasn’t an easy one.  As a matter of fact, the Maple Leafs may be the hardest opponent that the Bruins have had to face this postseason.  With Pittsburgh,Washington, and Tampa Bay losing, the Bruins had a clear path to the cup finals.  All they had to do was take care of business on their end.  A Nazem Kadri suspension in the first round may have been one of those events that could’ve also lifted the Bruins.  After Kadri’s questionable high hit on Tommy Wingels in game two, the league decided that Kadri was done for the rest of the first round.  However; after that suspension, Toronto seemed to come into it’s own and started competing with the Bruins.  The Maple Leafs even took a 3-2 series lead against the Bruins.  And looked like they might win against Boston in the postseason for the first time in a long time.  All Toronto had to do was win game 6 in Toronto to move on, but they squandered that chance with a 4-2 loss.  Then followed that up with a 5-1 loss to Boston in game 7.

Next up was the Columbus Blue Jackets.  A team that had just swept the President’s Trophy winner Tampa Bay Lightning.  Game 1 of this series a huge one after Columbus had a long await, they came out sloppy but figured it out as the game went on.  Game 1 was an OT thriller which the Bruins got the OT winner from Weymouth, MA native Charlie Coyle.  However; the real star of this series was Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.  He stood on his head in this series and frustrated the Bruins.  Though the Bruins did get some lucky bounces, they began to get more pucks to the net to beat Bobrovsky.  The Blue Jackets did have a 2-1 series lead but lost three of the last four.

After Tampa Bay was gone, Washington, AND Pittsburgh, the Bruins had took on Carolina for the Conference Finals.  And this just wasn’t a series at all.  Boston had their way with Carolina outscoring them 17-5 and Tuuka Rask was feeling it.  Rask certainly got hot at the right time.  What else can you say about this series?  It was boring and you knew who was going to win the entire time.

How They Got Here: St. Louis Blues

At one point in the season, the Blues had the worst record in hockey.  They were ready to take the best odds for the lottery but they wanted to try a different route.  They fired head coach Mike Yeo and had a turnaround no one would believe.  At one point in the season, Vegas had the Blues at 125/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup.  Now, they’re +200 (per FanDuel).  Sure the Blues made it to three straight Stanley Cup Finals in 68-70 and never won a game.  And even though Bobby Orr had his legendary goal in game four of the 1970 Stanley Cup that is immortalized outside of TD Garden.  You know how the saying goes “This aint your Dad’s St. Louis Blues”.

Quarterfinals – Defeated Winnipeg 4-2

Semifinals – Defeated Dallas 4-3

Finals – Defeated San Jose 4-2

The first round was odd as the road team won the first five games of the series.  St. Louis almost took a stranglehold on the Jets in game four when they went into OT.  Buuut to keep that road team win streak going, the Blues lost 2-1.  Now at this point, the Blues also had an easier road to the Cup finals.  No Vegas, Nashville or Calgary to deal with as they all lost in round one.  The only threat to them was their next opponent, the Dallas Stars.

Let’s jump to game seven shall we?  Who doesn’t love a game seven?  And who doesn’t love a game seven that goes into double OT?  With a spot in the Western Conference Finals on the line, these two teams played probably the greatest hockey ever.  Back and forth they went, shot after shot.  With the Blues winning game seven at home, they had their biggest test yet, the San Jose Sharks.


San Jose has been a team that has been so close.  Year in and year out they’re in the the thick of it in the west.  And year in and year out, they disappoint.  So why would this year be any different?  San Jose held 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the series but just couldn’t find a way to finish.  Sound familiar?  They lost the last three games of the series getting outscored 12-2.  Overall, they were outscored 24-15.  And to think this team once had the worst record in the league, is now vying for it’s first Stanley Cup Finals title.

Who Will Win?

How can you not say Boston?  They have to hot goalie and home ice.  Though St. Louis certainly won’t be easy, but they’re riding a six day layoff of their own.  Period one of game one probably won’t be the sharpest but expect Boston to come into their own first.  I’m picking the Bruins in the gentlemen’s sweep, 4-1.

– Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

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