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Boston Bruins Playoff Preview

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With the NHL returning to play in August, the Boston Bruins return to the playoffs to defend their Eastern Conference Championship. After a disappointing end to the 2018-19 season, the Bruins made it their mission to not have the same fate in the 2019-20 season. The Bruins lost to the St. Louis Blues in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals last season. This year the Bruins were the best team during the regular season and looked poised for a deep playoff run after going 44-14-12 during the shortened regular season.

Complete Dominance

The Bruins were the best team during the NHL’s shortened regular season. Boston finished a league-best 44-14-12 for a total of 100 points. The Bruins were one of the best offensive teams in the league during the shortened regular season finishing tied for seventh in the league with 227 goals. To complement Boston’s excellent offensive their defensive is even better. The Bruins allowed the least goals during the shortened regular season. The Bruins only allowed 167 goals during the shortened season.

Elite Special Teams

Boston’s special teams are also top-notch as they convert 25.2% power plays into goals. This is good enough for second in the league. Their penalty kill is nothing to sniff at either as the Bruins kill off 84.3% of their penalties. They rank third in the league and will be difficult for any team to breakthrough. 

Key playoff Performers

The Bruins have had a coronavirus scare in the locker room and have responded by shutting down key players such as Tuukka Rask and David Pastrnak. If these players can not join the team by game time then the Bruins will turn to Brad Marchand and Jaroslav Halak to replace their production. Marchand and Halak are used to being in the bright lights and helping lead their team through the playoffs. For Marchand, this will be his eighth playoff run and it is no different than any of the others. If Boston is going to be successful then Marchand will need to be productive during the playoffs. Halak is no stranger to playing stressful playoff hockey either. He has been the starter in the playoffs for multiple teams. The Bruins will rely on him to backstop they need to avenge the tragic loss the bruins suffered last season. 

Jan 24, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates his game tying goal with defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the third period of the Boston Bruins 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins X-Factors

During the playoffs, certain players will heat up and bring their game and their team to the next level. This year is no different than any other in this area. For the Boston Bruins, Charlie Coyle and Sean Kuraly are going to be important players in any type of success Boston has. Kuraly and Coyle consistently score big goals in important moments that lead the Bruins to victory. These two big forwards also provide a physical edge the Flyers will have a hard time playing against. 

May 29, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) celebrates after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues in the first period in game two of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Road to the Playoffs

Since the Boston Bruins were a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference they don’t have to participate in the play-in round. Instead, they will have a 3 game round-robin style tournament. Boston will play four total games before the play-in series. One game will be a pre-play in-game to help tune the team. The other three games will be against the other three teams that earned a top 4 spot in the eastern conference. These games will determine the seeding for the play-in series. The Boston Bruins are going to play in the following games before the play-in round.

7/30/20 @7 P.M. – Columbus Blue Jackets (Pre play in game)

8/2/20 @3 P.M. – Philadelphia Flyers

8/5/20 @4 P.M. – Tampa Bay Lightning

8/9/20 @ Tbd. – Washington Capitals

If you want a more in depth look at all the games see our other articles.

How Far Will the Bruins Go?

In Conclusion, Boston was one of the best all-around teams during the 2019-20 season and will look to carry that momentum into the postseason and capture the Stanley cup. Boston has all the tools necessary to return to the finals and have a legit shot at winning it all.

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Clancy Golden is one of the biggest hockey fans in the world. He loves writing and watching the beautiful sport of hockey.