The Bruins have been through this before. They went through it in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks, and more recently, they went through it against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals. They’ll have to do it again to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. As Ric Flair has been known to say, “To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man,” and there’s no denying that the Bruins’ road to two Cup Finals in three years has seen them have to go through some of the game’s best. The B’s did it in 2011 when they cut down the favored Canucks in the Cup Final, a team that had won the Presidents’ Trophy and also featured one of the highest-powered offenses in the NHL. That’s been a theme for the B’s in their trips to the Final. In order to just get that far in 2011, Boston had to go through teams like Philadelphia (third in the league in goals per game) and Tampa Bay (seventh in goals per game). Then in the Final, they were able to slow a Vancouver offense that led the league that year in goals per game with 3.15. Boston was supposedly up against it this season as well, especially in the Eastern Conference finals. However, the Penguins’ supposedly high-powered offense was no match for Tuukka Rask and a stingy B’s defense. After leading the league with 3.38 goals per game in the regular season, the Pens scored just two goals in four games for the entire series. It’s worth noting that the Bruins had to go through Toronto, the sixth-ranked offense in terms of goals per game to (barely) get out of the first round. The work is far from done for the Bruins, though. While they may have sliced through the Penguins with seemingly relative ease, the law of averages says the Bruins won’t have the same level of success (or to put it another way, luck) against the Blackhawks. Chicago was the consensus pick as the best team in the NHL all season long, and they backed that notion up by winning the Presidents’ Trophy. They did that, in large part, thanks to an explosive offense, a unit that finished second in the league (behind Pittsburgh) in goals per game with 3.10.
Bruins Will Have to Slow Another High-Powered, Star-Heavy Offensive Attack in Stanley Cup Final
NESN | Jun 11