Editor's note: The Washington Post and NESN.com are teaming up for an NHL playoffs edition of Across Enemy Lines. Doug Flynn answered the Post's Bruins questions, and Tarik El-Bashir answered our Capitals questions. Below are Tarik's answers.
Washington Post: Everyone knows the effect stars like Zdeno Chara and Thomas can have on a game and a series. Who are some of the Bruins’ lesser lights who might have an effect on the outcome? An X-factor (or two), if you will.
Flynn: After last year's Cup run there aren’t too many secret weapons left. Chris Kelly built off his impressive playoff performance with a career-high 20 goals. Playing with offseason pickup Benoit Pouliot and deadline acquisition Brian Rolston, he gave the Bruins a huge boost down the stretch with that third line by providing consistent scoring, combining for 13 goals and 34 points in their last 12 games together (Rolston was rested in the regular-season finale). That line will need to come up big again to give the Bruins the balanced attack that keys their offense.
They will also need balance on defense. Last year the Bruins were able to put Chara and Seidenberg together as a dominant shutdown pair because Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk were so good on the second pairing. That duo will need a repeat performance on the blue line for Boston to go deep again.
Read the rest of Douglas Flynn's Across Enemy Lines with the Washington Post by clicking here.
Read what Washington Post writer Tarik El-Bashir had to say about the series from a Washington perspective by clicking here.