Here’s what we don’t know: pretty much everything else.
The B’s wrapped up a playoff berth last weekend in Philadelphia but it’s unknown as to who they’ll tangle with in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We know that they will probably be slotted in at the No. 3 seed (maybe No. 2), but as to who will be waiting for them at No. 6 is a bit foggier. For now, we’ll slot the B’s in at No. 3, but let’s not forget that they have a game in hand and sit only three points behind second-seeded Washington as of Thursday morning.
Each potential playoff opponent could give the B’s something to be cautious of.
As it currently stands, a Bruins-Canadiens series — the matchup everyone wants to see from an entertainment standpoint — would be a first-round series. The B’s exorcised some demons with a 7-0 rout of the Habs last week in the Boston but Montreal has, and always will be, a tough matchup for the Black and Gold. The Habs are quicker up front and the B’s have failed to win at the Bell Centre this year.
Another possible first-round matchup for Boston is Buffalo. The Sabres still have a game in hand against the free-falling Canadiens, and they could very easily slide into No. 6 to earn a date with the Bruins. Obviously the biggest concern with a series with the Sabres has to be Ryan Miller. However, Miller did miss Wednesday night’s game with what is being deemed the vaunted “upper-body injury” and he’s day-to-day for now.
The Rangers may also meet the Bruins in the first round. As the B’s found out on Saturday, the Blueshirts can play a frustrating style of hockey. Like the Bruins, they like to play low-scoring, defensive games. More importantly, though, they have Henrik Lundqvist, who picked up his ninth shutout of the season this past weekend in Boston.
Carolina has won five of its last six, but they’re still on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go. However, if they can stay hot, that’s another team you might not want to face when the playoffs start. As is the recurring theme with a few of these teams, you’d like to steer clear of a game-changing goalie, and the ‘Canes definitely have one of those in Cam Ward.
Which potential first-round opponent would give the Bruins the most problems? Share your thoughts below.
Tuesday, March 29: Are the Chicago Blackhawks a Stanley Cup threat this season?
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