The stage is set and the Boston Bruins will meet the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning Saturday night at Capital One Arena.
The Bruins clinched the No. 3 seed in their 3-2 overtime win against the New York Islanders on Monday night to officially seal their opponent.
One of the biggest storylines heading into Saturday, naturally, is the fact that Zdeno Chara will be squaring off against his former team. Chara, as you certainly know by now, signed with Washington in the offseason after a 14-year stint with the Bruins.
B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy is looking forward to what’s ahead.
“I’m looking forward to the matchup. It’s ironic we’re playing them (Tuesday) ahead of the playoffs,” Cassidy said over Zoom after the game. “But I guess that has happened in the past. We’ll do what we have to do tomorrow and spend the rest of the week getting ready for Game 1 and go from there.”
Cassidy was asked whether he thinks Chara will pass along any information to his former teammates ahead of what’s sure to be a feisty best-of-seven series.
“He knows (Patrice Bergeron) better than anybody. … So I imagine he will give whatever information is necessary,” Cassidy said. “Today’s day and age and video there’s a lot of ability to break it down for a staff. But sometimes having those little intricacies helps. So I’m sure he’ll help there. As for impact on Washington? Obviously, they’re a very good team. … But I’m not in the locker room, so I don’t know how much he’s been able to influence it. I’m sure he has. He’s a great leader, been around. And I think this is truly one of the reasons that they signed Zee is probably for this time of the year coming up. His impact probably hasn’t even really been felt yet, and we’re gonna be the first ones to find out what it is.”
At the end of the day, though, Cassidy knows he’s got to worry about his roster.
“On the other side of things we gotta worry about our own group. Get ready to play, break down Zee like we would any other player,” he said. “Same token, we know a lot of his tendencies. So, maybe that’ll help us in certain situations. But at the end of the day, he’s a competitor, we got a lot of competitors in our room. Looking forward to the matchup.”
Things have gotten spicy between the Bruins and Capitals during the regular season, so it’s sure to be a battle when the Stanley Cup is at stake.