The Boston Bruins have the roster to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They’ve also been playing extremely well since the NHL trade deadline.
So, it should come as no surprise that folks around the league think highly of the B’s as they prepare to face the Washington Capitals in the first round, beginning Saturday night at Capital One Arena.
The Athletic’s Craig Custance assembled an anonymous panel featuring a current NHL player, coach, executive and scout, and asked everyone to place each playoff team into a tier. The Bruins fell into Tier 2, behind a Tier 1 comprised of the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes.
This might surprise those expecting the Bruins to hoist Lord Stanley — they should be in Tier 1, right? — but the executive and coach Custance spoke with both offered high praise for Boston.
“I think Boston is the best team in the division now that they’re healthy,” the anonymous exec told Custance. “If (Tuukka) Rask is healthy and invested, that’s a game-changer.”
“I really like the additions they made at the deadline,” the anonymous coach added. “Mike Reilly was playing really good hockey for the Senators. He became a steady defender and bolsters the depth of their D. Taylor Hall now gives them a legitimate second line, so shutting down and matching up with the Bergeron line is not as easy as it used to be. And you have a third line that can cause some problems. They’re battle-tested. Have a great leader in Bergeron. Their PK is the best in the league. They’ve balanced out their team as good as anybody.”
The Bruins have all the ingredients to cook up a winning formula in the postseason, starting with a talented and experienced core, terrific coaching and great goaltending. Don’t be surprised if Bruce Cassidy’s club is the last team standing.
One thing we know for sure: The Bruins are going to get the other team’s best shot every game, as no one is taking the Black and Gold lightly with the playoffs set to begin.