It’s Playoff Hockey In Boston – What Now?

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After a long two years that felt like a decade, Bruins fans will get to cheer on the black and gold past April 12th. A season full of doubts and challenges including new coach, players, and injuries has come to an end, but the difficulties have yet to stop. Both Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo now face injuries that hit them in the final few games as well as fourth liner Noel Acciari.

Even though these three injuries seem to sting the Bruins, the team has had to face adversity throughout the entire season. New Interim Head Coach (should be head coach), Bruce Cassidy has kept the team somewhat composed in big games and has added confidence to many players. Especially backup goaltender, Anton Khudobin, who is 6-0-0 with Cassidy as bench boss*.

*Khudobin was pulled in the final game against Washington due to illness.

To see the season recap from February 15th and before, CLICK HERE. For Boston’s entire season recap, keep reading.

TEAM STATS: 

  • The Bruins finished the 2016-2017 campaign with a 44-31-7 record which is good enough for 95 points.
  • Boston left the year with a 23-17-1 record in the TD Garden and a 21-14-6 on opposing ice.
  • The B’s finished 3rd in the Atlantic, 7th in the Eastern Conference, and 13th in the league.
  • In 82 games, Boston had a goals for per game of 2.83 (13th in NHL) and a goals against per game of 2.55 (9th in NHL).
  • Specialty teams were big for Boston. Power play percentage of 21.7% (7th in NHL) and penalty-kill percentage of 85.7% (1st in NHL).
  • Finally, Boston continued to dominate on the faceoff dots, completing the season with a 53.2% (3rd in NHL).

PLAYER STATS: 

  • Brad Marchand finished with career-high 85 points and 6th best in the NHL.
  • Marchand also had a career-high in goals (39) ranking him 5th in the NHL.
  • Once again, Marchand has a career-best in assists (46) slotting him 17th best in the NHL.
  • Captain Zdeno Chara lead the team in best +/- rating (+18), along side Marchand who also had a +18.
  • David Pastrnak set a career-high in points (70), goals (34), and assists (36) as well as his second-best +/- rating (+11).
  • Pastrnak was 22nd in the National Hockey League in power play points (24).
  • Patrice Bergeron had 302 shots on goal, to put him 3rd in the league.
  • Bergeron ranks 3rd in the NHL in face-off percentage with a minimum of 70 games played (60.1%)

Below are the full stats for the players and goaltenders courtesy of NHL.com.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

The Boston Bruins edged out a postseason berth and claimed back what they should have had for the past few seasons. Now comes the second season. Only sixteen teams get to experience this second season every year. The Capitals, Senators, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Rangers, Predators, Blackhawks, Blues, Wild, Sharks, Ducks, Oilers, Flames, and your Boston Bruins will represent their individual fanbases for at least another four games.

Here are the official round one matchups in both the Western and Eastern Conferences.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

As you can see above, the Bruins get set to play the Ottawa Senators. The same franchise that ended the hopes of the playoffs last season with little games left. Boston has yet to win a game this season against Canada’s capital city, going 0-3-1 throughout the four contests.

On November 24th, the Sens beat the Bruins 3-1, on March 9th, Ottawa won 4-2 and 3-2 on March 21st, and finally, in the closest game all season long, Boston barely lost a 2-1 shootout game in the second last game of the season.

The best-of-seven series begins Wednesday, April 12th in the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario at 7pm EST. Game two will take place in Ottawa once again on April 15th, game three heads to Boston on April 17th, game number four is held in TD Garden on April 19th. For the rest of the series and other games throughout the first round, CLICK HERE.

I can say myself, that I am beyond exciting to watch playoff hockey once again and I will be cheering full force with all my Bruins gear. Get ready hockey fans, it’s about to get exciting.

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