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CHICAGO… For the first time since 1979 we will bear witness to a Stanley Cup Final featuring two “Original Six” teams. The Boston Bruins have won the Eastern Conference Final in spectacular fashion ousting the favored Pittsburgh Penguins 4 games to none. The sweep of the Pengwah, who had home ice in this series, has raised many questions about some members of the current roster as well as the future of Head Coach Dan Bylsma. Since replacing Head Coach Michel Theirren halfway through the 2008-2009 season and then winning the Cup, Bylsma and the Pengwah have had a steady string of playoff failure.
Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, who has now suffered two consecutive playoff seasons of absolute poor play has an uncertain future as a number one goalie and on the Pens roster. Questions abound regarding if the club is built for the regular season but not for the playoffs and the team will face the normal off season UFA and RFA player contract situations and due to their recent track record, who will be brought back and/or extended and who won’t. As for the Bruins? Well, as a lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan, lets just throw it right on the table; I hate the Bruins. Simple as that. Don’t forget my many years as a NorthStars fan as well.
But while emotions just might screw up any and all prognostications I might make for the tournament, I will always be honest in assessing the quality of a team and it’s roster and the Bruins are a very good team. I can’t stand em’, but….
I remember them having a 30-some game unbeaten streak going against the NorthStars years back. And I consider myself fortunate to have seen the Bobby Orr-Phil Esposito Bruins play in person several times back in the day. I still have to say that Bobby Orr was probably the best pure hockey player I have ever seen. Wayne Gretzky is definetly the best scorer in the history of the NHL, but Orr has got to be the best all around player ever. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it. In this series the Bruins took Game one in Pitt 3-0 and that tilt could have went either way. In Game two the Bruins humiliated the Pens and drove Fleury’s replacement, Tomas Vokoun, out of the contest when it became 3-0. Fleury looked as bad allowing 3 more tallies by games end for a 6-1 loss.
Game 3 may have been the best game of the entire playoff tourney thus far. In a classic tilt for the ages the Bruins prevailed 2-1 in 2OT. In this game the Pens won the big 3 (shots, faceoff’s and hits) and that usually can get you the win, but not this time. Then in the deciding Game 4 the Bruins won 1-0 with net minder Tuuka Rask getting the shutout and solidifying his chances for the Conn Smythe trophy should the Bruins win the Cup. Heck, he might get it even if the Bruins don’t win the Cup, he has easily been the best player in