The Boston Bruins eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to play the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston is technically the underdog in the series because they lost all three round robin games which gave them the fourth seed while Tampa Bay is the #2 seed.
But the Bruins have a very good shot at upsetting the Lightning in the second round for a variety of reasons.
First off, the Lightning did not coast to an easy first round win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. John Tortorella and his team took Tampa to two overtime games including Game 1’s 5OT thriller.
So while Tampa is going to have some rest heading into the series, there could still be some fatigue coming from the first-round which will benefit the Boston Bruins early in the series.
Meanwhile, the Bruins had a pretty easy time getting past the Carolina Hurricanes, as they won in five games and only had to play one overtime game–Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winner in 2OT. So Boston should be rested and ready to go come Sunday when the second round gets kicked off at 8 ET.
Their best offensive player, David Pastrnak, will be ready to play the entire second round assuming there isn’t another injury after he was “unfit to play” in the middle three games vs the Carolina Hurricanes.
As I detailed days ago, he will create many scoring opportunities for him and other players which will certainly help win games considering the B’s will be without star G Tuukka Rask.
If Boston is aggressive from the start, they can upset the Tampa Bay Lightning and move onto the Eastern Conference Final.
(Photo: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)