Bruins Ready for RepeatPosted: April 22, 2012
By Anthony Carnevale
The Boston Bruins are ready for their run at a second consecutive Stanley Cup. The 2 seed Bruins open up the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the 7 seed Washington Capitals. The Capitals are led by their Alexander Ovechkin. The Bruins are looking to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to repeat as Cup Champions.
The Bruins are coming off a 49-29-4 regular season record. The Bruins led the Northeast Division with 102 points. The Bruins survived a late season scare of the Ottawa Senators in the points race to clinch the division. The Bruins did not know who their first round opponent would be until the last day of the regular season, when the Senators lost to the New Jersey Devils and the Capitals beat the New York Rangers.
The Bruins were led in points in the regular season by the 20 year-old Tyler Seguin who racked up 67 points. Seguin also led the team with 29, which was one more than Brad Marchand. Patrice Bergeron led the B’s in assists tallying up 42, which edged out the 40 assists by team captain Zdeno Chara. Bergeron also was the team leader in +/- coloumn. Grinder and team enforcer Shawn Thornton led the Bruins in penalty minutes, with 154. This includes a league tieing 20 fighting majors for Thornton. Tim Thomas started 55 games in net for Boston. Thomas won 35 games, recorded a 2.36 goals against average, a .920 save percentage, and 5 shutouts.
The Bruins enter the playoffs, with a little bit of the injury bug. General Manager Pete Chiarelli announced that forward Nathan Horton has been shut down for the entire 2012 playoff campaign, with lingering concussion symptoms. Horton received a concussion in a January game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Horton also received a concussion in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 that forced him to miss the rest of the series. This proved as fuel for the B’s as they upset the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games after trailing the Canucks 2-0. Defensemen Johnny Boychuck and Adam McQuaid are day-to-day. Boychuck is fighting a leg injury received against the Pittsburgh Penguins and McQuaid suffered an eye laceration against the Capitals. The future of backup goalie Tuukka Rask is also unknown as he is also recovering from an injury. Anton Khudobin will serve as backup until and if Rask returns.
Last year during the Bruins incredible and unforeseen title run they beat the Montreal Canadiens in the first round in 7 games, swept the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in 7 games, and deafeated the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games to caputre the Cup. The Bruins became the first team to win three Game 7s. This Playoff run will prove to be a rough road back, with the outstanding offense of the Capitals and the top-seeded Rangers along with the Penguins lurking in the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference is considered the power-house with the Canucks as the top-seed, and teams like the St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings.
Bruins fans should expect a entertaining first round, and hope for another roller coaster ride back to the Stanley Cup Finals.