Saturday, the Penguins & Bruins throw down in the first all black & gold NHL Eastern Conference Finals game since 1992 when the Penguins steamrolled through the Bruins on their way to winning their second Stanley Cup. We’ve been around the block. What happened in the 1990’s has nothing to do with these two teams today, other than Jaromir Jagr that is.
We’ve put together an incredible group of writers to predict how the series will pan out and at the same time throw a little insight into what the Penguins will have to do to win. We have everything predicted from a sweep to 7 game series, all with a common theme when it comes down to handshake at the end.
Six of the writers have followed the Penguins since the 1970’s, two of them have been season ticket holders since then. The writers here at PenguinPoop have been to more Penguins games than any other group of writers on the internet.
Horse – Season ticket holder since the 1970’s also a longtime PenguinPoop writer & radio host.
The two best teams in the Eastern Conference are going to meet in the Conference Finals. The winners get the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup. The best team in the East will get that chance — that team is the Penguins.
All of the analysts talk about the depth of the two teams and how they used it to their advantage to win their first two series. This may well be true, but the Penguins will win the series because of their top players. The Pens have six players with four or more goals — the Bruins have three. The Penguins have eight players with nine or more points — the Bruins have five. These numbers add up to a Penguin win in six.
Disco Stu – Followed the Penguins since 1971. Frequent PenguinPoop writer & radio host.
Well, the Penguins have made it to the Conference Finals for the first time since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009, and you just knew they were going to have to face the Bruins at some point to get to the Finals. Karma was going to make sure of it. Fortunately, the Penguins have home ice in this series as Boston fans are going to be sure to let Jarome Iginla have it for snubbing the Bruins at the trade deadline by invoking his no trade clause and telling Calgary he’d only go to Pittsburgh. This series will also feature Jaromir Jagr’s return to Pittsburgh, his first time back since Philadelphia knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs in the first round last year.
The Penguins went 3-0 against the Bruins this year winning three one goal games(3-2,2-1,3-2) with Tomas Vokoun recording two of the wins and Marc Andre Fleury the other. Tyler Seguin scored in all three games for Boston, while Pittsburgh, as usual, spread their scoring out over multiple players. Most of Boston’s scoring is coming from three players, David Krejci, who leads all playoff scorers with 17 points, Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand although Zdeno Chara has put in nine points, and Milan Lucic has suddenly reappeared after going missing most of the season. Boston will try to put Chara on the ice every time Sidney Crosby is out there, but getting the last change for the home games will help keep Sid away from him as often as possible. Their goalie, Tukka Rask has been having a very good playoff run with a GAA around 2.25 and a 9.925 Save Percentage.
Seeing as how Boston does not possess the team speed that the New York Islanders showed in the first round, their modus operandi is going to be more similar to that of the Senators, and they will try the hard hitting/intimidation/get under your skin style that Ottawa tried using players like Marchand, Lucic, Chara and Hamilton. Unfortunately, for Boston, it’s going to work about as well for them as it did for Ottawa. Pittsburgh just has too much depth that Boston will not be able to match up with. If they want to put Chara out against Crosby’s line, then Malkin’s line will be the one to shine. Put him out there against Malkin’s line, and Crosby/Kunitz/Dupuis will tear them a new one. Other than a couple of hick ups, the Penguins Power Play and Penalty Kill have had no equal in these playoffs, and Tomas Vokoun is channeling Marc Andre Fleury circa 2009.
I just don’t see any way that this series goes more than 5 games. Pittsburgh in 5.
Phil Krundle – Head cheese at PenguinPoop – Pens fan since 1976, blah blah hockey stuff blah blah…
The Penguins match up very well against the Bruins, hell, the Penguins match up well against any team. The Bruins have a lot of talent, more than the Pens have faced so far in the playoffs. With the playoff experience the Bruins have and you would think this would be a very tough series. The problem for the Bruins is that the Penguins have a healthy squad. Sidney Crosby is back to his normal helmet and aside from a sore shoulder Malkin has and a few other bumps and bruises, the Pens are ready to roll all pistons firing.
Malkin will be a big factor in this series. The Bruins playoff experience is going to have them tormenting Malkin non stop. This is where James Neal could really sway the series. If he could get in and yank Malkin out of the post whistle scrums instead of exasperating them, Pens win easily. If the Bruins get under Malkin’s skin and he starts doing stupid stuff, the Pens will be in for a battle.
My thoughts are the Penguins will turn their heads at the scrums and take the powerplays. The Cup is within sight and the little things won’t get in the way of the big prize. The Bruins 2nd lowest goals against in the East goes out the window the same way the Pens offed the #1 lowest goals against team. The Penguins have the Bruins outgunned, out coached, out defended and out goaltended. Bruins experience and lucky bounces will afford them one game. One.
Pens in 5 in a high scoring story with a story book ending, a tired Jagr retires playing his last game in Pittsburgh.
Southside Shultzie – Long time PenguinPoop writer & Pens fan. Born in Cleveland but hey, so was Stan Savaran.
Sorry Boston! I’ve got some BAD NEWS for your BEARS!
While in Boston a few years ago, I heard someone say “Did you park your car down by the bar?” and it sounded like an auctioneer who was selling sheep while doing an impersonation of said sheep. That said (well..OK, written) you better listen up Bean Town! Your cup runneth empty now that you’re facing the Pens in the Conference Final!
I’ll bet your fans aren’t as scared as the players because we all know they’re Boston tough! Well don’t underestimate the ORIGINAL black and gold hockey town known to you as “Oh my GAWD, we were hoping not to have to play PITTSBURGH!”
The Pens also boast a roster filled with tougher than most mortals along with players with skill sets that need no editing when putting together highlight reels. If you come at us hard…we won’t be intimidated, we will simply match you plus punch you once more for you to grow on. If you try to match us with skill…I say bring it on! Chara will most certainly try to cover Crosby, much like the Washington Generals defended Meadowlark Lemon, but we’ve got more weapons than Rambo and a better defense than O.J.! So again, bring it on! Sure Marchand and Bergeron might get a chance here and there but it won’t be enough. We SWEPT you in the shortened season 3-0 with T.V. Time – (Thomas Voukun) notching 2 of those victories. Not to mention (knock on wood) the Penguins roster looks MUCH better now than in did during our regular season meetings.
‘Nuff said! Call the cops, tell the kids and have your friends wipe your tears so you can read the headlines: PENS LEAVE BRUINS IN RUINS after series sweep!. You heard it (read it) here first hockey fans!
Art Vandelay – Long time Penguins fan, season ticket guy & producer of the PenguinPoop Radio Show.
Penguins in 6, and this is why: The Boston Bruin’s top two defenseman: Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara are either coming back from injury or are looking extremely tired and slow this playoff season. The Penguins relentless forecheck should make it possible to take advantage of these two players when they are on the ice.
The Penguins depth at the forward position should be too much for the Bruins defense. Tuuka Rask is not Tim Thomas, plain and simple.
I’m giving the Boston Bruins two games in this series because I’m not fully convinced that Tomas Vokoun can take us all the way.
Joey Wales – PenguinPoop writer & long time Penguins fan – accidentally lived in D.C. for a while – he’s back.
1) The Bruins are built very similarly to the Penguins. Pens have Crosby – disgustingly nimble goal scorer who will absolutely kill opponents with his puck distribution. Bruins have Brad Marchand – quick little mosquito who can score (despite some troubles in these playoffs) and give D fits with his puck handling and passing. Pens have Iginla – tough forward who will score a sick goal one shift and drop the gloves with a smile on his face the next. Bruins have Lucic – Ditto. Pens have Letang – +7 goal-scoring defenseman who can also shut it down going the other way . Bruins have Torey Krug – an emerging scoring threat with four goals in these playoffs who also plays a solid D game at +3. Pens have Murray – our Hulk. Bruins have Chara – their Ant Man (where my comic book nerds at?). In terms of size and experience, it’s a dead heat. Penguins get the edge because our boys are just better at what they do.
2) The Bruins are the first team that thinks they can beat the Pens. Let’s be honest, for all the posturing and necessary bravado that came out of Long Island and Ottowa, neither team really believed they would get out of their respective series. At least they didn’t until the Pens gave them a reason to. Despite a 3-0 blanking in the regular season and a shaky first two rounds, I think the Bruins are still the most confident opponent to skate into our barn this year. I’ll be worried if the Pens feed the Bruins belief that they can win. The edge goes to the Penguins here, too, though, because they’re starting this series after two dominating wins and are riding a huge wave of momentum. The Bruins, on the other hand, had to squeak out wins against a clearly gassed and inferior Rangers team. Between that and their epic comeback against the Leafs in Game 7 of Round 1, they are embracing the role of the comeback kids, so even if the Pens get the Bruins down they won’t ever think they’re out.
I think this one goes the distance. Pens in 7. Please prove me very very wrong.
Champ Kind – Season ticket holder since the 70?s and PenguinPoop Radio Host.
I’m just glad to still be watching hockey after the last three disappointing springs. Fortunately, I don’t believe the Pens are feeling the same way. I loved the look on the players’ faces after the clinching victory over the Senators. There was a sense of contentment, yet also a look that communicated that they are fully aware that the mission is only half complete.
These are the top two teams in the East. Everyone knows and talks about the Bruins’ balanced attack, and there is no doubt that they can roll 4 lines with consistent pressure in all zones. The difference is noticeable when you start looking at the talent level of each individual at each position. The matchups favor the Pens in almost every comparison.
It may sound weird but this is my favorite round of the playoffs. Teams are playing for the right to play for the Stanley Cup!!
I can’t wait for the series to begin and especially for game 5, which will be the night we celebrate another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals!!
Last but not least Doug MacRay who boldly predicted the first two series correctly!
Doug MacRay – Penguins fan who started with Mario, PenguinPoop video guy.
Boston is a tough physical team. They have the ability to score but have struggled at times. Tuukka Rask is a streaky goalie who has struggled in previous playoffs. The Penguins won every game during the regular season against Boston by one goal.
I think Boston will try to wear down the Penguins by playing physical. Goaltending will be the key in the series. I think the Penguins should start the series with Fleury. Rask struggled at times versus the Rangers. I would like to think that this series will be an old time hockey seven game series that is physical and bloody. However, Boston does not have enough firepower to keep up with the Penguins. I see the Penguins winning in 5.
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