Round 1 Bruins vs Maple Leafs Preview

There’s NOTHING like playoff hockey.

NOTHING.

It’s a long story for another day but I have cried legit man tears at the TD Garden because of a Bruins playoff game. The 50-year-old man next to me literally had to ask if I was ok.  Playoff Hockey is a lot to handle sometimes.

I’m sure most of you who are reading this have been to a Celtics and a Bruins game in your lifetime.  The difference between fans and overall experience is truly amazing.  Do not get me wrong I LOVE the Celtics. If I had to rank my love of Boston sports teams the Celtics would be above the Bruins. However, the atmosphere difference between a Bruins playoff game and a Celtics playoff game is astronomical.  When you’re at a Celtics playoff game you are watching a game with what the Boston media likes to call passionate wine sippers. A bunch of rich people who cheer loud but in a respectable way. It’s never too chaotic. Don’t get me wrong it’s still awesome. The building gets loud, but it’s never on the line of barbaric.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Bruins playoff games are complete insanity.  The place turns into a freaking animal house. It’s true salt of the earth people who live, breath, die Bruins Hockey. I have a list of best sporting events I’ve ever attended. Top 3 are Bruins games.

2009-10- Bruins vs Flyers  Game 1  Bruins won 6-5 in OT. (Game where Savard threw his stick into the crowd after his Game Winner)

2014  Bruins vs Canadies Game 2    Bruins were down 3-1 and came back to win 5-3. WILD SCENE

2013 Bruins vs Penguins Game 3  Bruins won 2-1 in Double OT

If you are interested the other top games include:

Celtics vs Raptors with my mom shortly after my Grandmother passed away.  Down 15 in the third quarter and came back to win. (Of course, they did)

Patriots vs Bills  where Tom Brady came back from 10 down with about 3 minutes left on Opening Night

Patriots vs Jets with my dad (The Santonio Holmes Catch)  He caught it right in front of me. I knew it was a catch before the refs did.  Yes they lost, it was still awesome.

The point being there is NOTHING like a Bruins playoff game.  If you haven’t been, save your money it’s well worth the price of admission.  (Or just wait until the day of and buy last minute like we do)

Cool, with my quick rant about how awesome playoff hockey is out of the way, let’s dive into the matchup.

 

I had a great conversation with a buddy who’s very into hockey. He’s a Penguins fan, but I look past that. (It’s hard)  We were talking about the pros and cons of the Bruins playing the Maple Leafs or the Devils.  I started the conversation thinking that the Devils would be the better matchup, but he insisted that we’d be better off playing the Leafs. The Devils have been giving top teams in the East fits all season. They’re so damn fast and remind me of the Canadiens of a few years ago. They beat you with speed and speed only. Do I want a 40-year-old Chara having to deal with that? NOPE! Let the Lightning have to deal with them.

The Maple Leafs are no cake walk either. If you have not heard about Auston Matthews please do me a favor and get woke.

Bergeron is going to have his hands full all series dealing with this guy and the Leafs, in general, are a high powered offensive machine.

The series to me is going to be determined by how well Chara, Mcavoy, Krug, Mcquaid, and company handle the numerous attacks that Toronto is going to throw at them. I do not see us having a problem scoring goals, but I worry about falling behind early.

We ended the season falling behind 1-0 early in our last 6 games.  This is unacceptable in the playoffs. I know the Bruins have become well-known for digging themselves out of these holes but it becomes much harder come playoff time.

I also think the more minutes we can have a lead is important for Tuukka’s confidence. It seems once he allows a goal he’s a given to let up two more. Most of the goals allowed this last week of the season were not on him, but there were two or three that were gimme’s. I need a  more focused and angry Tuukka.  I was ecstatic to see him hitting Conacher’s face with his blocker as many times as he could. He needs to have that sort of attitude in the playoffs. Show some damn emotion! Tuukka has the ability to steal a game or two this playoff stretch, but he needs to play with more of a chip on his shoulder. Have a presence. Once you start making some saves it gets into the opponents head.  If you need visuals this is what I’m looking for.

 

Tim Thomas was so damn good….

I basically just want more of the following from Tuukka. Not for the additional violence, but more for the attitude I feel he needs to have between the pipes.

 

I’m feeling this series goes 6 or 7.  It is going to be WILD. Everything I just said about the Garden atmosphere, multiply that by 100 and you get Toronto. This is not going to be easy.

BRUINS IN 6!……or 7

 

Here’s a quick reminder of the last playoff series these two had. For me, it ended with 5 grown ass men pig piled on our DIRTY house floor in college and I’d do it all again.  No REGERTS.

 

Holy freaking crap is 7PM yet?

 

 

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