Shown: skillz skillz skillz. How's your edgework.

Shown: skillz skillz skillz. How’s your edgework.

With the playoffs on the horizon, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, and little splash of opinion for seasoning. This is my attempt at providing that.

***

1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4) Boston Bruins

Head-to-Head in 2013: Penguins beat the Bruins by a single goal all three games.

A stat: The Penguins scored 22 times over five second round games. That works out to A-point-Lot per game.

*** ALL STATS REGULAR SEASON ***

Goal differentials: Pittsburgh +46, Boston: +22
Shots-per-game: Pittsburgh: 30 (11th), Boston: 32.4 (2nd)
Shots-against-per-game: Pittsburgh: 29.2 (16th), Boston: 28.6 (13th)

Goalies:

PIT: Tomas Vokoun: .919 save percentage, 2.45 goals-against average
BOS: Tuukka Rask: .929 save percentage, 2.00 goals-against average

Top scorers: 

PIT: Sidney Crosby, 56 points in 36 games
BOS: Brad Marchand, 36 in 45 games

Reason to watch: Come on now, you don’t need me here.

Lately: Penguins beats the Sens in five, Bruins beat the Rags in the same.

Powerplay:

PIT: 24.7% (2nd)
BOS: 14.8% (26nd)

Penalty kill:

PIT: 79.6% (25th)
BOS: 87.1% (4th)

Special teams evaluation: Pittsburgh’s powerplay versus Boston’s PK is going to be a serious battle. Boston’s PP against Pitt’s PK will be too, but for different, sadder reasons.

Injuries: Ference still isn’t cleared for Boston, still hasn’t played since Game 7 against Toronto.

First game: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EST

Flippant barstool opinion: I keep trying to talk myself into Boston making this more interesting than people think, then snapping back to the fact that Pittsburgh is nasty deep and healthy so it really might not go long.

Closing thought: 

I think this series is going to be a lot harder for both defensive corps than for the forwards. It’s not that both teams don’t have great defenders, it’s just that the depth of forwards in this series is so ocean-deep that the importance of the d-men further down the depth chart is going to be huge. I’m not sure guys like Bartowski/Krug/Hamilton will be able to do the job for Boston in the end, but the Bruins advantage is in net, so who really knows. Health will be a big factor in the series.

Prediction: Penguins in seven.

Your NHL.com trailer:

Comments (9)

  1. Penguins in 5….most of the credit for Boston’s playoff run has to go the Leafs (for their las minute choke job) and the New York Rangers (for inability to not totally suck)…Boston has done little more than show up for their games…that won’t be enough for this series where they’ll actually have to beat a good team….must be nice to be the Penguins….they’ll toss Boston aside in a week-and-a-half and then watch while the two Western Conference finalists beat the snot out of each other…or watch the Kings try to do that while the Blackhawks hide…I think it should be mandated by the league that Chicago’s home uniforms be changed from red to pink….

  2. Hmm, you left “reason to watch” blank. Guess I’ll just check the highlights

  3. Pens in 5. Bos don’t have the defensemen to handle the skill and depth of Pitt’s forwards. They had trouble with Toronto’s forwards, imagine the Pens.

    • No. Chara and Seidenberg are two of the best shut down defenders on the planet and they’ll both play half the game. Also, the worlds best defensive forward (Bergeron) will shadow Crosby for the entire series. Boston has the defensive power more than most to shut them down. This will go to seven games I’m sure.

      • I may be a wee bit biased in my estimation, but if Chara and Seidenberg play half the game each, the Pens will win the easier games later in the series. Pittsburgh’s depth will guarantee that those two playing near 30 minutes per game to be one of the most exhausting duties in their careers. If Boston wins the series, it will definitely take all 7 games, and then either the Hawks or Kings will have an easy time etching their name in the Cup.

  4. i think the iginla snub of boston is all the motivation the spoked b needs. and crosby isn’t the leader the media needs him to be.

    pitt has no d.

    this ends badly for the “media darlings”.

  5. by the way the bruins won in 4 and pitsburg only scored 2 goals this series this makess no sense how can that?

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