It seems like just yesterday that we were wondering what kind of team the Bruins would be in the 2010/11 season. So many faces are gone (Wheeler, Stuart, Hunwick) and many new arrived.
The Bruins have played some strange hockey this year. Some nights the swagger would be there, lead from the rear by a resurgent Timmy Thomas. Other nights (mainly when poor Tuukka was there), the team tucked its tail and just looked happy to make it through the game with no deaths on the ice.
That being said, the Bruins are challenging for their first Stanley Cup in longer than I care to remember.
I'm glad that the puck is finally going to drop tomorrow night. It's been several days of "The Canucks are going to blow them out of the water," "the Bruins can't match the offense of the Canucks" and so on. Frankly, I think it's bullshit. The games against the Canucks this year turned out to be a preview of the upcoming final round...and the Bruins fared pretty damn well.
Here's what I'm looking for:
-I'm expecting Patty Cake and his linemates to shadow those fucking Swedish twins for the entire series. If they don't get any breathing room, they'll be a non-factor. These guys are good, and they can hurt you with just one missed check, but I think Patty is up to the task. It wouldn't surprise me to maybe see Campbell swap out with Recchi, as he's faster and has a more defensive game. Of course, Recchi has been around since Christ was a kid, so I'm sure he has some tricks up his sleeve.
-Chara will have to be at his best. He'll be playing HUGE minutes against the top line and I'm ready for some crazy line-matching from both coaches. Boucher tried getting Lecavalier/Stamkos/St. Louis out there every time Chara was getting a breather and I'm thinking the Canucks will do the same.
-Seidenberg has been playing simply outstanding fucking hockey. The way that he plays with Chara reminds me of the Bourque/Sweeney pairing we fans enjoyed for so many years. They know where the other guy is at all times and their styles compliment each other. He'll continue to eat huge minutes as well.
-Watch for Looch to finally break out of his funk. He has decent numbers and I have no doubt that when the season is finally over, we'll learn of the injury that has been nagging him. However, he'll obviously want to play well in his hometown. When the money is on the table, Looch is a money fucking player.
-As goes Timmy, so go the Bruins. Timmy will face off head-to-head with fellow Vezina finalist Luongo. He'll need his absolute best, and though there were doubters after last year, we knew that Timmy had it in him. He's rounding into top form at the most important time of the year.
-Total team defense will be the most imporant thing in this series. Game 7 against the Lightning was one of the best hockey games I've ever seen. It was tight, fast and decided by one goal. It showed just what the Bruins can do when every single player is pulling in the same direction.
Can't wait for tomorrow night. It's going to be a long day at work, waiting for the 8PM start time. And it's on NBC, so I'm sure the announcers are going to know exactly what they're talking about (I miss Jack and Brick).
That being said, SKATE YOU FUCKERS, SKATE!!!!