|Photo via Boston.com|
With the Eastern Conference finals set it's only a matter of time before the Bruins and Penguins battle it out on the ice for supremacy in the east. Like neighboring kingdoms these two organizations have been waiting for this showdown for some time, and it's only going to intensify as the series wears on. Yet, what will the Bruins need to do to secure their spot in the Stanley Cup finals? We'll look at the three things the B's need to do to become victorious.
The best defense is a great offense
The Bruins have dominated this post-season with superior offensive play from their defense - think about that one for a second. Chara (11 points), Boychuk (4 points) and the rookie sensation Krug (5 points) have given the B's quality offensive support during their playoff run. So it should come as no surprise that the B's defense has the most points of any playoff team's defense in 2013. If this team wants another shot at Lord Stanley's cup they'll have to continue getting offensive opportunities from their defense, and the defense will have to capitalize, a lot.
I'm not going to sit here and compare Rask's playoff stats against Tim Thomas' of 2 years ago. It's not fair to either player. What's expectable for comparison is the big time saves that have been made during both of their playoff runs. There in lies the key for the Bruins to continue to the Stanley Cup, Rask. If Tuukka can maintain his stellar play and make game-defining saves in the process the B's will have a chance to bring the Cup home once again. Rask will need to bring his "A" game during the Eastern Conference finals as Pittsburgh brings a unique set of scorers to the table - this series will not lack excitement for 60 minutes.
It's Tyler time
The young winger has had a quiet 2013 playoffs thus far, but he'll need to heat up against the Penguins if the B's have a shot at matching the scoring ability of Pittsburgh. Seguin has managed 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) and struggled during the New York series. He's far too talented and important to the B's for this "slump" to continue. Look for the Bruins to get him going early and often during game 1 against the Pens. WARNING: If Seguin starts to heat up and the rest of the B's play as well as they have it's going to be a short series for the Boston and a long off-season for the Penguins - here's to Sid the Kid playing in his sandbox with Malkin in June.
Without a doubt there are many more "X" factors that will contribute to the outcome of this series, but these are the three most important (in my mind). At any rate it will take a collective team effort and a hockey god bounce or two for the B's to move on to the finals - come on Lord Stanley you know your a Chara fan.
Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.