Unlike the ridiculous depth in the Western Conference, there are a few teams that are on top of the East and they will control the playoffs. I expect that it’s going to be a lot chalk this year.
#1 Boston Bruins vs. #4 Detroit Red Wings
Sporting Charts Matchup Comparison
The Detroit Red Wings went 3-1 against the Boston Bruins during the regular season and two of those wins were without Pavel Datsyuk and the third was without Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk. I’m not saying that the Red Wings will beat the Boston Bruins, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be so quick to write off this Red Wings team. This is the worst matchup the Bruins could have had in round 1 because their styles are so contrasting. If the Red Wings can play with a full lineup and Jimmy Howard can play well, their puck possession style could give the Bruins fits.
But, we’re not dealing in hypotheticals here. If Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson don’t play (which they likely won’t), a seven game series in that short of a time span could be too much for the Red Wings to handle. The punishing style of the Boston Bruins could wear them down and if Tuukka Rask plays like he should, the Bruins would be able to get out of this round with the win. In the end, I think that Tuukka Rask will outduel Jimmy Howard and the lack of Zetterberg and Ericsson in the lineup will prove too detrimental for the Red Wings down the stretch. Bruins in 7