Oh God it's here. It's finally here. It has arrived!
It doesn't matter who I picked to win this series yesterday because I am usually wrong with this kind of stuff. Today is the start of a new day, a new season. Whatever happened in March or the first half of April is now meaningless. It's the mother fucking playoffs! This is everything that you look forward to if you're a hockey fan. This is when the real fun (or real misery) happens. This is where you endless dance and celebrate with friends or you wake around your house for a weekend as a mute because your friends/family are afraid to speak to you.
This is everything.
Yes I picked the Leafs to win the series in 6 games. Yes, I am a horrible fan.
I think tonight the Bruins come out with a fire under their asses. I think they've woken up. I could be wrong - but what's the playoffs without a little positivity? A little enthusiasm? Maybe this was their plan all along. Maybe they saw the Senators sitting in seventh and said to themselves "no thanks, we want Toronto".
Or maybe I'm wrong - what the fuck so I know?
All I know is that Boston has the fantastic task of letting down about 75% of the Canadian population with a win in this series.
Tonight the Bruins open their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs - a team that hasn't won a Stanley Cup in my 30 years on Earth. The last time they won the Cup, Lyndon B. Johnson was President and the Beatles just released Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. I mean, think about that. Think about what that means for a second.
Tonight the Bruins take the ice against these fools in hopes of doing what they've done to them the past few season: kick their ass.
The Bruins wake up tonight. I'm calling it. I'll go completely Theon Turncloak on myself and say that the Bruins do it tonight. You can knock experience, but I think it means something this time of year and Boston is full of playoff experience.
It all starts between the pipes for Boston and the Bruins have one of the best goalies in the NHL. Rask is currently in Vezina contention. He's 9th in GAA at 2.00 and 7th in SV% at .929. Those rankings may not look Vezina worthy, but take into account that NHL.com puts anyone who has played an NHL game in their database and the first three people have only played a handful of games.
I know a lot of people are down on Rask, for some odd reason, but the last time he let in more than three goals was late March against the Montreal Canadiens.
But we can continue to blame everything on the goalie because he let in a "soft" goal.
If Boston is going to succeed tonight, they will need to do two things:
1. Put good shots on net, instead of their usual game of throwing the puck at the goalie's crest
2. Play disciplined.
They lack discipline in the worst way, especially lately. In the last 7 games, the Bruins have 23 minor penalties and 6 major penalties (all fights). Out of those 23 minor penalties, the opponents has scored 5 power play goals - or converted 21% of the time, which means Boston has only killed 79% of those penalties.
However I don't think it plays a factor tonight. I think you see a full 60 minute effort from this team, finally. With the lines back to somewhat normal (and we'll touch on that in a minute), it's go time. It's time for the war face.
After the jump the rest of the preview...
Leafs Projected Lines
Versus Blowjobs - Who? - One Nut Pizza Face
King Joffrey - Gabbo The Puppet - Some name I can't pronounce
Clahk Macahtah - Gets Injured In Practice - Scrub 1
Can't Skate - Scrub 2 - Scrub 3
Sloppy Seconds - Fun Guns
Who? - John-Michael Turnovers
Pylon - Plus/Minus Machine
Horseshoe Up Ass
Worst Last Name Ever
Bruins Projected Lines
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Kaspars Daugavins - Chris Kelly - Jaromir Jagr
Dan Paille - Greg Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Johnny Boychuk - Wade Redden
Adam McQuaid - Andrew Ference
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Islanders: 0-0
Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators: 0-0
Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers: 0-0
Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild: CHI Leads 1-0
Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings: ANA Leads 1-0
Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks: 0-0
St. Louis Blues vs Los Angeles Kings: STL Leads 1-0
Game Day Video
THE LEAFS SUCK!
CHRIS BOURQUE SCORED ON YOU TORONTO
ALSO FUCK THIS GUY: