#2 Boston Bruins vs #7 Washington Capitals
Many thought they were going to suffer a Stanley Cup hangover although early in the season proved that theory, that is not so the case anymore.
The Bruins are built for the playoffs, six 20 goals scorers, great goaltending from the once “overrated” Tim Thomas and the second best defensemen in the NHL. (1st, Nicklas Lidstrom). Problem is, will Tim Thomas get back to last years playoff form?
Ever since he boycotted visiting the White House, and going on a political rampage about Barack Obama, Thomas has struggled in the net. And to add more insult to injury, the Bruins also lost Tuukka Rask 4-6 weeks with a groin injury early March. Rash is expected to come back for the playoffs, but will he be ready, mentally and physically?
The Capitals have struggled all season long, despite a first week winning streak on October, that’s all they had to show for this season. Alexander Ovechkin has played average at best and Niklas Backstrom has missed over 40 games due to a concussion. With out Nicklas Backstrom playing to the best of his ability, you won’t get Ovechkin at his best game either.
What about Alex Semin? Making over $6 million this season, he has barely played average at best himself. And the playoffs, well we know what he’s all about in the playoffs, absolutely nothing. This guy has the potential to be a 60 goal scorer every season, if he would just start caring about the game.
The Capitals goaltedning has taken a MAJOR blow as well. Both Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth are out with injuries and will not see any first round action. Leaving young AHL goalie Braden Holtby to try and carry the team. Although I believe he is the next best goalie in the NHL, I don’t expect Holtby to carry the Capitals past the first round. Especially against this Bruins team who can score goals at any given moment.
I once predicted the Capitals to win the President’s trophy this season and hoist the Stanley Cup. But, many experts including myself overlooked at how bad this Capitals team is built. Especially with their “best” defensemen always worried about scoring goals, rather than playing his position of defense.
Expect the Washington Capitals to get swept out of the first round of the playoffs, giving GM George McPhee no choice but to rebuild the entire team in the offseason.
The Bruins will out work, hit and score the Capitals from start to finish.
SERIES PREDICTION: Boston Bruins to win the series in 4 games.
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