|Boston Bruins||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|5-on-5 Save %||.928||4th||.928||4th|
|# of PP's/Gm||2.54||30th||3.54||6th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.40||17th||3.48||20th|
This series brings us an interesting contrast in styles, as the high-flying Penguins will try to get into a run-and-gun type of game, while the Bruins typically keep things lower-scoring. Special teams could play a large role, as the big, bad bean eaters have to kill off almost one extra power play per game than their opponents, a weakness which a talented Pittsburgh lineup could exploit.
The SB Nation Blogs
The Bruins are in a familiar spot, right in the mix for another shot at the Stanley Cup thanks to a suffocating defense and a deep, versatile lineup. You might be surprised to hear, actually, that the leading scorer in the playoffs currently is from Boston:
Boston survived a first-round scare from the Toronto Maple Leafs (winning Game 7 in overtime) before dispatching the New York Rangers in five, a victory which ultimately put John Tortorella on the job market.
While the boys with the B on their chest are getting the job done on the ice, perhaps the real credit in Boston belongs to the general manager of the team, noted fancy stats aficionado and Ivy League economist Peter Chiarelli:
Since Peter Chiarelli was hired in 2006, the Bruins have made the playoffs six times, won three division titles, made it to the conference final twice, and won a Stanley Cup.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Perhaps no team had as much pressure on them heading into this season than Pittsburgh, but they've lived up to expectations so far. They led the league in scoring, put up the best record in the Eastern Conference, and are the only team in the conference finals which didn't get pushed to a seven-game series along the way, beating the Islanders in six and the Senators in five.
Leading the way, of course, is the best player in the game:
The fact that Crosby is back in the mix (and without a face cage going forward) after suffering a broken jaw on March 30th is amazing:
Roughly 10 of his teeth were affected, some irreparably, as the force from the puck would have pushed them through some of the supporting bone structure and severed the neurovascular pulp supply, which is a tooth's connection to the nerves and blood supply in the mouth. Two teeth even went back so forcefully they damaged the inside of his mouth around his tongue.
The impact broke his jaw, which forced surgeons to cut an opening inside his mouth and use screws to fasten two small titanium plates to the bone to help it heal.
It's an injury many NHL players consider the worst they have had.
--- James Mirtle, Globe & Mail
While Crosby is focused on carving out his place in NHL history, we all know who is really the Man of the Hour, the Tower of Power in Pittsburgh's Cup chase:
The former Predators goalie has rendered Marc-Andre Fleury an afterthought, and will assuredly get Pittsburgh's starts unless something goes really, really wrong. The question is, does he have to outplay Tukka Rask at the other end of the ice, or just "not lose" games?
Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins TV Schedule
|Saturday, June 1||7:00 p.m.||Pittsburgh||NBC, CBC, RDS|
|Monday, June 3||7:00 p.m.||Pittsburgh||NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS|
|Wednesday, June 5||7:00 p.m.||Boston||NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS|
|Friday, June 7||7:00 p.m.||Boston||NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS|
|Sunday, June 9||7:00 p.m.||Pittsburgh||NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS|
|Tuesday, June 11||TBD||Boston||NBC Sports Network. CBC, RDS|
|Wednesday, June 12||TBD||Pittsburgh||NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS|
OTF Staff Picks
|Dirk||Pittsburgh||There's just too much scoring depth with the Penguins, and Tomas Vokoun has shored up their biggest weakness.|
|Caroline||Pittsburgh||I'm pulling for Boston, but I just don't think they'll do it. They give up the lead far too often to make me comfortable. Unless they do something about it, Pittsburgh will take this. I'm hoping that Jagr will get his act together against his former team though. Boston needs him.|
|Jonathan||Pittsburgh||Unfortunately, the Pens don't show any sign of slowing down. They beat a fast, inexperienced team with a shaky goalie. They beat a defensive team with a great goalie. Now, a physical team with an average goalie. The Bruins will bruise and give their black and gold counterparts hell, but great offense and a solid Vokoun will prevail.|
|Jason||Pittsburgh||They've figured it out, Pens in 6.|