The Boston Bruins are headed towards the Stanley Cup for their fifth consecutive playoff appearance since the 2016-17 season. A blend of size, experience, and talent, the Bruins act as a well-oiled machine able to beat any team in their division. Boston also has several star-studded names like Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand to help lead the team. The historic franchise enters this postseason with a 33-16-7 record and 73 points in 56 games played.
Though the Boston Bruins fall out of the postseason race sooner and sooner each season, the veteran club has a shot to bounce back this year. The Bruins last secured a Cup back in 2011, but this group of veterans could show a real push to the final. Their Cup trial began on May 15 this year as they faced the Washington Capitals. The series is sure to be a test of skill and physicality, with both teams having some of the top players in the NHL.
This season, Tuukka Rask has something to prove, as he controversially opted out of last season’s postseason bubble. The veteran goaltender is running out of time to bring a Cup back to Boston. This should give his team the extra push forward, especially because Rask is not the only aged Bruin.
The veterans of the Boston Bruins
The perfect formula for a Stanley Cup winning team includes equal parts offense and defense — Boston has both. While they aren’t the oldest team in the league, they do have a lot of veterans who are probably aware that their time is running out. That is, if they stay healthy this postseason too. The Bruins made a mad dash for the Cup two seasons ago, as they faced the St. Louis Blues in the final and ultimately fell short.
The climb back is sure to be a tough one, but if any team can get there again, it’s the Bruins. The team currently has 15 players over the age of 28, most of those players being premier names. The younger players of the Bruins are sure to be established names in the league eventually. This concoction of both youth and experience is another key reason the Bruins could go far.
Looking strictly at the goaltending department, Rask is 33, and backup Jaroslav Halak is 35. Though they have a young back up in Jeremy Swayman, aged 22, the former two will fight to the final once again. The aged duo of Rask and Halak has worked well for the team thus far, and their playoff performance is anticipated to be even better.
The series thus far
Interestingly, the Capitals are in a similar situation with their time-crunched veterans. This does not make the series any easier. The series with the Capitals is currently tied 1-1 as the teams head into Game 3 tonight. Already the matchup has been intense, enthralling viewers.
Boston is going to have to shut down Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Bäckström, Tom Wilson, and T.J. Oshie in order to surpass Washington. On top of that, the team will have to lean into their depth and defense if they advance in the postseason race. But their top players show no signs of slacking off.
In Game 2, which Boston forced into overtime, veteran forward Brad Marchand scored only 39 seconds in, ending the game succinctly right there. That should send a clear message to the Capitals. The seasoned Bruins know exactly how to respond, and are experienced enough to anticipate how their opponent will respond.
Though the two teams are in a similar position with their older core, Boston seems to have the edge to proceed. Their goaltending is more solid, their defense seems more well rounded, and their offense is sharp. It is an exciting matchup of head-to-head talent between two successful clubs.
Do you think the Bruins will be the ones to finally bring back a Cup this season? Or will the Capitals push through? Comment your thoughts below!