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Top 5 Things to Take Away From the Bruins Sweep 

Man was I wrong about this one. But who could have guessed the Penguins would come in just assuming they would win no matter how they played. This Bruins team has as much heart as any other team out there. That save by Chara to close out last nights game was as memorable a play as you will see. There are five things I took away from this series.


1. Dan Bylsma should be fired

There is no doubt in my mind he will be losing his job in the next few days. You can’t be as talented as the Penguins were and come in with the strategy of beating the Bruins at their own game. Bylsma proved he was in over his head from from the beginning of the series. Did he not watch a single second of the Bruins/Maple Leafs series? The Maple Leafs nearly ousted the Bruins by skating and passing around them. They used their speed to burn the Bruins. The Penguins came in trying to be more physical than the team that used it’s physicality to win the cup two years ago. Having the better team on paper obviously doesn’t always translate but to come in with absolutely no strategy only to make zero adjustments and get swept out after being a 2-1 favorite you deserve to be fired. Dan Bylsma...Cya.

2. Sidney Crosby isn't read to be a "Captain" 

A common argument among big NHL fans is who deserves to wear the C. Some think the best player should get the honor and in some cases they are right. But the job of the Captain is to be the emotional leader of the team and to set the tone for the rest of the guys. If you have a guy like Crosby whining after every stoppage of play that is going to be contagious. He came in like he wanted to prove he was a “tough guy” when he just needed to come in and play his game. It seemed to me like he was too focused on setting a tone for his team instead of being the best hockey player on the planet like he should be. Give that “C” to someone who doesn’t already have a ton on their plate. He will deserve it at a certain point but this year clearly wasn’t it. He has some growing up to do before he can be the true emotional leader of a Stanley Cup winning team.

3. Don’t poke the bear

Too often we have seen teams try and beat the Bruins at their own game. Vancouver paid the price in the Stanley Cup Finals a few years ago and now Pittsburgh is going home early. You can’t beat the Bruins at their game period. There certainly ways to beat this team but beating them up is playing into their hand. They love it. They welcome it. They’re bigger, stronger and badder than every other team. You wouldn’t try to prove you are better than Lebron at basketball by challenging him to a dunk or even just a high jump contest would you? No you would try and figure out his weaknesses and exploit them. The Bruins are playing with minimal weaknesses right now but they are there. Fortunately for B’s fans only the Maple Leafs have figured them out/cared to try.

4. Tuukka Rask is as good as anyone in between the pipes

A lot of the chatter going into the playoffs around the Boston area was that Tuukka didn’t have what it takes to do what Tim Thomas did. You won’t be hearing that anymore. He allowed just two goals in the four games against the East’s most potent offense. Coming in the Penguins were the highest scoring team in the NHL. Tuukka walked away from the series with an unimaginable 0.44 GAA and two shutouts in four games to go along with 134 saves, including 53 in Game 3, on 136 shots for a .985 save percentage.

5. Never underestimate the heart of a champion

Cliche I know but nobody expected the Bruins to be in this position coming into the playoffs never mind when they were sitting down three goals with just half the third period to go. They pulled off the miracle and are playing on another level ever since. They look like the team that owned the first half of the regular season. They have surprised the hell out of me, I could not have been more wrong about this team. There is zero quit in them. Maybe there was a ton of luck involved to get back to the finals but regardless they stepped their game up and deserve to be where they are. They proved to be the best the East has to offer but Chicago is a whole other animal. Prepare for the first Original Six finals since 1979 and know that you are seeing the two best teams of the 2013 season.

PS. I know that was the worst kind of series to watch as a Penguins fan. Just about as frustrating as it gets. But keep in mind Penguins fans, your team is still loaded. You still have arguably the two best players in the NHL. Once you get a coach in there that actually coaches you may be ready to become the next dynasty. So while nobody wants to see their team lose, especially in such disgusting fashion, keep your heads up you guys will be just fine.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

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