Bring it on, Columbus. The Bruins are ready
Well, the Boston Bruins ended up getting it done in the first round.
It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise because they were favored to win the series headed into it, but there were some times where a little doubt may have started creeping into people's minds. After all, the Toronto Maple Leafs were up 3-2, so they had two chances to put the series away; they capitalized on neither of them.
Let's start by giving some credit where credit is due: goaltending. in the second half of the series, the Bruins got the job done there. Sure, the 6-4 win wasn't a pretty one, but it was smooth sailing from there. Tuukka Rask, for all the hate he gets, played great. He allowed 2.31 goals per game over the seven game series. Would Jaroslav Halak have played at that level in the series? That's up for debate but ultimately doesn't matter---because they won.
Unsurprisingly, Brad Marchand had himself a series, putting up nine points in seven games (4 goals, 5 assists). And Charlie Coyle, the Weymouth native himself, deserves some serious credit for putting game seven away. He's not the flashiest player, but what a goal he had there; how many people would have expected it?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are an interesting second round matchup for the Bruins. Their offense was exceptionally high powered in the first round of the playoffs, averaging 4.75 goals per contest despite ranking 12th in the league during the regular season with about 3.1. Meanwhile, the 2.82 they let up during the regular season is definitely above-average in terms of good, but not as good as the Bruins (2.59), so the B's have the edge there.
Not sure who wins it, but this is a winnable series for the Bruins. We'll pick them, and we'll see how it goes.