In the middle of May with just three teams left in Stanley Cup contention, most hockey fans patiently wait for the NHL Draft. Without a dog in the fight, it’s easy to find a reason to root against each team. Maybe, you’re dreading the success of the pesky Boston Bruins and Brad Marchand, who could most aptly be described as a rat in human form. Maybe you think the referees might as well be wearing Sharks’ jerseys, or that the Blues have had an easy road to the Conference Finals.
For Devils’ fans, you’re probably celebrating Carolina’s loss, since they delivered that heartbreaking loss to the Devils in 2009. Either that or you’re placing a stake in teams who have formal Devils players, like the Blues’ Pat Maroon or Boston’s Marcus Johansson. Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that regardless of you’re rooting interest, the Bruins are going to win the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. Last night they completed the sweep on the Carolina Hurricanes, with an assertive win on the road. In the finals, they await the winner of the Blues-Sharks series, where San Jose currently leads 2-1. Though either of these teams will prove a tough matchup for Boston, here’s why I think they’re the best team left.
First off, their top line is among the best forward lines in the NHL, and there’s no debating otherwise. In game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, this line scored all four goals in the 4-0 win against the Canes. Just look at these goals…
I know you didn’t come here to watch Bruins’ goals, but they were undoubtedly beautiful.
On the list of 2019 playoff goal leaders, Boston’s top line holds positions fourth, fifth, and sixth, with a combined 22 goals over the course of 17 games. Beyond that, these players offer more than just scoring. Obviously, Marchand has the ability to get under his opponent’s skin, Bergeron is clutch, and Pastrnak delivers on both ends of the ice. Then you have a second line with workhorse Jake Debrusk, who can dish apples from his knees, David Krejci who has 14 playoff points, and David Backes, who morphed into a wrecking ball. Then the third line is delivering with deadline pickups Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle to join young stud Danton Heinen (stick taps Don Sweeney). And finally, even the fourth line can hang with guys like Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly.
With that overwhelming offense, it’s worth it to point out that the Bruins’ defense can break down at points. They are led by Captain Zdeno Chara, who is not the player he used to be, awkwardly trying to stickhandle the puck as a 6’9, 42-year-old. They have puck handlers in Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Connor Clifton, and Matt Grzelcyk, but they don’t have
With a .942 save percentage and 1.48 goals against a