The Boston Bruins have won the Presidents’ Cup, and that feels pretty cool to say. It seems pretty obvious now that they’re the best team in the league, which can often happen when you have the best defensive forward, best defenseman, and best goalie in the game. What’s flat out not debatable is the fact that they have the best chance to win the cup by a clear margin, just because the East is so much worse than the West.
The Bruins’ biggest weakness in the playoffs will be the occasional habit of Claude Julien’s Bruins to fall asleep at a random time. It ended the season in 2013, hurt the B’s in the first 2 games in Montreal and Game 4 in Tampa in 2011, and obviously happened in 2010. But this year’s team does seem like it avoids those moments more than in the past, and if they avoid it, they could be unstoppable.
Boston has 2 first lines, a well above average 3rd line, and a Merlot Line that, with the right matchup, can be the best 4th line in the league. This really is a team to enjoy, and it could bring us a lot of happiness this Spring.
The only problem with beating the Sabres today was the injury to Daniel Paille. The hit itself wasn’t even that bad, at least as far as match penalty hits go. But Paille just got his second concussion in about a month, and he could be out awhile. The Bruins will now likely enter the playoffs with a 4th line of Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, and Shawn Thornton. That’s a problem. It seems that the only reason Thornton gives some value to the 4th line is because of the chemistry that the 3 guys have, and now that’s largely gone. I feel like, if the B’s end up getting the Red Wings, that’s a team against whom the Merlot Line could really prove its value. The Red Wings’ system breeds depth, and it would be nice to have a 4th line that could actually take an occasional tough matchup. But the B’s do have the defensive prowess to at least contain a guy like Pavel Datsyuk, and they should be able to handle whichever teams come their way.
Feels pretty good to be rooting for the Presidents’ Trophy Champs, and what’s more is that the B’s can now rest everybody tomorrow.