Jun 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) handle the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Boston Bruins won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

ECF: Bruins Take 2-0 Stranglehold BUT Can’t Afford To Let Up vs. Penguins


Going into the series, I expected a close, hard-fought series.  But if you were to tell me it was going to be a blowout, I would have said the Penguins would be the ones doing the blowing, not the sucking.

Boy, was I  wrong.

 

The Bruins walked into Pittsburgh as the underdog without home ice advantage, and three days later, skate home with a commanding 2-0 series lead and leaving the Penguins and their fans looking for answers.

Following a 3-0 shutout by Tuukka Rask, the Bruins followed that performance up with a decisive 6-1 beatdown of the Penguins, who look like the team that lost their composure and subsequently the series in the first round against Philadelphia last spring. I didn’t think that could possibly happen again, and it seems there is a definite blueprint to beating the Penguins.  If an opponent has the pieces in place, all they have to do is follow the game plan.

Getting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin off their game and into a type of game that doesn’t suit them has proven easier than it should be.  I thought the experience of Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow would prevent this type of melt-down, but apparently not.

Credit to the Bruins though, they saw what Philly did to the Penguins last year and are pretty much copying that playbook to a T.  Bergeron goading Malkin into dropping the gloves, having Crosby go after Rask and then expose himself as a whiner is just playing into the hands of the Bruins, and the Bruins are making them pay.

Heading home up 2-0 is a great situation, but as the Flyers found out last season, no lead is safe against the Penguins.  The Flyers went up 3-0 before Pittsburgh responded with 10 goals in game 4 and then won game 5 to force a sixth game.  The Bruins can’t take their foot off the gas for an instant, because it is only a matter of time before they will have a breakout game and then all bets are off.

If you are a fan of Boston or hate the Penguins, and those camps are pretty equal, then you want Boston to finish it off at home and not let Pittsburgh get a breath.

 

Tags: Boston Bruins Eastern Conference Finals Pittsburgh Penguins Playoffs