The Quest for the Cup Runs Through Boston

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The long anticipated wait comes to an end tonight as the Boston Bruins will square up for game one of the Stanley Cup Finals against the St. Louis Blues. Yes, these two franchises have met in the Finals before, but the match-up took place forty-nine years ago with Bobby Orr flying through the air to complete a sweep of St. Louis, an expansion team at the time. Tonight, the Garden and Causeway Street will be bumping as the Bruins hit the ice after an eleven day hiatus.

Photo courtesy of  BleacherReport.com
The Bruins are the favored team in the Finals but, due to the long layoff from sweeping the Hurricanes, the team has not competed in a real game for a week and a half. The Bruins did attempt to stay in game shape with a sold-out intrasquad scrimmage at the Garden, but this in no way can truly mimic a real Finals game. St. Louis will also be dealing with five days off, which may limit the disadvantage the B’s have from being off for so long.

Boston Bruins Eastern Conference Champs GearThe most difficult component to a long layoff can be the the effect it has on a red hot goaltender. Enter Tuukka Rask, who has been playing his best hockey of the season and has guided the team through excellence. Rask is on the verge of claiming hockey’s greatest prize and needs four more wins to solidify himself as a top goaltender of his time. Experts are predicting a low scoring series but this will be contingent on solid goaltending. Hopefully Rask will not enter tonight’s game with any sort of hangover from the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Bruins enter Monday night with a fairly healthy roster as well. Brad Marchand and David Krejci have missed some practices over the course of the last week, but are expected to be ready to go. Zdeno Chara, who missed game four of the Conference Finals, has also been skating with the team and will be on the ice tonight to help lead the team to victory.

A consistent story of the last two seasons for the Boston Bruins has been one of lack of contributors. The Bruins have often gone through long spans of time where they cannot find goal scorers beyond their first line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. While these three are the top point earners of the playoffs that does not mean they have been the only Bruins that have been producing. David Backes, who has redefined his game to stay on the roster has five points in eleven games and has added a jolt of life into the team. Backes continues to provide strong leadership for Boston as he will take on his former team, the Blues. Jake DeBrusk has tallied seven points in seventeen postseason games and continues to be young talent that the Bruins will need assistance from.

The St. Louis Blues' journey to the Stanley Cup Finals has been quite the unexpected one. The Western Conference was full of serious hockey teams like the Calgary Flames and the seasoned San Jose Sharks. However, the Blues are the triumphant team to come out of the west to face the Bruins. Jaden Schwartz leads the team in postseason points and goals and will be a handful for the Bruins defensemen to contain. Jordan Binnington has been another hot goaltender and will oppose the Bruins forwards as he seeks a Stanley Cup for himself. Binnington is boasting a 2.34 Goals Against Average throughout the playoffs. The Blues have been referred to as a pretty similar team as the Bruins that have a comparable style of hockey.

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has done a great job of keeping the Bruins focused as they try to treat each game like a regular season performance. Boston will need to continue to play their style of hockey and let the Blues make mistakes. The Bruins power play has been a force to be reckoned with over the last two months and this has been a result of disciplined hockey.

Tonight has the potential to be a special night in Boston. The Bruins organization will have all of the bells and whistles ready to host a championship series. The team will need to take care of business as they skate on home ice in front of their faithful fans.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: The Quest for the Cup Runs Through Boston
The Quest for the Cup Runs Through Boston
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