Everyone is picking the Boston Bruins over the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. Almost unanimously, in fact.
The reason behind each of these picks is the same, too—the Capitals, essentially, aren’t the same feared team they were in years past. If you factor in Washington’s ho-hum record during the regular season and the fact that their goaltending situation is a sort of carousel that would make the Philadelphia Flyers blush, than I guess it would make sense to pick the Bruins over the Capitals.
Me? I’m not sold yet. I might not be sold at all, actually.
On Sunday, the Boston Bruins clinched the Northeast Division title with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, the reigning number one seed in the Eastern Conference. With the win, they would lock themselves into the #2 seed with three games still remaining. Although the number may indicate that the Bruins are the second-best team in the Conference, their overall record says otherwise.
Tell me who you think the top two teams in the Eastern Conference are. Here, I’ll answer my own question; it’s the Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Think again about who the top three teams are and you’ll hear some arguments for both the Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. However, many would believe that a trip to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals runs through either the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh or Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Bruins might be the defending Stanley Cup champions, but they’re already the underdogs to repeat as Eastern Conference Champions, let along back-to-back Cup winners.
This is accurate. The Bruins are underdogs. Again.
They were last year, too.