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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Toronto Down; on to Columbus

At what point do we start feeling bad for the Toronto Maple Leafs? As Boston Bruins fans, probably never, but we appreciate them losing in game seven every time the Bruins plays them.

So, what happened in game seven?

If you did not watch the game, you would have thought that the Bruins had their way with the Maple Leafs, but that just was not the case. In fact, many would argue that the Maple Leafs dictated the play for most of the three periods, but there was just one difference maker in this game, and that was goaltending.

Tuukka Rask may have just stolen game seven for the Bruins. Rask had 32 saves on 33 shots, holding a terrific .970 save percentage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Frederik Andersen may have given game seven to the Bruins just as much as Rask stole it. Andersen allowed an extremely soft goal from Joakim Nordstrom to open the scoring in the first period. Then, when the Maple Leafs were beginning to put pressure on the Bruins in the third, Andersen allowed a fourth liner to snipe high glove side to give the Bruins a two-goal lead and a stranglehold on both the game and the series.

O.K., now on to Columbus.

The Bruins are now the highest seed remaining in the playoffs and get to play the eight seed in the East, so this should not be a problem, right? Well if you ask the people of Tampa Bay, they would say that was the same attitude that got them swept. The Bruins cannot take the Columbus Blue Jackets lightly in this series whatsoever. With the additions of Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene at the trade deadline, the Blue Jackets have become a real threat as a potential cup contender.

What do the Bruins need to do to be successful?

Well, this series should overall be a much better matchup for the Bruins than the Maple Leafs was, because the Blue Jackets does not have the speed that the Maple Leafs have up and down their lineup. Therefore, the Bruins’ best players need to step up, which means Bergeron has to be much better than his five points in the first round. At the same time, David Pastrnak has to be a much better offensive threat than he was in the first round. So far, Brad Marchand has been the Bruins’ best player these playoffs and needs to continue his play. Finally, Rask has to play every game like he played game seven against Toronto if the Bruins expect to be successful going forward.

Prediction: Bruins in six

Once again, I think that home-ice advantage will play a huge part in this series and every series going forward. I also believe that the Bruins already beat the team that would give them the most issues, the Maple Leafs. Yes, I know that the Blue Jackets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games, but I do not think that was the former being unbeatable as much as it was the latter doing their annual choking in the playoffs. I do not think the Bruins will underestimate this team as much as the Lightning did, and I expect that it will show.

About the Contributor
Jonathan Hopkins, Sports Editor