Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Series Preview – Goaltending
Columbus’ First Round Domination
They had their offense going through the entire series, averaging 4.75 goals per game. The Jackets were led offensively by Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin. Duchene scored his first ever playoff goal and has been on fire ever since. He has a team-leading three goals and seven points. Panarin finished the series with two goals and three assists. While many of their shots went in, the Jackets will need to put more pucks on net in the second round. They averaged the second least shots per game of any post season team. Boston was stingy in the first round and have a talent goaltender and D-corps. The Columbus offense ran into a cold netminder in the first round, but Rask has been on his game lately.
A major focal point in this series will be the play of the Blue Jackets’ defensemen. They combined for 15 points in the first round including four goals. The top pairing of Seth Jones (2-2-4) and Zach Werenski (1-4-5) was particularly impressive. Both played over 25 minutes a night against the Lightning’s top ranked offense. They finished the series with +3 and +4 plus-minus rating respectively. David Savard was also impressive playing 24 minutes per game.
Bruins’ Emotional Matchup Against the Leafs
After their second game seven win over the Leafs in as many years Boston will look to carry their momentum through into the second round. The series was back and forth with both teams winning games at home and on the road.
A noticeable storyline for the Bruins in this series will be the formation of their top two lines. Coach Bruce Cassidy opted to break up his top line of Patrice Bergeron (3-2-5), Brad Marchand (4-5-9), and David Pastrnak (2-4-6), to create a more even top-six. Pastrnak was moved to David Krejci’s (2-3-5) right wing. It has worked out well so far, and will be sure to create mismatches for Columbus if both lines continue gelling.
The Bruins’ defense looked very solid against the Maple Leafs. Torey Krug did a good job quarterbacking the powerplay. He had a goal and an assist on the man advantage and is big reason why Boston converted on 43.8 percent of their powerplay opportunities. Brandon Carlo also had a great series. After being injured during the Bruins’ last two playoff runs, he stepped in this year and made an immediate impact. While yet to register a point he has played 21:35 per night and is a +2 in the postseason.
Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Series Preview: Summary
The Blue Jackets proved that they could hang with the best team in the NHL during the first round. Now they have to show that they can beat the third best team. While Columbus has the advantage in terms of rest, Boston will have no break in the momentum generated from a game seven win. If Rask and Bobrovsky continue to play well this series should be low scoring. Our Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets series preview likes Boston’s chances to move on. Although this matchup should be very close.
Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Series Preview: Prediction
Boston Bruins over the Columbus Blue Jackets in 7 games.