With the Bruins playing the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the staff of writers and editors here at Diehards wanted to make their predictions for the series.
Matt McGuirk: Hurricanes in 6
Analysis: Carolina has looked like an absolute wagon since the return to play. They tore through the Rangers in the qualifiers, have a top line that is playing out of its mind, and probably the deepest blueline in the league. Meanwhile, the Bruins aren’t playing well and I think they’re going to be caught off guard by a surging Canes team.
Cup Prediction: I got the Colorado Avalanche winning it all. The fact they were not fully healthy for essentially the entire season and still managed to finish in the top-four is insane to me.
Nick Godin: Bruins in 6
Analysis: Despite the recent surge in Carolina’s performance with a defining victory over the New York Rangers, the young and defensively-minded team is taking on an entirely new task with the Boston Bruins. Let’s face it – it was a cute attempt from the Rangers, but they do not pose as big of a threat to the Hurricanes as the Bruins do – which is ultimately why the Bruins will take this series. It won’t be a sweep like last Eastern Conference Final, but Boston’s depth as well as their top line will be too big of a challenge for Carolina.
Cup Prediction: Washington Capitals. Braden Holtby’s stellar performance will make it difficult for the Capitals to allow him to walk away in the offseason creating a goalie controversy in Washington.
Ethan Nash: Bruins in 6
Analysis: Obviously, the bubble Bruins haven’t played at the level we became so accustomed to seeing in the 2019-20 regular season. They struggled mightily in three round robin bouts against the top teams in the east and the road won’t get much easier as the Hurricanes are an extremely young and talented team with stars like Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Jaccob Slavin, just to name a few. That being said, I think the black and gold will prevail over the Hurricanes thanks to their elite goaltending and past playoff experience.
Cup Prediction: I hate to say it but I’m going to go with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I think this team is too talented to not win a Stanley Cup and with all the craziness that took place this season, it might just be their year.
Claire Mountcastle: Bruins in 5
Analysis: The Bruins have shown to dominate the Canes these past few seasons and I have no doubt that they will give their all and do it again.
Cup Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights or Colorado Avalanche. Both have shown to be quite resilient.
Chris Gere: Hurricanes in 7
Analysis: Another year of development has given Carolina an elite top-line, and some clever moves have them deep both up the middle and on the blue line. Their tune-up against a top-heavy Rangers team has them more prepared than an incrementally improving Bruins team. The B’s can match up against their top forwards, so depth scoring for Carolina and any scoring for the Bruins will be the difference. Edge: Hurricanes.
Cup Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights. This tournament is all basically just a series of coin flips, and who better to gamble on than the team from Vegas?
Amanda Ucci: Bruins in 7
Analysis: The Bruins have the talent and the team has the chemistry. As long as the Bruins first line can get back to work and the secondary scoring continues they should be able to take this first series. However, after a rusty start in the round robin I think it could be a very back and forth series. We know players like Sebastian Aho, Ryan Dzingel, and Anton Forberg won’t make it an easy series; but the Bruins should come away with the W.
Cup Prediction: Philadelphia Flyers.
Neal Lyons: Bruins in 6
Analysis: The ‘Canes will be a handful but the Bruins finished 20 points clear in the regular season and, as good as Carolina’s structure is, that’s also one of Boston’s strengths. I just can’t see their offence outscoring Boston’s over the course of a series and, though I’m a huge fan of their D, they’ll need to be near perfect to balance the massive disparity between the pipes. If Rask is just average though, it will get real interesting.
Cup Prediction: My gut says Philly. I just think, top to bottom, they have a great roster and Alain Vigneault has them dialed in, right now. Mix in an inexperienced goalie, playing with a load of confidence, who hasn’t yet realized the magnitude of what he’s doing, and that’s a scary mix. Shades of Binnington and Murray in recent years.