The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup march took another step on Wednesday as they became the next team to move to Round Two after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in Game 5. The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 in overtime Wednesday afternoon to also advance to Round Two, but who will be the Bruins’ Round Two opponent?
There are still two more series yet to be decided, but let’s take a look at who the Bruins could face in the next round of the NHL playoffs.
In the 24-team NHL playoffs, after each round, the remaining teams are reseeded. For example, if top-seeded Philadelphia beats Montreal then Philadelphia remains the No. 1 seed. If the New York Islanders beat the Capitals, as the lowest-seeded team remaining, New York will get the fourth seed. And, the Bruins become the No. 3 seed because Washington was eliminated and the Bruins were seeded higher than New York.
Therefore, the seeding would look like this:
Philadelphia would play New York, and Boston would end up playing Tampa.
However, there are other scenarios and potential opponents.
Let’s say both Montreal and Washington mount a furious comeback and win their series. Then the seeding would look like this:
Tampa Bay would play Montreal, and the Bruins would play Washington.
Now, let’s say Philadelphia wins, which is likely, and Washington beats New York. Then, the re-seeding wouldn’t be a re-seeding at all, and the top four teams would remain in the same order, like this:
Philadelphia would play the Bruins, and the Tampa Bay Lightning would play the Washington Capitals.
Finally, the last scenario would be if the Canadiens beat the Flyers, but the Islanders beat the Capitals. Then, the reseeding would look like this:
Tampa Bay would play Montreal, and the Boston Bruins would play the Islanders.
So, what do the remaining series look like after the Bruins?
The Montreal Canadiens take on the Philadelphia Flyers at 8 p.m. The Flyers lead the series 3-1. The Islanders take on the Capitals Thursday, as they look to close out their series. New York leads 3-1.