There is little doubt it’s going to be a board-rattling, hard-hitting knockdown type of playoff series for the Boston Bruins as they ready for the Washington Capitals this weekend.
The Capitals aren’t quite as invincible against the Bruins anymore as the two hockey clubs evenly split the eight meetings during the regular season, and Boston’s junior varsity took a lineup of Washington regulars to overtime on Tuesday night in their regular season finale. Braden Holtby is gone after being a dominant force against the Black and Gold during his Washington Capitals career, and that’s amounts to a pretty big difference in the matchup.
Prior to this year, the Washington Capitals had sported a 16-2 record against the Bruins since the 2014-15 season and they boast a 10-3 record against the B’s at Capital One Arena over the last six seasons while outscoring them by a 42-26 margin. In the past, the bigger and stronger, but equally skilled, Capitals have been a handful for the Black and Gold.
But the Bruins are bigger and meaner this season with Trent Frederic, Nick Ritchie, a healthy Kevan Miller and Jeremy Lauzon with Jarred Tinordi as a reserve, so they match up a little better against the likes of Tom Wilson, Alex Ovechkin, Garnet Hathaway, Zdeno Chara and Brendan Dillon. But the Boston Bruins still understand it’s going to be equal parts skill content and street brawl if they hope to get by Washington in a seven game playoff series.