Haggs: First Look At Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers Series |BHN+
After seven months of regular season hockey, the Boston Bruins know where their Stanley Cup playoff journey will begin next week.
After becoming the NHL’s greatest regular season team in history with 65 wins and 135 points, a pair of regular season accomplishments that aren’t going to be matched anytime soon, the Boston Bruins will host Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoff first round against the Florida Panthers on Marathon Monday at TD Garden. As with many first-round playoff opponents, it’s not going to be a pushover with a Panthers team that last season won the President’s Trophy and this season featured an explosive offense that was sixth in the NHL averaging 3.51 goals per game.
“They’re a really good team, a dangerous team,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “We’re going to have to be at the top of our game if we want to have success. [Matthew] Tkachuk, excellent player. [Aleksander] Barkov’s a stud. That’s two players on the top of my mind right now. Besides that, they’re a really fast team that transitions well.”
It’s also a Florida team that won six games in a row down the stretch to push into the playoff picture as the final wild card team, a furious finish to the regular season that pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the playoff picture for the first time in 17 seasons. Further to all that, the Panthers were one of the few NHL teams that had some success against the Boston Bruins this season and were able to score goals against a Boston Bruins team that allowed the fewest goals in the NHL this season.
The Panthers scored 15 goals in four games against the Bruins, but also allowed a whopping 17 goals against, which could portend a pretty wide open playoff series at least to start.