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An NHL Scout’s Take And Prediction On Bruins-Panthers



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Can the Boston Bruins exact revenge for 2023 and beat the Florida Panthers in the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs?

The two Atlantic Division rivals will face off in Game 1 tonight in Sunrise, Florida (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS). It has been just over a year since the Panthers erased a 3-1 series lead for the Bruins in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and stunned the record-setting 2022-23 Boston Bruins. The Bruins haven’t been shy about professing the lessons learned from that series, but can they apply it now against basically the same team that taught them those lessons?

“The simple answer, in my opinion, based on scouting both of these teams a lot this season, is no,” a veteran NHL scout told Boston Hockey Now on Monday morning. “The Panthers are just too loaded at all positions, and they’re built for the playoffs. They can score and win high-scoring games, beat you into oblivion, and win the hard, grinding low-scoring games.”

The Boston Bruins certainly know what they’re in for in this rematch of the 2023 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series that the Bruins lost in Game 7 on home ice. Yes, the Bruins were 4-0-0 against their division rivals this season, but that was the regular season, and the 2024 Atlantic Division champions have upped their game even more in the postseason, winning a physical five-game series over their in-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I watched the first round, they absolutely dominated,” Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand said after his team knocked out the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 2-1 overtime win in Game 7 on Saturday night at TD Garden.

“They’re a very, very difficult matchup. So, another opportunity to be excited about it and a great challenge ahead of us.”

What is the greatest challenge the Florida Panthers present for what could be a tired and emotionally drained Bruins squad in Game 1 on Monday night?

“They make you think twice, and they make you hurt,” the aforementioned scout opined. “Their forecheck is relentless, and they hit you any chance they get. I don’t care how good you are, how tough you are, whatever; they make you look over your shoulder, and that causes you to make mistakes. That’s how they beat the Bruins last spring, and I think they will do it again this year. I think the Bruins do have a never-quit attitude and experience, but the Panthers have that experience now, too. Panthers in 6.”


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