I spent quite a lot of time this season operating under the impression that the Bruins would be meeting the Senators in the quarterfinals. The standings just looked that way–even in that one weird little period where the #2 and #7 seeds switched places–but then the last day of the season can always be a little unexpected. When the final regular game of the season switched off (I was able to see the season’s first goal, by Brad Marchand way back in the banner-raising game, and the last, by the Sharks’ Dan Boyle in overtime), though, the Capitals were in 7th. A lot of games had gone differently than Bruins fans might’ve wanted and all of a sudden the Sens are off to meet the Rangers.
So, the Caps. We’ve met them four times this season and they took the series 3-1. The Bruins’ only win came in DC two weeks after the White House controversy–which will probably be dredged up again, especially when the series shifts to Washington. (Already I’ve heard someone joke “lolz Thomas won’t be able to play in DC!!! Especially if they bring in President Obama!!” Timmy, despite his faults, has a way of proving the haters wrong, like when NBC Sports Network was all “blah blah, he’s not great against Henrik Lundqvist” and then he shut the door except for one goal. You were saying?)
But it seems like the Bruins really started to find their feet again at the end of the season, after the meetings with the Caps. I am especially pleased by how the Bru-Tang Clan line blossomed in the last few games–oh, but the third line has been brilliant too! And Tim Thomas got over the virus he said he had soon after Tuukka Rask got hurt! (Always take your vitamins, kids.) And Anton Khudobin! (And did I mention that both of Washington’s main goalies are hurt, so now they’re relying on Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin?) The series opens in Boston on April 12, too. There’s nothing like that home crowd boost, especially in a building with this giant sign on the side:
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not going to make definitive predictions like many other reporters will. Part of that is because I don’t feel personally confident enough to do so yet and part of it is because I want to see how things will unfold. But I’ll be here every step of the way.