Re: Mike Fisher
posted at 1/27/2011 4:32 PM EST
In Response to Re: Mike Fisher
I would add Chara and yes Ryder (I know the stats don't really support it) to your short list. Maybe it isn't so much the individual players that I believe will step up, but the team as a whole. Seems to me like the team knows its good, and knows the playoffs are all that matters, and is just coasting into the playoffs, trying to limit injuries and body wear, something that is sure to happen when you play all out all year. Either way I may have to concede this point to you, but I'll go a different route.
Playoffs are a different game than the regular season, and here are the strengths that I believe make the most difference:
1.Physical play. In a long series, wearing an opponent down in early games pays huge dividends in later games, not so in the RegSsn where the next team on the schedule benefits when you wear down a team. I think the B's are 1 of the more physically capable teams in the league and I think theyll come out come playoff time.
2. A Top notch goaltender that can steal games and/or goaltending depth. Bruins have both, is there another team that can say that?
3. 5on5 Goal differential. A lot of people like to say that PP% is a playoff stat but I disagree, there are far fewer penalties called in the playoffs, meaning more time is spent playing 5on5. the top 6 this year:
Bruins & Flyers 1.43 goals scored for every goal against 5on5
A lot of contenders in that list.
Killer mentality? yeah I havent seen it either, they either don't have it or are waiting patiently for the games that matter. I've decided I just have to wait and see on that one, although I'll agree that it makes the difference between legitimate contender and a long shot. My bet? you'll see it come playoff time.
Teams that scare me? Philly and Pittsburgh. Philly is my cup favorite as much as I hate to admit it. Deep offensively and defensively and physical. Someone will have to expose their mediocre goaltending to knock them off. Pitt didn't scare me in years past because the defense has been capable of holding back Crosby and Malkin and they've been able to score on Fleury and the weak D. This year however, Pitt has much better D, don't want to face them.
Wash and Tampa don't really scare me, they are both wide open, not-too-physical teams that the B's should be able to handle in a 7gm series. I'd rather face them than MTL, who always play tough in the playoffs, and the NYR with lundqvist, who the B's have had a lot of trouble scoring against.
I put the B's at 3rd best in the east with a solid 15% (about 1 in 6) to win the cup. 15% might not look like much but consider that the avg playoff team is 6.25% or 1 in 16.