NHL 2013 PLAYOFFS: ROUND 1 – BOSTON vs TORONTO
SERIES BEGINS: WEDNESDAY 1ST MAY 2013
PUCK DROP: 7PM ET (12AM GMT)
HOW WILL IT GO DOWN? Playoff fever has hit Toronto, as the hockey-mad citizens of that proud metropolis get ready for some post-season action for the first time since 2004. The Leafs have undoubtedly had a great season, but expectations should be tempered somewhat. This is a team that got pretty lucky; unsustainably high shooting percentages by many of their players resulted in a lot of wins they perhaps didn’t deserve, with their goaltending helping them out on the defensive end. Still, here they are, and the find themselves pitted against the vaunted Boston Bruins. They are worse than the Bruins in almost every area, except one. The Leafs have got themselves an elite game-breaking offensive forward. Kessel is the x-factor on this Leafs team, and it will be exciting to see him take on the Bruins’ defensive system.
The Bruins had a pretty good year, although they slowed somewhat towards the end after a torrid start, but still were their usual dominant selves overall. A big heavy team, much like the Kings in the West, the Bruins play great defensive hockey without being too… how do I say… “Minnesota-y” on the attack. Puck possession is the best way to describe their game, and combine the fact that most of their forwards are solid two-way players with a well-rounded defence led by a perennial Norris Trophy candidate, and top that off with an elite goalie, you have yourselves a Cup contender.
PREDICTION: The Bruins shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Leafs. I see them as too big, too heavy, too deep and too consistent for Toronto to handle, and as such this series should be over in 5 games max.