5 Issues to Watch For

4 minutes read

The Columbus Blue Jackets lastly have a second-round opponent. The Boston Bruins lastly knocked out the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 2 groups lastly get it on at TD Backyard beginning Thursday.

The Blue Jackets are available in off an extended nine-day layoff after sweeping away the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins final performed Tuesday night time.

Who can have the early benefit? Can the Blue Jackets flip the swap on after such a very long time off? Will the Bruins really feel the results of a seven-game collection in the beginning?

As this collection begins, that is what I’ll be awaiting. Which crew can get the bounce and play from forward?

What else am I awaiting? Listed here are 4 different issues that I believe will assist determine this collection.

Who Will Defend Bergeron/Marchand?

Within the powerful minutes of their collection in opposition to the Lightning, the Blue Jackets leaned closely on the road of Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Riley Nash. They’re three pure centermen who might deal with taking part in protection. However will they face the Patrice Bergeron line or will the Blue Jackets strive Matt Duchene in opposition to Bergeron in a heads-up position?

It’ll be fascinating to see how Tortorella defends this line. I might anticipate an analogous defensive sport plan to the one applied in opposition to the Lightning. The Blue Jackets performed plenty of 1-2-2 and made the impartial zone an space of fast sand.

They had been profitable in slowing down the most effective groups in NHL historical past with this technique. Why change a superb factor? In the event that they will help it, they wish to make a distinct line beat them. How can they do this? Make them play protection. That’s why I believe one of many Blue Jackets’ offensive strains will get first crack, however we’ll see.

Who Can Win a Battle?

That is going to be a bodily collection. Each groups can play the physique with the very best of them. Each groups have depth that may rating. When two groups are evenly matched in depth, what is going to assist determine who has the benefit?

It’s the crew who wins these greasy 50/50 battles. It’s the crew that may make the most of turnovers. It’s the crew that may earn energy play possibilities by outworking their opponent. Deliver your onerous hats to this one. Each groups is not going to shrink back from this.

Oh, and Zdeno Chara and Josh Anderson will possible battle sooner or later. It’s occurred earlier than.

Blue Jacket to Watch: Oliver Bjorkstrand

Don’t be shocked in case you see Bjorkstrand rating an enormous aim on this collection. He’s made for giant moments. He’s now assured and displaying it in his play.

When the Blue Jackets wanted a response in Recreation four in opposition to the Lightning, Bjorkstrand scored the successful aim. He’s a menace to attain each time he touches the puck.

Whereas the main focus will probably be on Cam Atkinson, Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and others, Bjorkstrand arguably has a greater shot than all of them. The Bruins higher account for him.

Oliver Bjorkstrand ought to have an enormous a part of this collection with the Bruins. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Bruin to Watch: Brandon Carlo

You consider the Bruins protection, you consider the plain names. These are Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug. Brandon Carlo is having himself a monster season.

He was particularly noticeable in opposition to the Maple Leafs for all the best causes. Though the factors aren’t there, his impression is very large.

He performs 23-24 minutes a sport. He blocks pictures. He can create offense. He can create turnovers. This permits the Bruins to have two shutdown pairs.

The Blue Jackets might want to discover a option to make issues occur in opposition to a stout protection. Don’t be shocked if by the top of the collection Carlo had a big effect with out producing many factors. He’s been excellent.

Boston Bruins’ Brandon Carlo helps make the Bruins a Stanley Cup favourite. (AP Picture/Gene J. Puskar)

Recreation 1 is Thursday and Recreation 2 is Saturday in Boston. Though I cannot make an official prediction on this collection, I’ll say it goes no less than six video games. That is going to be a battle and who’s the final man standing. The winner of this collection can have an excellent probability at successful the Stanley Cup.

Do the Blue Jackets have one thing Bruin, or will the Bruins make the Jackets really feel Blue? Thursday night time, we begin to discover out.

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