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Columnist: Bruins can’t match Penguins, Habs

Apr 7, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

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After seeing the Boston Bruins fall short – for the most part -against the Eastern Conference’s top two seeds in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens,’s Joe Haggerty believes that they’re not “up to snuff.”

Haggerty explains why Boston has a 1-4-1 record in six games against the potent pairing.

That’s how it’s gone for the Bruins this year against both Montreal and Pittsburgh. They’re close to both in terms of competitive ability, but they’re also clearly not as good in a year where they haven’t proven they can beat elite teams.

Sure, each of the five losses to the Habs and Pens (four regulation, one shootout) was by one goal, and those can flip back and fourth depending on the bounce of the puck. But the Black and Gold simply aren’t up to snuff right now against the conference’s best, and there’s work to be done if they hope to beat either one in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Specifically, Haggerty thinks the team needs to be more attentive on defense, work on line combinations without Patrice Bergeron (more on Jaromir Jagr being juggled around here) and still hope to reach that elusive goal of improving their power play.

Still, many probably poked holes in the Bruins team that won it all in 2011, so you never know.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I don’t put too much stock in the regular season record against the Pens and Habs. The playoffs are a whole different animal. The Bruins style of play is conducive to playoff style hockey. Low scoring and tight checking works for them. A Norris caliber dman, an excellent top-6 (especially if Bergeron makes it back), and Rask looks like a future Vezina winner- those are ingredients for a deep run.

    • soj83 - Apr 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Not just if Bergeron comes back, but Kelly coming back will be an upgrade from Pandolfo and the possibility of Soderberg coming over from Sweden. Also McQuaid should be back before the playoffs. Penguins have also had their injuries, but they have the scoring depth that makes up for players being out, and Montreal has been lucky enough to stay relatively healthy (a few d-men have gone down lately). If all three teams get healthy for the playoffs then it could be anyone of theirs…but LA wasn’t supposed to win it last year and Boston wasn’t supposed to win the year before, so we shall see come playoff time.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        I’m interested to see if Carl Soderberg can adjust to the NHL. But I don’t know too much about him, other then he was a pretty high draft pick and the Bruins have had his rights for awhile. I know he’s a good scorer in the Swedish Elite League but anyone know the scouting report on this guy?

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    The regular season and post season are two different animals. If a team makes it to the round of 16, you can’t overlook them. The favorite today isn’t a lock to win the SC.

  3. letsgopens8771 - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    True that, but that doesn’t mean Boston is not a competitive team. They are one of the most competitive teams in the NHL. Anything can happen in any game against them. I am ready for either the Habs or Bruins to face us in the Playoffs in the Eastern Conference Final. It would make for very exciting playoff hockey.

    • elrock7 - Apr 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      I seriously doubt Pens make it to conference finals.

      • nhloon - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Huh ? – Bruisn fan.

  4. bobhpine - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    I could swear the LA Kings won the cup in 2012.

  5. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Haggerty synonym McGuire

  6. BlackandGoldMNBruinsFan - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    2011 was when they won it all. But it’s ok…people in LA didn’t even know the Kings won it last year either.

  7. govtminion - Apr 7, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I don’t like the idea of facing Pittsburgh in the playoffs as a Bruins fan- we never seem to play well against them, I don’t know that they can win four of seven (though, before the Penguin trolls show up, anything can happen- and the B’s wouldn’t be an easy series!). Montreal, though? In seven games, I think they take Montreal. The Habs win when they play a mobile, shooting-often style of game- when they try to out-muscle the Bruins, they lose. This year, they’ve done a much better job of avoiding that than they have in the past, but seven games of it? I’m not sure they can do it. Either matchup would be a lot of fun to watch though, no matter the outcome.

  8. capsfan19 - Apr 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I certainly dont care for boston but they are a team that should never be underestimated.
    I know theres certainly plenty of players from that team id like to have on mine! Ha ha

  9. malkinrulez - Apr 7, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Once the playoffs start everyone has a chance. A hot goaltender can cover up a lot of deficiencies. Hopefully Pens get healthy before the start of the playoffs because the team right now makes me nervous

  10. cameltoews - Apr 7, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Not to mention 1-2 against NYR. Who did these guys beat this year?

    • cowboys282 - Apr 7, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      They have beaten 13 Eastern Conference teams for a combined 24 wins. And the article was about the Elite Eastern Conference teams. Not the Rangers.

  11. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Bergeron will make or break Boston’s hopes of making it out of the first round. They are getting dealt the same crappy hand that the Pens got dealt last year. They’ll end up having to play a much better, bigger rival team than they should in the first round all because the Southeast is so embarrassing. Toronto and Boston should both be hoping for an Ottawa surge. If Ottawa overtakes Toronto, I think Boston will get a better 4/5 matchup and Toronto will get whoever wins the southeast (the realistic 8 seed). I think Toronto is gonna have so much adrenaline going into the first round and is gonna be a really tough team to play. Even if they do lose in the first round, I don’t think they’re gonna go down easy and whoever beats them will be dragging themselves to the 2nd round.

    • tdrusher225 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      Really? If I’m the Bruins I think I would rather play Toronto than Ottawa. Also, I agree with your point about Bergeron.

  12. cameltoews - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    I can’t wait till NYR kills them in the playoffs there cowboy.

  13. cameltoews - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Oh and cowboy I guess you should be worried then since NYR isn’t an elite team and they can’t even beat them.

  14. yanmontreal - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Bruins fans……in your face,Montréal will be just better and better with all the young players that we have.I think you just realise that your 3 ugly monkeys,Chara Lucic and Horton are useless…Loosers

    • itsallniceonice - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Learn to spell and formulate proper sentences in English.

    • nhloon - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Yes, Chara is 34 and is in better shape than 95% of the Habs bench, oh yea, and he acutally plays defense.

      It’s not like Horton has any Double Overtime playoff’s GWG’s to recall ?


  15. graymalkin26 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Bruins suck, they are going nowhere in PO. Tired of listening to their pie faced coach moaning about penalties…IDIOTS.

  16. hockeyflow33 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Haggerty is a pitiful excuse of a “hockey writer”. I’ve read better garbage on bleacher report

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