Finally, we will have an Eastern Conference Finals game. After a week off due to the lengths of the two Western Conference Semifinals series’, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins will kick off their series Saturday night in Pittsburgh. This is the first time that the Penguins and Bruins have seen each other in the playoffs since 1992. That year Pittsburgh swept Boston and went on to do the same to the Chicago Blackhawks for their second straight Stanley Cup championship.
Game 1: Saturday, June 1 8 pm/et at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC, RDS)
Game 2: Monday June 3 8 pm/et at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
Game 3: Wednesday, June 5 8 pm/et at Boston (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
Game 4: Friday, June 7 8 pm/et at Boston (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
**Game 5: Sunday, June 9 8 pm/et at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
**Game 6: Tuesday, June 11 TBD at Boston (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
**Game 7: Wednesday, June 12 TBD at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
** = If necessary
1. Iginla vs. Boston: The trade that wasn’t. At the trade deadline, the Boston Bruins were convinced that they had won the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes. However, they would later learn that Iginla made the decision to go to Pittsburgh, thus, spurning Boston. Now Iginla, with the Penguins, face the team that he rejected for a chance to go to the Stanley Cup Final.
2. Jagr vs. Pittsburgh: “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” That quote has definitely described Jaromir Jagr as of late. No, Jagr has not been great this postseason, but he still cannot be ignored when he is facing the Penguins. Jagr spent the first eleven years in Pittsburgh, but now is considered a notable villain within city limits. Last season, with the Flyers, Jagr torched the Penguins with seven points during their quarterfinal series.
1. Patrice Bergeron vs. Sidney Crosby: Nobody asked you here Patrice! Sorry, had to do that. Anyway, as the Selke award winner for the 2011-2012 NHL season, and a finalist once again this season, as the top defensive forward in the game it is no surprise that Patrice Bergeron will have the difficult assignment of trying to control Sidney Crosby. With Bergeron getting the Crosby line, it would be safe to assume that David Krejci and his line mates will see a lot of the Evgeni Malkin line.
2. Physicality: This will certainly be a very physical series. With the likes of Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, Brad Marchand, and Gregory Campbell for Boston going against Matt Cooke, Douglas Murray, Brenden Morrow, and Brooks Orpik, the hits will by flying. Lucic tops everyone in the series with fifty-five hits, but Cooke is right behind him with forty-six. This series is going to take a lot out of everyone involved.