Cherry: Bruins/Sharks final will be a “Ding-Donger”
|04.14.09 at 4:22 pm ET|
There has been all kinds of speculation about the upcoming Montreal Canadiens/Boston Bruins playoff battle and it’s still two days away from Game One. With that in mind, let’s dump a little more speculation on top of the hockey pig pile. CBC commentator — and former Bruins coach — Don Cherry has been mentioning the Bruins more and more frequently during his “Coaches Corner” segments on the Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts as the weeks have gone by. He added to growing Cherry chatter by hopping aboard the Spoked B bandwagon during a conference call sponsored by the NHL on Monday afternoon. Here’s a few thoughts from several hockey talking heads — including Cherry — with plenty of cyberspace available and too much time on our idle blogging hands to resist posting it. Warning:Mike Milbury’s thoughts are included in the content below, so read no further if you’re sensitive to phrases like “Pansification” or “Self-Centered Little Dink”.
DON CHERRY: My playoff series is Boston, nice and tough, they’ve got eight 20-goal scorers, or they would have had eight had Chara not (sat out the last two games). We had 11, remember, Mike (Milbury)? Only Washington scored more goals. They had 18 guys at plus, and they only lost six games at home. I mean, I don’t see how Montreal has a chance. They had nobody in the top 40 scoring. They had 50 more goals scored against them.
But I’ll tell you one thing, I always hate when I was a first-place club playing a team that snuck into the playoffs because they’re going to be loosey-goosey, and you’ve got a gun to your head. When you’re a first-place club, those first series are always the toughest. But I’m taking Boston in five, possibly six.
What I like about the Bruins, they had 18 guys that were plus, which is unbelievable. They had seven guys that were 20 or more goals, so he can throw anybody on there. And like you guys said about Thomas, everybody makes fun of the way he plays. He just stops the puck, and I think they only lost two games of their last 10. They had their little slump, and this year Chara is going to be a force. I heard somebody say he had a sore shoulder last year, so I say Bruins/San Jose, and it will be a ding-donger, I’ll tell you.
MIKE MILBURY: Well, I’m certainly familiar with the Montreal/Boston match-up, and Montreal came in here the last game of the regular season and tried a new tactic. They taunted and turtled. They wouldn’t fight, but they taunted people all the way around, and the Bruins lost their composure, got it back and still won the game.
Hopefully they learned their lesson there, and they won’t repeat that mistake. (Boston) should win. I’m with Grapes — in five or six. The East is going to be interesting. It’s going to be, if things go according to plan here, it might be a Philadelphia or Pittsburgh versus Boston match-up in the second round, which is going to really screw me up.
But I’m going to stick with the Boston Bruins coming out of the East. They’ve been consistent, their coaching has been excellent, their goaltending great. I read something a week or so go on actually an NHL site where they didn’t give Thomas consideration for the Vezina Trophy because he had only played something like 55 or so games, which I think is ridiculous. He’s been far and away the most consistent goaltender in the league, with all due respect to the kid in Columbus. This guy has been outstanding. I’ll go with Boston and San Jose in the finals.
PIERRE MCGUIRE: I’m going to say Boston versus Detroit in the Stanley Cup Final. You just can’t say enough good things about what Claude Julien and the Boston Bruins have done, and Timmy Thomas and the way he just resurrected an unbelievable run for himself. It’s been a great story to watch, to Zdeno Chara, and I think Dennis Wideman is the most improved defenseman in the NHL, and hopefully he can get healthy for this playoff run the Bruins have to be on. But this has become an unbelievably tight team.
I know Don and Mike are on the call, but watching Milan Lucic play reminds me of what the Bruins are all about, so I really have a lot of faith that Boston is going to go deep and potentially will represent the East.
And in terms of Detroit, I discounted them last year going in because I was really worried about their goaltending, and they were a very mediocre team from February the 16th to the end of the year, but they proved me wrong, just because they are a team, and they’ve got great leadership and they care about one another and they are the Detroit Red Wings. So until they get beat, I’m not betting against them. So I think Boston will play Detroit in the Final.