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The Bruins learned this weekend that they’ll take on the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, starting Thursday at the TD Garden.
The Capitals got the best of the Bruins in regular season meetings, taking three out of four. Former Boston Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque spoke with Toucher & Rich about the approaching playoffs, the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin.
Before the weekend the Bruins were slotted to play Ottawa, a team the B’s took five of six from. Unfortunately, the Senators they couldn’t hold on to the seventh seed and fell to eighth, with the Capitals moving up to face the Bruins.
Looking at this Washington team, should the Bruins be concerned?
“I think in some ways, yes. We’ve all been used to seeing the Capitals finishing on top of their conference, one or two, and kind of being disappointed in terms of losing in the first round or second round. I think expectations in Washington have been very high over the last few years.”
“It’s a very dangerous team. You know they’re very talented with some world class players,” said Bourque. “It won’t be easy, but I think that in terms of depth and the experience and what the Bruins have going for themselves, I think their still favored in this series.”
The Bruins-great also touched on Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin’s production this season. Even though Ovechkin scored 38 goals, many would say that is a down year for him. What’s been different this year compared to past years for the Capital?
“Playing without Backstrom for 40 games certainly has an affect on scoring some goals, but he just seemed like he was disinterested somewhat; not as consistent,” Bourque said of Washington’s super-star.
If you’re Zdeno Chara going up against an electric player like Ovechkin, how do you prepare?
“Well, you just prepare the way you usually do because that ‘s his assignment every night. Going in, like myself or ‘Big Z.’ you know that you’re going to be facing the best line on the other team and your job is to shut them down. There’s nobody better than ‘Big Z’ to do this.”
Bourque is teaming up with Milan Lucic to give away Lucic’s Stanley Cup Game-Worn Jersey, personally autographed and presented to you by Lucic himself.
The winner will also score two tickets to each Bruins home playoff game. For more info and to buy raffle tickets click here.
Also, which line was the toughest to go against in Bourque’s playing days? And how did Ray feel about Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella’s comments about the Penguins?