BOSTON (CBS) – After sending the New York Rangers home in five games, the Boston Bruins are back in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But awaiting them are the Pittsburgh Penguins, the top-seed in the East and favorites to raise the Stanley Cup when it’s all said and done.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday to preview the series, and says the Bruins will have to be close to perfect if they want to make it back to the Cup finals.
“I think they can definitely compete with this team, but I look at it this way: the Bruins have done everything they’re supposed to do. They won the first two rounds and they get into a matchup with a juggernaut Pittsburgh team that is putting some playoff offensive numbers like the 80’s Edmonton oilers teams used to,” said Haggs. “They’re supposed to be this overwhelming favorite to stomp over everyone and win the Stanley Cup this year. The Bruins go into this one as the underdog for the first time in this playoffs and the first time in a few years.”
Pittsburgh took all three regular season matchups against Boston — each of them one-goal victories.
“I think it’s going to be an entertaining series. I think the Bruins will be able to push the Penguins, and there are some weaknesses in Pittsburgh you can exploit a little bit. But the Bruins are going to have to play close to perfect, flawless hockey and get an amazing series from Tuukka Rask and the rookies in order for them to really have a chance to win this series.”
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“I think they’ll push them to 6 or 7 games, but Pittsburgh should win; they’re the favorite,” continued Haggs. “The pressure is on them to take out the Bruins, and that may help the Bruins that they don’t have that on their shoulder.”
“But the Penguins are the better team,” he said. “Their talent level is sick. They have some weaknesses and some things they can exploit, but as soon as you make a mistake they will pounce on you and beat you. That is a difficult thing to overcome.”
Also, find out Haggs’ takes on Jaromir Jagr and his return to Pittsburgh, if Boston’s rookie defensemen can keep their success going, and if the Bruins can exploit Pittsburgh netminder Tomas Vokoun: