As the Boston Bruins play in New York tonight and Thursday night in an attempt to transform from Jekyll-Hyde into a Stanley Cup contender, here are five things to watch:
1. B’s standard of play in Game 3
I believe this is the most important game of the playoffs, other than a Game 7, because we will see if the Bruins have dropped the “Jeckyll-Hyde” moniker given to them by their coach. The Bruins “appear” to have turned the corner and flicked the proverbial “playoff” switch. Does that mean the Bruins have to win tonight? No, it means they have to play well as a group and compete as if they have to win.
The 5-2 win on Sunday night was one of the most complete game they’ve played the last month. The Rangers played really well for two periods but still got their collective keisters kicked in the third period.
2. Watch out rookies!
The Rangers have had enough of the embarrassing questions about undrafted Torey Krug and trade throw-in Matt Bartkowski (Panthers threw him in the 2010 deal with Boston, dealing he and Dennis Seidenberg to Bruins for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and second pick that ended being Alex Petrovic). These two are not only learning on the job, but they’re succeeding on both ends of the ice.
Expect at least one of them to play with Seidenberg and Redden returning. Whomever plays, they should expect to be hit and pressured like never before.
3. Jagr vs. Seguin tonight
Bruins coach Claude Julien is trying to get Tyler Seguin going. And while he’s at it, he’s trying to get Jaromir Jagr going, too. Both have vastly underachieved in the playoffs, particularly in the first two games of this series. He swapped both, with Seguin moving to the third line winger position and Jagr to the second line.