Bruins look to eliminate the Penguins

Bruins look to eliminate the Penguins
June 7, 2013, 2:15 pm
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It looks we’re headed for a rainy weekend in Boston, and while that’s good news for my annual harvest, it’s going to reek havoc on everything else. Especially the Sox three-game series at Fenway against Mike Trout and the Angels.

But on the bright side, with two chances to clinch another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins have an opportunity to smack that rain across the mouth. If they can win tonight, the water falling from the sky will transform from an enormous pain in the ass to the background for an all out celebration. Boston will be singing in the rain. Dancing in the rain. Drinking too much and passing out on a side walk in the rain. We better hope that someone reinforced the glass on Felger’s studio.

Of course, there are a few things working against the Bruins in their quest to make the quickest possible work of these Pittsburgh Penguins. First of all, Pittsburgh hasn’t lost four straight games since December 2011. Second, there have been only four Eastern Conference Finals sweeps in the last 30 years, and never once has the higher seen been on the wrong side of the broom. Third, a rhetorical question: After everything we’ve seen this season, and all the crazy talk heading into this series, are the Bruins really going to sweep the Penguins in the Conference Finals? Doesn’t pride, urgency and human nature have to lift Pittsburgh to at least one win in this series?

You’d think so. That would seem to be the most logical bet. But honestly, I don’t know how anyone could feel comfortable picking against the Bruins tonight. Even Vegas has them favored to finish off the sweep.

After all, a 3-0 lead in the Conference Finals is very different from being up 3-0 in the first or second round. In the latter cases, a team is usually up against a far inferior opponent; they know the series is over. And that even when they win, there’s still so much work to be done. But heading into tonight, the Bruins are on the cusp of greatness. They’re not only up 3-0 on the Penguins (a great team who must always be taken seriously), they’re one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s fair to assume that the urgency to make good on that season long goal — and with some time to spare as the Kings and Blackhawks finish their business — can and will outweigh the beaten down Penguins’ desire to extend their suddenly disappointing season for another couple days.

But we’ll see. The truth is that urgency may not even matter. Right now, the Bruins are just the better team and the prouder team and happen to have the luxury of the hottest goalie left in these playoffs. If Tuukka Rask can even come within shouting distance of his Wednesday night performance, the Bruins will be in line to break off a piece of NHL history and move on in their quest to make some more.

At that point, Matt Cooke and Mother Nature are more than free to suck an egg.