It seemed that the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators were on a collision course to meet in the first round of the playoffs, but that wont be happening.
Instead it will be Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and, yes, even Dennis Wideman invading Boston with the Washington Capitals as the Sens dropped three in a row while dropping all the way to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins will host the Caps in Game 1 of the series Thursday night at TD Garden, but the Bs had to wait a solid two plus hours to finally learn their fates.
Either way it didnt matter to the Black and Gold, who said it was more about themselves than whichever team they were playing. One could make the argument that Ottawa turned down the intensity over the last week to step into a better matchup for them against the top-seeded Rangers after it seemed they were on track to play the Bruins since the middle of the season.
But Claude Julien gave that theory a flying elbow off the turnbuckle that Macho Man Randy Savage would have been proud of.
Thats the feel that there should be in the dressing room. Anybody who decides who they want as an opponent, whether its, you know, saying, Oh, Id rather play this team than that team, or plays to pick their own opponentsthey dont deserve to win. Thats the way -- this is a game. This is not wrestling, its not a fake sport, said Claude Julien. You dont go out there and pretend to play and make sure you lose because you want a certain team to play against. Karmas a pretty powerful thing, and I believe in doing the things right.
If were going to win, were going to have to beat every team that comes in our way, and thats the way weve approached it.
The Capitals provide an interesting opponent considering their star power and fully healthy Nicklas Backstroms return to the Washington lineup. Its fair to say Washington is much more talented than your run-of-the-mill No. 7 seed, and theyll provide a worthy first round opponent for the Black and Gold.
They also have their weaknesses. Injuries to Tomas Vokoun and Michael Neuvirth have left them with Braden Holtby as their only healthy goaltender during their 4-1 regular season finale win over the New York Rangers.
The Bruins were 1-2-1 this season against Washington with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand as their leading scorers in the four games with five points apiece.