2019 NHL Playoffs – 2nd Round Preview – BOS vs. CBJ

Updated: April 24, 2019 at 1:52 pm by Brock Seguin

The first round of the 2019 NHL Playoffs has been unlike any first-round we have seen in…maybe forever? We had both of the top teams in each conference beat in a combined nine games and so far the lower-seed has won four of the seven series—Carolina could make that 5 of 8 and it would be the first time in NHL history that all four division winners are knocked out in the first round.

BOS (Reg.)

CBJ (Reg.)

BOS (Playoffs)

CBJ (Playoffs)

RECORD

49-23-9 (3RD)

47-31-4 (13TH)

4-3

4-0

GF/PG

3.13 (11TH)

3.12 (12TH)

3.29 (t-5th)

4.75 (1st)

GA/PG

2.59 (3RD)

2.82 (11TH)

2.43 (5th)

2.00 (2nd)

5V5 SV%

.931 (3RD)

.916 (23RD)

.937 (7th)

.939 (6th)

PP%

25.9% (3RD)

15.4% (28TH)

43.8% (2nd)

50.0% (1st)

PK%

79.9% (T-16TH)

85.0% (T-1ST)

81.3% (7th)

83.3% (5th)

CF%

53.1% (6TH)

50.21% (12TH)

49.22% (10th)

45.32% (13th)


5v5

The Boston Bruins forced Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and got the best of them once again, punching their ticket into the second-round, where the Columbus Blue Jackets have been waiting since April 16th.

Both teams are quality 5v5 teams but relied heavily on the man-advantage to advance in the first-round. During the regular season and part of round-one, the Bruins had Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak together but became more difficult to match-up against when they moved Pastrnak to David Krejci’s line. Having Danton Heinen replace Pastrnak on the top-line did not hurt BOS1’s production, as the trio posted a 57.33 CorsiFor% in a small sample size.

The Bergeron line will be tasked with stopping the Blue Jackets top-line of Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand, which will make it difficult for CBJ1 to get anything going—John Tavares and Mitch Marner scored just one 5v5 goal with Bergeron on the ice in the first-round.

The Blue Jackets went out and added Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel at the trade deadline, which makes their lineup so much deeper. With the Panarin line likely getting locked down by Bergeron, Duchene, Dzingel and Cam Atkinson will need to do a lot of the heavy lifting to give Columbus a chance at advancing to the Eastern Conference Final. Duchene led the team with seven points (3G / 4A) and Atkinson had two goals and two assists against Tampa Bay. The call-up of Alexandre Texier, improved play from Josh Anderson and a fourth line centered by Boone Jenner gives the Blue Jackets four quality lines. The Bruins’ fourth-line carried them to a Game 7 win, so both teams can roll all four lines with a lot of success. With two of the deepest lineups going head-to-head, we could see some more unlikely heroes take center stage in round two.

There isn’t a clear advantage up-front but the Blue Jackets top-pair of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones holds a big advantage over the Bruins shutdown pair of Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo. Chara’s age and speed were exposed at times in the Toronto series and you have to believe the Blue Jackets will try to do the same in round two. Boston won’t have as much success vs. Columbus’ top-4 defenseman as they did against the Maple Leafs’ mediocre blueline.

Special Teams

The Blue Jackets averaged 2.5 power-plays per game vs. Tampa Bay and scored on five of their 10 power-play opportunities. The Bruins penalty-kill was in the middle of the pack during the regular season, so Columbus should continue to have success with the man-advantage in round-two. However, Boston just needs to be marginally better than the low-bar that the Lightning set and they should have a lot more success. The Bruins power-play was third in the regular season and was also at nearly 50 percent in round-one, meaning the two best power-plays in the playoffs will go head-to-head in round-two.

Columbus had the top penalty kill during the regular season and did a great job vs. the Lightning’s top-ranked power-play. Based on the regular season numbers, it looks like the Blue Jackets will have a better chance of stopping Boston than the other way around.

Goaltending

Before the first round, I wrote that there might not be a team that matches up better with Tampa Bay than the Blue Jackets, and that proved to be true. The one issue coming in was the lack of playoff success that Sergei Bobrovsky has enjoyed. In the first period of the first game it looked like his struggles would continue. However, Bobrovsky cranked it up after that, stopping the next 16 shots in Game 1 and 99 of 104 shots (.952 SV%) to complete the sweep. Bobrovsky put those previous playoffs failings behind him and will look to carry it into the second round. 

Tuukka Rask did not have a great postseason in 2017-18 but played very well vs. Toronto, posting a 2.32 GAA and .928 SV% in the seven games. Unlike Bobrovsky, Rask has been great throughout his playoff career, carrying a .925 SV% in 72 career postseason starts. 

This matchup features two of the NHL’s top netminders and could quickly turn into a goaltending duel. 

Predictions

Brock: Columbus in 7️⃣

Dylan: Boston in 7️⃣

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Brock Seguin

Brock has been the Editor-In-Chief of DailyFaceoff.com since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Host of the DFO Podcast since 2015 and Editor-In-Chief of DailyDugout since the 2017 season.

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