The Boston Bruins are the 2013 Eastern Conference Champions, after completing their sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. In a very close and very contentious 1-0 game, Tuukka Rask continued to make his case for the Conn Smythe trophy, posting a 0.44 GAA and a .985 save percentage in the four game series.
The Bruins now await the winners of the Western Conference Finals, either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Los Angeles Kings. That series could be over as soon as tonight, if the Chicago Blackhawks can make the most of their home ice advantage.
Neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin had ever gone four straight games without a point since 2009-2010. They both were held completely off the scoresheet in this series. Brenden Morrow was his usual hard working self, but failed to be a difference maker. Jarome Iginla never looked like he ever really fit in, either.
The Penguins had not been swept in 47 straight series, before last night. The last team to eliminate Pittsburgh in four games? The Boston Bruins, in 1979. [TSN]
So what went wrong for the Pittsburgh Penguins? They were widely considered the favorites to win this year's Stanley Cup, boasting a roster with arguably the two top talents in the world, paired with a bevy of trade deadline acquisitions. Sure, they had question marks in net and on defense, but their demise was caused by a total lack of firepower up front. Slam! Sports has their obituary on the Penguins season. [Canoe]
What went right for the Boston Bruins? Defense and goaltending. Exactly as predicted. [Boston.com]
The only thing worse than being swept by the team you shunned at the trade deadline? Deflecting the series ending goal into your own net, in the opposing building. The Ottawa Sun details the plight of Jarome Iginla. [Ottawa Sun]
You tired of all the Jaromir Jagr love out there? Here's another article about his legendary discipline and dedication to staying in shape to play the game he loves. I'd take him back in Dallas at the drop of a hat. [CBC]
The Los Angeles Kings are facing elimination for only the second time in two years, as they are down three games to one against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Calgary Sun takes a look at their difficult road that lies ahead of them, if they plan to keep their dreams of a repeat alive. [Calgary Sun]
The Onion doesn't always talk about hockey, but when they do, it's usually pretty hilarious. The online satirical newspaper takes a look at what recently fired New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella has been doing since being let go. [The Onion]
Finally, today's video is the most pivotal play of last night's Boston/Pittsburgh game. If Tuukka Rask wasn't making such a strong case for the Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy, then Zdeno Chara might be a lock for both with this goaltending performance. This is why, at 6'9, his reach is so important to the defense of the Boston Bruins. Just look at the amount of space he occupies when he decides to make a snow angel.