Go Go Black and Gold: Forwards

Before we get to the discussion of the forwards we will talk about the hockey operators: the coaches, the GMs, and the owners for each team.

Coaching: There’s no question he’s still coaching with a short leash, and there’s no question that he will get railed on the split second he makes another bad decision like the end of Game 3, but I’m really happy with HCDB’s work so far this playoffs. He’s identified issues and fixed them. He made the ballsy move to go with Vokoun even though so many armchair coaches thought it would end his run, and now he’s back in the Conference Finals. On the flip side there’s Claude Julien. There’s no question he’s a good coach. This is his third trip to the ECF in four years and he’s only two years removed from winning the Cup. He has a system, his players believe in it, and it works. Unfortunately he also does things like this:

Advantage Penguins.

GM: Peter Chiarelli became, as far as I’m concerned, the first GM in any professional sport to call a press conference about not acquiring a player in the wake of the Jarome Iginla situation. He’s a joke. But he has assembled a really good team. On the other hand is Ray Shero. He makes all the trades that NHL ’13 makes fun of you for, and he does it in real life.

Advantage Penguins.

Ownership: Jeremy Jacobs is the Bruins owner and he’s in charge of the NHL Board of Governors. He’s the man who presided over Gary Bettman’s rise to power and he was the first and foremost owner to authorize lockouts in both 2004 and 2012. The Penguins are owned by Mario Lemieux, surely he is one of the all-time greatest players in NHL history but he also spoke out against the lockout in 2004, and in 2012 along with co-owner Ron Burkle were part of the moderate group of owners who refused to allow the season to be cancelled.

As if this wasn’t obvious, Advantage Penguins.

The Forwards: The reason why these guys aren’t going to make the difference in the series is because they are both really good. Milan Lucic compared the Penguins to the Miami Heat for having a “dream team” aura to them. And they do, they have so much high end skill, so much grit, and so much depth you can’t help but look back in awe at what the Penguins do have.

But it’s also a lie to say that the Bruins are any different. David Krejci is leading the postseason in scoring and Nathan Horton sits in a tie for fifth, couple that with their other winger Lucic, who has been scoring heroic late game goals everywhere we look, and there’s not much left to debate. If anything some of the Bruins’ high end guys, notably Tyler Seguin and noted mercenary Jaromir Jagr, have been a little too quiet and could be due at some point this series.

In other words, both teams are likely going to get some chances, and when they do, they’ll probably score some goals. Whichever team seems more capable of limiting and or preventing chances (read plays better defense) will have the upper-hand.

I don’t really think there’s anything else we would need to say about that. Before we leave, a few good reads from other’s both previewing the series and criticizing the NHL, because it deserves it.

Jesse Marshall with a detailed look at stats, both mundane and advanced, for each team.

The Pensblog with a good look at the goaltending matchup.

Meesh chimes in with a great criticism, and reluctant acceptance of the 7 day layoff for the Penguins and their fans.

Once more from the well from J.Marsh, this time breaking down what the Bruins do on their PK.

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