DANNY PICARD: So the regular season is over, and the Bruins will take on the Ottawa Senators in the first round. What are your thoughts on the first-round matchup being Ottawa and not Washington? I think you’ll agree with me that Ottawa is the more favorable matchup for the Bruins. It’s not an easy matchup. But it’s the more favorable of the two they could have had.
TY ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. If you look at a first-round matchup with Washington, you’re talking about a four-game, five-game series at the most. The Capitals just own this Bruins team, they have for years now. So, I didn’t see that changing, come playoff time. I know switches can be flipped and whatnot, but they weren’t going to solve Washington in a seven-game series. Ottawa is beatable. It’s a winnable series. It is the best-case scenario, when you look at the season series’ and where the two teams have been at. The Bruins seemingly got better every head-to-head with Ottawa. So, definitely a winnable series. But like you said, it’s not exactly a walk in the park either.
DP: I do think the Bruins are going to put up a fight in this one. And if they put up the fight I expect them to put up — even with the injuries — and this thing goes six or seven games, I have a tough time putting money against guys on the Bruins who have been there in the playoffs before, and not just been there, but had success there, like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, even Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask. I’ve seen a commitment to team defense over the last eight-to-10 games that was sort of non-existent through most of the season. That showed me that they’re going to put up a fight in a first-round series. And if they do that against Ottawa, and this thing goes six or seven games, I’m going to have a tough time putting my money against some of the Bruins vets who have been here before.
TA: One hundred percent. I look at this series, and do you take Kyle Turris and Derick Brassard over David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron? I don’t. Do I take guys like Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone over Brad Marchand and David Backes? No, because I’ve seen what these guys can do in the playoffs, and that means something this time of year. I think this is one of the few sports where that actually matters. Look at the playoff history of certain guys. Some guys have a tendency to step up and really embrace the challenge. I’m with you. I like the Bruins’ depth, I like the experience. A guy like David Krejci who has been at his best in the playoffs consistently in his career. That’s where he makes his money. So if those guys come to play, it’s going to be awfully hard for me to pick against the Bruins.
DP: The Bruins’ defense is dealing with injuries: Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo. Charlie McAvoy is here. He’s going to play. What’s your reaction to bringing McAvoy up, where, ya they have to burn the first year of the contract, but the way I look at it is, there does come a point in time where you can only have so many injuries, you’re in the playoffs and you’re trying to win. There comes a time where, as an organization, you have to ask yourself, “who’s the next best man up?” And McAvoy is the next best man up, right?
TA: Absolutely. This was the perfect storm, right? You lose your best offensive defenseman, to whom you don’t even have a real comparable on your roster. And then you lose your best right-handed defenseman. Then you look at McAvoy. And McAvoy is a great offensive defenseman, at least he was in college. And he’s a right shot. So this is where you break the glass and you bring him in. This is the exact situation where you need him. I like the McAvoy move. It’s ballsy, it takes some courage, but if you’re going to do it, now is the time. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the time to make that move. And sure, it’s by necessity, but he is the best player at their disposal right now, no question.