Evan over at SBN's Bruins blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder, was nice enough to answer a few of our questions. Read them below, and head over to their site at some time before Game 1 to check out my answers to his questions.
Is Marc Savard 100 percent, or are the Bruins rushing him back early? Do you think he'll be able to step right back into the lineup and be a force in this series?
Obviously, he won't be 100% due to the fact that he hasn't played a game in almost 2 months. When everyone was talking about Savard returning in the Buffalo series, I thought that he might be trying to come back too soon. One of the world's most renowned experts on head injuries has cleared him to play, so who am I to say that he isn't ready to play? Hopefully, he is fully recovered and ready to help this team offensively. I would expect to see him on the ice for about 15 minutes in Game 1 and maybe longer as the series progresses.
How much of Tuukka Rask's success against the Sabres had to do with the Bruins defense playing well in front of him? How much of it was him bailing out said defense? And how much of it was the Sabres inability to score?
I think it was collection of all those factors. Overall, the Bruins' blueliners played solid against Buffalo, but there were times when Tuukka came up huge to bail them out. Almost every goal scored by Buffalo in that series was the direct result of a miscue by a Bruins defenseman. The Flyers will need to capitalize on the few mistakes that the Bruins D-Men (read: Dennis Wideman) and Tuukka Rask make.
Speaking of defense, are the Bruins really that solid defensively after Zdeno Chara? Names like Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick just don't do it for me... should I reconsider?
Both Hunwick and Wideman stepped up in round 1, but Dennis Wideman is still frustrating to watch at times as he continues to make bad decisions on the ice. The guy you have watch out for is Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk is a solid two-way defenseman, who can hit hard and has an absolute rocket from the point. Look for him to log big minutes in this series while riding shotgun with Zdeno Chara on the top pairing.
Who should we be worried about on the offensive end besides Savard?
A few months ago, I would have told you that there is no one on the Bruins that you need to worry about offensively. There is isn't that one player that is going to light you up all series on this team, but there are a few guys that can put the puck in the net. The ageless Mark Recchi, David Krejci, Miroslav Satan, and Patrice Bergeron all looked strong offensively last series. Michael Ryder is extremely streaky, but when he is firing on all cylinders can be a real offensive threat as well.
Do you think Jack Edwards is as big an idiot as the rest of the world does?
I have a new-found respect for Jack after this.
Thanks to Evan for answering our questions, and again, be sure to check out Stanley Cup of Chowder all series long for your Bruins coverage.