No shortage of storylines for Bruins, Penguins

Jaromir Jagr was a dominant figure in Pittsburgh throughout the 1990s. (Getty Images)
Jaromir Jagr was a dominant figure in Pittsburgh throughout the 1990s. (Getty Images)

In many ways the NHL events that took place on March 27 and 28 makes this 2013 Eastern Conference Finals between the Bruins and Penguins now seem almost predetermined.

A few days before the league trade deadline, it appeared that Flames forward and future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla would be flipped to Boston, except at the last minute he chose the Penguins instead. That meant Bruins prospect and defensemen Matt Bartkowski (a Pittsburgh native and Penguins fan growing up) would stay with Boston and the B’s later ended up trading for former Penguins great Jaromir Jagr, who was then in Dallas. It’s indisputable that Iginla (four goals, eight assists this postseason) has been better than both Jagr (four assists) and Bartkowski (one goal, one assist) combined but nonetheless the Bruins have found a way to win two rounds in the playoffs with each guy playing a decent sized role.

The Penguins have been the top team in the Eastern Conference all season so the fact that they reached this stage is less than surprising given their abundance of world-class talent in Sidney Crosby (seven goals, eight assists), Evgeni Malkin (four goals, 12 assists), Kris Letang (three goals 13 assists) and James Neal (six goals, four assists) among others. After eliminating the Rangers last Saturday, Bruins forward Milan Lucic even went so far as to compare the Penguins to the Miami Heat, given that their roster is flooded with big-name talent.

Jagr had 439 career goals when he was a superstar in Pittsburgh from 1990 to 2001 and had 65 goals in the playoffs over those 11 seasons in the Steel City. Given his recent struggles scoring the puck, the B’s are hoping Jagr might be given an adrenaline boost for a few weeks against the Pens, playing in a big-time hockey atmosphere in a city that he once owned.

- Former Bruins center Marc Savard has never officially hung up his skates and he’s only 35-years-old but Penguins enforcer Matt Cooke effectively ended his career on March 7, 2010 with a vicious headshot (that somehow went unpunished by the NHL) in a game at Consol Energy Center. The B’s never really responded to Cooke’s dirty play and though now is certainly not the time to mete out justice years later, it’s another interesting sidebar in this series. Cooke (three assists, 18 penalty minutes) has a much bigger role on the Penguins now than he did back then.

Three local college hockey products are on the Penguins: former BC defenseman Brooks Orpik (one goal, 1 assist, plus-6), former Harvard star Craig Adams (one assist, plus-2) and Northeastern’s Joe Vitale (one assist) have all played in at least four games this postseason for the top seed in the East.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.