Former Boston Bruins head coach and current Canadian media icon Don Cherry said today during a conference call that he’s picking the Bruins to take down Montreal in five or six games in the teams’ first-round playoff series, which starts Thursday at TD Banknorth Garden.
But he threw in one caveat: he hates being a No. 1 seed against a team that just snuck into the playoffs because “they’re going to be all loosey goosey and you’ve got a gun to your head.”
Nonethelss, Cherry, the co-host of “Coach’s Corner” on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC, picked the top-seeded Bruins to win the Eastern Conference and represent the East in the Stanley Cup final. NBC, CBC and NESN analyst Mike Milbury stuck to his roots and his preseason choice with a pick of the Bruins to win the conference as well, and he picked the same team as Cherry — San Jose — to make it through the Western Conference.
“They’ve been consistent, their coaching has been excellent, their goaltending … (Tim Thomas has) been far and away the most consistent goaltender in the league, with all due respect to the kid in Columbus (Steve Mason). This guy has been outstanding.”
TSN and NBC analyst Pierre McGuire was the third man on the call to tab the Bruins, although he has them facing Detroit in the final. McGuire was gushing about everything black and gold.
“You can’t just say enough about what (head c0ach) Claude Julien and the Boston Bruins have done. And Timmy Thomas and how he just resurrected an unbelievable run for himself. It’s been a great story to watch,” McGuire said. “And Zdeno Chara … I think Dennis Wideman is the most improved defenseman in the NHL and hopefully he can get healthy for this playoff run. But this has become an unbelievably tight team. … Watching Milan Lucic play reminds me of what the Bruins are all about. So I really have a lot of faith that Boston’s going to go deep and potentially represent the East.”
The only TV talker to not pick the Bruins was Eddie Olczyk of NBC and Versus, who went with a Philadelphia-San Jose final (his preseason pick).