Know Your Opponent: Providence Bruins

Friday, May 10, 2013
Regular Season Notes

50-21-0-5 = 105 points
1st Place Atlantic Division
1st Place Eastern Conference

Leading Scorers: Ryan Spooner (17G, 40A), Carter Camper (10G, 37A), Craig Cunningham (25G, 21A), Jamie Tardif (30G, 15A), Torey Krug (13G, 32A)

The AHL Bruins dominated their regular season schedule, winning 50 games for just the third time  and clinching the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the league's regular-season points champions for the 2012-13 season.

They are led in goal by rookie sensation Niklas Svedberg, who won the Baz Bastien Award as the league's top goaltender during the regular season, posting a record of 37-8-2, with a 2.17 GAA, .925 SV% and four shutouts.

On defense, they have a good mix of size, speed, youth and experience. They are led offensively by rookie Torey Krug. They have a solid veteran in Garnet Exelby as well. Go figure they're paired up on the Bruins' top unit. They play a similar game to the Penguins in that they rely on their defense heavily to carry the puck up ice in a hurry.

Up front, the Bruins have a bunch of familiar faces to Penguins fans and none will be more apparent than former Hershey Bears forward Chris Bourque. Bourque is one among a few former Bears forwards on the Bruins, Graham Mink and Christian Hanson being the others. Again, a well balanced forward core that has promising young talent like Ryan Spooner and well-known veterans like Trent Whitfield.

Which Bruins team will the Penguins get in this series? The team that allowed the 8th seeded Hershey Bears to put on a clinic and push them to the brink? Or the team that buckled down and won three straight to get to this point? Will the loss of defenseman Matt Bartkowski to the NHL make a big difference? Will rookie netminder Niklas Svedberg handle the playoff pressure and play consistent enough? Lots of questions surrounding the Bruins to think about as this series progresses.

Breakdowns of the two teams in a position-by-position format in tomorrow's Game One Preview. The series starts tomorrow night. Buckle up.


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