I won’t lie, living in semi-quarantine for the past 5-6 months has been a mixed bag of misery for all of us so night’s live this take on even more significance than ever before. Two playoff games in one night was alway a luxury, but when you have nothing to watch for months except Netflix and reruns of Bar Rescue then you really appreciate this kind of sports overload. So kudos to Adam Silver for leading the way with the idea of putting an entire league into a bubble.
Boston Bruins (-1.5) vs Carolina Hurricanes
Bruins Lead the Series 2-1
Puck Drop: 8 pm, NESN
Breakdown: After Tuukka left the B’s in a precarious position by opting out of the season…the morning of a playoff game…Jaroslav Halak stepped in and played pretty damn well (minus the ugly goal he gave away trying to play the puck behind the net). So while it was en vogue to bash Tuukka for a number of reasons, many Bruins fans have ironically gotten exactly what they were hoping for: a new goalie. Halak was obviously never supposed to play in the playoffs because he’s the backup, but he’s not your typical backup. Since Tuukka never played well with a heavier workload, he and Halak have basically been splitting time evenly the past 2 seasons. Granted Tuukka was 2nd in the NHL this year in GAA, Halak wasn’t far behind at 7th in the league so we’re still in pretty good hands all things considered.
Boston Celtics (-5.5) vs Philadelphia 76ers
Tip Off: 6:30 pm, ESPN
Breakdown: The Celtics have had a lot of success against the Sixers in recent years, winning the last four playoff series the two have played against one another. Not to mention the C’s have beaten the Sixers in 18 of the last 24 regular season matchups. Now the Sixers are without Ben Simmons who suffered a season ending knee injury. Philly was already a dysfunctional mess before that so while I am always fearful of what a motivated Joel Embiid can do on any given night, I think the C’s win the series in 6 games.